The Climber

Today is a special day. At 3pm, after 5 years of graduate work and research, my wife will defend her dissertation on “Mechanisms in the Water Vapor Hydrolysis of NaBH4“. Her progress and motivation over the course of the Chemical Engineering PhD program here at USC has been a wild ride. Despite numerous obstacles, experiment failures and doubts about the significance of her research, she persisted. Her hard work in Hydrogen storage for fuel cells has resulted in 2 ACS journal articles with a 3rd recently submitted paper that is also sure to get accepted. I have confidence that her committee will unanimously agree today that she has earned the title of Dr. Beaird. Her perseverance and determination inspires me to work harder and reach higher in my own endeavors and I know that she will always push harder and reach higher as well. When we started dating (almost 10 years ago now), I used to write her lots of poetry. It’s been a while, but last weekend I wrote this metaphorical account of the path to her PhD.

The Climber

Stone by stone she makes her way
reaching higher every day.
Over streams and through the trees
with tired feet and aching knees.

Some fools say it’s for attention
“It’s just for pride” another mentions.
Still up and up the climber goes
ignoring pain, without repose.

Halfway there the voices shift
only fellow climbers rising swift
Still up and up the climber’s route;
to reach her goal, she’s fighting doubt.

It’s far to late to give up now
to turn around she can’t allow
Still up and up the climber’s flight;
the tunnel’s long, she sees the light.

A few more steps, she’s at the top
but now she knows she cannot stop.
Still up and up she makes her way
reaching higher every day.

(Photo by Susanica under Creative Commons.)

1 Comment

  1. Love it!! You are the best for each other…there is no other way!! Congrats Dr. Beaird!!

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