Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009


After a few crazy weeks finishing my degree, packing, entertaining a string of guests, etc, we finally made it to Europe. The excitement was tempered by the fact that it meant I wouldn't see Olivia and Sarah for two weeks. They went to straight to Sarah's family in Toulouse while I came to Rennes to start my work. I treated myself to two days in London on the way and really enjoyed myself. Maybe it was the jet lag, but I found London to be a pretty overwhelming city. I am from an overwhelming city, but this felt different. Just when I got comfortable, I would step out from the curb and a car would come flying from the opposite direction. It was harder to get used to that than I thought. I had a blast though, saw tons of things, did two long runs (of 7 miles and 9 miles), but mostly missed my girls.

The train station I left from on my way to Paris

Standing where the players and coaches watch the game at Stamford Bridge, home of the Chelsea Football Club.

My post game press conference

Sarah was understandably dissapointed she couldn't tour London with me. I asked what she would have wanted to see and promised a picture of myself there. Here I am at the London Bridge.

It just so happened that Sigmund Freud used to live up the street from my hostel. It was a nice but non-descript house in a quiet residential neighborhood. Whatever you think of his work, he was certainly very influential. It always inspires me when I see that such important work was done in such regular locations. Why couldn't great things be accomplished in a studio apt in Rennes, or student family housing in Chapel Hill and Ann Arbor?

University Commencement

Sunday morning was the university-wide commencement ceremony and we decided to go incognito. It was great to be able to be there with Sarah and Olivia and all my other family. I think Sarah appreciated having someone to walk around with her. Desmond Tutu, nobel peace prize winner from South Africa was the featured speaker, and he was wonderful; both delightful and inspiring. He spoke about God having a dream of a world without poverty, terrorism, hunger, injustice, etc, and that we need to act as His partners to make that dream a reality.

Got a bite of something good!

The undergrads wore Carolina Blue and filled half the other side of the stadium. This is a picture of them walking in.


Graduation was a really special day for me. I've loved living in Chapel Hill and really enjoyed the master's degree program I was in, especially all the other students and faculty who supported me so much. As much as anything though, this day is a celebration about all the family and friends who made it possible. I was grateful to be able to share the celebration with so many, including my Jones Grandparents who came out a little earlier for Olivia's birthday. The day was also particularly special because my mom received her doctorate at the same time. The above photo was taken by someone from the school and apparently they're going to profile us in an upcoming issue of the School's magazine. Mother and son receiving graduate degrees on the same day, from the same university and same department. Pretty special.

Sitting still during the ceremony was not easy for her little 1 year old body. Thank goodness one of her favorite people on earth was there to help!

Can you see me walking across the stage? Second from the left.

UNC Doctoral Hooding Ceremony

Last Saturday morning was the doctoral hooding ceremony for the graduate school at UNC. It was a special occassion to be there celebrating mom's accomplishment. It was also pretty fun to get to stand at half court on the floor of the DeanDome after it was over!

Atlantic Beach

We celebrated graduation with my mom and Bingham Grandparents with three days at Atlantic Beach. It was tons of fun and a great chance to get out of the "big city" of Chapel Hill. The above picture is the view from our room. Some of the other pictures are of a nearby fort that was used in the civil war.

Final weeks in Chapel Hill

In the final few weeks living in the city in which she was born, Olivia was lucky enough to have visits from all her grandparents and great grandparents on my (David's) side. She got more than a few gifts and loved them all. The first photo is great, you can see her excitement at recognizing the dog on the cover. Apparently she showed no interest in watching the actual dvd, but she loves the cover!

The girls cashed in on their strawberry picking trip, though Olivia wasn't too sure what she thought of it all.

While we were packing and moving the apartment was a perpetual mess. It all got done, but Olivia seemed to kind of like the free for all!