August 5, 1996. I defended my Masters thesis exactly 18 years ago. Seems like from another lifetime, those bright-eyed, bushy-tailed grad school days. I remember going into the plush conference room armed with only one piece of advice from my laid-back, soft-spoken French advisor, which did wonders for my confidence – “Please just lower your voice by several decibels when you present, and you will be fine.”
The presentation went peachy enough. Although, I remember coming out of the defense with more compliments on my accent (specifically, Tambrahm English with Catholic convent influence thrown in) than on the content of my presentation. Mildly disturbing, no?