Friday, June 23, 2006

23 June 2006: Graduand

It's barely noticeable from up here in Bay 10 how many, or few, students are around on campus.

Normally the only way to tell is to visit the shop at lunchtime, or visit the gym in the afternoon. Or, of course, look at the calendar and notice how many labs I'm down to teach. And since the end of semester two and associated exams, it's been pretty quiet.

Except just now, when I went downstairs for a quick breath of pollen-filled air, and discovered to my surprise many people milling around in the Zepler foyer. I mean, a lot. Reason? Final degree results posted up on the boards (well, most of them: I noticed a few whited-out names of people presumably on the move from one classification to another due to vivas). All very nice, although notably different to the way I received my Bachelor's degree results across the road in the Murray Building. There we had to wade through boxes and boxes of envelopes (not sure how many hundred results in all), checking each one to see if our name was on the front, passing handfuls of non-us envelopes on to the next desperate-looking person. It was hit-and-miss - some people found theirs very quickly, I was there for a good 27 minutes trying to get hold of mine. When I did, it was nice to open it and see the 2.1 I already knew I was getting (it's hard to get anything else in the Politics dept. when your highest mark is 66% and your lowest is 64%) and there was general excitement all around, particularly as borderline students discovered which side of their marks The Line had been drawn.

But back to today, and the reason for this making me rather more interested than I usually am in the undergrad results: this year, the first of 'my' students were the graduands in question.

I began helping out with programming and databases for ITO a couple of years ago, back when these graduates were fresh-faced babies who knew little about Visual Basic (they still know little, except the one golden rule: don't use it). Since then I've helped two further years of students through the fun and excitement of branches, loops and event handling, but it's always been fun to stay up to date with the first bunch of them, hearing about their projects, their frustrations with the course, their hopes and jobs to come. And now they're graduands, looking forward to putting on silly clothes to impress the Vice-Chancellor and their parents, and heading out into the big wide world of non-Visual-Basic professions.

And I know it's not much, but a day like today makes me feel the tiniest bit proud of them.

No comments: