I survived the Comité d’Accompagnement.
This is in thanks, almost a hundred percent, to Frederik— our program’s scientific coordinator but who is more like the overall administrator, problem-solver, and go-to guy. I swear, had it not been for his constructive criticism on multiple drafts of my work, his taking time out of his extremely busy schedule to give me said feedback, and above all his quiet faith that I could get it done, this would not have been possible and I would not be here— thank you, Frederik.
I also owe a lot to the boy and his family, who took care of me the last two weeks pre-defense and let me re-appropriate a large chunk of their living room in Sweden for research-and-revision purposes. Also for the fantastic food and loan of the family puppy, Toby, who happily munched on gourmet dog treats (yes, they exist) while I was typing away behind my wall of books.
Until the very end, I honestly did not think I could do it. Write the entire theoretical and methodological portions of my dissertation in under two months and defend them, what madness is that? But it was done, and it was sound, and I defended my theories and methods to the satisfaction of my jurors. Certainly there is a lot of room for improvement, of all people I know that, but today is a day I can breathe again.