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And I'd like to thank the Academy.. (i am a knob) - Tactical Ninja

Apr. 4th, 2013

10:19 am - And I'd like to thank the Academy.. (i am a knob)

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So I got my graduation guff in the mail the other day. Apparently I'm graduating in Ceremony 4, which is at 1:30pm on the 15th of May. They gave me 3 guest tickets. THREE! Do they have no clue how many people have supported me to get an education, and how without those people I'd probably not have even started?

I mean, there's you lot for a start, who've been all "Tats of course you're smart enough" and have not laughed at my attempts to be academic and read and commented on my posts about Wot I Have Lerned and asked challenging questions and posted links to how to do referencing and generally been an interactive resource for support and information and validation for the last 5 (fuck, FIVE!) years.


pombagira, who first inspired me through achieving an Honours degree, winning a psychological battle against a lifetime of being treated like she was stupid because of having dyslexia, and a very real battle against the dyslexia itself, which academia is not set up to deal with. And then she supported me as my friend and flatmate through most of the "I can't do this" and "Don't talk to me I'm writing an essay" and "I need to rant RIGHT NOW" and bringing me coffees and understanding.

happyinmotion and rivet, who in my head I have been known to refer to as my academic Mum and Dad, who are both well beyond where I'm at in terms of education but have never treated me as less-than because of it, and who have - occasionally with eye-rolling but never with patronisation - answered my noob questions and discussed basic topics, kept up with my 'how the hell did you get there' leaps of understanding and been ok with my application of sheep analogies to everything*, and importantly, asked the right questions to make me find the answers myself. And who have treated my newfound knowledge with respect, despite its newfoundness.

tieke who has, without fail, said matter-of-factly "That is not supported by evidence" every time I've started heading down the "I am not clever enough to do this" track.

TAFKARF, who has argued at length with me on the internet about a variety of topics, forcing me to make clear arguments and never allowing me to say anything that is not supported, thus developing my ability to make and support an argument. As we all know, in the Humanities that is one of the most important skills you can have.

ferrouswheel, who has more or less had a crash course in Humanities as I've gone through my degree, and who's patiently listened to my jargon-filled rants without stopping me to define all the terms. Way back before I considered the need to get educated, before we got together as a couple, when I first declared my intention to advocate for drug policy that recognised responsible drug use as legitimate, it was him who first stepped up and said "I'm with you on this." It made me realise that what I'm trying to do is important, I'm not alone, and that I'd have someone at my back should I choose to pursue it. And he has. <3

The YoT, who's been there for most of it, telling his friends "My Mum R Brainy" and never doubting that I'd do well because he has the faith of a child in his parent. Unconditional love is.. well, unconditional.

grist, who just assumed that of course I'd get a degree, duh.

All the Fidels people and the Burner community, who've been a) interested and b) willing to listen/talk/argue/network on the topic, and have continued to do so depite my occasionally sounding like a stuck record.

All the people who send me links to drug-related topics when you see them. A lot of my information comes this way. Thank you.

Oh god this is starting to sound like an Oscar speech. O.o

But.. Mum and Dad. Dad died in 2004 after a life that was always lived against the mainstream. From birth he bucked the trends and broke expectations, and he never stopped. Society expected X, Dad did Y. Consequently he lived a very interesting life and produced kids who always questioned the status quo. Turns out that while that gets you into trouble in school, it helps if you want to change the world. Mum died while I was doing my degree. 2 days before she died, I was able to tell her I'd got an A for my latest essay. She was so proud of me, and made a point of letting me know that even though she was so sick, as she has let me know she's proud of me all through my life, even when I've felt like a complete fuckup.

If they were alive, they would have wanted me to have a graduation ceremony. I'm the first in my family to get a degree, and that's why I'm doing the whole ceremony thing - for my family. My folks can't be there, but I have these three tickets. So the people I'm asking to be there are the YoT and grist, who are the only blood family I have left, and ferrouswheel, who is my chosen life partner and whose PhD hangs on our wall and inspires me every time I walk past.

I want to invite all my tribe, but I can't. So I reckon there should be some other sort of celebration in which I let everyone know how much I appreciate their presence in my life. But I'm not sure what to do. Thoughts?


