I arrived two days ago amidst freezing wind and rain in my beloved second home of Melbourne, Australia. This is my thirty-something-ith trip to Melbourne since I began working here 19 years ago. My love for Melbourne is only second to that of New York City. I cherish my long-time friendships and the remarkable work I’ve been able to do.
I’m enjoying the great honor (honour as they would say here) of being the “Visiting Scholar” at Trinity College of The University of Melbourne. I have a large old flat, complete with library and art collection in the college and will experience many of the traditions including the wearing of an academic gown to “high table” and leading “tutes” with students. I’ll also lead a fireside chat on September 2nd. The topic will be “The Education Revolution?” (Aussies know what the title means in the current political climate here)
Tonight, I will participate in the formal graduation ceremony where I will receive the testamur for my Ph.D. and get a really good poofy hat. In fact, according to the rules sent to me, I shall expect much bowing and doffing of my bonnet. I finished my Ph.D. several years ago, but have remained a GRADUAND (a word I thought was a typo until googling it). I’m finally able to attend the festivities and enjoy the punch and cookies.
Since I am no stranger to humiliation, I will post a photo of the poofy hat as soon as I have possession of said bonnet.
I wish my parents and family were here to share this special milestone.
Veteran educator Gary Stager, Ph.D. is co-author of Invent To Learn — Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom, publisher at Constructing Modern Knowledge Press, and the founder of the Constructing Modern Knowledge summer institute. He led professional development in the world’s first 1:1 laptop schools thirty years ago and designed one of the oldest online graduate school programs. Gary is also the curator of The Seymour Papert archives at DailyPapert.com. Learn more about Gary here.