I hope you're feeling well, because congratulations, you made it. You took classes, navigated degree requirements, and some of you wrote a thesis. The registrar said you could graduate, so you picked up a cap and gown from the bookstore. Right now you've got a tassel on your cap. A word of advice: pay close attention to the instructions for that tassel. You're supposed to turn it a certain way; never turn it the opposite direction. If you do, it's like an undo button. Your degree vanishes! You have to start all over.
Here's another undocumented feature: if you turn it the correct direction and you keep turning all the way around, past a full circle, you get extra degrees! No one knows where they come from. Some people hear a strange grinding noise, but you can ignore that. Only one tassel has ever burst into flames from turning too far.

— Shomir Wilson, “Address to the Graduates at the Philosophy Department Graduation Ceremony at Virginia Tech” (pdf)


My thesis progress graph (single-spaced pages). What is that plateau?

My Defense Poem

If these shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended:
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme
No more yielding but a dream.
Gentles, do not reprehend:
If you pardon, I will mend.
Thus my thesis I defend,
For now I have come to the end.

(Deep apologies to W.S. and basically everyone involved)

Stuart Shieber's response

Didja know?

Tolkien disliked allegory.

To summarize

Twenty years of schoolin'
And they put you on the day shift
Look out kid
They keep it all hid
Better jump down a manhole
Light yourself a candle
Don't wear sandals
Try to avoid the scandals
Don't wanna be a bum
You better chew gum
The pump don't work
'Cause the vandals took the handles

Bob Dylan, "Subterranean Homesick Blues"

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