How astonishing to hear that food at a thesis defense is considered
appropriate! My mother hadn't any at her doctoral thesis viva; I hadn't any at
mine; and it's quite new to me - and utterly awful, as well. It's an
examination covering your work and I would be grossly offended if anyone
suggested discussing it over a cup of coffee! The closest thing we have ever had
to that is an exceptional candidate being given a glass of sherry; and in two
long vivas I know of (more than four hours) a tea-break was had by all in
another part of the building.
Food? ??? Is your mum supposed to bake cookies for your examiners, or what?
Your examiners want food, your department can and should give them a decent
lunch or dinner as part of the examjinaer's perks, it should never be the
my 2 p's worth!
Dr. K. J. Kaye
kkaye at vax.ox.ac.uk