Dr Constanza Tolosa, Dr Anne Moir Scott and Associate Professor Martin East
I almost chose not to participate in the formal graduation ceremony because it was the last week of a busy school term and a family member’s birthday, but I am so glad now that I did. It was a singular honour to be bedecked, corralled, processed and capped at a ceremony that was one of four held that day in the Aotea Centre and included 6,000 Arts, Law and Education graduates, the biggest cohort ever, we were told. The tradition, pomp and ceremony was surprisingly moving. Yes, I am glad I made the effort. The nearly three hours sped by and afterwards it was a privilege to be photographed with my two wonderful supervisors of the past five years.
Since my doctoral confirmation, I have been trying to get used to the title. Students and colleagues alike have suggested I get my name badge changed from Mrs to Dr. The awkwardness, almost embarrassed shyness, regarding doing so reminds me of becoming a Mrs in the first place. It took a while to get used to. Maybe next year…
Yet, despite the title, essentially, not much has changed. I returned my hired regalia and I returned to my students and my classroom. Even so, within days of the graduation ceremony two invitations arrived in my inbox: participation in a panel discussion for students embarking on the same journey I have just completed, and guest lecturer for a class of students about to qualify to teach. Both an honour.
These things, the celebration, the title, the honour, they are all good, but they are not enough for me. I am longing to share what I have learned on this long journey in a way that makes a mark, that adds knowledge to my field of expertise and affects practice. Now that takes real dedication and commitment.
It is now time to put shoulder to wheel and get writing!