Finally, I graduated

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.

Nancy, Me and Mike

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.

The Dholakia's, The James' and The Lambies'

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.

The Graduate

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?

The Doctoral Candidates

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!

My Diploma and Me

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!

The proud and happy Hubby

Also, the traditional picture with my advisor Ruby!

Ruby and I

And then we were off to our cocktail hour with even more pictures of all of us!

The Graduates

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!

My favorite Champagne!

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.

I’m Baaaaaack!

Hello world!!!!  Greetings from Rochester, NY!

Sorry for the extended absence, but the quarter system hit me like a ton of bricks and I’m just coming up for air.  Unfortunately, to get things going in our new home and my new job, I was forced to neglect my blogging duties.  But fear not, you have not missed much either as my cooking has been almost non-existent.  But that too will change.

As most of you know I defended and PASSED my dissertation on August 18th.  So what was a girl to do to celebrate?  Baseball of course!  So on the 19th we drove (well Alan drove, but that’s really not the point is it?) to Rogers Centre in Toronto (yes, Canada) to see the Blue Jays play, who else? the RED SOX of course!

Alan & Me @ the game

Alan & Me @ the game

See Kikita? We too like to do SelfPortraits and it does not have to be on a Tuesday! Well, really, we sort of have to do self portraits….otherwise we’d have a whole bunch of pictures of me alone (oh wait we have those!) and another bunch of Alan by himelsf…somehow we don’t have as many of those! 😉

Needless to say the RedSox won that game, much to the dismay of the Toronto fans, even if they still ran out of steam at the end of the season to lose to the Angels.

We haven’t had much time to explore Rochester and the Finger Lakes, but we did venture out to see Lake Ontario and caught a really bad sun migraine the next day.  However, we did get some nice pics of the lake.

Sailing on the Lake

Sailing on the Lake

No, no, no.  We weren’t on the sailboat but it’s still a great picture is it not?  I mean really, if I don’t tell you it is a lake, would you think it is a lake?  The interesting thing is that Lake Ontario was once a bay, believe it or not, so it is a salt water lake.  Sort of a captive ocean if you will.  Where were we you ask?  Well, Alan is intent of creating a portoflio of his wife, so I guess you could say I was in a photo session.

My alter ego

My alter ego

I still can’t get over what great pictures the new camera takes….or maybe it is the photographer!

I have much to post, in particular since our anniversary was on July 26th, it has been three years of Papi’s passing, I just turned 39 and we are planning a little family expansion.

I hope you are all still out there, and thank you for sticking around!

Nearing the end of an era

So, it’s 2am EST and I just turned in my revised manuscript for my dissertation…. what are you up to?

Me? Now I gotta wait until probably Tuesday when what is now a tentative defense date will either become definite or I’ll end up with a new date.  I’m hoping it will become definite; I do think we are at that point where everything that can be done is done, and it is time to work on the power point slides, present the results and get some feedback.  (Keep your fingers crossed!)

Oh yeah, and meanwhile, we are packing up the 5 years we’ve spent here in wonderful RI.  We move August 5th. Tic, toc, tic, toc.

Like I said, it’s 2am and here I am wired from working on my dissertation.  What are you up to?

Life on hold

For the past month our life has been literally “on hold”.  Why?  Very simple.  I’m finishing this thing called a Ph.D which has this other thing called a Dissertation.  While the PhD programs demands commitment and time throughout your 4 or 5 years, nothing really compares to what it demands on the last stretch.

By the time you see the light at the end of the tunnel, you are soooooo ready to finish but you are also soooooo exhausted.  In addition, in our case, Alan has been working on what will be by final experiment.  And since it is a time sensitive thing we have literally been living cooked up in our home working, working, and working, to ensure it works and is ready in time.

So as it seems that all the programming and testing will end this week, and the experiment will be launched next week – we are really looking forward to “unholding” our life.

What does that mean you ask?  Well simple things like going to the gym, going out to eat sometimes or at least to have a drink, going to the park, en fin just being able to LEAVE the house and go have a coffee while you walk on the beach.  Seeing the sun, feeling the breeze in your face….being able to not feel stressed.  So stressed that I can’t even find a picture to include in this post!

In this last stretch I ask for all of you to please keep us in your prayers so we can pull this off in time and with results.  This will guarantee me finishing my degree before starting at my job – which is my goal.

So tonight when you go to sleep remember to tell the man upstairs to help us unhold our life.  Even Nemo will be grateful!

PS: If you teach college students and are willing to pass on the survey link to your students please email me through the contact me page!