09 May 2010

Black Sea

I saw the Black Sea the other day. It was beautiful.

The Black Sea was wonderful, a conglomerate of all these intellectuals shrouded in black robes, as they walked to the building where the graduation ceremony was going to be held. The undergraduates were wearing blue gowns, and they were all happy. But what I was impressed more was the MA/PhD graduation, where everyone was wearing black.

And you also see the faculty members, some of them wearing the colors of the school where they got their terminal degree from. It was fun seeing where the professors graduated, and what colors they were wearing.

I have four friends who graduated today. Here's a thunderous Congratulations! to all of them. In no particular order:

1) Amanda Morrison: she finally finished her dissertation on Latin American Literature, from the Romance Languages and Literatures Department. I actually attended her dissertation defense last month, and it was awesome. Congratulations Amanda! It was fun hanging out with you in Starbucks and in Lockwood Library! ¡Felicitaciones!

2) Elmer Rico Mojica: I first met him 5 years ago, through another friend of ours who was living in the same apartment as I was. I needed a Filipino language informant, and it turned out that there are plenty of Filipinos in the Chemistry Department. Kuya Elmer is graduating with his PhD in Chemistry. I enjoyed the chats we had while riding the bus from South to North Campus: the number of times where we rode the same bus during the weekends were innumerable. Thank you as well for hosting the Filipino parties in your house every now and then: it keeps my Filipino-ness alive. Maligayang Pagtatapos Kuya!

3) Sunfa Kim: Sunfa was one of the students who taught me the hard labor involved in psycholinguistics. When I decided to join the Psycholinguistics Lab in the summer of 2008, Sunfa sat down with me and taught me how to operate the machinery, how to run experiments, how to record the data, all those things that usually are needed but remain in the background of every paper and poster that comes out of our lab. Sunfa also gave me very good advice on how to interact with faculty in the lab, as her committee members largely overlap with mine. She is graduating with a PhD in Cognitive Psychology. Omedetou gozaimasu!

4) Silke Lambert: Silke belongs to my home department, in Linguistics. I knew her from the very first year of my stay here, so we have known each other for five years now. She has been a wonderful help in both academic and administrative angles of being a graduate student: I knew a lot of the things I needed to learn about student government from her. I also enjoyed her company during the numerous game nights that we held. Unfortunately, I will be out of town for her defense. She is graduating with a PhD in Linguistics. Herzlichen Gl├╝ckwunsch!

So this post is to them. Thank you for your company, it has been fun. Seeing that you have gone to this point and graduated gives me motivation to work ever harder and attain this as well. Graduate school is one tough cookie, and you all earned the gown that you are wearing. Congratulations to all of you!

(Brick Building, from my University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Series)


  1. Good for them! Graduation is indeed an important rite of passage.

  2. Zhu,

    It is indeed! Here's hoping that I get to where they are right now soon!