Sunday, May 16, 2010

What it's like to get your PhD

This is the first time I've posted three photos in the same blog entry. There were so many memorable aspects to the past week of celebrations in LA for the Raff Family.

I arrived on Mother's Day and my kids took me straight from the airport to lunch at Bungalow in Larchmont. The Farmer's Market was open and we wandered through it at closing time so there were bargains galore. (A dozen roses for $5.)

On Monday, I listened to 45 minutes of perfectly timed precision as Adam practiced his presentation on me. I loved it.

Adam's thesis defense was Tuesday and it went so well. The room was packed with 50 people and it was standing room only. Laura sat serenely while Adam explained the work he had done during their last three years together in the lab. We went to Campanille's for dinner that night for champagne.

The next day was USC's graduation commencement where Adam's mentor and principal investigator for his project "hooded" him in the glorious colors you see in the top photo. What a grand moment. The director for the PhD program at USC had us all over to dinner that night at her house in the LA hills with great views, camaraderie and conversation into the wee hours.

Laura and Adam were great hosts in their cozy and charming apartment. Our friend, Terry Lee Heller, came from Albuquerque to join the celebration in LA. Laura and Adam gave up their bed for us, and they slept on an Aero bed with their dog, Bodhi, in the living room while we were there.

Evan broke away from studying for his boards for each event and family meal. He didn't miss any event where we were all together. Loved visiting with him.

The next morning, Marika and I headed to Santa Barbara for some much needed "girl time" and we tried all the newest restaurants and some of the old favorites. I got to be in college all over again. The kids in her apartment complex love music -- and they love to listen to it LOUD! We slept with the fan on HIGH not so much to keep us cool but more to keep the noise at a tolerable level. I loved every minute I spent with her.

She was a trooper to get up so early this morning and drive me to LAX. I boarded the plane as scheduled at 11 am but thirty minutes into our flight, the pilot said we were turning around and heading back to LA because an onboard sensor indicated our plane could not fly higher than 25,000 feet. So we're all back in the gate area waiting for the mechanics to repair the problem and we're scheduled to reboard in a couple more hours.

Years of intense work
Recognized by all present
Way to go, Adam!

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