Today is my doctor-versary! One year ago today (at about this time), I was sweating bullets while waiting to start my dissertation talk (note my complete inability to take a picture in focus, due to my shaking prior to the event – in that room). After seven years (!) in graduate school I just wanted it behind me. So ready to move on to the next thing, especially because the next “thing” was Paris. I actually remember everything about the presentation and exam, but very little about the celebration afterwards, and not because I had too much champagne.
So much has changed since that day. I said good-bye to friends and loved ones, as well as a city (and baseball team) that I adored. I started over in practically every way – new country, new culture, new language, new science, new lab, etc. I miss home (California and Boston, included) every day, and living in Paris is certainly not always a picnic. But, scientist that I am, I try to think of it as an ongoing experiment. With all of the ups and downs of real science. Just shy of one year since my arrival, I have already learned so much about myself here, both personally and professionally. I could not have done it without the degree or the strength that graduate school gave me.
One year later, I do look back fondly on the time I spent doing my dissertation, which makes me lucky – not everyone can say that. I had a project that worked well (eventually), a mentor that respected me as both a scientist and an individual and, most importantly, an amazing group of friends. There were many good reasons that my dissertation was dedicated to them. Most of that group will probably be reading this. Thank you again for being there, one year ago and today. I could not have done either without you all.
Woo hoo (arms in the air)!!