It’s official! I’m unemployed!
Following the relatively weak presentation at Aalto University a week ago, yesterday I gave my second and last master’s thesis presentation, this time at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) in Lisbon. In contrast to the presentation at Aalto, the IST presentation would be graded, and make part (20%) of the final grade of my thesis.
This slight pressure seems to have been what I needed to motivate me to give a great presentation. Because the presentation certainly went great. So great that even the program director (a professor with whom I am certainly not on good terms with) commented the presentation by saying that “we already know you give excellent presentations”. Coming from her, that is certainly a compliment.
Following a long discussion and questions session (40 minutes or so) the jury was left alone to discuss the grade. And the result?
Practically the top grade. 20/20 is probably reserved to him or her who cures cancer or reverts climate change, so I’m pretty satisfied with my grade.
However, every rose has its thorns1, and my main thorn is supposedly my arrogance. The professors made a big deal out of me not including my supervisors and the European Commission(!) in my thesis acknowledgements. After all, they said, this would probably not have been possible without their help, and certainly not without the scholarship from the EC.
Perhaps this is a combination of Sweden being a country very low on formalities, me in particular disliking formalities, and the Portuguese society being completely obsessed by formalities; but it was still a pity that they got something to complain about. But like Michalis said, when they don’t find anything concrete to comment on, they look for irrelevant details instead.
So I have promised to add at least the EC to my acknowledgements. But since I am the way I am, I am now also tempted to thank:
* The Swedish government for also funding me throughout my 7 years of studies.
* The Swedish inhabitants, for paying the taxes that have led to these funds.
* The EU inhabitants that pay taxes, since that is what ultimately payed my EC scholarship.
* Argentina’s black exchange market (and thus indirectly the Argentine government), for giving me 50-80% more pesos for my Euros.
But I will surpress this temptation…
Anyway, I will now celebrate my unemployment by going to the beach. After all, we’re expecting 31°C here today.
Over and out!
1. One thing I love about blogging in English is that I learn all these new proverbs. In Swedish this proverb is “Even the sun has its spots” (Även solen har sina fläckar). But that this is Every rose has its thorns in English, was new to me.