Along the way, I lost two supervisors, was hospitalised three times, and was made redundant from my work role just prior to finalising a full draft of the thesis.
But I had worked hard, and I truly believed that the spiritual principle of karma would ensure that I sailed through examination. For reasons outside my control, there were issues selecting examiners for my thesis, causing further disruption to my Ph D journey and the process of examination.
After spending three and a half years working towards submission, I found another delay to be almost unbearable. Encouraged by my faith in karma, I remained optimistic about the final stages of my doctoral journey. To say they were polar opposites is no exaggeration.
The first examiner judged my work to be “an exemplary thesis…
Despite conjecture that young examiners are the harshest critics, I picture this person to be a grumpy older academic disgruntled by life.
It helps me somewhat as I battle to synthesise the feedback.
The same candidate displayed limited understanding of the subject matter and was “misinformed” (Examiner 2). Colleagues have told me that major revisions is a common outcome, and that students will often receive one positive review and one negative review.
I understand it’s all part of the process of becoming an academic, and getting used to the system of peer-review and rejection that is so commonplace in seeking publication in prestigious academic journals.
On the other hand, the second examiner criticised all aspects of the research, suggesting that the thesis did not demonstrate the skills expected at doctoral level.
The disparity of comments continued throughout the examination reports.