Annie was defending her PhD thesis today. It's a public defense, so I went along and sat with the Chinese at the back of the room, just in front of the other PhD students, Annie's colleagues.
I was very happy to understand basically what she was talking about - essentially about creating different substrates for stem-cells to bind to and to begin differentiating into bone cells. The techniques for detecting the results were largely greek to me - like confocal doodahs and stuff. But essentially what she was working on was not hard to grasp if you had at least a very basic knowledge of cell biology.
Then we all had to leave the room while the jury deliberated. I am sure they played a round of cards, because in a neighboring building a buffet was already prepared to celebrate and the doctorate certificates were printed ready for signing, but anyway after some 10 to 15 minutes were all called in and, all standing, the president read out the procès verbal of the jury, conferring her doctorate on Annie.
Hip hip ! Hurrah !
Lots of speeches by everyone thanking everyone else. Then off for a buffet and to chat.
Bravo Annie ! Bravo !