Checking master’s degree off of my list of things to accomplish. Next up, the RD exam. If you know me, you know I am slightly excited for a multiple choice test…always a student.
Saturday I woke up in pure excitement. I finally had a decent night of sleep too! I got ready on the early side because that’s who I am and I didn’t really know what else to do…I was graduating. This was it.
My parents came over at about 10am. By this time I realized Julie wouldn’t be coming since she was texting me and consequently not driving. I told myself I understood and it would still be a great day, but part of me felt really sad and empty. My parents and I started the trek up to campus to take some pictures before meeting my cohort. So the excitement took over!
It was slightly chilly but overall a gorgeous day. To top it off everyone was so giddy with excitement. My parents finally met my director and Amy could see where I came from. We had a great time mingling and taking pictures. Families talked and acted like they already knew one another. Probably because stories of our cohort were all they heard for two years.
Line up for the ceremony was so long. We took a few pictures and talked while we waited. I tried face timing Julie because I wanted her to meet Amy. She texted me that she was at Trader Joe’s and of course I thought she was lying and driving to the ceremony.
Then it was time. We processed (is that a verb) into the gym and luckily I spotted my parents. Ironically Bethany ended up sitting next to them! My cohort got to sit together because they present master degrees by class. I was so thankful for this because after a few great (and short) speeches the hooding took a long time. Molly, Rebecca and I played a game at one point. Also, around 1:30pm we all were falling asleep and feeling very weak. Talk about low blood sugar. Anna grabbed two granola bars from her husband and shared them. God bless her. I think I may have fainted if I didn’t eat that. It had chocolate too so some quick release carbohydrates cured me.
The end of the ceremony came quickly. We stood up, got hooded, shook some hands, and received our diplomas. I only stumbled a bit walking off the stage because my legs were shaking. Must eat food…
After the ceremony I found my parents and Bethany. We took a few pictures and Bethany told me that all PhDs are doctors of philosophy…mind blown. Yes I do still have things to learn.
I had hoped to see Julie surprise me in the crowd but she wasn’t there. I know that it would have been a lot of trveling for her, but I don’t think anything in my life tops this day. I got a little emotional at this point and I thought eating all the cheese and crackers at the reception would help but it didn’t. I ended up crying a little while I was packing that afternoon. Luckily my mom gives great hugs and I was really looking forward to dinner.
I packed for my interview in Boston while my dad napped on the futon…typical. we drove to their cabin in Stowe and drank a few glasses of wine. Mom indulged me and listened to me babble on and on about nutrition stuff. Thank you Mom!
Dinner time!!! The restaurant was right across the street which was so perfect. We met Jeanne and Jon there and I think the waitress was annoyed at first because every time she came over we still weren’t ready because we were talking so much. We got a bottle of wine and I shared some cards of thanks with the table. Their support has meant the world to me.
For food I shared the root vegetable fries with my mom. Basically fried root vegetables with a delicious creme fraiche type dip. There was also a hearty whole grain bread for the table. I could not decide on an entree for the life of me. There was trout with ramps, mushrooms gnocchi, Maple pork chops…but then the waitress told me about the special. Venison in a maple sauce with house made pasta and cider braised cabbage. Sold. And oh my god was it a good decision. A few glasses of wine later and we ordered some dessert. I convinced my parents to share the maple creme brulee and the carrot cake ice cream. My dad obliged and admitted to the waitress that she could probably tell who the graduate is. He spoiled me that night. The creme brulee was my favorite. Then the waitress brought out a sorbet with a chocolate “congratulations”. Holy calories! I was stuffed but so happy. The food was unbelievable and the company was perfect. I would only add Julie and the Barnes boys! This was a night for celebrating and eating for pure enjoyment. That’s a part of normal eating! It also could have been influenced by the wine too. Delcious French red wine.
I crashed immediately when I got back to the cabin. The next morning my mom asked if I was sad that it was over. Not at all. Sure there was a lull Sunday morning, but it had been the most special three days and I felt overwhelmed with love and gratitude. I still feel so lucky. And I’m writing this after driving home with my mom and talking, spending the night at home, and running in the sunshine with my dad.
Life is great. I’m truly excited for what comes next and eternally grateful to UVM, a director who changed my life, my supportive family, and a cohort who will forever be a part of my family.