I just spent the last 24 hours in Illinois and Wisconsin. My father was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. This explains his credentials and the reason for the degree. If you scrol down in this document to Ogren you can read a far less techinical excerpt.
It has been a long time since I have been in an academic setting. We attended the graduation ceremony with all the doctoral students. There were around 1,000 graduates. The thought of the amount of hard work and number of years toiling present in that arena was mind-boggling.
After the ceremony we attended a dinner at the Chancellor’s house. Sitting at my table was one of my brothers, a professer of botany and his wife, the chair of the botany department, and the university Provost. I have to admit I hadn’t a clue what a Provost does. It turns out he is second in command to the Chancellor. It was interesting to hear an overview of his resonsibilities and challenges.
I thoroughly enjoyed the dinner table conversations. As a stay-at-home mom, I rarely find myself around the table with other adults where there are no kids or discussions about kids. It was very refreshing. Intellectually stimulting conversations are very few and far between in my life. I don’t stop and think about my place in life very often, but in times like these I realize how different my life is now compared to when I was in the corporate world. I progressed fairly quickly in my career to posistions with important sounding titles and reponsibilities, but a mere 6 years into my career I left to stay home. I am not saying I regret it, but in some ways it is as if these accomplisments and experiences have been erased. They were something I took pride in and my career was something I was really good at. As a stay-at-home mom, I am only average (to below average) in my skills. I think that this is one of the reasons that singing in the church choir has meant so much to me. To be doing something I enjoy and that I am good at adds a lot of quality to my life.
Over the next few days I will write some more about my trip.