Just received a message from the faculty office saying that forty copies of my dissertation had just landed there. I think this means that I can now go to the printing house to get my own copies as well. Things are moving fast.
The principles of open access, in societies that cherish such principles, have long demanded that academic theses, like most information, need to be available to everyone (these days, usually, on the net). I just broke these principles. To make a long story short, I decided against electronic publication (in addition to the paper version) because I'm hoping to have a chance to publish at least part of the dissertation later elsewhere (abroad), and publishers generally prefer to publish material that is not already freely available online. But I'm glad the said principles are so alive and strong here; in effect, I had to pay 320 euro to prevent the publication of "the damn thing" (a commonly used synonym for "this study I've been working on for several years") online. This is because the university only pays for the faculty copies if the candidate agrees to publish the text electronically as well.
The last time someone finished a PhD at our department was two years ago. Now it seems people are looking forward to the event "as if it were the moon rising", to translate an untranslatable Finnish phrase. The decisive moment, i.e. the public defense (another product of the principles mentioned above), is still more than three weeks away, but I already get a lot of weird smiles and questions about things like stage fever. It's almost as if others are feeling the excitement for me. And some people I haven't seen in years are getting interested. For example, I heard, via a chain of people, that a cousin of mine who has a doctorate in chemistry might want to come and see the humanist (commonly used synonym for humanoid) cousin perform in public.