Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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Can you believe that it was a decade ago that my PhD was bestowed upon me? A *decade*!!


I just cannot believe it has been 3,653 days since I walked across the convocation stage in my fancy shoes, my garish pink robe, and my puffy hat and officially became Dr. Beth. A lot has happened in those 10 years. I went from being an unemployed couch surfer with $72K of student debt to a job having, home-owning, cat-owning, student debt-free published author and absent-minded professor(ish) who added five more letters after my name beyond the PhD.

Also, would you believe that in all that time I’ve only once been called “not a real doctor”1 and that was actually just last week? True story.

  1. Not counting times someone said it in jest. []


Happy PhDiversary To Me!

As detailed in a previous posting, Nov 16 marks the anniversary of the day I received my PhD, according to my transcript. The convocation ceremony for my PhD was Nov 22, 2006 and my current theory1 is that Nov 16 marks the day that Senate voted to approve candidates for convocation – but I based that entirely on speculation.

At any rate, I am commemorating this, my 7th PhDiversary, in the traditional fashion, by posting this picture of a Tumbeast in a puffy PhD hat:

PhD Tumblbeast

And speaking of the puffy hat, it will soon be making its reappearance in my life as I have a grad photo session booked for Nov 252 and, as detailed in a previous posting, I will be yet again donning the pink robe and puffy hat of a UBC PhDer for that photo, as well as for the convocation ceremony next spring. Long live the puffy hat!

  1. Translation: I’m too lazy to actually investigate this. []
  2. I’m actually dreading this a bit, as I don’t really want to see how much older and fatter I’m going to look in these photos compared to the ones that were taken in the same robe and hat 7 years ago! []


Happy 5th PhDiversary To Me!

So I was looking at my transcript the other day, as I was working on an application for something1 and noticed that it said that my PhDizzle was granted on November 16, 2006. The astute among you will note that that would be exactly five years ago today! Zounds! Five years ago is a very, very long time. It hardly seems possible that I have been insisting on people calling me “Dr.” for the last half a decade! It still makes me giggle when someone refers to me as “Dr. Beth” – is that possible after five long years? Well, apparently it is, because here I am giggling after typing it.

However, when I went to write this blog posting, I noticed that all the photos of my convocation ceremony, such as this one:


are marked as having been taken on November 22, not November 16. “That’s odd,” I thought, “Must have had the wrong date on my camera.” But then I looked at my old blog posting – my blog, of course, being the source of absolute truth – and it confirmed that November 22 was my convocation. And then I had a crisis on my hands: What day do I celebrate as my PhDiversary? And from where did this November 16 date, which, as far as I can tell, bears no relationship to anything, come?

I had a quick email exchange with Dr. Dan and we came to the following conclusion: I should celebrate both dates, plus the date of my PhD defence! Which makes my important nerdy dates thus:

  • August 8 – My Defenciversary
  • November 162- PhDiversary
  • November 22 – Convocativersary

And thus, in celebration of my 5th PhDiversary today, I present you with this Tumblebeast in a UBC PhD hat:

PhD Tumblbeast

I may also eat some chocolate, which we all know is the appropriate way to celebrate everything.


  1. More about that in a later blog posting. []
  2. As I’ve been writing this, the thought occurred to me that it might be that November 16 was the date that the Senate voted to approve the list of candidates for the November 22 convocation. I base this on no evidence whatsoever, but it’s the best guess I’ve got, so I’m sticking to it until someone tells me otherwise []