Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Viva (vie • vuh)

The word, "viva" literally means, "to live." I think it is an interesting term, especially in how it is being used in my current context, "Upgrade Viva". An upgrade viva in the English context means "an interview where two outside examiners (PhDs in your field of enquiry) question you about your thesis and all of its attendant details. The enquiry last for as long as it takes for the examiners to ascertain your knowledge base and your potential for further scholarship. If you "pass" the examination, you are allowed to finish your thesis and submit it as a doctoral thesis, for which you can earn the doctor of philosophy degree. If the examiners find you deficient, then you are relegated to completing the M. Litt degree or Master of Letters - to be quite honest, it is a second class degree in this instance. It says your research is not good enough, complete enough or does not merit continuation towards the doctor of philosophy degree. So now the term "viva" is understood a bit better: it is the academic colloquy that determines the life or death of a scholar.

Well, my upgrade viva is tomorrow with two scholars I respect greatly. They have been reading my material for the past month and will make a decision tomorrow on its merit. If I were younger, I might be disturbed or even nervous. I find myself in a different place altogether. I am at peace; serene. (Well, a bit chilled at the moment - it's cold and wet here!!) Nevertheless, my demeanor is unaffected. I know my subject. I do.

My world is falling into place. God truly puts you in the right place at the right time. He gives you the confidence you need when you need it. He makes your paths straight. If you seek God's world, God's vision, He gives you glimpses of it and of His glory. Then he opens it up bit, by bit as we are faithful.

I thank you O Father for this beautiful day.
Help me to live it moment by moment
Seeing your glory
and sharing your love
in all that I do.
Let Jesus live in me
and your Spirit speak through my life…


  1. You'll have a great conversation. After all, this is what you do, and you do it extremely well!


  2. And congratulations on passing soon to be Dr Dr Rev Smith.