FAQ: The “Snake Fight” Portion Of Your Thesis Defense
Q: Do I have to kill the snake?
A: University guidelines state that you have to “defeat” the snake. There are many ways to accomplish this. Lots of students choose to wrestle the snake. Some construct decoys and elaborate traps to confuse and then ensnare the snake. One student brought a flute and played a song to lull the snake to sleep. Then he threw the snake out a window.
I’m very grateful to my doctoral examiners, who told me at the start of my viva that the snake I would be fighting was rather small and hinted that it had a blindspot on its left side. That made the whole process much less stressful.