It’s been a very long time since I put anything here – as I was reminded today by one of our graduating students. So I’ll start with another tribute to graduation day, about which I’ve written before. Graduation is an emotionally overdetermined occasion – which means, inter alia, that embarrassment is a constantly present possibility and that it never feels as if everything has been said or done that should have been said or done. I love it. I love the simultaneous sense of achievement and possibility, ending and beginning. I love being able to applaud each student individually (though it hurts your hands after a while). And on this particular graduation day, I was also enthusiastic about the speech – which listed among the benefits of a university education, not only a love of knowledge, but the ability to recognise and acknowledge what you don’t know.

Oh, and if any former students are reading this – we actually mean it when we say we want you to keep in touch. Of course usually you’ve got better things to do. But if students never get back in touch, the ‘beginning’ aspect of graduation remains a cliff-hanger – so what happened next?


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