I begin with the beach. After I was all graduated, I headed down to the Alabama coast with the folks and Meesha. Oh, it was gorgeous. White sand, blue sky, lots of seafood. (See photo of my delicate, dignified mother cracking a huge crableg.) We walked on the beach, then read books, then ate, walked on the beach, read books, ate, then did it all over again. We did manage to squeeze in a dolphin cruise, so I'll include one of that, too. All of our attempts to capture the actual dolphins on film are pretty disappointing, so I'll spare you.
So, I graduated. My dissertation committee chair, Angela Ball, stood on this little grey box and hooded me. That was really weird, by the way. Felt ... I don't know, odd. Like I was joining a cult.
Sixteen other people graduated with their PhDs, but they were serious folks and they looked very accomplished, and all in all I just felt like a puppy. I was taking pictures of Sam making smoochy faces while wearing his cap sideways, and they were looking at the chalkboard, sophisticated intellect etched in their faces. (See photos. You'll understand why I felt silly. We were silly. That's not, technically, how we were meant to wear our hoods. Meesha said we look like Mary and Joseph.) All told, it was a lovely day. Sticky and hot in the humidity, but pleasant.