It is now as official as it gets: my defense will finally take place next week, with all the pomp and circumstance these things require in Finland, and particularly at the University of Helsinki. I have heard that elsewhere defenses may be pretty informal occasions, with no one else there but the prospective PhD and the examiners. I, on the other hand, will have an audience of a couple of dozen people at least, and the whole day is choreographed according to ancient customs from the beginning of the defense through the ceremonial dinner I will host in honour of my opponent in the evening. Everyone present will be dressed in white tie, or the feminine counterpart of that.
Maybe sometime later I will write a little post about tips how you can (mis-)use your position as a scholarly authority to obstruct the career path of dangerous younger generation researchers but now I am going to tune into a festive mood. Afterwards, there will be a party for various friends and colleagues, and I can finally let my hair down. Anyway, life is too short for academic rancour and personal vendettas.