Post-graduation Photos

There was a torrential rain falling, so we took photos inside. Here, Sara’s cousin takes a picture of Shawn & Sara

Kathy and Al take pictures.

More pictures with Sara’s dad, stepmom, and sister.

Sisters.

Shawn’s mom and dad.

Sara’s aunt and cousin

Sara’s aunt and uncle

Pictures taken, we headed out in the rain.

The next few hours weren’t great for me. I got lost on campus (because I never would ask anyone for directions) and sopping wet, and I was cold and eventually I found my way to the delightful meet-up area where we were scheduled to have dinner.

I bought some hot tea, read, went from sopping to damp, and bought some Pho when everyone else showed up. That warmed me up from the inside. Thus the day ended on a good note.

Dr. Sara K. Sterner’s Graduation

The defense finished, we moved to the graduation ceremony, which took place on the very next day.

Shawn holds Sara’s robes.

The graduation took place in the hockey arena and was for the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD). This was all the future teachers, who sat on the house right side, and then a bunch of psychology-type (ish) majors. All the majors are listed here. The Human Development people sat on the the house left side and took much longer to seat themselves. Teachers know how to form an orderly line.

Looks like this graduate has a job waiting.

The nice thing about the hockey arena is that there was a big screen where the happenings were projected. That made this ceremony slightly more intimate.

After a long wait, we got to see Lee, Sara’s writing partner, hooded.

And then Dr. Sara Sterner herself.

Here’s the program:

You can see it has many pages. Look how many people also received PhDs at the same time as Sara. And this is just in the College of Education and Human Development!

There she is, on the next page.

A walk in the Phillips neighborhood

I killed time between the defense and the big party by talking one of the walks in my walking tours book. This was of the Phillips Neighborhood.

I was staying in Ventura Village, but that’s the next neighborhood over. On my walk to the start of the walk, I snapped a picture of this church, where you can attend services in Norwegian!

When you have too much car for your garage…

Basically, Minneapolis is chock full of houses that leave me weak in the knees. Here is one.

All you need to know about Phillips.

Along with a close-up of the neighborhood boundaries.

Most of the walk was on Park Avenue, which has been redeveloped many times over the years. Thus, it was not unusual to see this lineup:

A grand building of apartment homes, built when that was a thing rich people lived in.

Right next to that, a 60s or 70s development.

And right next to that, a small office building.

Here were also huge mansions, like this one, which is now the American Swedish Institute, which I visited in 2015.

And this one:

And this one, which has moved on to a new life as a mosque. I did like that about Minneapolis. A lot of the grand houses have been converted to office space.

Very fancy looking office space, like this one, which houses the American Indian Services.

I liked the look of this stucco, and couldn’t decide if it was the pattern, or stucco suffering from neglect.

Look at this great church!

And these beautiful houses!

It wasn’t unusual to come across these views of fin de siecle houses with downtown towers looming in the background.

Look at the turret on this house!

It seems that bicycle theft is a problem here too.

Here’s an interesting corner. An older apartment building:

And across the street an apartment tower with its first four stories attempting to blend. This works for me.

And then this other corner with some new contstruction totally blending with a new tower looming in the background.

This is a pretty red house with a widow’s walk.

This might be my favorite picture from this walk. A nondescript low brick building next to a beautiful stone house, with a colorful Hannapin Healthcare buiding nearby and the prow of the football stadium poking up in the back.

I could have spent a solid week wandering through Minneapolis and St. Paul neighborhoods.

Waiting for Dr. Sterner

While Sara was doing Defense Part II with the members of her committee, friends and family wandered over to the building on campus with the performing arts hall, and waited at a coffee shop.

The building was gorgeous, and lovingly renovated.

It was a long wait (I think there was also some paperwork processing in there) and I had time to catch up with Sara’s family members, which was nice as I hadn’t seen them in a very long time.

Behold! Dr. Sara Sterner (alas, not the best photo of her)

Also pictured: Shawn (to the left) and Sara’s brother-in-law, sister-in-law, mother-in-law and niece.

Three of Sara’s professors had traveled to Minneapolis to be present for the defense, so photos were taken.

After photos, some catching up, and Sara’s stepmom Barbie snuck around for a different angle.

The Defense

Sara booked the biggest room available for her defense and it was full! She had a lot of friends and family visit. When I sat down, I introduced myself to the woman sitting next to me. She turned out to be a fellow PhD candidate. Her observation: “I go to these things all the time and usually there’s like four people watching.”

Sara’s adviser introduced Sara and the defense. He had a special message from Hogwarts and also pointed out that a royal baby waited to be born until Sara was ready to defend.

Sara explained the work she had done on a post-intentional phenomenological exploration of reading whitely. There were handouts.

At the end we got to ask questions.

