and all i had to do was defend a dissertation

It is likely that most of you know my dissertation defense was today. In typical Devon fashion, I show up barely on time, perhaps a minute or so late and without forms needed to file for graduation. Again, in typical fashion I begin to panic. Of course, much of the stress and panic of the day has been rising in me since my shower but I can no longer resist or fend it off. It shows in my face and my voice. I am visibly stressed and shaken and cannot think. It does not occur to me to worry about it later or to calm down enough to listen to what people are telling me about these particular forms and how they're mostly for the graduate school filing and the important forms are the ones Michelle printed for me. I can think of none of this because all of a sudden I realize I am unprepared. I can't do this and I totally suck.

So I ask if someone can go look in my car (across town) for the forms. Michelle and Des leave and make it back for about 5 minutes of the actual defense and the forms are no where to be found. Michelle took the day off to run around and look for stuff I left in Champaign. I think she is trying for sainthood.

Ultimately, everything turned out okay. The forms can be signed on Wednesday when I return to Bloomington for lunch with my committee. I passed the defense and am officially Dr. Fitzgerald. Marie made the most delicious, seriously so good it is wrong chocolate raspberry cake in celebration. And everyone loved it. Of course, I have to think it influenced the committee to keep things on track because they kept looking over at the cake like "when is this girl going to stop talking so we can eat some cake?"

It was that good. The cake, not the defense. I met a woman once who baked a special pound cake with chocolate chips in them for people she knew who had just had babies. Everyone liked it so much they began requesting for all occasions. The chocolate raspberry cake was so wonderful, I think it will become like the baby pound cake. First, Marie will make them only for dissertation defenses and then it will become a phenomenon. Of course, if we're leaving it up to me to bake when it comes to her diss. defense we might be in trouble.

I expected to feel euphoria but instead I feel overwhelmed, like so many emotions are running through me I am not sure how to process it all. I am incredibly humbled by all of the people who came to the defense today or messaged me on Facebook, or texted or called to wish me luck. It is an incredible experience when you realize how many people are rooting for your success. The attention has been overwhelming.

So, thank you to all of you.

Also, if you hit refresh on your browser you will see the new banner which updates my status from Ph.D student to person with a Ph.D.