After five years and a LOT of hard work, Bjarni defended his dissertation at USC yesterday. Because of our move to Austria he has not and will not participate in the university's commencement ceremony, which is a darn shame, but if he would it would look something like this.
(This is actually our good friend Rehana a couple of years back, which explains the sort of long hair on Bjarni...)
Two weeks of single parenting, preparing for an oral exam and doing thesis related fieldwork all at once is not giving me much time to reflect on this mile stone in his and our lives, but it has been a strange turning point in our lives for the past couple of years and I feel strange not to address that briefly now that this "chapter" comes to an end.
It was the PhD that made me leave my home country and embark on a life style abroad, which I have grown to appreciate immensely. Moving to the US additionally resulted in us getting married way sooner than I would otherwise have anticipated. Obviously a PhD is a document and a title, which is the fruit of Bjarni's hard labor -- and I'm truly amazed by the effort and commitment it has taken on his part -- and I suppose in addition to that, on a more personal level, it has been a process of lots of very big decisions between the two of us, and managing new lives in US and Austria having mainly each other to rely on. And so I'm a woman with a lot more experience and insight (and possibly a few grey hairs?) thanks to this fancy new title of my husband.
I remember when I in 2006 got my passport back from the American embassy in Denmark with a visa valid till 2011, and that seemed so far away in the future. Well, here we are now. Closing this chapter and starting a new one.
Cheers to my clever and admiringly ambitious husband!
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