Before the second quarter of this year or half of this year has ended, I have experienced another breakthrough by the grace of the Lord.
I passed my outline defense examination for my thesis.
Indeed, all things work together for good. I was supposed to defend my outline immediately after my topic defense. My adviser actually informed me the moment she learned that she was assigned to be my adviser that I should improve my paper and be ready to present my outline as soon as I can.
However, it did not happen so soon. When I passed my topic defense, it was in March. As a teacher, I had so many duties that month. Moreover, I had a more hectic schedule during the summer because I maximized my time for real vacation. I journeyed to different places and tried to unwind.
In April and May, I worked on revising my paper for my outline defense. My adviser and I even discussed the possible dates. I was supposed to defend in the last week of May. Unfortunately, I had to be in Palawan with my family. Then, I was supposed to defend in the first week of June. However, I failed to receive the text of my adviser that I could already distribute my manuscript to the members of the panel. Things that happened to me like events in the novels that I read.
I had to enroll for residency in the second week of June. We were already reporting at school, and inserting it in my schedule was a bit challenging. Fortunately, enrollment in the midyear was not as stressful and time-consuming than in normal semesters. It was only challenging because I was not able to pre-enlist residency, which I did not find in the options. I just printed my Form 5A.
Going back with my defense, I had to defend on June 20 (in the hype of overwhelming paper works because the school year has just began. Revising and preparing my paper were huge tasks that I had to perform. Submitting them personally to the members of the panel is another story. Doing all of it was a challenge to think that heavy traffic was currently the norm on my way to UP. The good thing was that the member of my panel seemed to be nice and accommodating. The tragic part: I was sweating and extremely haggard when I submitted my paper. I had to walk all the way from CED to OUR Building for my adviser’s signature for the appointment of my panel members. Good thing, I saw my friend and classmate while running for the other signatures. We were able to catch up and share our experiences in graduate studies and work. I am not alone. Another thing, I also had a free ride along Katipunan.
For an entire week, I had to study my paper and prepare my PowerPoint Presentation. Unlike my previous preparations, I did not rehearse much. Maybe, it’s because I almost mastered everything in my paper even if I started writing it many months ago. Also, I had a lot of other paperworks, and I didn’t have much time. I just tried to figure out some questions that might be asked during my defense. In some occasions, I dozed while practicing.
On the day of my defense, I still reported to work, but I left my post before 1 PM. I had to take shower and dress up as fast as I could. I rushed to SM to find snacks and refreshments for my panel. I thought I was still early, but I got stuck along Katipunan Road. That’s why I had to walk fast and go straight to CED Building. That means more sweat and haggardness.
As I entered the hall, I saw my adviser right away. My room assignment was changed, and I had to change my clothes because I was full of sweat. I had to text the other members of the panel to inform them about the changed venue. Moments later, they arrived, and we had to start.
Before I began my presentation, I was a bit nervous because I saw that there were so many paper clips in my submitted manuscript. I was thinking that there were many comments. I finished my presentation for at least 10 to 15 minutes. I guess I performed better than I did in my topic defense where I buckled a lot because of my nervousness. (Imagine speaking to 7 prestigious professors).
The question-and-answer lasted for more than one and half hour. I was scared that I was not able to cite the dissertation of one of my panel members. Good thing, I was rescued by my adviser. Meanwhile, we were able to improve the contents of the paper and addressed some concerns such as the clarity of the problem, the conceptual framework, the review of literature, the sample, and the instrumentation. I was glad of the suggestions. I am happy that I had thoughtful panel members. They were able to see the things that I overlooked and the things that I knew but I did not place on my paper.
The moment of truth came. I had to exit the room for them to deliberate. After few minutes, I was asked to enter the room. At first, my adviser (who was my professor to my 2 favorite subjects in my entire graduate studies) gave a spiel that scared me. She asked me how I felt and if I could still work on. In short, she was insinuating that I had to present again. To my relief, she finally announced that the panel decided to approve my outline proposal.
I heard bells from heaven. I feel so highly favored in that very moment. The Lord was with me, and He blessed me again with another breakthrough. Although that particular moment has been delayed; still, it happened in God’s perfect time.
There are so many things to be done soon. I thank God for being faithful despite my unfaithfulness sometimes. The blessings that I receive everyday is a story of labyrinth of miracles. I had to write it because I want to preserve this memory. Half o f 2016 will conclude soon, and I thank God for giving me these breakthroughs.