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Thesis prayer – Search Term short answer

Welcome to my blog!

Hello there, awesome reader. My name is Dr. 27. I'm older than that now, but I'm staying faithful to the origins of the blog.

This blog started 2 months before completing my PhD in a pretty southern university back in 2009. It was a way to practice my writing and take a break from all things thesis. My PhD is in a branch of structural biology where I studied some rather impressive stuff.

After completing the degree, I packed my life of 6 years in 3 days and moved to Canada to do a postdoc in a completely different field. Two years later, and after attending a lot of seminars, workshops and doing some much-needed soul-searching, I ended up getting out and looking for an alternative path to academia and industry.

The blog chronicles my mishaps, ideas, musings and tips on entering, staying and finishing grad school. It also talks about some (or a lot) of personal stuff. For a while, the blog became a place to talk about the frustrations of not knowing what to do after PhD. I wanted to explore alternatives to the traditional paths of research (academia, industry and goverment) whilst going back to my field of training (if at all possible). Eventually a job materialized. Follow my quest as I navigate the waters of being a staff scientist at a core facility.

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Another frequent term I’ve been getting lately is “say a thesis prayer before PhD defense.”

I’ve mentioned before that I was born and raised in the catholic faith, though I’m going through a rough patch right now where I don’t like organized religion too much.

Seeing that Lent started this past week and the amount of times I’ve gotten this search term used to get to my blog I feel like maybe a higher calling is being made and I must answer.

Feel free to check this post on how my PhD defense DAY was … yeah, it felt like a day although it was all said and done in 6-7 hours (the defense was 1.5 hrs, the lecture was 1hr long, then the celebration took place so it was a day long process).

So, as a catholic I believe in saints, and Mary, and in asking the Saints and Mary for intervention in cases where my faith or strength doesn’t seem enough. For my thesis I remember making 2 prayers, a personal one (just a conversation with God, giving him thanks for letting me reach that point where the defense was imminent and for all the good and not so good that had transpired through the years). I also did a prayer which was given to me the day before I almost lost my life. I was given a prayer that I’ve carried with me ever since, and it talks about not dying in battle, not being defeated by enemies, etc. It’s a prayer to St Joseph. And because for me the the thesis felt like a battle, like I could fail, I made that prayer.

I don’t think there’s a formulaic prayer which will automatically make you pass the thesis. What I do believe in is asking for protection, guidance and direction, and after all is said and done, no matter the outcome, just give thanks for having reached a new stage in your personal and professional life.

Whatever you path to God, or whoever you call your Supreme Being, try to be thankful for reaching the post-thesis stage. And stay focused and breathe, enjoy every second, as it will be over sooner thank you think.

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