Tomorrow’s the graduation ceremony for everyone at our university who got a PhD last semester. 50 of 70 doctores will be there. We get to borrow gowns and do an “academic procession” and we’ll be presented with our diplomas and we’ll listen to music and be served champagne (I hope) with our families and and and and everyone else gets to listen to my speech on behalf of the new doctores. It’s way cool to have been asked to give such a speech. It’s very strange to be giving it.

A brand new stipendiat (PhD research fellow) has just moved into the office next to mine. She jolted me into realising how amazingly I’ve grown and changed in the last four years. She looks impossibly young for one thing, just as every primary school kid did the day I started high school, and she seems just as confused about everything as I was when I was a brand new stipendiat. She’s also just as eager as I was. I’m sure she’ll do a wonderful job.

I think that’s what I’ll talk about. It’s to celebrate those of us who finished, after all, and good heavens, we really finished! Despite the frustrations and the anguish of being on one’s way, we finished, we did great, we learnt so much, and now, somehow the process doesn’t look that bad anymore. Also, we now know exactly where to find the department hole puncher.

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