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.

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Beer!!!!!!!

It seems we have found the place we will call home for our first year in Rochester.  It’s nice, it’s cozy and It. Includes. Heat. Trust me, that’s a very good thing and a savings of about $1200 per year.

Nada mas con el testigo! as Papi use to say.

In other news, we went into the local supermarket chain, Wegmans, to figure out how our food budget would change if at all, so that we can estimate our cost of living in our new home.  The only thing more expensive, limes.  3 for $1.99!  I almost had a heart attack!  However, …..

Good News: eggs are 99cents, they have chorizo español (sorry Linguica), they actually sell PILON coffee (I know, Shut.Up!) and……..

They. Sell. Beer.

I swear I hugged the 12 pack of Killian Red.  I mean, how appropriate that on St. Patty’s I find out our future home sells beer at the super market!

Yeah, yeah, you’ll tell me that they do the same in Miami.  Please follow my timeline.  In Puerto Rico I could buy ANY alcohol I wanted at a supermarket.  I mean beer, wine, rum, you name it, you can buy it at the super market (Pueblo).  In Miami, I had to give up the hard liquor to the Walgreens but could still get the beer and the wine at Publix.  In Rhode Island, I depend on the liquor store.  No beer, no wine, no alcohol at the supermarket!

So to my delight, now we can get beer at the super market!  Yay for Rochester!

And Café Pilón, I mean REALLY how f*ing cool is that?

Needless to say we’ve had a wonderful trip here at Rochester, where everyone has been SUPER nice and I really CANNOT wait to get here and start posting about all our new experiences.

Searching for a NEW home

Many of you know (or not) that I will be joining the faculty at RIT this fall (yay for me!).  So next week during our Spring Break we will be visiting Rochester to search for our new apartment!  We are so very excited about the trip!  Not only because duh, we’ll be looking for a place to live, getting to know the area and meeting my co-workers and learning which courses I’ll be teaching during the fall….but also Alan will be able to meet his new school and honestly, we DESERVE this break!

That’s not to mean I will be taking an actual Vacation – see there is no vacation in dissertation! (geeky joke I know, I crack myself up sometimes) *sigh*

Anyway, that means that I will be taking my trusty Mac on the road me with us, and the hotel has internet acces (and Free to boot)l, and I will be taking the camera…..soooooooooo I will be blogging from Rochester!

Come along for the ride as we scope out this new chapter of our lives, that really promises to be something else!