Graduation Day Edition

The day is finally here, guys! Today is my Graduation Day!!!

This morning my diploma and transcript finally arrived and it feels so surreal to hold it in my hands. I’ve been doing a happy dance all morning, though opening a DHL letter at work is a bit less glamorous than attending an actual cap and gown graduation ceremony.

I knew last week that I’d graduate summa cum laude, but I found out today I also made the Dean’s List with a final GPA of 3.97.

Now, Germany doesn’t use the GPA system, so that number does not mean anything here, but converting it to the German system (where 1.0 is the very best grade and 6.0 is the worst, with 4.0  a fail) it works out at 1.09!

That’s right. It’s a very narrow margin, but I made it with a 1.0!!! I didn’t even have grades like these in primary school!

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Since I handed in my thesis in September, a few friends, neighbours, relatives and colleagues have given me small graduation gifts with instructions to only open them when I had my diploma. So today I did.

Next to 2 bottles of my favourite red wine (Gallo Summer Red), I got copies of Dr Seuss’ Oh, the places you’ll go, Tim Winton’s Eyrie, and Dirt Music, a collection of Australian Short Stories and a guide to Australian Language and Culture, a personal library kit, a Raydori in London Red, a kangaroo necklace pendant, a copy of the DVD The Graduate, a sticky calendar and write-on planner/mouse pad, Literary Listography, Australian map puzzle as fridge magnets, tea tree oil, Australian tea and the obligatory Graduate rubber duck.

I love them! And this also finally explain a couple of weird questions I have been asked. I also love the “Quintessentially Australian” items one of my friends got me including the tea and tea tree oil.

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I still can’t believe that this regular Monday at work is actually my Graduation Day. Because my mother can’t be trusted with a camera to take a decent picture to mark the occasion, I’m reduced to a Graduation Selfie. Ah well.

Now that that’s done, I’ll be cracking open one of those bottles of wine. Tonight I fully intend to celebrate my result. I worked my butt off for those grades. Tomorrow I’ll once again be looking for a new job and possible PhD programmes. But for now, I’m enjoying being a graduate.

 

Cin cin!

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#WeekendCoffeeShare: If We Were Having Coffee… On April 17

Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a blog hop by the lovely Diana over at Part Time Monster. Every weekend we get together for virtual coffees and a little casual chat.

If we were having coffee today, we’d sit outside in the sunshine to enjoy our drinks and we’d talk about all things books-related.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that the first few books for my M.A. thesis arrived. I’ll be writing about cultural concepts in Australian Literature and because I study Cross-Cultural Communication by distance learning I do not have access to a university library. I need a total of 12~14 novels to look at, three to four each for aboriginal authors, settlers/convicts, visiting authors and “born Australians” for lack of a better term at the moment.

For indigenous authors, I’ll be looking at Mullumbimby by Melissa Lucashenko, My Place by Sally Morgan, Carpentaria by Alexis Wright and Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington.  For literature by and about early settlers and convicts, I’ve got For the term of his natural life by Marcus Clarke, Letters from an Exile at Botany Bay by Thomas Watling, While the Billy boils by Henry Lawson and the poem A Convict’s Tour to Hell by Francis McNamara. As for visiting authors, I’ll be looking at Down Under / In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson, The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin and Kangaroo by D.H. Lawrence.

Just contemporary authors are hard to narrow down. I have not decided yet, as all of these sound good and should give me a good variety of stories that deal with how characters and authors view and use the land. So if you know any of these books and could recommend it, I’d love to hear it! Eucalyptus by Murray Bail, That Deadman Dance by Kim Scott, True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey, The Tree of Man by Patrick White, Voss by Patrick White, We of the Never Never by Mrs. Aeneas Gunn, Happy Valley by Patrick White, Gould’s Book of Fish by Richard Flanagan, Cloudstreet by Tim Winton, Journey to the Stone Country by Alex Miller, It’s Raining in Mango by Thea Astley, The Shiralee by D’Arcy Niland, Capricornia by Xavier Herbert, The Lucky Country by Donald Horne, The Sundowners by Jon Cleary, and  So Far From Skye by Judith O’Neill.

I get the funny feeling I should at least have Patrick White in there, as he is a Nobel Prize for Literature winner and the only author on the list I have read before. What do you think?

But I also got quite a few text books as well. Some I ordered second hand from Amazon, some I found as eBooks and in online libraries as downloads. But there were some I just could not find, or when I did they cost €80 used and I don’t have that money lying around. My sister is a student too (on an actual, local campus), and from a list of 13 books she’s been able to get me 7 from her library! Result! So now I’m going through them and start to write my bibliography, so that I’ve got all the details and later just need to sort out the books I didn’t end up using.

If we were having coffee today, we’d talk about the A to Z Challenge. Unfortunately, some personal issues and overtime at work have reduced my writing time this week. I am, however, still participating and trying to catch up.

That’s pretty much it from me for this week. Check out the other Weekend Coffee Sharers as well! Thank you for having coffee with me! Same time, next week?