Awarded my dictionary

As distant and improbable as it seemed at times, at tonight’s Convocation High Table I was given the dictionary traditionally awarded by Massey College to PhD graduates:

Photo by Chantal Phillips

This was a much more meaningful graduation for me than attending a U of T ceremony would be, and hearing the biographies of all the graduating Junior Fellows was a reminder of how many critical fights humanity is engaged in right now, and how it will take the best from all of us to fight our way to a successful, liveable, humane future for the world.

Early tomorrow I am off for back-to-back-to-back trips: first to visit our dear friends in Ottawa; then for a couple of days of quiet and reading at a dairy farm in Cambridge, Ontario; and then straight out on my first camping trip in many years.

After that, my full-time job will become finding a new affordable place to live in Toronto. Finding inexpensive accommodation is actually more urgent and important than finding an OK job. Per George Monbiot’s tough but invaluable career advice, financial security really comes from minimizing your expenses, not maximizing your income. The cheaper you can live, the freer you are to work on what is important and bring everything you can to the fight.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

5 thoughts on “Awarded my dictionary”

  1. The Massey College celebration was one of the highlights of my life. It honored unusual and bright minds and among these is our son Milan. His journey has indeed been an unusual one, but his keen mind and integrity have brought change in the world and I have no doubt that he will continue to do so in the future. Bravo Milan and all the other distinguished laureates.

  2. Congratulations Milan

    So special for you to have your effort and success honoured at Massey College during such a special evening. You have work so hard and long to reach this recognition.

    I wish you continued purpose and success as you go forward.

  3. Congratulations Milan! You worked so hard for this & made a valuable contribution to the field. I am so impressed by your perseverance and rigour throughout your PhD. I’m so happy to hear that your trips (Ottawa, Cambridge and the camping trip) were successful and reviving. Best wishes on your career explorations; you will make an amazing addition to a team & do meaningful work.

  4. That’s a really cool tradition. Is it a locally made dictionary? I recall you giving me a tour of the Hall and there was an in-house printing shop.

    I feel the same way about my university graduations. I felt little connection to the people around me. The best celebrations usually come in a more intimate format and setting. Massey represents a beautiful period of your life and I expect that your post-doctorate transition will be the beginning of a new adventure. Congratulations Milan.

    Also, “financial security really comes from minimizing your expenses, not maximizing your income.” Wise words to live by.

  5. Thank you all for your kind comments. It’s great to see some interaction here, as the site often feels like a ghost town where I just add new items to my subject-specific databases.

    The convocation high table was an ideal capper to the PhD, and attending it with Mom, Katrina, and Professor Vipond was the ideal set to appreciate it.

    The college has posted the introductions which dictionary recipients self-provided, which may not have been what their presenters said. In my case, I don’t think Professor Vipond used any verbatim.

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