Monday, August 5, 2013

not quite right?

I was saving a file today and looked up today’s date to embed in the file name.  I realized today would have been my grandfather’s birthday if he were still alive.  He went to a better place\kicked the bucket\bought the farm\[insert your favorite euphemism here] a few summers ago, just shy of his 95th birthday.  I wonder if anyone else in my family remembers it would have been his birthday today. 
I started working on my doctorate before he died.  When I told him I had enrolled, he gave me a strange frowny look.  He said, “You know, people who do that PhD work, they aren’t quite right in the head.  Maybe you shouldn’t do that.  Save your money.”   He never said how he came to adopt that idea, but it didn’t matter because my first class had already started.  

So, that makes me not quite right in the head, and I’ve (almost) got a diploma to prove it. 

Graduation is set.  I’m registered.  Regalia shipped last week.  I reserved a hotel room which was no easy task.  There must be something grand going on in Louisville that weekend because finding a room was not easy.  I hope the weather cooperates because there is a lovely riverfront park, but it’s not pleasant to be out walking in the wind and rain.  I wish we had more time there, but it’s likely we won’t roll into town until nearly midnight the night before, and the kids will want to get back home early Sunday.    

So now that plans are made, I’m more excited about it all.  I filed to copyright my dissertation and have it published in ProQuest.  Maybe when I can login and find my study in the database, or Google and find it, then it will seem like I’ve done something that matters.   Right now, the whole affair seems rather pointlessly expensive.

Despite my grandfather’s negative attitude about me getting a doctorate, he would have been pleased to know I finished.  He valued education but had no opportunity himself to go to college.  He was proud to tell us he was the only person in his family to finish high school.  My grandmother also valued education.  When she finished 8th grade, the nearest high school was more than 25 miles away and there wasn’t any transportation.  Any complaining about school was not tolerated in our house. 

My young ladies will start their senior year of high school next week and I’m hearing lots of complaining.  Their schedules, the new dress code, their parking places, the lockers, dances on Friday nights instead of Saturday, attendance policy, etc.   I listen, but not too closely.  It will all be over soon...all too soon.


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