Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Call me Doctor!
It's been a whirlwind week of family, friends, and events surrounding my graduation from the University of Tennessee. It's been 9 long years since I started the PhD program at the College of Nursing. No doubt getting my doctorate has been the most challenging thing I've ever done in my life. Perhaps it is because I had to overcome so much to get to this point that I appreciate this accomplishment more than all the others. This time it wasn't about being the best or the brightest or the most ambitious. It was about being the most persistent, the most tenacious. It was about getting up after every fall, it was about surviving discouragement, and it was about never, ever giving up on myself, no matter how bad things got (and believe, it got really bad). But here I am, grinning like there's no tomorrow with my degree in hand. I worked hard for it and it will be mine forever.
My best friend Donna flew out from Salt Lake City to be with me for the big event. Just before leaving the house to go to the College of Nursing Convocation and the Graduate School Hooding Ceremony we were laughing about how this was my "wedding", my big life event complete with engraved announcements, parties, well-wishes, and yes, presents. I've never been fussed over like this before so it was quite a trip. It was so cool to have my dearest friend on earth there for me!
This last picture shows my doctoral hood in all it's orange and white splendor. I've watched my father don his regalia for University events for as long as I can remember. I wanted to be just like him. Today I am proud to say I followed in my father's footsteps. My hood is Tennessee Orange and White, his is the Crimson and White of the University of Utah, both are the result of great sacrifice and much hard work. It's kind of funny to think that I was born the summer my father finished his dissertation. I worked for both institutions and thought I would get my PhD at Utah too, but that was not in God's plan for my life. Tennessee is my home so it's only fitting that I attended the University of Tennessee and I proudly wear the Orange and White. In the end no one is more proud of my accomplishment than my father. I am so grateful that his health was just good enough for him to attend the College of Nursing Convocation so he could watch Dr. Thomas place my hood. I'm one very lucky girl :-)