Once the public defense was done Sara stayed behind for another hour of questions. After that, her committee voted though we weren’t there for that part.

Getting to the defense

My first full day in Minneapolis was also the day of Sara’s defense. I decided to use the Nice Ride bikes to get myself to campus.

On the same street where I was saying was this gorgeous apartment building.

My neighborhood had a lot of churches in it, including two across the street from one another.

About four blocks from my house were the bikes.

I checked one out and was on my way. Look at the great bike infrastructure they have! I rode bike lanes the entire way to campus.

This bridge took me over the freeway.

Here I have a great view of the Mighty Mississippi.

I got to campus quite easily using the Google Maps directions. From that point, I had a bit of trouble finding a docking station. The campus is large. I ended up docking at the Student Union because I knew where that was and vaguly in which direction it was located and then power-walked over to the defense.

Thank goodness I’d visited campus on previous trips.

Where am I staying in Minneapolis?

I booked a room in an AirB&B for my lodging. It was not far from the football stadium and very close to many transportation options.

The picture of the house on the website cleverly cropped out those crumbling steps, which were all I could see as I stood on the sidewalk. Had I made a mistake?

My room is the second floor window on the left.

But no! Indoors, it was lovely. Here’s the sitting room with a bit of the dining room.

The kitchen still had its butler’s pantry which included pull-out bins for flour and sugar.

The more modern kitchen.

Here’s my bedroom, which was quite large.

And included a big walk-in closet with a window to outside.

The view from my window.

There was a lot of original hardware that was just gorgeous. This is my bedroom door looking out into the stairwell.

Look at that vent!

My favorite feature of the house was the servant’s staircase. Here’s where the servants walk up.

And here’s is where the family walks up. You can see how you can close a door to shut off the kitchen area.

But the funny thing about the two staircases was, both staircases traveled to the same landing.

Here I am, packed for my first full day!

Minneapolis Day 1: Bike ride to Lake Nokomis

Sara K, whom you might know from her regular comments on this blog, is almost Dr. Sara K. She’s spent the last few years working toward a PhD, and I’m in Minneapolis to see her defense.

After navigating myself from the airport to my AirBnB, (thanks light rail!) I used the app on my phone to find a Nice Ride. Those would be the bike share bikes in the Twin Cities.

There was a bank of bikes not far from my place, and I rode about 25 minutes to Lake Nokomis, where I locked up my bike at another station. Easy as pie!

One thing I enjoyed about Lake Nokomis, was that they had seperate paths for walkers and bikes. The path in the foreground is for walkers; the one in the back is for bikes. Very smart, Minneapolis!

While it was full-on warm spring in Portland, it was still early spring in the North Star State. I would call what I experienced mid-to-late-March weather.

A variety of Sara’s relatives (and Sara herself, plus Shawn) arrived and we ate and chatted.

Shawn and Sara gave me a ride back to my place, which was also nice, as I was not wearing a mid-to-late March coat and I was a bit chilled when the sun was going down.

What a great start to my trip!

The One Bag List

Since 2008, I’ve been packing using the OneBag List, which friend Dana found online and shared with me right before we went to Hungary for the second time. The list makes sure I don’t forget anything and it also has allowed me to continue to use a tiny suitcase, no matter the length of the trip.

The OneBag website is still around, though I’m guessing it hasn’t changed much, graphically since Dana accessed it in 2008. The PDF I use is only accessible via a browser extension, so I can’t see if it’s been updated, but if you are looking for a minimalist (yet, everything you need) way to pack, I recommend the site and method.

Oh wait! The packing list is found here! No browser extension needed.

Ecola State Park

Having spent a comfortable night in our yurt at Cape Lookout, we drove north to Ecola State Park for some hiking. Ecola has some very good views.

Some might wonder why we drove a couple of hours from where we were staying, a place with many hikes, to another place for a different hike. This has to do with the fact that Tillmook Head is not in–or near–the city of Tillmook, or even in Tillamook County. I didn’t realize this when planning the vacation, and so a lengthy drive it was.  It’s okay. We got a lot of reading done from the read aloud books. (Matt read, I listened.)

Here we are with the ocean. Things you can’t see: the many tourists on either side of us, also looking at the ocean and taking photos.

The Oregon Coast is crazy beautiful, and we heard the people around us speaking all sorts of different languages.

We then drove a bit more to the Indian Beach trailhead area where we started a hike up to the Tillamook Lighthouse viewpoint.

At the beginning.

We hiked along quite nicely, and it was only when we got to the Hikers’ Shelter that I realized we’d already done this hike.  It was 2012 and you can refresh your memory here.  We had better weather this time.

The non-zoomed view of Tillamook Rock Lighthouse.

The zoomed view!  I’m quite glad I wasn’t the lighthouse keeper for this lighthouse.

Matt indicates this is our second go-round.