Eve of the Defense

It’s Friday night, and I’m doing the opposite of partying. Tomorrow morning I defend my masters thesis.

Originally I thought I’d be spending the evening going over my presentation, anticipating questions, and practicing my answers, but I suddenly got these three 硕士学位申请书 (Masters Degree Application Forms). I have to fill out six pages of academic history and mini-essays by hand (in Chinese, of course). In triplicate!

What a waste of my time. I can’t wait to graduate…

May 25 UPDATE: As some of you noticed from my Twitter status, I did, in fact pass my thesis defense. It actually went much smoother than I expected. I’ll write more on this soon.

In the meantime, even after my defense is over with and I have been granted an MA, I still have more paperwork to finish before it’s official. Arrgh…


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Henning Says: May 23, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    I wish that your exam will be a roaring success!
    Good luck!
    (as I know you, you won’t need much of that ingredient, but it definately never hurts)


    P.S.: But on a Saturday?

    What kind of professors do you have? They make you come on a Saturday? Don’t they have a life?

  2. John,
    Good luck to you, or as Russians say: “No down, no feather!” (the expression comes from hunting tradition, “bring only real stuff”). The recipient is supposed to reply: “Go to devil.” Really.

  3. Good luck. But those papers you have to fill out really sound like they suck. That’s 18 pages of writing out Chinese. Your hand’s going to hurt. Why don’t they allow you to print it? Jeez…

  4. John, my very best wishes for success. I have no doubt you will defend your master’s thesis with flying colors. Remain focused on the prize, the end of the tunnel, the pot of gold…uh, you know what I mean. Have a good night’s rest before your exam and go gett’m!


  5. It is darkest before the dawn.
    Good luck, buddy.

  6. Good luck and congratulations!

  7. Thats education for you. good luck.

  8. Best of luck John…I guess this is probably one of those things where you can’t just 听不懂 your way through it.

  9. It’s about time 😉 Big ups on the dedication and constant workloads. Congratulations!

  10. John,
    I feel for you. I will pray that you feel calmness during the test and that you perform well.

    Good Ruck… I mean Luck!

    Author of
    “How to Become an Airline Pilot”
    “How to Move to The Philippines”

  11. I’m so glad I didn’t have to defend my thesis. Just had to write a huge load (the creative manuscript was actually more difficult than the critical work).

    Hope the defense went well today.

  12. I wish you success!

  13. Abstract Says: May 25, 2008 at 12:13 am

    Congratulations!!! I just saw your caption on passing the thesis.

  14. Greg Pasden Says: May 25, 2008 at 1:10 am

    Sooooo…. How did it go today?

    Greg P

  15. Thanks everyone! It went quite well. (See the update to the blog post.)

    More soon!

  16. Lisa in Toronto Says: May 25, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    congratulations – a very impressive feat!

  17. Congratulations, John.

  18. Evil professors who have you handwrite 18 pages in Chinese, only so that they can crack themselves up laughing “你看那老外怎么写XXX字!!写得不错,可是明明是老外写的,那是没办法” and other selfbragging comments. Brave you were to study a degree in China. Me bows.

  19. Congratulations!

  20. […] subject of academia, congratulations to John “Sinosplice” Pasden who this past weekend successfully defended his masters thesis in applied linguistics. John’s site remains a great resource for those interested in learning […]

  21. Congratulations John –

    I have to fill out six pages of academic history and mini-essays by hand (in Chinese, of course). In triplicate!

    I’m more than a little impressed by the fact you could do this. In triplicate and by hand? Were you being punished?

  22. You are the wind beneath my wings! Congrats. 😉

  23. Hi, John! Heartfelt Congratulations! Zhu ni ‘Graduation’ kuaile! 😉 .

    Wish you more achievements…

  24. Congrats, John. If that’s the Masters’, just think what a Doctorate would do to you!

  25. Henning Says: June 7, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Master John,
    you still need to change that line on the top right: “He is a grad student in applied linguistics.”. No need for modesty here.

  26. Henning Says: June 7, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    And Feds is correct. Tackle that PhD.

  27. Henning,

    Hmmm, yes, I suppose a text update is in order. No PhD for me, though! I’m much too practical for all that excessive academia…

  28. […] announced way back in May that I passed my master’s thesis defense, and I promised to write more about […]

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