Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Here I Am Graduatin' With My PhD

I can't believe I have a PhD. Then again, it's the most natural thing in the world. I have two arms, a nose, brown hair, and a PhD.

Commencement (May 8) was pretty quick, and my advisor stuck it out with me--such a good sport. We cracked sarcastic jokes with one another for 2 hours as my family made faces at me from the stands. One caveat to those who come after me: the doctoral hooding used to be more intimate, both in setting and fan fair, and this commencement felt too undergraduate-ish to me (the basketball stadium, and the chancellor, tongue in cheek every year, asking for alumni donations?). Plus the address stunk. But I digress--have some pictures of the joyous day. Can't believe it's over.

Gettin' hooded, yo.

After commencement I immediately began "PhDing" to my family. This is my new word for "complaining."

I felt like a model having to strike too many poses. Then at one point my family felt like paparazzi, so I fought back with my own flashy camera.

My parents on the left, me, my wife, and my wife's parents on the right.

Mmmmm doctoral cake.

I received so many gifts from my family it felt like it was my 12th birthday or something. A rain barrel. Clever t-shirts. Personalized M&Ms. Garden journal. Commissioned artwork (more to come on that in 3 months). Good books. Monarch rearing thingy dealy. Trip to the nursery. I got spoiled.

Check out the post below with video from my wife's flip camera.

Now, can I catch up with blogs and emails and my breath?


Nan Ondra said...

Way to go, Benjamin! What a milestone for you. Just don't forget us little people now, ok?

Layanee said...

Yay and you are smiling! Let the games begin.

James Golden said...

Congratulations Benjamin. I'm wondering where you are going from here? A new place? A new garden?

our friend Ben said...

GOOD presents, good presents!!! Rainbarrel, nursery, monarchs and all! Your family obviously has the right idea. (But, gasp, no lottery tickets?!!) Congratulations Dr. TWO Dissertations!!!!

David Perry said...

Congratulations, friend. A deep breath for the Deep Middle, and a smile from those of us looking on.

Susan Tomlinson said...

Just look at that handsome hood and chevrons!

Trivia about the hood: that little "pocket" it makes in the back used to be there so that students could put coins in it if they liked your lecture. Or so I'm told. I found a dollar there once after a commencement ceremony...Haven't decided if that was high praise or low...

And Woot! Woot! on all the loot!

Many congratulations.

VP said...

Congratulations! Fantastic presents - you've got a most thoughtful family there :)

Benjamin Vogt said...

Nan--I still think I'm little compared to you, but hey.
Layanee--Of course I'm smiling. I was soon to get out of that hot polyester junk. :)
James--Oh no, not a new garden. I'm going to be here a few years as my wife finishes her PhD. That's good, because my next book requires research here in the great plains, and I'd be sad to leave my young garden, which is looking really good this year.
David--Thanks! Many deep breaths, I gotta tell you.
Susan--I never knew that about the pocket on the hood! That's funny. I should go check mine and see if there's anything in there--like coal.
VP--I was quite pleased with my little celebration. Now I've got to celebrate myself and hit the nursery again. :)

Jehanne Dubrow said...

Benn, congratulations!

Gail said...

Congrats Benjamin...have you started the new book or is it in development?

You mentioned wanting New York Ironweed, well you wanted 10 foot tall NYIW, I bought plants on ebay...they were excellent. gail

Benjamin Vogt said...

Jehanne--It beats moving into a new house. :)
Gail--I have an idea for the new book. I'll start my voyages in August or September to begin the research. Much, much traveling and research, but first a break! And I want a 10' tall ironweed bad--Plant Delights should have some in July.

Frances said...

The dark knight indeed. A big hug and congrats from here as well. Love the PHDing instead of complaining, or whining for the uneducated among us that hold no paper. So much time now, the garden awaits!


Jim/ArtofGardening said...

Congratulations. That is a huge deal. Will you now change your blog title to, "The Deep Doctor's Middle?"

Benjamin Vogt said...

Francis--Everyone who does not have a PhD is more educated than me. Seriously. Being over-educated makes you dumber.
Jim--I was thinking Deep Middle, PhD, but that sort of sound pompous. That's not my style with strangers, only people I already know. :)

Pam said...

I've heard the coin thing before too (although the alternate, porn-area stories are more fun).

A rain barrel?! What a great gift. How fun.

And yes, being over educated makes you dumber. I'm totally with you on that.

Dan Mays said...

Belated congratulations.

As an English major, didn't you mean to say "fanfare" (above) instead of "fan fair?"