Thursday, May 24, 2012

Graduation & Beyond

I walked in the doctoral graduation ceremony last Saturday, happy to have parents (sadly, minus Liz) and Austin in the audience. There are very few ways to show personality when you're all wearing identical puffy, hot regalia and trying to look dignified and scholarly (or something approaching that). I painted my toenails the exact color of the velvet trim on my gear and got sparkly gold shoes to match.

When one of the marshals handed me a fake diploma, he leaned in and said "You win the prize for the best shoes here." I rarely get praised on my shoes since I have high arches and it's difficult for me to wear anything fancy, pretty, or remotely cute. I go for comfort but these shoes were flat and my ankle was firmly strapped in so it seemed the safest thing for walking across a stage with a bit of flair.

Following the ceremony, the fam and I ran various errands to put together a feast of BBQ, fruits, veggies, salads, crackers, cheeses, and much more that I'm forgetting. A few of my friends stopped by. Wine was drunk. Good conversation was had. It was a success, I'd say, and I'm grateful for all the help I got from the 'rents and Austin.

The parents left on Sunday and on Monday, we officially listed our house for sale. On Tuesday, we had three showings and madly whipped the house into presentable shape. It wasn't that we were blindsided by the showings but there is something about cleaning for an imaginary showing versus knowing there are several Real Showings on the books. It's interesting, now, keeping up the house. We wonder "If I started baking this casserole, will someone call and want to be here in a half hour?" We've decided all fish will be cooked on the grill for the time being. Other random things that we didn't think about before keep cropping up, like omg, how did the baseboards get so dirty? And when was the last time I even thought about them? So yes, some first world problems are on our radars now.

In some exciting news, I have accepted a professorship in IL at a university about an hour outside of Chicago. I'm really excited about the position, what I'll be teaching, and the other projects it will entail. I've already set up my email and contacted a few (future) colleagues. I'm dreaming about syllabus design and thinking about research. We'll be within realistic driving distance of our family and friends; Austin's mom and my sister will be a mere two hours away as will a close friend of mine. For every wonderful thing I will miss about Aus-town (Alamo Drafthouse! Migas at restaurants! Gardening in February!), I'm thinking of the new wonderful things to come (Actual fall weather! New restaurants to try! A "tea emporium" in the university town!). These are the kinds of things that are good to think about when you're also worrying about selling a home, moving a cat with mental health issues across the country, finding time to house hunt, etc.

The bottom line is that this will be a summer of transitions and new adventures but we did it four years ago so we know it can be done. Go, Team Lunderoy!

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