Sunday, May 31, 2009

"Is there a doctor on board?"

called out the flustered flight attendant from behind the first class divider on our flight out to Boston for my defense/graduation. It may have been the 4am wake-up call combined with the frazzled state of traveling solo with the 2 kids, but I found that incredibly amusing at the time. "He's asking one flight too early," I told the man behind me (who turned out to be a "real"--a.k.a. medical--doctor), as I explained that when I returned, it would hopefully be with the "doctor" title attached. 

Turns out that a man in first class had become unresponsive and needed to be resuscitated by the medical doctor behind me. So, down the plane went for an emergency landing in Souix Falls, South Dakota. The paramedics met the plane, and we waited on the runway for an additional hour while they filled out the paperwork necessary to document the medical emergency. 

The good news is that there were no such medical emergencies on the return flight. And the even better news is that, should there be a rhetorical emergency, I am officially qualified to deal with it. 

I'll leave off with some of my favorite moments from our 2 weeks on the east coast. I don't have pictures of one of my favorites, which actually turned out to be my defense. I was terribly, terribly nervous to defend, but in the end the experience was very positive. I felt prepared, and, thanks to the many people who I enlisted to pray for me, I also felt very calm. It was gratifying to talk for 2-3 hours about the project I had been working on for the past 4 years and to have people who were genuinely interested in and appreciative of my work. Here are some of the other favorite moments. They include finding my family in the graduation crowd, being hooded, having my kids see me graduate, eating at our favorite Italian restaurant in Boston's North End, the beach house, sailing and hiking in Bar Harbor/Acadia Nat'l Park in Maine, and many more!






15 comments:

emlouisa said...

Congratulations! I wanna hear all about how defending your thesis went!!!!

Courtney said...

Congratulations!!! I'm so happy that the defense went so well.

Amy said...

Oh I'm so proud of you!! What a great accomplishment!! Please tell us about your defense.

riggsfam said...

Congratulations! I'm glad to know who to call in case of an emergency.

draeves said...

Congratulations! I'm jealous that you actually got to go to graduation at the same time you defended! I missed my graduation (I had expected to be 8.5 months pregnant at the time; instead, I had a preemie in the hospital when I was supposed to be graduating), and although I don't regret the reasons for missing it, I do kind of miss not having gotten hooded, etc.

Charity said...

Catherine, Your post brought me to tears, you've been working on this for so long and I am proud of you...a big congratulations to you! and your family...the photos were fun as well and your hair is darling.

Dena said...

YAY! Congratulations! How exciting to finally finish and do so well! I'm so glad everything went so smoothly ... well, except for the plane ride there. ;)

Melanie said...

Doctor! I'm so amazingly happy for you! Congratulations!

sweetpea said...

Wahoo!! Congratulations Dr.!!! I am just so happy for you!

Jane said...

Congratulations! I loved seeing the pictures too. Makes me want to take a trip to New England

Heather said...

I can't imagine how good you have got to feel right now! Congratulations! What an accomplishment!!

mwells said...

Hip-Hip
HOORAY
Hip-Hip
HOORAY
Hip-Hip
HOORAY!

Melanie said...

Way to go! I think you are amazing for lots of reasons. It's been fun telling people that I have a friend from High School who is a DOCTOR!

Madsen Family said...

Congratulations, Doctor! What fun is that to say? I am so proud of you and just wish I could see you in person and give you a big ol' hug! Congrats, my friend.

cristie said...

How wonderful, Dr. P! I hope you had a fantastic trip and that you make everyone address you as Dr. for the next few weeks.