I'm just back from Massey University in Palmerston North after my final contact course for the qualification I've been plodding on with since 2005. This is (d.v.) my final paper - an Honours-level course in Macro-Micro Ergonomics, which looks at the interface between people and their equipment, workplace, work organisation, etc. Maybe it's the end-of-qualification dumps, but I've been struggling to get excited about this paper - until now. I had done the first assignment way back in April and had heard nothing, which was very frustrating, especially as one of the things we talk about in the paper is the importance of "feedback loops", so that machines and systems respond to people! Anyway, it was good to meet the other 6 people taking the paper and get to know them a bit, and to finally get back my first assignment. I did well, which also helped me get inspired to keep going!
I had a different strategy with my degrees. Victoria University had these teddy bears you could get in an academic gown, with the appropriate hood for your qualification. I got my bear when I started my BA, and Professor Bear sat on my desk for the whole three years I did that qualification, in all his academic regalia, as an inspiration of what I could do. When I started my BMin, I sewed Professor Bear a second hood (and that's pretty cunning as I am not good at sewing - BCNZ didn't do grad bears so I had to do it myself), and had him on my desk then too, along with a graduation photo from the BA. I can't have Professor Bear on my desk at work as it might be a bit unprofessional, but maybe it's time to get my GDipOSH stole for him to help inspire me to finish the thing? I don't get another hood as it's not a degree, but there is a University stole, apparently.