Friday, May 07, 2010

My Final Commencement Ceremony

I graduate next week. I’ve been in school a LONG, LONG time – almost non-stop since I was 4 years old. My PhD has taken a wee bit longer than the average to complete (7 years is the average). But hey, I’m not complaining. I enjoyed what I studied. I learned a lot – about science, my research project turned out to be brilliant, and about the politics of academia including battling the forces of frustration known as IACUC. To be honest, although it took me a while to finish, it didn’t feel like it.

Yes, I had the normal hiccups – getting animals, keeping them alive, crying when they died, got some more animals, teaching too many classes, socializing too much, got occasionally lazy or depressed or frustrated, waiting on papers, writing grants, got a job, fighting with statistics, and personal life crises. Then I bounced back – quit the job, returned to the school routine, got a lot of work done, presented research, wrote it up, and defended. In my head I’m just an extended 8th year student (a lot like the Super Senior phenomenon).

I’ve been to A LOT of commencement ceremonies – my own, friends, family. And I realized this will be my last time walking across the stage to pick up my own lamb skin. (I’ll be attending many more in the future but as a guest or as an academic). Wow! I’ll never again be eligible for graduation gifts. I know, so random and so superficial. LOL.

In celebration of this long and fantastic journey and I have put together a wish list. However, I completely recognize that I am not at all entitled to anything. In truth the support I’ve gotten from so many people over the years is sufficient. Thank you.

Wish List
• A personalized embosser that says: “The Property of Danielle N. Lee, PhD”
• Magnetic Name tag that says: “Hello, My name is Danielle Lee and I share science!” or “Danielle Lee Outreach Scientist”
• Ticket to see Wicked (playing in St. Louis June 16 – July 11, 2010) - companion(s) to enjoy it with would be nice, too)
• Ticket to see Eagles in Concert with the Dixie Chicks (playing in St. Louis June 24, 2010) - companion(s) to enjoy it with would be nice, too)
• New Wardrobe additions
      My fave stores include: Lane Bryant, Torrid, New York & Company, B&Lu, Old Navy
• Rocking graphic tee-shirts that say anything about being a science or afros or Darwin or Conservation are always a plus
Sponsors for Urban Science Adventures! © (yes, I will happily wear your logo or sticker on my laptop)
      Upcoming travel includes:
      Blogging While Brown Conference in Washington, D.C.
      Miami University in Oxford, Ohio to speak to undergraduate students in a summer science research program
• Fancy pants digital camera w/ macro and zoom capacity
• Mini Netbook w/ USB ports
• Unlimited Panera Bread, Qdoba, San Sai, Noodles & Co. access
• Digital Music Device (what's better iPod or MP3?)
• Hair accessories ala Buffalo Blue Designs or the like (I’ve decided hair ornaments will be my signature look. Can't you see me wearing this at science conference or my first college lecture?).

Graduation is Saturday, May 15, 2010
2:00 pm Ceremony
University of Missouri – St. Louis

I have a host of family and friends coming from all over, plus the family and friends I have already in St. Louis. Graduation weekend is going to be one big shindig. If you’re in town, then you are more than welcome to join us. Leave a comment and your email address and I’ll send you the details.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and celebrating.


Vicky said...

Just a quick note to say, "CONGRATULATIONS!!!!" I look forward to reading about the adventures in this new chapter of your life!

Abel said...

What a wonderful culmination of all your hard work. Formally receiving your Ph.D. and wearing your doctoral regalia is a truly momentous occasion in your life. You have been a fantastic role model in our online science community and in outreach to all, especially those who are underrepresented in the sciences.

I send you my heartiest congratulations - I'll be thinking of you Saturday when we graduate our own students here.

teachermrw said...

Congratulations on your accomplishment! Here by way of the Blogging While Brown website, and noticed that you are listed as one of the speakers. I enjoy your blog. It is a different and much-needed voice in the blogosphere - Black or otherwise. Keep it up!

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