She finished her dissertation, and it was time for the defense, which is the final stage of the PhD process. It was a long two and a half hours of presenting her work and answering difficult questions. After the defense, they sent her outside so they could talk among themselves, and the committee came out, shook her hand, and congratulated her on having earned her PhD.
Even when Nel was little, she used to love to read, and sometimes when I told her, "it's time for bed," she would get a small flashlight and read under the covers for a little while longer.
She has worked so hard through the years and has acquired much knowledge in her field of English Literature during that time.
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is the highest degree you can earn in the world. Only 1% of the 7 billion people on earth have one.
The whole process from beginning to end took her 16 years - a little longer than normal, but that was because throughout the entire time in grad school, she also worked over 40 hours a week at her job.
Nel, I admire your dedication, your determination, and your endurance to finish what you have started, for your teaching skills, for being there for your students, and for making their world a better place for them to live.
As your mother, I truly want to thank you and tell you just how wonderful you are. Who would have thought when you were sitting on my lap here at one year old that you would get your PhD one day?
Nel, this is extraordinary.
Today, I honor You!
(picture Nel took in Paris)