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Autobiographical. Metzger and Me. The Dissertation Defense

I CONTINUE HERE WITH MY REMINISCENCES OF MY INTERACTIONS AND RELATIONSHIP WITH MY MENTOR, BRUCE METZGER

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In almost (but not absolutely) all PhD programs in this country, the doctoral candidate has do have an “oral defense” of the dissertation.   If s/he successfully defends, the PhD is then granted.  Here at UNC, the defense is conducted in front of the five-person dissertation committee.  Everyone on the committee has read the dissertation – carefully, in theory – and the defense is designed to see if, well, the thesis is defensible.  In other words, faculty members do not hold back but probe deeply into the work to see if there are any flaws in it.   If a student fails the defense, s/he has to revise the dissertation and try again.   Even if it is considered passable, revisions of some sort are often considered necessary.

 

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Comments

  1. Robertus
    Robertus  August 16, 2012

    Hilarious!

  2. Avatar
    Adam  August 16, 2012

    I would have loved to see the look on your face after Metzger asked that!

  3. Avatar
    dallaswolf  August 16, 2012

    That is a scream!

  4. Avatar
    maxhirez  August 17, 2012

    That’s hilarious.
    I’d be interested in a description (for “laymen,” irony fully intended, but as you are so good at giving) of the statistical model you developed for analyzing the textual relationships. Nothing like the interjection of math into your criticism!

  5. Avatar
    Bill  August 17, 2012

    Am acquaintance, a Nobel Laureate in Physics, one told me that he asks students of their defense, “Why am I sitting here listening to you?”.

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  August 17, 2012

      Yes, that’s a question I frequently ask *myself*!

  6. Avatar
    RonaldTaska  August 18, 2012

    It sounds to me like Metzger knew you well enough that he knew that you deserved the doctorate.

  7. Avatar
    Margie  August 18, 2012

    I am really enjoying these blogs but I got a huge laugh out of that last one.

  8. Avatar
    gabilaranjeira  June 27, 2014

    It looks like Metzger knew you had a flawless dissertation. Great story!

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