wanted to send you a note to give you an update on my graduation party this weekend.
It was really wonderful!!! Right before I left, a friend who had defended last
year told me that he had felt awkward about a party just as I had, but when he
expressed this to his family they told him, "This party isn't for you -- it's
for us. We've had to go through all of the ups and downs with this process and
we need a party now that it's over." That really put things in a great perspective
for me and I went into the whole experience just wanting to enjoy what was happening.
can tell you that the party and the whole weekend were overwhelming in the most
positive of ways. I got to see family and friends of our family I had not
seen in years. My brother and his sons came from Florida and it was so neat to
see them so excited about getting to be a part of it all. Everyone was
so nice and so generous. I got some fantastic gifts -- very nice jewelry from
my godmother, neat bookends, quite a bit of money from other relatives (enough
to take a nice mini trip somewhere), etc. Everyone there was so happy for me --
it was like ME-fest 2000. It couldn't have gone better.
since news has gotten out about the Ph.D., I've heard from several people I haven't
seen for years. I even got a surprise phone call from my best friend from grade
school/high school and we now are planning to meet sometime in the next year.
starting to realize that this really was a BIG DEAL. A few people at the party
approached me and mentioned that they had never had a friend or family member
who had a doctorate. I keep forgetting this is kind of rare since I am surrounded
by Ph.D.s given the work I do. Also, I come from a working class/middle class
background. Not many adults I knew as a kid had gone to college. In grad school
I sometimes felt like some things were harder for me to figure out because I didn't
have a preconception, whereas a lot of my grad school friends had parents who
were themselves Ph.D.s and seemed to know the ropes better.
the party was over, I realized I needed to give myself credit for doing something
that was really different than what people from my neighborhood/family had ever
done before. Also, I realized that much of the pride people felt at that party
was pride for the family in general. That whenever anyone in our extended family
does something really neat, it reflects well on all of us.
is going to be hard to get back to reality and have to deal with the fact that
the positive attention is going to die down slowly and fade away soon :-) I think
I'm getting spoiled!
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