Big Day for Ben Blair

It’s true. It’s a very big day for Ben Blair.

Tonight, from 5:00 to 7:00, he’ll defend his doctoral dissertation. (It deals with the tensions between teachers and schools — in case you’re curious.) I’ve read it. All 230 pages. And it’s super smart and very well written. Full of interesting words and terms like: Dialectic. Institution. Discourse. Trajectory. Cultural Form. Mythos. Logos. Bracing. Phronesis. Bureaucracy. Objectifying Consciousness. Rationale. Deliberate. Conception. But mostly “dialectic.” I think it says dialectic 1 million times.

He also refers to loads of interesting thinkers and philosophers. People like MacIntyre, Dewey, Rousseau, Van Manen, Plato and on and on. The whole thing is very impressive and academic, as it should be. He’s worked incredibly hard on this for an incredibly long time. In fact, we originally moved to New York, over 6 years ago, so he could accomplish this very thing.

And unlike his fellow students — or even professors, in most cases — he’s done this worthy thing while also adding three kids to the family of four we had when he started. While taking turns as primary bread winner and stay-at-home dad as needed. While teaching 3 of his kids to ride a bike and snow ski. While being an exceptional father. An exceptional husband.

He even sends me cool links to share with Design Mom readers. Just today he sent a link to these too-great-for-words photos by Jan Von Holleben.

Ben Blair is a good man. No doubt he will do an amazing job tonight (but feel free to wish him luck anyway). And then he’ll have a PhD from Columbia University. And then I’ll call him Dr. Ben Blair.

Tonight, after his defense, he is meeting me at Grand Central Station and we are heading to a hotel for the weekend. A well-deserved weekend without any kiddies. So I won’t be here tomorrow. But I’ll be back Monday (well rested!) with big news about my week of Holiday Giveaways.

Hooray for Ben Blair!

50 thoughts on “Big Day for Ben Blair”

  1. What a huge accomplishment! You must be so proud. I’m sure he’ll do wonderfully well and hope that afterward you two can enjoy some much-deserved alone time. Congratulations!

  2. Don’t be ashamed to say that it is your PhD, too! I know (from my own experience) that the wives/husbands/significant others of PhD students put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into their partner’s work. Congratulations!

  3. You are one of the sweetest wifes when you write about your husband. :) I went to high school with Ben Blair…He was always a genuinely kind & funny guy. I’m not sure if he would remember Lori Bingham. I love that Ben shares ideas and links with you for your readers. I have been enjoying your wonderful blog for so long now!!

    Best of luck tonight Ben & then have a wonderful weekend!!

  4. Wishing the soon-to-be Dr. Ben Blair the very best of luck this evening!!!
    Wishing you both a lovely weekend of celebrating the incredible commitment that has brought you this far together ;-)
    Congratulations it’s an amazing accomplishment!!!

  5. good luck ben!

    if they ask you a question you don’t know, make sure to retort with a question of your own, and then say “PSHISH!” and start laughing at them when they answer.
    if that doesn’t work and you’re still stumped, just wet your pants and start shaking, they’ll probably be more forgiving.

  6. This post inspires me as my husband is gone most nights “finishing” his dissertation. *sigh* I hope to be in your shoes by next summer. Congratulations to you both!

  7. Good Job Ben. I know how hard/long he has worked! Does this mean that you might not be in NY for long? Is the next step teaching somewhere? How exciting..

    BTW..I saw your family picture on Tophers blog. SO FUN!! You all look great (I cannot believe that Ralph is that old…it can’t be true…)

  8. wow BRAVO BEN!!! That’s dangerously awesome. Then again, dare I comment after reading some of the words Gabby shared from your writing that I don’t really know the meaning of?

    ps. Gabby is it inappropriate for me to suggest you bring a really fancy teddy to your weekend together? ;-)

    pss. does this mean ben will write on his blog again?

  9. If it can be compared, I did a thesis defense at the end of my masters degree…It was much shorter than 200 something pages. I understand the accomplishment and it definitely warrants and weekend away. Congrats to both of you! I’m just so excited for you!

  10. Have a WONDERFUL weekend! I know that you deserve a big pat on the back as much as Ben for this great accomplishment!

    Good luck, Ben! You have worked so hard and you are super-duper smart, so we have all the confidence in the world in you!

  11. Wow! What an accomplishment! I’m sure he’s a good man but from what I see, he’s got a good woman beside him. It’s always nice to hear about couples who work as a team. Congratulations to you both! Enjoy this weekend.

  12. and then you’ll be a doctor’s wife! awesome!

    GOOD LUCK BEN BLAIR! Can’t wait to hear of your overwhelming success!!

    Hope you used lots of those big words in your defense. And hope the weekend away was all that AND a dialectic of chips.

  13. Yes, hooray for Dr. Ben, one of my favorite people. How nice it will be to have this all done. And who wouldn’t accept as absolute truth anything Ben says? Of course it will go splendidly!

  14. I would give anything for ANY degree, let alone a PhD from Columbia University’s Education Department! What an accomplishment! Congratulations!

  15. OMG. I found your blog randomly and I felt in love with it. You have such a great taste and everything looks so nice. You are awesome! Congratulations I simply love everything you post.

    oh, and Go BEN!!!

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