Saturday, July 23, 2011


I officially have my Masters degree.  Wow.  It was funny to be sitting in the same arena that I sat in 14 months earlier when I graduated with my Bachelors degree.  I'll admit though, this day was much more epic and profound for me than last time.  I think its a combination of being super proud of my thesis and being accepted into a genetic counseling program so that I know I am moving on to my next big thing, not advancing into a Plan B year.  Regardless of why it felt more important, it did and I almost cried twice during the ceremony.

I'm such a softie!

To recap, the day started out with a stellar 3.0 mile run.  I am officially at 10.5/13.1 miles for my Hotter Than Hades Virtual Half-Marathon.  Feels great plus it was a great beginning to my day.  I got back to my apartment and scarfed down a breakfast of refried bean and goat cheese toast sprinkled with homemade taco seasoning.  Don't knock it 'till you try it.

Goat cheese makes everything better.  Just trust me, put it in your mouth and you'll fall in love.  Showering came next and I went from this... this, in no time flat.

All prettied up (and toting my robe, hood, mortarboard and tassle), I went to pick up my parents for the ceremony.  The whole thing took about two hours and featured some speeches that weren't super impressive, a lot of name calling, progressively more raucous applause/cheering for specific individuals, and a "remark" by the president of the university that turned into a speech basically as long as the keynote address.

I felt pretty cool wearing my Masters hood.  Yellow, as both the hood and my tassle were, is used to symbolize the science field.  I don't think it particularly goes with the university colors of red and white but hey, I was distinguished I suppose.  I will say that there was a lot of consternation about how the hood was actually supposed to look from behind and I'm fairly sure that just about everyone had a different permutation.  Oh well, we were wearing them, what more did you want?!

When all was said and done I found my family and friends and we did some of the compulsory pictures.  I really do love them and I can't imagine how I would have turned out without them.  They are my solid support system and I owe them the world.  Love you all!

Jack and I

My best friend, Joshua, and I

Mommy, daddy, and I

Next, since I had been hungry since mid-ceremony and it was well into lunch time by the end of the event, we headed to Pita Pit for lunch.  I ordered a philly steak on a wheat pita.

Honestly, the key is to ask for your peppers, onions, and mushrooms grilled with your meat.  They take on a whole other flavor when they're heated and slightly seared.  In addition, getting american swiss blend cheese and their dijon mustard makes this the perfect pita.  Plus, the whole lunch, which is totally satisfying and filling, is only 390 calories.  Also, since we bought four pitas that finished on my loyalty card so I get my next one FREE!  You can't beat that with a stick.  For sure.

The festivities continued with a happy hour/dinner/dessert extravaganza hosted by my best friend and his wife.  We had some cheese and crackers plus some sausage stuffed mushrooms for appetizers along with wine during happy hour.  We wolfed everything down so I didn't get a picture but believe me, the mushrooms looked and tasted spectacular.

Dinner was ricotta and spinach stuffed chicken, marinated and grilled asparagus, mashed red potatoes, and mashed cauliflower.  I sampled a bit of everything and nursed my glass of moscato through the meal.

Dessert was the best part.  Not that that is news, really, I feel as though its always the case.  Anyways, we had some of the most tasty ice cream ever.

Get it.  Try it.  Stuff your face with it.  Now.  You'll thank me later.

Anyways, we didn't just have ice cream.  Oh no.  My best friend had made cookie bowls, yes, cookie bowls.    Be jealous!  We filled them with ice cream and topped our mounds with a range of toppings like semi-sweet or butterscotch chips, coconut, and chopped walnuts or pecans.  Once the ice cream melted slightly and seeped into the bowls, it was a cookie/ice cream combo made in heaven.  Yum.

I could have eaten four more.  Easily.  Loved it.  So as you can probably imagine, we rolled ourselves home and Jack and I took a walk to enjoy the low 80 degree weather and the twilight hours.  When the sun went down it got muggy quickly so we sped up but spent about an hour out walking.  It was really pleasant and a nice way to round out the day. =D

Tomorrow's plans:
  1. Early morning job
  2. Breakfast with mom and dad before they head home
  3. PACKING (I really, really, really need to get on this.  I move in 6 days and have basically nothing done...)


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