Every Reason to Smile.

A brief note to tell the interested that I finally received my dissertation mark from the old boys in the department. It was a very good grade – (75) the equivalent of a British ‘A’ – and that nets me a Distinction to go along with my degree. After a brief chat with Alex this past week, we’re going to set up a lunch with both internal supervisors and the curator of the National Museum of Scotland to talk about future engagements should I decide to come back and continue on. While it seems customary to suggest revision and publication for most students’ papers, I was told there really is a place for my work in the field that I’ve chosen. That, regardless of any type of grade I could hope for, is what I very much needed to hear. It means that I’m on the right track, and that this year was a success.

Academic progress is really the mildest part of it, however. My true delight and richness this year came from the experiences and relationships that I found in this great, green country. I’m blessed, and tonight, I’m depressed about leaving them. A good number of the gang are down the street right now at a neighbourhood club, which is the last one on before I go. I’ve always thought it was so keen to just walk a few blocks to the massive, Georgian edifice that serves as the local darkwave club.


I love how I could just hobble down the way and find many of my favourite people all there, with smiles and drinks and glitz. Or at the pub having a laugh, or the café, or the park. I’m so in love with this little village, and so proud to be a part of it. I love those people, dancing away right this very minute. I love the uni chums who took the time to join me in our academic ventures and adventures. I can’t wait to see some of them in future print, and I know the only reason I’m sane right now is because of their counsel and their conversation.

Tonight was spent in Glasgow, where this wee journey began. It was a despondent-toned mission just a train ride away, as I start to say goodbye to some of the people that really made this time special. I was treated to a lovely meal in the cellar of a West-End establishment, buried beneath the ever-criss-crossing university lanes. The Argyll Hotel, above Sutherland’s Restaurant. Get it? Argyll and Sutherland? That’s the 91st/93rd Highland Regiment. Of course it is.

We drank, and we talked, and we laughed. Wedding pictures, future plans, and great thanks for being my family far removed. And that’s a few more down, sadly. My soul-brother Kieran was earlier today. Some of you will be later this week, and more next weekend. I feel my heart slipping away just a little bit. But it gives me great reassurance and fortitude to say definitively that I’ll be coming back. It might make some of you run away screaming. And nothing could make me happier.

I can’t wait to go home and see my dearest friends, just a short time from now. To engage in plans, and to get some good things done, and to get my non-academic life back in order. And then I can’t wait to come back here, and see my newest friends once again. Either way I can’t lose, and I am some lucky bastard. Tonight, though, I’m just going to sit with it for a while, and let the beautiful people do the dancing.

35 Responses to “Every Reason to Smile.”

  1. angledge Says:
    October 2nd, 2004 at 12:10 pm

    Just seeing a photo of the Teviot lumps my heart up in my throat.
    But it won't go away in the little time you're elsewhere. When you come back, Edinburgh will be waiting for you. Just like San Francisco is waiting for you now.

  2. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 2nd, 2004 at 8:21 pm

    How much do I appreciate you, and in how many ways?

  3. thistlelurid Says:
    October 2nd, 2004 at 1:09 pm

    congrads on the kudos for your paper and all your hard work!!!
    National Museum of Scotland…holy cow!

  4. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 2nd, 2004 at 8:22 pm

    No cows in the Museum, but maybe a future opportunity…
    Thanks for your accolades!

  5. agntprovocateur Says:
    October 2nd, 2004 at 3:00 pm

    what a great way to end the year…. good marks and recognition.
    See you soon! we have a lot of back slapping to catch up on!

  6. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 2nd, 2004 at 8:23 pm

    So soon, so soon.

  7. agntprovocateur Says:
    October 3rd, 2004 at 5:24 am

    waiting….. waiting…..

  8. rachel_eurydice Says:
    October 2nd, 2004 at 3:50 pm

    Yay! Glad your hard work was rewarded so well. That must feel spiffy as hell.
    Glad things are ending on a positive note there–hope it continues!

  9. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 2nd, 2004 at 8:23 pm

    Spiffy, indeed. Another flash in the pan, and onward to another life. Thank you for your kind words.

  10. pisica Says:
    October 2nd, 2004 at 7:25 pm

    Congrats! 75! Wow!!!

  11. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 2nd, 2004 at 8:24 pm

    You ever doubted me?
    Thanks for your congratulations, and very much.

  12. fragiletender Says:
    October 2nd, 2004 at 7:46 pm

    That's fantastic – well done, it's so great that all your hard work paid off.

  13. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 2nd, 2004 at 8:27 pm

    Hey, thanks! Now we get to see if it *really* pays off…
    Ah, the life of a poor academic. But at least there'll be lots of bright, young people around to keep me…invigorated.

  14. shawree Says:
    October 2nd, 2004 at 11:11 pm

    I like the way you look at things. It's good to see some people actually enjoy their lives and don't moan all the time. On that note, I'll spend the rest of my weekend thinking very much along the same lines as you – here's to the lucky bastards!

  15. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 3rd, 2004 at 7:45 am

    I really appreciate you saying this, and am glad that you feel similarly. A raised glass is certainly in order!
    Here Here!

