Yesterday was a big day for me, as I defended my thesis. The day started out in the morning with breakfast and gathering the things that were coming along for the day and packing up the car. We were on the road around 11:00 to head to Tilburg.

We picked that time, because it is the normal nap time of the little one. Unfortunately, she picks this day to not go to sleep for a good while. She ended up only sleeping for about 30 minutes, which is about an hour and a half too short. That did not bode well for the rest of the day.

Getting to University, we picked up the key to our dressing room, met up with the baby sitter (although that term does not do nearly enough justice to her qualification and to the great job that she did), and we went down in to the depths of the Coppenhagen building. After having been at Tilburg University for 14 years, I still managed to find parts that I had never been to before.

After we all changed, my paranimfs and me went up to the Auditorium for final instructions by the Pedel and at promptly 14:00, I started the introduction.

The introduction itself is not part of the defence, which means that the committee was not yet there. After I finished the introduction, the procession of professors entered and after a brief introduction by the acting Rector Magnificus, my defence commenced.

The opening question was posed by Dr. Weiss of Carleton University's School of Computer Science. Dr. Weiss was followed by Prof.Dr. Nikolaou of the University of Crete's Department of Computer Science.

The first 10 minutes of the defence seemed like they lasted forever; however after that time flew. Dr. Weiss and Prof.Dr. Nikolaou were followed by Dr. Weigand, Dr. Jeusfeld, Prof.Dr. Proper and by Dr. Van den Heuvel.

When it was Papazoglou's turn (who was my promotor), the pedel interrupted with his highly-appreciated Hora Est, which concluded the defence.

After the Cortege withdrew for delibarations, I was able to relax and chat with friends and family. About 15 minutes later, they returned and I was presented with the doctoral diploma by Prof.Dr. Proper. Immediately after, Papazoglou pronounced his laudatio, which I greatly appricated.

This concluded the formal proceedings, and we all left the auditorium for celebratory drinks and some snacks. During the reception, the Infolab crew managed to sing yet another song (thank you!) of praise. Around 5pm, everything came to a conclusion and we prepared to go home.

It was a long, but rewarding day!