Peter A Goldsbury
Thank you for the information. Is the result of your oral defence a foregone conclusion?
I've found that it is best to take nothing for granted. What I've seen in practice is this: If the committee is not well-satisfied with the work prior to the scheduled defense, the defense date is usually deferred. Even in cases where the committee is well-satisfied, there is generally a final round of emendations that has to be made prior to submission of the bound dissertation. What seems to be most critical is giving all members of the committee ample opportunity to review drafts of the dissertation prior to the defense and incorporating their concerns early on. Failure to do so can result in intractable problems at the defense resulting from differences of perspective and discipline among the reviewers. I have seen a few instances of this in the PhD Program I administer, and it is very difficult indeed to advise a candidate that another six months or a year will be necessary to bring the matter to a successful conclusion. My production and review schedule is fairly severe, given my work schedule, but it has been built with an eye to these issues. All I can do now is plow steadily forward and hope the furrows remain reasonably straight and the weather suitable.
Peter A Goldsbury
It is curious, but I returned to Hiroshima University in Japan, but have never taught any classes in the area in which I wrote the Ph.D: which is Aristotle's theory of knowledge and science (though I did once teach some doctorate classes on Aristotle's Rhetoric). However, on the strength of the work I had already begun to do on Japanese culture, that has resulted in columns such as this one, I went to a new department--of Management Studies, teaching comparative culture.
Teaching these Japanese Master's and Doctoral students has been very stimulating: they probably know as much (as little) about kotodama as anyone else in this forum, but they have an easy familiarity with the kind of homophonic wordplay that was the basis of Yamaguchi's and Deguchi's kototama gaku.
Similarly, I find myself teaching Japanese architecture and have recently been asked if I would develop a course on the subject of Japanese Swordsmanship for Digital Game Designers to fulfill their Physical Education requirements. If the latter comes to fruition and time spent at the task is any indication, I think all of the students in the latter will be considerably more expert in digital gaming than I am in any form of Japanese swordsmanship.
Neither has much to do with either the Division of Global Affairs' core coursework or my particular topic area, and I'm beginning to see why my advisor at Michigan State was fond of remarking that a PhD is like a union card -- it only matters as long as you don't have one.