A bit late, but I successfully defended my PhD dissertation on June 29th! Although it has only been two weeks, it seems like eons ago already. The defense went well, it was a great mix of rigorous exchanges and academic camaraderie. It lasted just over 3 hours and I passed with excellence. A few minor tweaks (the dreaded typo of course!) and it will be submitted to the archives to sit on the digital shelf among the work of my peers. Although many people had said that when I was done, I would not remember much and that I would just want to take a break for a bit, I found myself excitedly recounting every detail for those who could not attend. So many suggestions and directions came out of the defense that all I wanted to do when I got home (besides having celebratory drinks) was to etch out some notes and get to work on the next phase.
Of course, I am not even sure what that really is at the moment, but for now, I am happily working with/for Dr. Mia Consalvo on great research on Facebook games and families, I am reading some work written by a new colleague I am planning to collaborate with in the future, and I am hoping to push beyond my comfort zone and take my research into new directions as suggested during my defense as I work on a post-doc application for the fall (government sponsored post-docs are due in October so best I get started, and find an institution and/or supervisor!). I am also working on some entries for a Video Game Companion (edited by Mark Wolf), and have dreams of reshaping my dissertation into a proper book. It has only been two weeks since the defense, but I have already started on some significant edits thanks to a meeting of great minds in Switzerland last week. Overall, while I don’t have a tenure track job lined up, I have a pretty good to-do list to keep me working happily through the summer as I work on my c.v. and keep my eye on the job market this fall.
All in all, I cannot complain. After 10 years leveling up, I finally made it to the end game, and lucky for me, the expansions keep coming!