So, I'd left off the story on my drive into the lab. I went to my corner of isolation and shame, not having practiced my talk, and fired up the laptop.
At that point I promptly locked down my laptop, took Hubby, and went downstairs to buy coffee.
I went through my slides in my own head, and the timing was better. Our friend, who's left to go back to the UK as of three days ago, came over to show me pictures and distract me. Again, I was surrounded by supportive, encouraging friends and co-workers, all of whom I was afraid I'd disappoint.
I finally ran through the talk with Hubby, before going to a seminar given by my ever so nice, ever so smiley, external examiner. My talk took 24 minutes; the EE's took 45. Not too shabby.
Then, we bought some lunch, and went through the talk again. 23 minutes.
At which point we had to jump in the car, drive to the other end of campus, set up the projector and laptop, and run through the talk for the *ahem* first time on a bigger screen.
I managed to get through most of it before people started arriving, which was quite stressful, and then I realized that I hadn't (a) read my own damn thesis, (b) read any papers, or (c) read my notes for my slides.
Fortunately for me, I had time to think about the consequences of all these things, since the Departmental Rep from Biology, who is essential to the whole process, was fifteen. minutes. LATE.
He sauntered in, just as we were starting to think about calling for a sub-in, and the fun began.
I don't remember much about the three hours, but everyone tells me it went fine. It would only bore you, so if you're interested in that sort of sciency crap, drop me a line and I'll fill you in ;-)
The one part of it that I'll share in my next post is how I became the first PhD student in science that managed to work in chihuahuas and Louis Vuitton pet carriers into her PhD dissertation defense.