Defense is done!  The day was as well as it could possibly have been.  It started by Alaythia waking me up, as the usual.  I changed her and tried to keep her quiet so she wouldn’t wake Kabyn, as she and I had finally gotten into a real sleep around 1am, and generally 5am is when she decides any lengthier sleep is done.  Our usual routine is her awake and playing around 5 or 6, then she will usually fall asleep while playing for another little while, and sometimes I can sneak in a nap.  So, the day seemed like any other–until I looked at the clock.  9:10am!  I couldn’t believe it!  I almost got teary (my body could have been in sleep-shock) realizing that clearly a lot of people were praying we’d get some sleep the night before.  Keep in mind here Alaythia generally sleeps one 3-5 hour chunk that comprises most of my night—and the 4-5 hour chunks only started a couple weeks ago.  She has NEVER slept more than 6 hours before Thursday night. 

So the day started well–and later than we expected!  We had planned to go out to breakfast, but we decided to skip that and just get ready.  I revised a few slides, we packed up everything and the baby, and we were off by 10:45 or so and grabbed some Starbucks breakfast/lunch/snack en route.  Kabyn had taken the day off, which was a wonderful help and calming presence.

We met up with my parents and my dear friend Sarah Mutch at the UW, who successfully defended right before me.  She and I share the same birthday, started grad school the same day, and spent many, many hours together the last nearly seven years.  Here we are:


She is smiling, as she has just gotten the handshake of congratulations from her committee, whereas I am nervously awaiting my turn.  And yes, we are dressed alike.  And yes, it is on purpose. 

My last pre-defense activity was not what I might have predicted when I started grad school—nursing a baby.  Then in I went, and it went really well!  My talk was about 45 mins, then an hour oral exam.  The committe deliberated a few minutes, then came out to give me the handshake!  Here I am with my advisor, Bruce:




And another committee member, Mickey:



Then it was done!  Just like that, seven years of grad school all summed up.  We had a great dinner with family then a fun party. 

Thanks everyone for all the support, encouragement, prayers, and help!

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3 Responses to Success!

  1. Dana says:

    Alyssa, congratulations! How exciting! I’m so happy for you…and so proud! What an incredible accomplishment. Woo hoo! You’re finished!

  2. Elisabeth says:

    Yay! We are so happy for you.

    Jason says, “Congratulations, Doctor.”

  3. Wendy says:

    Congratulations. What a major accomplishment!!

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