Monday, May 30, 2005

from detroit (airport): i may not have found a 'hood in boston, but i did finally sport a hood of a different sort

Back when I was finishing my Ph.D., my family wanted to come down from Bloomington for graduation. Given how much Freeses hate traveling outside of Iowa--the only time they had come to Bloomington was to help me move there--this was a big gesture. I nixed the idea, because I would have had to go through the ceremony before I was actually finished with my dissertation, and I was still certain that there was a nonzero probability that doom would befall me and drive me out without ever having finished my dissertation. Indeed, as it turned out, I wouldn't even let friends plan a party for my dissertation defense, as I was too worried about failing. I did get cards from my parents and siblings congratulating me on finishing my dissertation, and my brother even gave me a pen and pencil set with "Dr. Jeremy Freese" engraved on it.

My friend Kathryn is considerably more psychologically healthy than I am, and so she is free from irrational and neurotic qualms about early celebrations. And so, even though she is not defending her dissertation until late next month, she went through graduation earlier this month, and her family threw her a party this weekend in Boston. Especially in juxtaposition to my disastrous quest for fall housing, her party also was the most gratifying and successful part of the trip. Successful for her as well: I am not allowed to divulge the total haul in cash, gift cards, and merchandise from relatives, but suffice it to say that I'm hoping that I don't have to pay that much this fall in monthly rent, even if I do live in Cambridge proper. And that's not counting the trip to Paris from her parents.

Anyway, here is Kathryn in her gown, tam, and Indiana University hood:



As the only Ph.D. at the party, I insisted that I had to be the one to help her with her hood. Meanwhile, she had the idea of getting pictures of other family members and friends in her graduation get-up, but I nixed this plan. "You think when a priest gets frocked, he has everybody who shows up at his parts gets to wear around his collar?" However, later on, I did take advantage of the graduation photo-op that my mother never got:

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

That cake appears to have 1100 calories per slice. I sense a real sugar binge about to unfold, most likely a late night pastry spree. There is no way, absolutely no way 6-8 long-johns fresh from the oven with thick maple frosting are going to have any impact, none at all, on the work you will be doing at Harvard. In fact, you owe yourself a treat, nor is it any of your reader's business if you reward yourself. You don't have to answer to a bunch of blog readers. The only thing you need to concern yourself with is whether to have hot coffee or cold milk with those maple frosted long-johns.
-LDM

jeremy said...

I didn't have any of the cake. Moreover, maple-frosted long-johns aren't really very appealing to me, partly because I don't like maple flavoring, and partly because I've never understood how the same term can be used in some regions of the country for a pastry and in others for a kind of underwear.

Anonymous said...

"we play both kinds--country AND western"

Knitting Painter Woman said...

So IU has blue bars on their robes? In what is your PhD and WHY are you heading to Cambridge after IU? Do all IU campuses use the same colors? My darling son should have a masters NEXT spring... for which, gratefully, he does not have to defend a dissertation.

Anonymous said...

i believe the blue stripes on the robe denotes the type of degree (Ph.D.)... I.U. is signified by the "cream and crimson" hood worn on the back...

jeremy said...

My understanding (mostly from Kathryn) is that the stripes signify doctorate, the blue signifies a Letters & Science degree, the 8-sided tam signifies Ph.D., and the hood signifies Indiana University. I don't know how much the gown conventions vary from university to university.

To answer Sultry Painterwoman: my Ph.D. is in sociology and was actually obtained in 2000. I've been at Wisconsin in between Indiana and Cambridge. I'm going to Cambridge to do a two-year fellowship in health policy.

Lara said...

Kathryn is a hottie!

Anonymous said...

The Ph.D makes people hotter. Seriously.

jeremy said...

Yes, the day I got my Ph.D., I suddenly went from below-so-so to sizzlin'.

Anonymous said...

I'm an advocate of the pre-completion celebration for two reasons. 1) Parties and presents and congratulations from loved ones make those last, bleak weeks of the dissertating process much more tolerable. 2) Once everyone you love has come from far and wide (with cards and checks in hand) to congratulate you for finishing your degree, you had better frickin' hurry up and finish that degree. There is no giving up now!
It was a fabulous party! Made all the better because the sizzlin' Jeremy Freese was there to celebrate with me.
--Kathryn
--Kathryn

Anonymous said...

p.s. I only typed my name once. Apparently, Blogger thought it should appear twice.
--K.