Well that got sloppy. But.. I want to make it clear how big a deal this is for me. I didn't think it would be when I started, I was all "I just want people to listen to me" but by the end it had turned into something else, and it's been such a hard slog with so many things having happened while I've been studying that it feels like it's become a major life event. And I'm fully aware that it's just a degree, god.. but, um, actually, it's not just a degree. It's a big fuck you to all those people from *points* back there, that tried to make me nothing. It's tangible proof, basically, that they were wrong, and that the best form of revenge is a life lived well. Partly it's the degree and partly it's the people that have surrounded the getting of the degree, but as a whole it's a symbol that demonstrates how completely I've escaped that life. I am not that person any more, and quite possibly never was.

So yeah, it is a big deal.

* Functions in programming: If the loop part of a program is like a recipe (say for cooking a roast), and the first part of the recipe says KillSheep, defining the function KillSheep is a set of instructions on how to kill a sheep. Simple, really. *cough*

Comments:

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From:pombagira
Date:April 3rd, 2013 09:28 pm (UTC)
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Woohoo...!! you know your degree comes on a goatskin parchment right? kinda sheepish.. *grins*

also

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From:tatjna
Date:April 3rd, 2013 09:32 pm (UTC)
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Is that actually true? Because if it is, I'm totally throwing up my goats.

<3
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From:pombagira
Date:April 3rd, 2013 09:41 pm (UTC)
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you can apply for a 'vegetarian' alternative, but yes the certificates, well mine is a goat skin parchment.. guaranteed to last for 100 years. *ponders this*...

:)
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From:tatjna
Date:April 3rd, 2013 09:46 pm (UTC)
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That is... vaguely disturbing but kind of cool at the same time.
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From:t_c_da
Date:April 3rd, 2013 09:41 pm (UTC)
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when I started, I was all "I just want people to listen to me"

I think it's fair to say that you've achieved that much, at least... Check recent posts about that lecture series you attended and your comments and feedback relating to the subject material.

Well done you!

[/sends out for marching band and pompom girls] - oh, you don't want that? sorry!

from one of the lurkers in the cheap seats, who baled out of Uni before he got thrown out of a BSc for failing too often...
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From:bekitty
Date:April 3rd, 2013 09:51 pm (UTC)
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[/sends out for hookers and blow instead] ;)
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From:bekitty
Date:April 3rd, 2013 09:55 pm (UTC)
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Okay, so your birthday is on May 1st, and your graduation is on May 15th? Split the difference and have a celebration midway between the two dates. The 10th (Friday) or 11th maybe?

Of course, the other important issue is when rivet is here. Because we can't have a party without her, can we? :)
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From:rivet
Date:April 5th, 2013 08:28 am (UTC)
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Kind of you to think of me :)
I don't get my cast off til 9 May, and I suspect I won't be doing any immediate travelling thereafter, until I get the hang of walking again...
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From:tatjna
Date:April 3rd, 2013 10:01 pm (UTC)
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That would only work for DOGTUCKER. For ROAST, you want:

if ( !flock.empty() ) { flock.prime->kill(); }

And then you'd have to define a whole bunch more functions to work out which one's the prime-est, because variables.
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From:rivet
Date:April 3rd, 2013 10:16 pm (UTC)
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I am all for roasting the person with the most dismissive attitude. And replacing them with enthusiastic, compassionate, (but not uncritical) support. Which seems to work well, as evidenced by Tatjna's resounding success :)
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From:tatjna
Date:April 4th, 2013 12:07 am (UTC)
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I have been trying for a while to write a smartarse code-type response for this, but I've no idea how to introduce a new object from outside the flock.

Oh how sadly apt.
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From:anna_en_route
Date:April 3rd, 2013 11:43 pm (UTC)
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Congratulations (again) and it really is a big deal.

I think I'll be attending(in a totally non-stalkery way). My partner's getting his PHD (and I think he winds up stuck on stage for the rest of the ceeremony which he is *not* looking forward to).
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From:meathiel
Date:April 4th, 2013 07:09 am (UTC)
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Woot ... congrats! Well done you ...
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From:tatjna
Date:April 4th, 2013 09:35 pm (UTC)
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Thank you! ;-)
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From:kehleyr
Date:April 4th, 2013 11:19 pm (UTC)
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Yay congrats :-D
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From:goffburd
Date:April 6th, 2013 11:53 pm (UTC)
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That's really lovely actually. Firstly, congratulations!

Your mum and dad sound like amazing people. I'm sorry that they're not here to see you graduate. Bet they'd be proud of you (well, duh).

...and bollocks to all those people 'back there'!
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