Bear Balancing, Flags and Fake Fireworks

Posted on 27/09/2011 by


So far Operation: Graduate Arkem is going well. For one thing, he graduated. For another, we haven’t accidentally killed him yet. So I think that’s congratulations all round.

Caris and I helped him achieve said lofty goal and refrained from tripping him in the crowd or pushing him under vehicles. We took pictures (including his inaugural experiments into bear balancing). Waved the officially sanctioned Arkem flag. And provided sotto voce commentary to the proceedings.

Flag that reads 'Arkem' and includes the Carpe Brewski style Alpha Beta Gamma logo as drawn by thereisthisgap

We studied the procession of wizards that wandered into the auditorium. Red, Yellow, Green, oh my! And concluded finally that the musketeers were the university council and the ones that looked like fashion roadkill were the doctoral candidates.*

We cheered extra loud for Arkem (of course), for the librarians graduating (Caris’ discipline), and for the Mechatronics Engineers (all two of them). I didn’t even know ECU had an engineering department. We pondered whether the occasional speaker’s honorary doctorate was a bribe to get them to speak. Especially when we discovered it was her fifth. One is cool. Five just seems excessive. I mean, which robes do you wear?

There was a musical interlude. Jazz interpretation of My Fair Lady songs? And then Vice Chancellor Kerry Cox offered his advice to the graduates. Wear sunscreen! About cups of tea. He complimented the Chancellor. The Chancellor is brilliant, wonderful… AND has the ability to gracefully doff his hat 1100 times in a single day.** He exhorted the graduates to embody ECU’s values: integrity, respect, rational inquiry, personal excellence… Punctuality! Hygiene! There were pseudo fireworks. Confetti falling from the ceiling is not the same!

Then we went to the Moon.*** And drank Smurfs! Which they blended for us! And then it rained and Arkem had to remove his fancy hat, thus signifying the end of the festival of graduation.


* The robes I would eventually wear were not actually a part of my decision making process in choosing which university to attend for my doctorate, but if I’d known about these they would have been. Curtin’s made me look like I’d wandered over from Oxford or Cambridge somehow, and the hat was a bit goofy but they didn’t have the effect of making people think a palette of primary colours had thrown up on me. So definitely a win there.

** We were already impressed by the fact that he doffed it with the same flair, exactitude and depth of bow for each graduate who saluted him. We were a little concerned he might develop some sort of RSI.

*** Where it’s dark and loud and the clocks go backwards. Just the sort of place to make you contemplate the direction your life is going and taking steps into a brave new world. Or… you know, whatever it is you think about when you graduate. No more exams for me, ha! No more exams for you, ha!


Posted in: Kandace