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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Hooray for Dr. Dad!

We are still sad about our lost kitty, Lucas...

Calvin won't even remember him! It makes me so sad :(

...But happily we have some very good news to think about instead!

James' PhD defense at Stanford was last week and he did great! I am so proud of him!

Thank goodness some of James' lab mates took pictures on their phones! I had remembered to bring the camera but sadly I had left the memory card in my laptop. Oops.

Calvin and I were there to watch James' presentation and Calvin only had to be taken out of the room at the very beginning so I was able to watch most of it. Calvin slept through most of it. James' degree will be in mechanical engineering, but his research has had a biomechanics focus. As he presented all the experiments that have compiled his thesis and all the results and conclusions... I was flashing back to weeks when James was spending every other night in the lab running those experiments, days when he was frustrated that something had gone wrong and had to be redone, late nights he spent analyzing results or writing papers or preparing presentations. I know it has been a tremendous amount of work and stress for him and I am just so so proud of him for all of it! At the end of the presentation he thanked the organizations that provided funding for his work, he thanked his advisor and the defense committee, he thanked his lab mates, and he was kind enough to thank me which was very sweet.

The oral defense was closed to only James and the defense committee so Calvin and I waited in the hall with James' lab mates. I was so nervous for him!! An hour or so later the committee members started filing out with smiles on their faces. They told me that James did great. They told Calvin he should be proud of his dad :)

We popped the corks on champagne and fancy beer (and even some of James' own homebrew!) and toasted his success right there in the hallway. Then his advisor took us all out to dinner at a brewpub where we also watched Stanford beat UCLA! Again!

Of course James got lots of messages of congratulations from friends and family. The funny thing was that some people's messages sounded like they assumed James was going to go out and party and get wasted celebrating! We laughed about this as we were on our way home at like 10pm with a sleeping baby in tow! I mean, not only did we have Calvin with us, but James was EXHAUSTED. It had been a totally grueling month for him, especially the two weeks leading up to the defense.

Whew! Completing that thesis defense has been a long time coming and I know James is so relieved to have it behind him. The next day he slept in, then spent the rest of the day watching football in his pajamas and playing with Calvin! Unfortunately, the work is not 100% done. His reading committe is still reviewing his thesis and giving him revisions to make. It will be maybe a couple more weeks of this before it's all said and done. Because the quarter ends next week, James' degree will not officially be conferred until the end of winter quarter in March. But he is still set to start work as a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford in January in the same lab where he has been doing his graduate research.

So YAY JAMES!!! The hardest parts are now behind him and he's just polishing up that thesis! We'll have to have a big big party once that sucker is printed, bound and completely finished :)

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