Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Culture shock
This is the first doctorate defense ever at Volda College, and it may turn into one of the more amusing events at the Department of Media Studies. Our administrator, who received a phone call from the Faculty of Arts, University of Bergen, was told how the defense will happen. First, the dean will enter, wearing his robe and silver chain of office, followed by the candidate (me) and the opponents (Stuart Moulthrop, T. L. Taylor and Dag Elgesem)... At this point our administrator interrupts, frantically muttering about the need to have a dean's robe made up by the 12th. The lady in the other end of the phone happily relieves his worries. The Faculty of Arts will bring their own dean...

Of course, as the complexity and number of rituals dawned on our administrator, he asked carefully if routines couldn't be adjusted a little bit, to suit the less formal, more populistic nature of the District Colleges. "Oh dear no," was the reply. "There are regulations for this, and they can't be changed by the 12th!"

So our dean, who strolls through life in blue jeans and a dongeri jacket, will be representing alongside the dean from the Faculty of Arts wearing velvet robe and silver chain. How to counter that? I am also not sure where we ought to have lunch. In Bergen that's normally at some rather nice restaurant. Here we can choose between the tourist hotel and "Dirty Nelly", a semi-irish pub.

I think I may enjoy this. There will be so many absurd little details revealed before we are done (in just a little over three weeks!) that I will hardly have time to be nervous.

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