there exists a fantastic tradition among the astronomy graduate students at UT: when a person earns a PhD, the rest of the students honor that person by creating a special t-shirt which includes photos, memories from grad school, inside jokes and his or her dissertation research. the t-shirt is informally presented and explained at the official PhD party.
i don't know for certain how long ago this tradition started (any deas?), but the original t-shirts had a single plot from the dissertation and that was all! the rise of photoshop and gimp have initiated the development of quite intricate shirts over the years.
i admit i was super excited to join the PhD club *and* receive my official shirt at my party last weekend. it's a rite of passage, really, and i'm so pleased with the result!!! the front of the shirt generally shares random events from the grad school years, usually presented thru some sort of a theme. since the students found so many pictures of me from this blog and other sources, they chose to show pictures of me eating and drinking in all the places i've traveled to and spent time during grad school with the theme: on the road again!
the top left is me trying hard to keep my beer out of the water during one of our many boat parties on a lake just outside of austin. below that is "flat amanda" followed by my advisor pouring me a margarita while we were in mexico celebrating the wedding of former UT astronomers. on down the line.... drinking in brasil and eating homemade empanadas in chile. the right side features me eating a huge plate of meat in a viking-themed restaurant in sanitago, chile, and drinking a larger-than-my-head-sized mug of beer at the oktoberfestival while wearing my bona fide dirnd'l!
they also thought to include my evolving modes of transportation. although i've never owned a volkswagen, i've always been affiliated with people who have, and joined the austin aircoolers vw gang pretty much immediately after i moved to austin. i owned a car for a couple years, but upgraded to a scooter and a bicycle at some point. several months ago, i sold the scooter so now i'm down to my bike and the city bus system... and i love it (although its definitely summer now in texas so i'm little sweaty whenever i arrive somewhere by bike!)!
the back of the shirt is themed after the astropixie blog! the subtitle comes from cleverly changing a very popular phrase around here: keep austin weird, to "keep amanda weird"!! haha!
if you've been to austin, maybe you've noticed that it's a little weird in general, but the basis of the "keep austin weird" project is to support local stores and style so people can sustain their independent businesses, and the city can retain its unique subtlety without be run over by big money superstores that are frankly.. no fun at all!
the shirt superbly ties in so many memories from grad school, and even includes a tiny little plot from my research on the right.... just under the "science: it works, bitches" banner! as a play on the cartoon that i have at the bottom of the blog, they included several pictures of me "in disguise." they joked that they found way more pictures of me in costumes than they had room to include on the t-shirt... so i guess it's fair to say that i enjoy dressing up ;)
thank you so much amy, marty, andrea and everyone else!!