On Monday I defended my dissertation from the insightful, informative banter of my noble committee all of whom were in town for the first day since May. They signed the paper. Three signatures = PhD. No longer quite so piled higher and deeper, I am now a PHony Doctor!
I still need to reformat the dissertation and fix a few minor points before turning it in, at which point Cornell will acknowledge the prefixed title:
Dr. Derrill D. Watson II
I like it.
One of the best parts was calling Grammy (my namesake's wife). Her joyous congratulations and tears really made it special. Joy was a big help, also, making the presentation go off well. She has been such a support these last 5 years, particularly with her never-flagging confidence and encouragement. I'm very glad that in NY, a spouse gets half of the degree the other one earns. She deserves it.
So there I am all happy and stuff, and decide to spend a few minutes finishing up my scripture reading. I had only had time to read in the Bible in the morning, so I opened up the Book of Mormon and for my very first few verses as a newly minted PhD read the following:
"Whoso knocketh, to him will he [God] open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches -- yea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, he will not open unto them." (2nd Nephi 9:42)
Hm. (long pause)
I'd noticed that verse many times on my path here, but it never struck before how powerful that wording is. You now have the dissertation in hand, and are you willing to cast it away? To plead with Him for guidance and protection and insight every day just like you did in trying to get those three signatures? To trust His Spirit and His servants, the prophets and apostles, even if something they say goes against the principles of economics you cherish? To remind yourself that research involves learning more and more about less and less until you know everything about nothing, and that you have only begun to learn some things about nothing? To acknowledge His infinitely superior wisdom and unsurpassable knowledge of everything about everything? To put that into practice with how I treat His other children, particularly when I leave the confines of Ithaca and become in all likelihood one of very few over-educated people in my ward?
And that if I don't, that I will be someone God despises? He doesn't use that word often to describe His relation to us. ... Probably something deserving some more thought.