Daddy, PhD

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As of July 2, 2012, John has earned his doctorate.  Wow!  Let me just say that again.  John has finished his Ph.D.  He did it!  We did it!  Cue the happy music and dancing!

Not only has he finished his Ph.D., but he did it in 4 years!  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it generally takes 5-6 years to finish a Ph.D. if you’re a full-time student.

1st Year:  We got married.  He was a full-time student, taught a statistics lab, and worked in the tutoring lab.  He earned “Top 1st Year” in his department.

At our wedding reception. John’s advisor explaining to me that John could take the week off for our honeymoon, but he had to have work done before we got back.  So what he really meant was have a nice time but work too.

A few months after our wedding I went with him to a math conference. If someone had told me I would be at a math conference 2 years before the photo was taken, I would have laughed.

Outstanding First Year Award

2nd Year: He was a full-time student, taught a statistics class, and worked in the tutoring lab.  In the fall semester he took his oral exams and in the spring he took his qualifying exams.  Basically, the oral exam is when the student stands in front of the department, and the professors fire questions at them.  The professors intentionally try to trip the students up and fluster them, but John knocked it out of the park!  The qualifying exams are written tests covering everything from the previous 2 years.  That summer we drove to JSM in Vancouver, B.C. and John won the “Stats Bowl.”  He beat other graduate students from TX A&M, NC State, UNC Chapel Hill, Carnegie Melon, etc.

Big math conference in Vancouver. Much better than the last one he had taken me to at Sam Houston State.

After winning, he had the everyone in the room stand and do the “Sic’em Bears!” I think he enjoyed that even more than winning.

3rd Year: Again a full-time student, taught a statistics class, and worked in the tutoring lab.  He completed his Preliminary Project Presentation.  The PPP was basically an independent project he had to complete and defend before being allowed to start a dissertation.  He won “Top Overall” in his department that year.  He applied for a summer internship, but was offered a full-time position instead.  We moved 2,000 miles away to WA.

Eastern WA

4th Year:  He worked a full-time job, wrote a dissertation, defended his dissertation, accepted a prestigious postdoc at The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Baby Boy was born.

Now John had someone to keep him company when he was up working in the middle of the night.

It is finally all over.  We made it.  We can stop marking time by each graduate school hurdle.  He can be home for dinner.  He can be home for dinner and not have to turn around to go back to his office until the wee hours of the morning.  The only reason he’ll have to wake up at 4:30 am is if Baby Boy needs him.  He might start returning phone calls and texts.  Perhaps he can take a real vacation without having to work while on it.  Maybe.  I’m not going to hold my breath though.  Sure, it will get easier, but you don’t accomplish all this without a serious work ethic.  John loves what he does, and crazy as it seems to me, he has fun with it too.

What could be better than sipping coffee, watching the sun come up, and the fog lift over a mountain lake? Doing math at the same time of course!

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2 responses »

  1. Congratulations! We’re so happy for you guys and blessed to have John for our son-in-law. We love you.

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