This picture was taken by the Pal at the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo, Japan. It doesn't have much to do with the post, but it makes me happy, so it stays.
Today is my first day of reading examiners' comments and beginning the process of corrections on my thesis. On one level, the comments are really uplifting - they all seem to think this is a "significant contribution to the field" which is nice, but sometimes they are just plain mean. It's easy to sit back, take pot shots from the cheap seats, as the Pal says, and then not offer any substantively helpful feedback. That being said, I am very grateful to one anonymous marker who went out of his/her way to suggest careful and thoughtful ways to address a particular structural and theoretical issue.
I think it's just very hard to sit and read 12 pages of pretty full-on critique without feeling a bit winded.
Memo to self: it's really nice to be nice. And helpful, too. If I am ever in the position of marking anything, I hope to be able to do it with grace and humility and offer intelligent advice.
**Edited to say thank you for all your delightful comments - I appreciate them so much. xx