I looked pretty sharp in my Mariana Trench Dress, if I do say so myself! (Sorry for the crummy dirty-mirror picture. Forgot to get someone to take one earlier.) My supervisor was impressed when she found out I'd sewn it myself, and a friend said the magic words: "it looks store bought, not home-made at all"! The best thing, though, was that I felt and looked professional and confident in my appearance while up there, even if I was a giant bundle of nerves.
I treated myself to a new pair of shoes for the event, but I can't tell you how long it took to find some basic, grey (or grey-ish), low-heeled, non-bedazzled club shoes that didn't have cork anywhere. Thanks Fuss for the patience and sharp eyes while shopping, I probably wouldn't have noticed these without your help!
Do you know what the best part was? Despite all of my family being a province away, they were all with me up there while I defended. You see, I'm all about symbolism. It's the reason I wanted to wear something I'd made myself, since that dress represents new skills that I've learned during the last 3 years of this degree.
Allow me introduce you to the representatives of the people I care about the most, and send out my thanks for their unwavering support:
Grandma D: My Mom's Mom was represented by the diamond pendant necklace she gave me for my high school graduation in 1999. She is the most stubborn and determined woman I know, and while also one of the big procrastinators in my family, is excellent at Getting Stuff Done when needed. It was those inherited traits that got me through the final drive to finish this degree. Thanks Grandma!
Memere and Pepere: My Mom's Dad and Step Mom were represented by the gold earrings they gave me May 2008 as a thanks for assisting at their wedding. (Yes, their wedding - Memere decided that after 36 years of training, she was finally willing to marry the poor guy.) Love you two!
Mom and Dad: My wonderful parents gave me this silver watch Christmas 2004, and I rarely am without it to this day. And it even helped me keep to my presentation time limit!
Aunty Monda: My favourite great aunt was one of my biggest supporters, and unfortunately passed away this February. However, she was up there with me when I wore the gold spiral bracelet she gave me Christmas 2008. Thank you Aunty Monda, I wish you were here to see me finish this bloody degree (despite the procrastination)!
Dad: My Dad passed away in 2006, and because of that I wanted something extra to represent him with me when I defended. I had his electrician zippo sitting next to my computer as a good luck charm so that the bloody computer would behave and not freeze/crash/shut down randomly like it's been doing lately. Thank you Dad, because the computer behaved itself!
My Brother, TJ: Also sitting next to my computer, in case it did die and I needed to stab it or something, was the pocket knife that my brother gave to my Dad, which my Mom then gave to me after Dad died. Because the little brat went and took all of Dad's tools, so Mom didn't feel at all bad giving me a pocket knife that I'd would (and have) used. :) THANKS BROTHER!
Grandma C: The gold cameo ring is actually a stand in for another gold ring I left behind in Manitoba that was given to me by my Grandma C. Whoops! We'll just hand-wave that symbol, eh? Thank you for all the support, Grandma (I know you're reading this). Sorry for all the worries I've caused you. Love you!
My Mom and Step-Dad Ron: I couldn't have done this without my Mom and Step-Dad's support, especially this past winter when I needed to move back home. They are represented by the beautiful silver with aquamarine ring they gave me Christmas 2010. Love you guys so much!
Uncle Gavin: I never would have gone to university if it weren't for my uncle. He helped me out when I needed it, paid off my debts, helped me look into student loans and got me enrolled in university back in 2002. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for him. So my geoscience ring (the one in the middle with the seismic symbols and crossed hammers), that I received when I graduated with my geology degree in 2008, represented my uncle during my defense. Thanks Uncle G.!
One of the most important lessons I learned through this degree was that my Family means the world to me, and are more important than almost anything else in my life right now. Thank you all for your unwavering support and love, despite the long silences and once-yearly visits. You're all the best family a woman can have, and I was proud to have you all up there with me when I finished my degree. I love you all!
In addition, thank you, my lovely readers. Your patience with my long silences, hiatuses, and unfinished projects was very much appreciated! While updates will continue to be a little sporadic for the next few weeks, I will be posting again, I promise! :)