... and comes out smiling :-)
I had my thesis defence yesterday and it went quite okay. I was pretty nervous for my presentation and even more for my defence with 2 student opponents, a handful of critical students, my reviewer and my supervisor. But, after I started the first view frames of my presentation, the nerves went away and we had a nice conversation.
In the end, my current work is -- with minor patches -- on B-level and there are some things I can pick up to "improve" my thesis. One of those things is taking a more philosophical stance towards the user: who is the user of my idea and what does she/he want. The point was raised by my reviewer in the review of my draft and the discussion grew on me, because I had thought about it during the whole process, but did not want to wander into philosophy undefended. Now I feel more confident to do so.
Having said that, the pressure is gone. The defence is the most critical part and I got a lot of positive feedback and praise from both the students and the teachers which was edging-on-blushing flattering. My supervisor thought I had one of the best work-ethics she had ever seen in a master thesis student and my reviewer joked on my argumentation which was so good he lost track of checking my backing theories :P My student opponents also gave me a lot of confidence and it was almost if they were stalking me in the end, wanting to know what grade I got, since they have to finish their reports as well and wanted a baseline. Thank you all for the kind words, they really do mean a lot to me. I had my bad times during my entire university career, it is nice to end on such a positive note.
There is one thing which really will stick with me: that I and the teachers were in agreement on what my thesis was and was not. It is not the most innovative thesis from a scientific perspective and that was my decision and I am grateful they accept that. The more practical subject and the time I had to do it made me work hard, but draw within the lines and keep the scientific innovation to myself and in discussing it. I can still add that discussion now and I like the idea, so the final final final deadline is in three weeks or so, but I think I will hand it in earlier... it feels a bit unreal.
PS, my presentation can be found at the prezi website, for those interested. I will put my thesis report up when it is final :-)