Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Brian's Final Degree

Last January, we had a couple of milestones in our family.  At the time, I wasn't really blogging other than monthly updates for Elijah, so they went unnoticed on the blog.  For their "anniversaries" I've decided to post on them a year later, just to preserve the family moments for ourselves...  so many of these kind of things come and go so quickly, but I have finally learned to really soak up the occasions and enjoy them.

First, on January 7th, 2013, Brian presented and defended his dissertation.  At about 10am, Brian's parents, my mother, and myself joined his lab-mates and other miscellaneous students and faculty in Pearson Hall room 304 (and via tel-conference to the Lewes campus) to hear Brian present his work on green sulfur phototrophic bacteria.  His adviser introduced Brian commenting on how he is an unassuming and quiet worker, advising him to speak softly and carry a big stick data set.  Brian ended up going a little faster than he planned and finished quickly, but then ended up expanding upon some of his presentation during the q's and a's segment (we have the presentation on DVD if anyone wants a viewing party sometime).  Eventually, he concluded and we all left the room while he defended his work and findings to his committee.

Not knowing how long to wait for news of whether he passed, we all went down the street to the new book store and stocked up on UD gear (but kept the reciepts until we heard the news) and then I ran home to fetch the boys and bring them in.  By about 12:15 he was done, with news that his committee had passed him, and he was finally done (though really, he needed a few more weeks to do revisions and finalize the dissertation before publishing it)!  We took some photos at this time, very excited and relieved that everything had worked out. 

With the woman who helped him perfect many science fair projects and helped him study for Math Counts competitions.

And with the one who financially supported his family so he could study/research/learn.

We then celebrated lunch at a newer favorite on Main Street, Catherine Rooneys.

I had to make a quick exit to head up to my school to conduct a math league competition that was unfortunately scheduled for the same day, but Brian and his parents enjoyed taking Theo to the park near his work and spending some time together.

In the evening, we headed to Brian's advisor's house, for the traditional Ph.D. party that they host in honor of successful defenses.  I made both my double-blueberry and crumb-topped-apple pies (even though they were out of season-as this was a special occassion), and we enjoyed toasting the new doctor (and introducing Theo to the idea of a "fancy glass").

It was definitely a day that I'd been waiting upon for a long time, and I was lucky to watch my husband fulfill his educational goal, even if it took a tad longer than we'd of liked.  When I met him in December of 2000, he already knew he wanted a Ph.D., he just had no clear idea what he wanted it in.  What a surprise to us both that he ended up finishing it 13 years later in marine studies. 

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