  16. Anonymous Says:
    October 3rd, 2004 at 2:42 am

    no doubt…
    There was never a doubt in our minds that you would take what you love and make it into something wonderful. Congrats on the high mark and finishing your MASTERS with distinction!!! *SO* looking forward to seeing you in less than two weeks. We have many hugs and head-butts to catch up on…
    C and T

  17. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 3rd, 2004 at 7:49 am

    Re: no doubt…
    It's going to be a time warp, to be sure, back at the ol' homestead. Looking very forward to seeing you and Torgs, now right around the corner. Thank you earnestly for your support and kind words.

  18. vegasjohnny Says:
    October 3rd, 2004 at 3:59 am

    Congratulations on the sterling application of your grey matter, sir. You do the foggy Bay Area proud.

  19. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 3rd, 2004 at 7:47 am

    And I've left some of that matter crusted behind local standing stones, cairns, and brochs. Saving for later, you know.
    Thanks, Johnny. Can't wait to see you.

  20. evilfb Says:
    October 3rd, 2004 at 5:52 am

    I knew you would do well.
    With your love for the subject how could you not get high marks.
    Looking forward to opening a bottle with you my friend.

  21. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 3rd, 2004 at 7:47 am

    Re: I knew you would do well.
    Thanks so much, Bob. That bottle is one of the very first things I'll look forward to.

  22. bellacrow Says:
    October 3rd, 2004 at 8:59 am

    you know, congratulations not just on your brain, but your dedication and focus to your goals.

  23. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 4th, 2004 at 8:39 am

    I think if we give my brain any real congratulations, it might seep out of my ear during the night and get pissed at the local establishment.
    Thanks for the kind words, and for popping in to say Hi!

  24. podle Says:
    October 3rd, 2004 at 3:15 pm

    Mucho congratulations on your (I am sure) deservedly high marks. And even bigger warm congratulations on being smart enough to know that you're a lucky bastard.

  25. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 4th, 2004 at 8:40 am

    Thank you, dear.
    To the Bastards!

  26. dougygyro Says:
    October 4th, 2004 at 12:06 am

    Congrats on the high marks! And you see, it's not just me that wants to see your papers in print!
    Yeah, and I saw the A/SH joke a mile away. I guess that shows just how much of a geek I am…

  27. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 4th, 2004 at 8:41 am

    Yes, you're a geek. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
    Thanks for the support, all along the way!

  28. Anonymous Says:
    October 4th, 2004 at 2:11 pm

    Every Reason to Smile.
    Yay!!!!! Congratulations on the dissertation *and* the Distinction, both well deserved! But you are far too modest:
    "Another flash in the pan, and onward to another life."
    A flash in the pan is exactly what it is not, scholar. Yer marked for life as a Serious Academic What Knows. (That's what those little white seagulls say: SAWK! SAWK! So now when you hear them you'll know they're saluting your achievement. They say it in San Francisco too….)
    I'm **so** glad you'll be back here soon. You can critique my scones with your expert knowledge, right? 🙂

  29. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 5th, 2004 at 9:43 am

    Re: Every Reason to Smile.
    Oh, Kirsty – you're so sweet. I'm not a scholar yet, as I don't feel that I do this for a living. It's still simply an enticement and a passion. I'm on my way to a real contribution, but until I actually make it, I must retain an awareness that I'm still simply a student. And I have no problem with that status. In fact, it males me very happy.
    But I'm glad you listen to the gulls, too. They're invading Inverness, you know. Perhaps it's the ghosts of the boys from Culloden…

  30. dichroicynosure Says:
    October 5th, 2004 at 2:45 am

    Wow! What brilliant news about your paper! What a relief and blessing. How rewarding to know your effort was worth it. You have ınspıred me to push ahead with my own work…I need to get on the ball here!!

  31. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 5th, 2004 at 9:40 am

    Thank you, love. The effort was surely worth it, and it's pleasing to have a good result. The lure to continue is there, of course, based on this acceptance.
    Your own work takes a second seat to getting yourself sorted and comfortable in a new, exotically disorienting environment…but it's not long until you jump right back on it, of course. How will being in the Bosphorous affect your connection with Nordic studies?

  32. sharck Says:
    October 5th, 2004 at 6:19 am

    Ack a 75!!
    That's soooo good!! Congratulations! The best paper I have ever written got the comment "This is an excellent paper" and the stingy English bastard still only gave me a 70.
    See you soon!!

  33. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 5th, 2004 at 9:36 am

    Re: Ack a 75!!
    Good to hear from you, Rache. Well, the grade is surely reflected in the difference in quality between Stirling and Edinburgh universities, don't you think? I mean, at least you guys have a *real* college campus. We've just got a maze of grotty buildings.

  34. yatzabella Says:
    October 7th, 2004 at 6:46 pm

    I'm so happy about your passing marks. Not that anyone had any doubts but still…YEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAA! I'm being the goof and doing the funky happy dance since I know you're too cool to.
    We're all so proud of your determination and success, but you know we have to kill you now. We don't like to be threatened by intelligent accomplished individuals. Prepare to defend yourself once you've returned…

  35. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 7th, 2004 at 7:14 pm

    Oh, sweets – I am SO NOT too cool to do the Geek Dance. You should have seen me on the cobbles. I swear I almost tripped and died. Then where would I be?
    Well, dead, and in Scotland with a master's degree. Wonderful.
    Thank you very, very much for these lovely words. Please don't kill me. I'd like to see what else I can do, first. Then we'll talk more about it.

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