Posted by Daniela Elza on Apr 22 2011

Yesterday I defended my doctorate thesis. I did it.
I started my PhD more than 15 years ago. Had to give it up for a while. Went back in 2005, and today I can finally say: I am done.
Well, almost. Still a bit of paperwork to get done for the library copies etc., but done with the big stuff.
It has not sunk in yet. So writing this helps it sink in.

Saying it is a bit harder today, since I lost my voice yesterday. Ironic. So do not call me right now.
I barely had enough voice for the defence, and this morning I am afraid to say anything for the fear of what I might hear.

The day perhaps is better spent in silent gratitude.

It will be impossible to mention here all the people and voices, just some crucial ones.
I am grateful to my excellent committee for their presence, guidance and nurture.

My sincerest gratitude goes to my senior supervisor Dr. Heesoon Bai who not only recognized and supported my work initially, but also pulled me back into the academy and continues to encourage my propensity to break out into verse where philosophical issues are concerned.

Dr. Carl Leggo has been a support and a beacon in the poetic inquiry pursuit. Without his encouragement and recognition I might not have pursued far enough.

Dr. Lynn Fels joined to further this pursuit. I am grateful for her engagement with my work, her discerning eye, and her sensitivity to language. As well as for the questions she asks, which stay with me and push me further into thinking through this open field so delightfully riddled with paradox.

Gratitude goes out to Dr. Celeste Snowber (my internal/external examiner) and Dr. Susan Walsh (my external examiner) for their questions and generous discussion at the defence. For holding the beautiful space that allowed for an honest and authentic encounter. And, of course, Dr. Robin Brayne (the chair) who allowed for a playful interpretation of time and still got us through and with laughter.

I am indebted to my poetry mentor Harold Rhenisch who through methods still a mystery to me seems to understand what I am doing, who puts up with my poetic stubbornness, and still encourages me to experiment further.

I am deeply grateful to my parents for the safe spaces they created for me to grow up in. I thank my friends who have been by my side and believed in what I do even when I was not sure I believed: Nevena Tadic, Christi Kramer, Robin Susanto, Christina Shah, Rob Taylor, Bonnie Nish, to mention only a few.

I thank my children for being the creative forces that they are, and for sparking a lot of my ideas around learning.

And last, but not least, my partner and husband, Dethe, whom I met through a poem, was my first fan, and a support ever since. I suspect it might be because of his trust in me that I kept at it for so long and trusted enough to bring my work to fruition. So that D in PhD is for Dethe.

To all of you and including the ones I have not had a chance to mention here:
Thank you.
Happy Earth Day.
Happy Easter.

7 Responses to “graduated”

  1. Terry Sloan Says:

    I do not know you – I saw your link on a friend’s FaceBook page and I am so very glad I visited here!
    What an inspiring journal entry!
    Congratulations to you and Dethe, and all your friends and family on your achievement!
    I am going to order your books through my Kindle. I look forward to reading your work!!

  2. Ann Blackwell Says:

    Congratulations and best wishes Daniela. How wonderful to have a Doctor in the family. I am delighted for you and this your accomplishment. I wish I could download your new book, but the application won’t download to my computer. Will you ever think of doing a paper copy for us antiquarians? Love and Peace, Ann

  3. Daniela Elza Says:

    Thank you Terry for visiting, and for your inspiring words. We are not alone in our achievements. I am always surprised when I stop to think how many people are involved in them. And we need to take more time to acknowledge that.

    Thanks Ann. Yes, there will be a paper copy sometime, hopefully soon. I have been asked a lot about that. Need to figure out the logistics.

    The next important thing is Dethe’s JavaScript conference presentation in Portland in the first week of May. And I am dedicating my energy to take over some of the daily TO-DOs to help him get enough time to prepare.

  4. william welton Says:

    Hey Daniela,
    Congratulations! Congratulations, Dr. Elza!
    You rock!

    All the best to you and Dethe and the kids!

  5. Daniela Elza Says:

    Thanks Bill,
    You are one of the people that also needs to be acknowledged as well. You are my Plato expert.
    Thanks for all your thoughts and advice over the years. We should get back to the paper we wrote and find it a home.:-)

  6. Karyn Says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Elza!

  7. Daniela Elza Says:

    Thanks Karyn,
    It is funny I earned my Dr. title and got sick. So today went to the doctor. :-)
    What a pleasant surprise to see your collaboration in the latest issue of the Blue Print Review. Sounds like you had fun with it.