Friday, November 19, 2010

Hooray, Nuria!

We've already alluded to the party-proficiency of the Spanish people.  From the worker's strike "parties" to the boisterous, outdoor festivals, to the celebrations before, during and after futbol games, the Spanish take time to acknowledge the events, both important and trivial, that life brings. 

I really dig this aspect of the culture and couldn't have appreciated it more yesterday during our friend Nuria's thesis defense. Like Ted, Nuria just completed five intense years of research and writing in the field of freshwater ecology.

The day began at 11AM when she defended her thesis (in Catalan, Spanish and English, no less) to a room full of friends, family, colleagues and professors plus a tribunal of experts.

Here is Nuria moments after she was officially declared a "doctora."

Then began the party.
Her family set out an amazing spread of food and wine from their home. It was a classic Spanish buffet lunch with jamon, tortilla, acetunas (olives) and vino tinto.

As we enjoyed the food, her colleagues roasted her with creative gifts: an interactive skit, a humorous home-made film, a comic book, tickets to concerts, and a musical quiz comparing her research to popular songs. It was quite touching to see how the academic community supported her work and were truly involved with her PhD experience.  During all this silliness, very few people rushed off to get back to work.

Once the plates were empty, about thirty people headed outside for an afternoon coffee.

And when the coffee was gone, bottles of muscat and aguardiente magically appeared to fill the cups.

The party continued through the evening at a local bar:

And late into the night, we concluded the festivities with Nuria's favorite, Gin tonics and cucumber, followed by a much needed egg-cheese-and-potatoes snack at our house.

This is all to say that yesterday was an all-day event and many people took the day off to celebrate with her. It felt right to recognize the conclusion of an important life experience and gratifying to commemorate the occasion with a big-ole party.

Congratulations Nuria!


  1. I wish we were there - what is Teddy smokin?

  2. Hey, Jim, he's from California, it's PRACTICALLY LEGAL here!

    Ted and Izze sure got some great party genes (Ted's are not from the Freudigers, alas, but his Grandma Ruth Grantham still parties every chance she gets) and are putting their talents to great use this year. It's all about celebrating life!

  3. Amics americans,gràcies per aquest documental tan entusiasta! Em va fer molta il·lusió que hi fossiu presents!
    Una abraçada