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How to prepare for your (shudder) doctoral dissertation defense

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Most universities require a final doctoral defense of your precious work. Almost everyone who has a doctorate has a final defense story. Often they are the worst horror stories one can imagine, short of a bedroom intruder, and emblazoned on the mind of the teller forever. For example . . . A friend of mine was obviously pregnant at her defense. After she successfully passed, her chair, staring at her bulk, informed her with a tone of incontrovertibility that her entire graduate education had been a “waste.” Outrageous, I know. I’m very glad to say she proved the chair wrong. Later, with two kids, she became an award-winning professor at Brandeis.

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