Last month I went on leave. I was no longer a student. That was weird.
This month I turned my dissertation over to my committee and started working full time. That is to say, _only_ 40 hours a week. And all of them paid. It's been a while since I got paid for doing 40 hours of work in a week. I told Joy I would be home 5 or 6, depending on the day, and I would belong to the family then. She said, "I don't believe it. I don't know what that's like." No more stealing hours on Saturday (except when necessary), no more 2am work sessions, just come in to the office and leave again. It's a nice concept. I enjoyed officially telling my work goodbye on Saturday, threatening not to think about it for two days. (I didn't quite completely avoid thinking about it, but pretty close.)
November 1 I become a temp. That means health insurance is 2 months away and I start getting my post doc wage before I actually become a post doc. As my adviser/boss says, if I'm doing the work for it, I ought to get the wage. I always did like him.
November 3 I defend my dissertation. After making final changes, I turn it in to the graduate school, get a letter saying I pass, and a few weeks after that I become a post doc.
It's a whole new life stage!
I've told you the best parts. The most difficult are: not working at home so I don't get to see Hyrum or Joy so much [Hy listed first because he changes every day. Joy is more steady.]; preparing two lunches before work each day; and needing to be serious about waking up around 6:30 every day to start walking to work to be there on time.
This week I was walking in a slight rainshower with my rainslicker on, doing just fine. Then the clouds darkened ... deeply and quickly. I said, "uhoh." (brilliant conversationalist, aren't I?) The wind picked up and blew half the leaves off a nearby tree, and then the rain followed. I was thoroughly soaked from the waist down by the time I got to campus. I let my socks hang to dry and wandered around barefoot for a while. JUST as I was starting to dry off, I knocked over my drink, spilling two cups of liquid all over my dry shirt and drying pants. I mentioned to the secretary that the world seemed against me today (in a good humored way because I was still in a good humor). When Per heard about it, he ordered me home to warm up and dry off. Did I mention I like him? I do have a slight sore throat since then. Hopefully it'll clear up tomorrow.