No, this post is not about Dustin Hoffman, Mrs. Robinson, or even Simon and Garfunkel, though John Denver will play a part later on. (Yes, Luke, I know he’s not in the movie but he is a musician, like Simon and Garfunkel. Hence the logic. Work with me.) As I was getting around to saying, on December 13, with great pomp and no less circumstance, a mere mister walked across a platform, and when he reached the other side, he found himself in the hood. (As in doctoral regalia, yo.) After ten years (no, that’s not a typo) George can finally claim with full authority that he’s got worms! (Lots of them. Preserved in glass vials, some of which are stored in our bedroom. But let’s not spoil this celebratory moment with points of contention.)
Back to the good news of great joy: George now possesses a PhD in forestry! His specialized research makes him an official expert in megadrilology (that’s Geek-ese for the study of earthworms). Indeed, Dr. Damoff is ranked among the nation’s top few megadrilologists. Of course, all the nation’s megadrilologists are ranked among the top few. They’re a rather smallish club. But that in no way minimizes the importance of what they do, and I say that with utmost sincerity. Seriously.
The ceremony was all one would expect (i.e., ridiculously crowded, long, and boring–my sister and I spent much of the time devising ways the so-called “platform party” could have made it more party-ish), but I felt deep joy, excitement, and pride when the university president shook George’s hand and the dean of forestry placed the hood over his head.
Afterward we stopped by a reception in the forestry department and then headed to the home of George’s friend and colleague, Dr. I’Kuai Hung, for a wonderful Chinese luncheon prepared in George’s honor. I’Kuai also invited George’s dissertation director and several other close friends from the department. Delicious food, laughter, music, and pleasant conversation. It was wonderful. And Jacob added to the fun (mine, anyway) by shouting the occasional “Amen”–his standard response to anything he finds interesting or even amusing. So great to watch the faces of the non-church people when he punctuated a story. (Yes, I know I’m bad.)
About now the careful reader will be wondering when John Denver comes into the picture. Good job! You just provided me the perfect segue. For photos and the rest of the story, click here.
We’re not sure yet what the future holds, but meanwhile you know where to go for answers to all your distressing megadrilological questions. The worm doctor is in!