What you missed, Part 1: Titled.

There are some statements that could be considered exaggerations.

That was the best cheesecake EVER.

Maybe the whole thing with the fire ants was a bad idea.

I have been in school FOREVER.

In my case, I think that last one was technically true. 

I went from undergraduate right into a Ph.D. program, something I think I would never have done had I known better. At times it was fun, and now that it is over I am finding it easier to remember that. Frequently it was horrible. 

I stuck it out for a few reasons. First of all, I am stubborn. Second, the idea of quitting was scary. But I like to think the most important reason I stayed is because, every so often, it was AWESOME. I loved the moments - few and far between as they were - when I got something to work (repeatedly) and realized I was looking at something new. Something where I could go to the world "I know something you don't know" and actually be kind of almost sure it was true.

Mostly, it was probably the second thing though. I used to think that it is hard to be something that you're not.

In any case this happened last spring. May 17th, to be precise.

"So listen carefully.... SCIENCE!"

"This is what I can do with powerpoint."

"Look, some more things I can do with powerpoint."

It took me about eight weeks to recover normal sleeping habits after the defense... which was actually fine, because I did a lot of great TV show watching and reading in the unmentionable hours of the day.

The defense, like my research career, wasn't all that pretty. It wasn't really enjoyable. Fortunately I had the support of a loving and wonderful family, especially on the sprint through the end. 

And, two days after my thesis defense, I got to go to a really fantastic party.

More on that soon...


  1. Congratulations and welcome back!

  2. Congrats! I was wondering what you'd been up to lately...

    I have to say your defense pix look so formal and BIG! Mine was in a regular classroom, and fortunately my husband was the only "community" that showed up. (That's what I got for an 8am defense.)