You can call me Doctor Blue Muse

Post-dissertation defense presentation and discussion, awaiting the verdict. I am so grateful to my dear friends who attended the defense and supported me, especially Max and Geeta who drove over from SoCal. (And of course, Mr. T who was taking pictures.)

I almost cried when she said: “Let me be the first to introduce Dr. Shawna Malvini Redden.” Although reasonably confident the dissertation defense went well enough for some level of “pass,” I felt a huge rush of relief, joy, and shock when my advisor Sarah congratulated me on earning my doctorate.


My freaking fantastic dissertation committee. From right: My amazing
advisor, Dr. Sarah J. Tracy, moi, Dr. Angela Trethewey, Dr. Kevin Corley
and Dr. Jess Alberts. Thank you ALL for your insight and support.

The day started early, as in 3:30 a.m. After a night of tossing and turning, I woke up irrationally nervous. I reviewed my presentation, picked up two dozen of Bosa’s finest donuts and camped at Starbucks to prepare.

The defense itself featured a harried presentation by yours truly where I talked through my dissertation, currently entitled: “How airport security interactions turns passengers into ‘sheeple’ and agents into ‘robots’: A discourse tracing and qualitative analysis of identity construction and emotional performance.” Then we spent an hour with me fielding questions and even better, our small group talking through ideas and connections from the research. So cool!

My friend Sue gave me a bird’s nest for luck. It worked!

Following the challenging and delightful discussion, the committee kicked the rest of us out to chat about changes they would require of me. Then after a few minutes of deliberation, the congratulations.

I jumped. I squealed. I pumped several fists. I called my mom. And then started the celebrating! Sigh.

After literally bouncing and bounding around Arizona State University today–I bought my graduation gown and funny hat!!–I’m sitting with my dear Mr. T in the airport just marveling. It boggles me that I’m done. DONE! I have some revisions, of course, but I’m at the end of my doctoral school journey. Incredible. I’ll let you know if it sinks in.

Dr. Blue Muse

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