Defending my thesis, one dancing queen at a time.

Everyone needs a little Meryl Streep now and then. I find I call upon the Oscar award winning actress in moments of distress; for example, in the minutes leading up to my thesis defense.

Despite the fact I had spent over a year researching and writing my thesis, the prospect of academic interrogation still made me shudder. No amount of Starbucks could calm my nerves. No friendly pep talks could convince me I was about to experience anything short of an inquisition.

And so I did what any Jew with an ounce of rhythm would do: I broke out the Mamma Mia soundtrack and danced to the sweet tunes of Ms. Streep. As a child I distinctly remember Mama B breaking out the Broadway show tunes when faced with adversity. Together we would sing “I feel pretty and witty and gay. And I pity any girl who isn’t me today.” And somehow I would come to believe I was the luckiest little Starbucks fiend around.

Only today I decided to assume the identity of a dancing queen– “young and sweet, only seventeen.” Little did I think passerbys would share my appreciation for Meryl Streep or ABBA. But within seconds there was a knock on my door.

Now when one finds herself using her diet coke bottle as a microphone, belting out a 1970s Billboard 100 song, she hesitates to let anyone interrupt her groove. However, I was feeling charitable and so I shouted, “Enter, but only if you are ready to shake it like a polaroid picture.”

Of course instead of being one of my hallmates, it was the lovely cleaning lady Maureen. As a devout musical junkie herself, she asked if she could join in on the celebration. Giving her a spare coke bottle, I provided her with the means to join my spontaneous dance party.

The fun did not stop there. A few first years, having completed their first finals, knocked and asked to join in jubilation. Within minutes, I had a full-fledged musically  themed dance party happening in my humble dorm room. Women of all ages rocking out to Mamma Mia in a myriad of interpretative manners.

Sadly my spontaneity came to an abrupt conclusion when I realized my defense was in less than ten minutes. Shuttling my fellow partygoers out, I promised to repeat this magic sometime in the near future. For now, I had to Swiffer and head to the Political Science Department.

And currently, an hour post defense, I can honestly say I am ready for another musical adventure. I received honors, and if that doesn’t call for a little West Side Story sing-a-long, I don’t know what does.

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One response to “Defending my thesis, one dancing queen at a time.

  1. Great blog! I’m a Jewish coffee-loving gal myself. Looking forward to keeping up with you online.

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