I went down to the student print shop, where I’d sent my thesis to be bound. One final hard-bound copy, to be delivered to the University library.
I was only stopping by to pay for the thesis. The place binds it and then takes care of the delivery, so you don’t have to worry about it.
Still, I did just have to ask…
‘Could I just, like, hold it?...’
Four years of work, and forty-odd pounds to produce the library copy, I would kind of like to at least run my hands over the shiny hardback covers.
It was first thing in the morning and the person I had been emailed the thesis to was not there. The guy scratched his head, looked around, checked some shelves, picked up a few theses, in their crisp, fresh binding; looked at them, put them down.
‘No, sorry,’ he said. ‘Can’t find it.’
‘That’s OK’, I said. And I left without ever seeing the finished thesis. I felt a little cheated.
But it’s OK, because the following day I Graduated. I pranced around in a colourful, medievalesque gown. I smiled all day and posed for many photos. By the evening I had lost my voice; probably something to do with screaming with delight throughout the day. Had to resort to mime throughout dinner to express my feelings (which wasn’t hard, given that the main answer to everything was ‘yes, I don’t care, I’m deliriously happy’.)