Sir F. Chook, Inventor of Leopard Oil

Likeness captured upon a daguerrotype machine in Japan, July 1891


Wherein the Author reflects upon certain topical & personal issues of the Day.

Gradients of Graduates

Penned upon the 23rd of August, 2009

Here I am with the degree I’ve laboured these past five years to earn! You’ll notice that, at the same time, the sun is merciless and the wind is blowing a gale, turning my academic gowns into something the Montgolfier brothers might have test-flown. Astute FrillyShirt fans will note that they got my name wrong in the printing – perhaps it’s appropriate that they use my bachelor’s name on my Bachelor’s degree, but I’d still rather they didn’t. Especially sharp-eyed readers will notice I’m wearing cufflinks with little moustachioed swells on them – wedding gifts from the marvellously crafty Lyndsey!

I’d make some wry wremark about expensive pieces of paper or unattractive employment options, but honestly, I’ve taken a very great deal away from my experience studying. Facts and methods, naturally – writers, movements and ideas I’d otherwise never have learned of – but also the skills of critical and, I think at least as important, creative thinking. Creative thinking gets short shrift when naming the merits of higher education – to take preconceptions apart to their base elements is important, yes, but then to recognise the uses and values of those elements, and reconstruct functional systems from them – that is the foundation of progress.

As an aside, when I do further advance my education, I shall try my level best to push from Masters level straight through to a doctorate. Why? Because those floofy velvet caps are much nicer than those mortarboards the masters wear. I can see how they evolved from medieval scholar’s caps, but I just can’t see why. I don’t think they suit more than one in ten graduates who don them. Shame.

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Commentary upon “Gradients of Graduates”

  1. Professor von Explaino was heard to remark,

    Upon the 23rd of August, 2009 at 3:51 pm,

    Congratulations on your elevation to mortarboardhood.

  2. Sir Frederick Chook was heard to remark,

    Upon the 25th of August, 2009 at 4:19 pm,

    Thank you kindly!

  3. Meaghan was heard to remark,

    Upon the 25th of August, 2009 at 10:26 pm,

    Part of me is loathing the idea of donning an awful academic gown and believing myself employable. I feel that I could be happy constantly searching for greener academic pastures for the rest of my life, though I would one day like to be able to justify expensive splurge purchases by reasoning that I work hard enough to deserve them!

    Ah, well.

    Isn’t it a pain when people get your name wrong? I bet that’s a relatively new experience for you, though.

  4. Sir Frederick Chook was heard to remark,

    Upon the 26th of August, 2009 at 3:33 pm,

    We’lllll all get there in the end. Certainly I relish the prospect of returning to study… after an appropriate hiatus, of course.

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