Remember that trip I took back in August? The one where I got to see friends/family? The one where I spent a weekend in Ocean City? Yeah, that one. Well, there was more to it. A few more days spent back in Oxford, Ohio. I didn't initially recap the visit because I was waiting for pictures (ahem, parents), but then they sent them... and then I was busy... and then I didn't remember it all in as much detail as I would have liked. But, I'm going back there in 4days and figured I should get this trip down before I made the next one.
My parents and I were driving up to Oxford so I could graduate. Finally. Done with school. But we'll get to that.
After a fairly decent drive in on Thursday my parents dropped me off at Dave & Ashley's (where I would be staying) and they headed off to their hotel. It was great to see Ashley and Dean again (Dave was spending the night in IN at his internship location). Though I knew I would miss my friends after moving, the thing that worried me the most what that Dean wouldn't remember who I was. That in 324.74years I would be that crazy old lady who would say things like, "I used to change your diapers!" Ugh, I shudder at the thought of becoming that person. We had Skyped a few times, but Dean didn't really understand the process (I don't blame him, he's not even 2). Needless to say, I was a little anxious. And that anxiety proved true (self-fulfilling, maybe?), but after 10minutes or so we were playing without Ashley (she was making dinner) and he was back to saying "Meghan." It took him so long to say an approximation of my name (relative to some of our other friends), that I always loved it when he did. I'm glad he didn't lose it.
I spent the rest of the evening running over to John Paul & Jenny's place so I could borrow a pair of shoes... and see them, of course. Jenny has some of the most amazing shoes. I borrowed a pair last summer, within a week of her moving to Oxford (I knew her previously, but not well), for Brian & Christy's wedding. Shoes that Jenny had only worn once I believe. Cute brown peep-toe heels. As I sat down in the church in TX I looked down and saw that somehow I had gouged the heel. There was now a distinct white spot where brown material had once been. Not only did I look a fool, but these weren't even my shoes! Back in OH I took them to a cobbler (awesome, right?) who did what he could, but who ultimately suggested I color it in with a brown Sharpie. Turns out Jenny didn't mind a bit. I still felt bad, but she's such an awesome person that she let me borrow another pair: magenta peep-toe heels (hot). Though, this time I didn't leave the state and I returned them in one piece. Tangent aside, it was good catching up with them both (sorry, no shoe tales of John Paul).
Friday I spent with the parents wandering around Oxford (Dad had only been there twice before) and going to see Inception. Don't even get me started on the movie. I liked it but refuse to think about it. It would take up too many resources, and I don't have that many to spare at the moment.
The rest of the afternoon was spent doing graduation-related activities. First there was a psychology department reception with graduates, families & advisors. Ultimately, I wanted to see some people and introduce my parents, but as with all awkward social events they made us do things like this:
|With my advisor, Heather Claypool. First they tell us to prop up the cake, then they yell at us for bending the cake.|
|With the parents. No awkward cake holding.|
Following the reception we headed over to the ceremony site. The school told us to be there all sorts of early to get our hoods and organize a line. Getting the hood took about 3seconds, getting in line, much longer, but we didn't even attempt to start that until right before the ceremony. The ceremony people were freaking out. Despite the "hurry up and wait" aspect of it, it was a nice chance to connect more with Don, Steve (labmate) and Heather.
The ceremony was all right, I suppose. I spent most of it laughing with the girls next me (I think they were English grads? Maybe?). And all I remember was the commencement speaker not quite making sense. Ah well, this is how these things go. Ultimately, I got hooded by Heather, we didn't fall (which is a big deal - look at the picture below), and I was handed my diploma. Officially Dr. Meghan!
I didn't really experience much pride or a sense of accomplishment that day. More relief at being done. I was now officially done with school. There was no more to do. The end of 6years. You see, I had finished all the requirements back in May... and had already moved to Maine... so in my mind this was just symbolic. Regardless, I'm glad I was there.
That night, Dave and Ashley had everyone (my parents, Don, Don's parents, JP & Jenny, Liz & Pat) over to help celebrate. There was grilling. Beer. Jokes. Stories. And tons of laughing. What any good evening with these folks should be. What I miss most about my time in Oxford. The ease. The camaraderie. The acceptance. I really do love these people.
Saturday was spent being a pain to my parents (they wanted to do stuff and I got sick - sorry!), but it ended well with a dinner out. My parents wanted to thank my friends for, well, being my friends and supporting me throughout this journey. Aren't they such nice people? Little did they know that I wanted to take them out and thank them, but we'll just have to do that another time. Once I get a paycheck...
All in all, a great trip.
And I'm off to do it again in 4days. WIN.