Next time I have to make a big decision, this is the coin I'm flipping
Next time I have to make a big decision, this is the coin I'm flipping

This is apparently my year for trophies. As if the Lent scholarship plaque weren't enough, I was also awarded a gold medal in grad studenting—more specifically, the Governor General's Gold Medal.

The criteria for this award are actually a little mysterious to me. I'm told it recognizes my achievement as one of SFU's "most outstanding graduate students"—whatever that means. SFU's materials suggest it is awarded for academic standing, though there was also a competitive nomination process so it's a bit more involved that just comparing GPAs.

Anyway, it's obviously very nice to be recognized. Thank you to the Dean of Graduate Studies at SFU and the adjudication committee(s). I am especially grateful to my supervisor, Gary McCarron, for nominating me. The medal was awarded in absentia at the June convocation ceremony, as I was at the wrong end of the country at the time.

Gladys We at the Dean's office wrote up two very nice profiles for the DGS blog and SFU News. Approving photos and quotes for them gave me a little taste of what it's like to have a publicist in your corner. Thanks, Gladys!

Last time I'll make this joke, I swear.
Last time I'll make this joke, I swear.

And during a brief layover on the way back from Congress, I was interviewed by Rachel Braeuer from SFU's student newspaper, The Peak, about my work, my experience at SFU, and the medal. We talked for half an hour or so, punctuated occasionally by someone loudly dragging tables into alignment nearby. The feature profile is up now on The Peak website.

Unfortunately, Rachel's original plan to get me in academic regalia and a NES Buckle couldn't happen because (1) I wasn't going to be at convocation and (2) my NES Buckle was at home in Toronto. As a plan B, she suggested a cartoon playing up the Doctor Woo / Doctor Who gag, which meant that I came out of retirement as a student-newspaper cartoonist to illustrate my own feature.

☛ An Open Letter to Young Freelancers

Gone West: ICAF and Congress 2013