We Got Us a Degree

We Got Us a Degree


Earlier today I had the bizarre pleasure of joining a few thousand fellow ex-Concordia University students at Montreal’s Places-Des-Arts to celebrate our completion of various degrees. It was also a nice, too-brief reunion for a bunch of us (see above), and it was a lovely feeling to experience the outlandish tradition that is convocation together (all the university staff comes dressed sort of like a cross between a pirate, a professor, and someone from “Medieval Times”).

Anyway, it’s over now. And I was more sucked in by the sentimentality of it all than I expected. I literally had to run from the ceremony to the train station to get back to Toronto so that I could catch my bus to New York (if that makes sense), and now I’m trying to let the closure these events are intended to bring seep in so I can officially get on with the shit show that is immediately-post-graduate life.

After the jump I’ve posted the acknowledgements from my thesis that made up the majority of the degree, just because the sentimentality hasn’t worn off yet.

This’ll be – I swear – the last ever academia-related post on this blog.

I’d like to first thank the city of Montreal for being such a perfect setting for this undertaking. I’ll miss you, and I apologize for spending two years offending your official language.

Thank you to the women of Moksha Yoga Montreal for ensuring that I did not become obese during the essential hibernation of writing this thesis, as well as for introducing me to a regimen that improved my mental concentration in ways I previously mocked people for suggesting. As well, gratefulness goes to the staff of the Starbucks at St. Denis and Ontario for not kicking me out after hours of productive loitering, and for eventually all knowing exactly what I was going to order without me having to tell them. Another incidental thanks must go to the creators of The Wire, for providing me with sixty episodes of thesis distraction that actually encouraged me in its brilliance to work harder.

More importantly though, I would like to thank the many people that pushed me on this path or at least made it easier to navigate. To Michael, and to my family – Oma, Tina, Audrey, Gina, Bill, Alex and Jennifer – who are all owed a significant amount of debt for the degrees of support they have offered across my twenty years in some form of the education system. To Meagan, Thom, Lee, Brad, Shannon, and Basil, for various reasons. To Scott Rayter, Dean Behrens and especially Michael Cobb, who were shining lights of inspiration during my four years of undergrad at the University of Toronto. To Eugene, James, and Brian who, as employers, were always understanding when it came to prioritizing my academic work over whatever I was doing for them. It was also through the experiences they provided me that I gained knowledge crucial to completing this study.

The most direct, and perhaps most substantial appreciation goes to the staff and students of Concordia University. I would like to sincerely thank the members of the “Thesis Club,” Jess, Dallas, Ann, Brian, Mark and Dave, for providing me with a camaraderie I’d never known in an academic environment. I’d also like to thank Leslie Regan Shade for her constant dedication to my concerns, and for exuding a charm that kept any reservations I had about my commitment to this work at bay.

Finally, I’d like to thank my thesis committee. Thank you to Thomas Waugh, who challenged and inspired me in the work I did for him as a teaching assistant. Thank you to Chantal Nadeau, who was the guiding voice in my head when I re-read a page and wondered, “Where’s Peter?” Most of all though, thank you to Rae Staseson, who had to experience the many roadblocks of this process along with me, and dedicated herself to ensuring they were overcome. Thank you.

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it isn’t the same here without you two.


I’m not ready for closure yet. I don’t like to think of ‘the end’ because (yes, sentimentality is all up in my grill as well) thinking that my life now consists of living in Winnipeg and battling the -40 degree weather while waiting for the bus that’s always late kind of makes me want to barf.

Ho hum. Montreal has ruined me for other cities.

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