Last Saturday May 22, I was officially conferred my Doctorate by the University of Rhode Island. Even though it’s been almost a year since I defended my dissertation, I was really looking forward to the graduation ceremony (and also to being back in RI).
Unfortunately no one in my family came. Well, I lie. My family did come and his name is Alan J. Lambie (you all know him as my husband!). He was the biggest supporter I had during this 6-year adventure in RI and even more so after Papi passed. And yes, Papi was SORELY missed on that May 22 afternoon in the Ryan Center at the University of Rhode Island. But somehow I have a feeling Papi didn’t miss it at all.
So, with my one man entourage-video-photographer-family-supporter we set out to RI to stomp our old ground and take some much needed vacation. Did I mention Alan earned a 4.0 average this past quarter. Yes a 4.0. Nerds, I know.
Our graduation weekend started with a much awaited Friday dinner with my advisor, Ruby and her husband Nik, and my Rhode Island adoptive parents, Mike and Nancy James.
I met Mike and Nancy during my last year at the PhD program (summer 2008 to be exact) as I worked as a waitress at a local Italian restaurant called Cucina Twist. Mike and Nancy would come every Friday for dinner and sit in my section. Since they were early birds (5pm) they would always inquire of my progress in the PhD, and my job interviews and my dissertation. For an entire year Mike and Nancy sat in my section and followed my progress like only parents do – to the point of even buying me a going away present. Therefore it was only natural that they be a part of our celebration.
Friday night dinner was at Spain’s of Narragansett, a Spanish restaurant where all 5 times that I’ve been I’ve always had the same thing: Paella Valenciana. We had reservations for 6pm in order to have an enjoyable dinner and a long sobremesa. We had a wonderful time, and went to bed quite early. I needed my beauty sleep 😉
Saturday May 22, I rose early to get my hair done, and even still we were sort of against the clock. I like to arrive early to places and graduates had to be at the Ryan Center by noon, so I wanted to be there half an hour early. Torture I know, but it relaxes me; otherwise I would be too stressed. So once I had hair, and makeup, and earrings and everything else ready we left….but not before Alan captured the moment.
So with academic regalia on hand (gown, hood, and tam) we left, parked and were shuttled to the Ryan Center. While I was in the back on a line for about an hour, Alan was searching for the best spot to take pictures. Let’s play Where is Adriana?
So after very brief speeches by various Deans and the University President (no I’m not kidding they were actually short) we were off on our way to get hooded. Getting hooded is what makes a PhD graduation special because it is your advisor (or major professor) – the one person you’ve loved and hated at the same time – who hoods you and makes you a bonafide Dr. So within academia it is a rite of passage. I don’t have hooding pictures yet, Alan was taking video at the time and I cannot post video here at WordPress. (I mean I can, but I’d have to buy an upgrade and I don’t really paste that many videos). So I give you a picture of me and my Diploma instead!
After the ceremony, my advisor Ruby had a small cocktail at her house with friends and future PhDers. Later that night Alan and I went to dinner, with friends – Gema and Daniel (she graduated from her MBA). But before I took pictures with my family – Alan!
Also, the traditional picture with my advisor Ruby!
And then we were off to our cocktail hour with even more pictures of all of us!
It was a great day and one that will be in my memory forever. I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud of myself. Finishing the PhD took every ounce of energy and motivation I had left, in particular after Papi’s passing. Which is why we celebrated this event every which way we could. After all that celebrating we were dead tired but we still had to celebrate the RIGHT way. And what is the right way you ask, well, the Perrier-Jouet way of course! Cheers!
Oh and I’m sure you want to know what my graduation gift was right? Well, stay tuned. All I can say is he’s from Jersey and has a smile to DIE for.