a phd down, only an md to go…

Rejoice! I submitted my dissertation and received my temporary degree! Yes, that’s right…it’s doctor to you now! :P

After the hours and hours of agony that it took for me to finish my piece of crap dissertation, it was almost a let-down how easy it was to turn it in and get my degree. I almost wanted to scream, “That’s all?!” at the poor guy in the Graduate Studies Office as he handed me my temporary degree and alumni pin. All of that hard work boiled down to checking off items on a checklist, making sure my page numbers were in order and going in the same direction throughout, and random checks of my page margins? It almost made me laugh out loud. And I do laugh now, when I look back at how wonderfully trying my whole journey has been. In fact, my journey has been what a substantial portion of this blog has been about ever since it came into existence. And now that part of me is done. I am a PhD. I’m halfway there. What does it feel like? Strangely empty, I must say. Nothing changes, really. I still clean up my husband’s mess. I still do laundry. I still have to see the in-laws for the holidays. But now, I suppose they’ll have to call my Dr. Bitch. :P

All joking aside, it was really bittersweet to finally be done with this nasty journey that has taken up my life for 4+ years. And while I didn’t really care one way or another about receiving my degree, other people did. I actually put off telling my dad about it for a couple of days because I just plain kept forgetting. Then one day, he called to talk to my husband and my husband let slip that I had finally gotten my degree, not knowing that I hadn’t told him yet. I swiftly took the phone away from him to apologize to my dad for not telling him earlier (and honestly, a part of me figured that at this point, no one cared anymore anyway) and I was shocked by how happy he was to hear the news. The cynical side of me figured that he was so happy because he had thought that I was never going to finish and had given up on me. And if that were truly the case, then I’m glad I proved him wrong. But I don’t really think that he believed that. I think he was just genuinely happy for and proud of me, something that he hasn’t been able to be ever since I graduated from college with my multiple honors. And I’m glad that I made him proud. I’m glad that someone is happy about this degree because, well, me, I just feel meh about it. But then again, I am done and that is something.

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  1. it’s so hard to say goodbye…...NOT! So I went to see all of my committee members last week to give them final copies of my dissertation and thank you gifts. I had a nice long talk with Dr. Happy Surgery Collaborator and he genuinely complimented me on my work and how much skill I must have to have been able to rewrite my dissertation so fast. He's always been nice to me, from when my experiments totally failed to going over my dissertation and helping me make sense out of the nonsense my major professor made me write. He was probably more of a mentor to me than my major professor ever was and I'll miss working with him. My other committee member was out-of-town, so that saved me plenty of awkwardness. And finally, I had to go visit my major professor. I set up a specific time and everything with him, but when I showed up, I was told that he was in a meeting. I was surprised and asked what sort of meeting this was that he hadn't told me about and learned that he was just bragging away to the poor new research associate in the lab next door. He likes to snag the impressionable ones early on to start his brainwashing. I figured that he would kick the poor soul out of his office once I showed up, but he didn't. He just kept talking to her while I stood outside waiting. After awhile, he finally paused and asked me, "You...
  2. i’m still alive…barelySo I couldn't do it. I couldn't finish my thesis by two days ago. I was making progress last week. Not fast enough, of course, because who really can write 20 pages of scientific stuff a day? But last Wednesday, I made it to page 25 and I was proud. I was done with Materials & Methods and I was proud (well except for the fact that my thesis was going to be woefully short). So then I set about starting the results section. And realized that the data my major professor wanted me to use didn't exist. So then I got stuck because the major professor was out of the country. Then I got all despondent because it was feeling like I was never going to finish my thesis and be done with grad school. But I couldn't stay despondent for long because I had to make that pesky poster for my little conference thing tomorrow. Which I only managed to barely finish last night just in time to get it printed at Kinko's for a handsome sum. And now I really hate Microsoft because it really shouldn't have taken that long. And I'm also far too lazy to start working on my thesis again. So I'm lounging around enjoying the nice weather and silently freaking out about my thesis inside. But, yes, I'm still alive....
  3. awkward encounters of the ex-semi-boyfriend kindI had a pretty tiring weekend and an extra tossy-and-turny-sleeping husband the last couple of nights, so I wasn't quite 100% today. Even though I woke up early enough to primp myself up nicely, I chose to stay in bed a little longer and sleep in a bit. Who's going to be at lab that I give a crap about anyway, right? And since I was running around trying to get my immunization records all straightened out (since it seems the med school has magically lost all such information), I was kind of frazzled. As I turned into the hallway to my lab bench, I saw my major professor with someone, but didn't really pay attention to who it was because I didn't care and had better things to do. And he usually doesn't introduce me to his visitors anymore--that spot's been filled by Teacher's Pet. So imagine my surprise when he calls out my name and makes me stop dead in my tracks, asking me if I remember his visitor. I take a look, and of course I do. It's my ex-lab mate and his wife. Fun, I think to myself. And why, oh why didn't I wake up early and pretty myself up? But then, I take solace in the fact that his wife looks scrubbier than me despite probably knowing full well that she would probably run into me, the chick who probably scarred her husband for life.* Awkward conversation follows and I beat a hasty retreat,...

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