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Most of the stuff we post are our own thoughts, wonderings, and stories that emerge from our lives, our living, the world around us and the world within us.

You'll find us reflecting on our travels, our faith, justice, and what it means for us to live well in 21st century America. 

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Wednesday
May192010

Dr. Rodriguez 

Last month the 4 Watsons traveled down to Florida to celebrate with Lisa's family.  Lisa's younger sister, Amy, was graduating from UF with her Ph.D.  Amy's has been a fantastic voyage through the halls of academia and the halls of hospitals to finally arrive at her Ph.D.  A degree that will surely further her career and take her far and wide into new halls of academia and hospitals.  

Somewhere in the midst of the Morgantown hills where she did her undergrad work, she found a topic of study and fell in love with it.  And it was that love that, 10 years later landed all of us in bleachers at the basketball field house in Gainesville; because, well, when you love something that much, and you work that hard at it, at some point your family comes to celebrate with you.  And that's what we did.  

I'll be honest with you, I'm not exactly sure what Amy got her Ph.D. in.  Normally, I'd be embarrassed to admit that, but in this case, I'm not.  You see her Ph. D is in something like Neurological Sciences Speech Pathology Communicative Disorder Science Brain Science Science.  In other words, the title was a little long on words and short on words I knew the meaning to.  But, basically, Amy received a PhD in fixing the part of your brain that focuses on speech.  

There are folks for whom that part of their brain doesn't work and what results is the inability to communicate properly.  The brain breaks and it affects the mouth.  This gets caused by any number of ways; a fall, a wreck, an accident, age.  When that happens, Amy is who you want by your side.  She can help you fix your brain and help you regain your ability to talk.

My life and livelihood is built around my ability to communicate.  Words are important to me (despite my blogging hiatus).  Written, spoken, sung - however they come and come out - I love words.  I cannot imagine the frustration, the desperation that would come from wanting to say something, to know in your heart what you long to say, but for some reason not be able to form the words, or even remember the words that convey the emotion.  What if, I wanted to tell my son, "Nathan I'm proud of you", but couldn't remember his name or what the word for 'proud' was.  And even if I could remember, I couldn't form the words with my mouth.  What may come out would be either tears...or anger.  But what would escape me is the ability to communicate my heart swollen with joyful, fatherly pride.  

It seems that more and more, we live in a world that could use someone to help us communicate better.  More and more it seems the only communicative device we have is to either lash out in anger or retreat in cries of self pity.  More and more I'm wondering if something has happened to our brains.  

And that's what Dr. Amy is for.  She helps people rediscover those words so they don't have to only cry or be angry.  She is the scientist who helps us recall words, form them with our lips and utter them from our hearts.  She helps dads whose brains have been broken and words jumbled; heal and re-find the words, "I'm proud of you".  And in that, she helps all of us heal.  

Dr. Amy, we are, very, very proud of you.  

Reader Comments (2)

You said it so well, she is very special to us and to the future in her scientific world. We are so very proud of her. Excellent work Matthew. Great pictures!!!

May 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMom

Amy, we've only met during the time we were in Florida for Lisa and Matthew's wedding but we try to keep up with all of Lisa's family. I'm so glad Matthew posted this about your degree, your time of celebration and the beautiful pictures. We are very happy and proud for you and all your family. What a lovely trio of sisters!!
God Bless,
Kay & Odie Dean
Matthew's grandparents in Texas

June 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKay Dean

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