Alternative Certificates and Honors for the End of the Semester

We’ve finally come to that point in the semester when we can all relax and revel in what we’ve accomplished. While we generally list these accomplishments in terms of publications, scholarships, certificates, and department awards, I suggest an additional method for gauging success in academia.

I present my list of alternative certificates. Please feel free to add your own!

Certificate:
Never letting your students see you cry

With Honors:
Letting your students see you cry in order to emotionally manipulate them

Certificate:
Staying up for more than 36 consecutive hours

With Honors:
Never staying up for more than 18 hours

Certificate:
Successfully pretending to have read something

With Honors:
Successfully pretending to have read something and to have discovered its paradigm to be inherently flawed

Certificate:
Openly admitting you don’t understand

With Honors:
Openly claiming that the socially constructed nature of knowledge calls into question our ability to truly understand anything

Certificate:
Undertaking a project out of genuine intellectual curiosity

With Honors:
Being able to fake genuine intellectual curiosity

Certificate:
Being able to answer any question

With Honors:
Being able to answer any question with another question

Jessica Bates shares her name with Debra Winger’s character’s undercover persona in the 1987 neo-noir thriller Black Widow. However, she doesn’t really recommend that movie.

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