Monday, April 26, 2010

Is there a doctor in the house?

Why yes...yes there is.

After oodles of (unnecessary) stress and worry, I successfully defended my thesis on April 16. Many of my family and friends came to celebrate this big day, which was really fantastic. I had never given a scientific presentation with a cheering section before, but now that I have, I do not want to ever present again without one! (Do you think my hypothetical NIH grant would fund a tour bus for all of my faithful Hokanbots to travel with me to conferences?)

My parents took many photos of me with my official form signed, but they haven't sent those photos to me yet. However, I do have a few fun post-defense photos to share in the meantime. Here is a photo of us (minus a few - Victoria was taking the photo and Amanda & Paul had not arrived yet) toasting at XIX after the defense was over:

I was excited to discover the Philadelphia Eagles' mascot in the lobby of the Hyatt, and Victoria and I convinced him to ride the elevator with us so that we could take advantage of the unique photo opportunity:

As if Conan O'Brien tickets were not enough, David surprised me with a giant wine glass as an additional graduation present. An odd gift, but I really wanted the most ridiculous wine glass money could buy, and he found it. I plan to bring this glass out when we have people over and drink out of it as if it is not the largest wine glass ever created. (And I think this is the funniest thing I could ever do - I am laughing at my own joke as I type this.)

I officially turn in my thesis to Penn on Friday, but in the meantime, I am enjoying some down time in the apartment. Wii Sports Resort + lots and lots of television + A Prayer For Owen Meany = very happy Dr. Sarah indeed.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Freaked. Out.

Thesis defense is 5 DAYS AWAY. Currently, I am riding an emotional roller coaster of highs and lows - excitement that I will finally finish my degree is quickly followed by feelings of absolute panic when I think about facing my committee for one more exam. And not just any exam - the most important exam I will ever take. (Not that I am being overly melodramatic or anything.) Luckily, I have a new iPod friend to keep me company during these stressful times. Amanda and Paul gave me a new iPod touch as an early graduation present, and it is SO COOL. I am in love with it - in fact, sometimes I am so lost in my love for it that I almost forget how close my defense date is. So far, I have downloaded the Kindle app, the This American Life app, and The Sims 3 (because nothing is better than controlling fake people's lives when I feel like I do not have control over portions of my own fate).

I also have something absolutely fantastic to look forward to when this is all over - David got me tickets to see Conan O'Brien in Toronto as a graduation gift! The show is the weekend after Penn's commencement ceremonies, on May 22. I am beyond excited. I hope to have visions of Conan doing the string-dance in my head as I fall asleep tonight rather than the crazy (and mostly thesis-related) nightmares haunting me lately. Team Coco forever!

In 5 days this will all be over. In 5 days this will all be over. IN 5 DAYS THIS WILL ALL BE OVER. How surreal, strange, and weird. And kind of awesome. Wish me luck!