“You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world.”

– Attributed to Tom Brokaw
As my regular readers would be aware, I completed my four year initial teacher degree last year, and did so with substantial academic success. Graduating with Honours Class I, the Education Faculty Medal and a GPA over six is something I am rather proud of achieving. This afternoon I received a phone call from the Graduation Office, asking if I was planning on attending my graduation ceremony in July this year.
I indicated that I was, and the person with whom I was speaking followed up with anther question.
“You’ve been recommended to be the Graduate Speaker, is that something you would be interested in undertaking.”
Certainly not an honour I was expecting, and I have accepted the offer to undertake this prestigious job.
If someone told past-Brendan that he would achieve everything current-Brendan has achieved, past-Brendan would have laughed uproariously.
Now to write the speech!

Celebrating Excellence

“Thank you for life, and all the little ups and downs that make it worth living.”
-Attributed to Travis Barker

A nice short one today. I wrote a while ago that I had received a surprise e-mail advising me that I had been awarded a Faculty Medal due to my academic results. The awards night was on Thursday night at Merewether Surf House, Newcastle, and saw fifteen of the University of Newcastle’s 2014 Semester Two Faculty Medalists in attendance to be presented with their medals (there were five people who were unable to be there).

It was a great night, an excellent venue, and a good chance to catch up with my Honours Supervisor, to meet the Head of the School of Education and the University Pro-Vice Chancellor, and an excuse to suit up.


It turns out that not only did we need to earn Class I Honours to be awarded the Faculty Medal, we also needed to have a GPA over the course of our undergraduate degree of 6.0 or higher. Congratulations to the other medalists, and a thank you to my wife for her continual support as I pursue this goal to be a great teacher.

Celebration time!

“Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.”
-Paulo Coelho. The Devil and Miss Prym

When I enrolled to undertake the Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) / Bachelor of Arts degree through the University of Newcastle, it was with the certainty that yes, THIS, is what I want to be doing for the remainder of my working life. Accordingly, knowing that this was what I wanted to be doing gave me a drive and focus that I had never possessed throughout my primary or secondary education.

I pushed hard throughout my degree, other than the first semester where I floundered a little, getting used to having to utilise my brain after ten years of not using it, and came out at the other end with Honours Class I.

This evening, whilst doing some grocery shopping with my wife, I decided to check my e-mails while my wife was bagging up some mushrooms and discovered an e-mail from the university letting me know that I had been awarded the Faculty Medal. I’m absolutely chuffed to have received this award, and it comes on the back of an amazing few weeks.


I almost feel like breaking into a dance à la Christopher Walken.