The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.
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7:02pm on Tuesday, 15th July, 2014:
It was degree congregation day today, so I went to see my students graduate. Well, see them after they'd graduated — the ceremony itself drags on a bit and the room gets stiflingly hot. I ambushed them in the line to pick up their certificates instead.
Because I arrived while the ceremony was still ongoing, I went to check my post. I was not expecting to find this waiting for me:
I don't know when the last time I got a card from my students was. I'm not entirely sure I have had a card from my students before, although I do remember once getting a bottle of Metaxa from one in the 1980s (which my wife had in her coffee). Anyway, this card was from four of my students who got on to the Alacrity programme in Falmouth. This is like an incubator set-up linked to a Master's degree, so they get paid to make games and they get a company and an MSc or something at the end of it. No wonder they're pleased...! Apparently, what we taught them at Essex is actually useful for what they're doing and they're each heading up their various groups. This came as something of a pleasant surprised to me. We teach good stuff? Who knew..?
At least half of the Essex University Computer Games graduates this year have gone on to do a Master's somewhere. The others seem to have jobs withoit the need for a Master's, although not all in games. I'm not sure about the Romanian contingent, though, as I didn't get to speak to them; I saw one, but I lost him in the crowd.
It's always gratifying to see my students graduate. We only have them for three years, during which they somehow grow up with no help from us and turn into adults. They go on to jobs or postgraduate degrees with no help from us, too, although we're happy to take the credit for it (our department's graduate employment stats are the best in the university by far).
I won't embarrass the students who gave me the card by scanning the inside of it. However, I will say what I say to all students who want to thank me: it wasn't me, it was you. You studied, you passed your exams, you got your job or postgraduate slot. I might have been a catalyst, but then so might your fellow students. That's why you get the degree certificate, not me.
Or, if you're next year's students and you don't make a better showing at my lectures than you did this year, why you didn't get the degree certificate...
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