An Educated Man

An Educated Man

At 1345 hours On Tuesday 11th July in the Great Hall at the University of Birmingham Mark Whitby aka Twitters will make the short walk to the stage where he will receive his due reward – the result of four years hard graft at the Birmingham University. He will then be able to place MEng after his name. We have an introduction by Kirsty Rollings, and a poem from Barry Edge. Both acknowledge Mark’s success.


Ladies & gentlemen, girls and boys: for the past 9 years many of us have gone through the emotional roller coaster that has been Mr Mark Whitby and his Birmingham University ‘Degree. Many of us feel as though we’ve actually taken the ‘Degree ourselves – from the techno language that twitters so often uses, to the hectic social life that extends from chess tournaments to recreational statistical analysis. We’ve even been there to take the buff from his love life that was once very rocky – which is now settled and sees him happy with the lovely Lauren.

Now the time is here: Twitters has finally achieved his ‘Degree. In fact he picked up a very commendable 2:1. So, no more hours of cantankerous bickering and nit-picking on onevalefan from a stressed out Twitters as he steps out into the real world of paid work. Oh yes, Twitters has a job.

Well done Mark, and all the best for the future.

Kirsty Rollings
June 13, 2006


An Educated Man

After four years in the making,
Although it seems like nine,
You’re standing here in cap and gown –
Your graduation time,
But just before you climb those steps
Your parchment to receive,
The thoughts we’re going to share with you
May flatter; won’t deceive.

The day you came into our lives
On Fielding’s onevalefan
You said that you would make your mark
As an educated man,
But little did we realise
Your journey we would share,
All your hopes and aspirations;
All your moments of despair.

You have laid your life before us,
Your heart’s been on your sleeve,
And we listened when you told us
A love lost you did grieve,
But little did you realise
That Cupid would come through
With an arrow drenched in true love
From Lauren – just for you.

We know that you’re a tabloid freak,
The Mirror, Times and Sun,
You read them all from back to front,
Do the crosswords just for fun,
And what about that chess game,
With Glenn one early morn,
You moved your queen to checkmate
But your harvest was a pawn.

It’s been ’Uni this, Uni that’
And everything’s a stat,
And if we dared to disagree
There’d be a cyber spat,
You’re a stickler for the rule book,
You get things off your chest,
But there were times when we all wished
You’d give it all a rest.

You’ve been the butt of humour,
Of that there is no doubt,
And there were times when you received
A thumping cyber clout,
Infuriating, maddening,
Plus others not for print,
And one or two unkindly said
They wished you were extinct.

Your cyber personality
Is opposite in truth,
For we’ve been told by your close friends
You’re a kind and gentle youth,
Except, of course, to referees
No matter what the score,
You jump and scream your protests
And then you scream some more.

Now most folk say sad movies
Are bound to make them cry,
Like Schindler’s list and Beaches
Or Brokeback Mountain high,
But we’ve been told, dear Twitters,
No tears roll down your face,
Except, of course, when watching
That film ‘bout outer space.

No dreadful war; or friendship lost,
Or even gay romance,
But a story of an asteroid
And maybe earth’s last chance,
Hysteria was everywhere,
Plus greed and treachery,
But judgement day did not arrive
Thanks to Stamper’s cavalry.

Armageddon was the movie,
Bruce Willis was the star,
That you were moved to shed the tears
Most folk would find bizarre,
And we know you’ll have your reasons
Why that film touched you so,
But for most of us ‘twas nothing –
Just a science fiction show.

But that’s enough of ribbing you
Today we share your joy,
Those sleepless nights and deadlines met
Made a man out of the boy,
On top of which we feel your pride
For the things that you have done,
So put away those study books
It’s time to have some fun.

So here you are in cap and gown
– Your graduation day,
Now straighten up and off you go
There’s nothing left to say,
Except, of course, to doff your cap
To all at onevalefan
And we will cheer a man of mark
– An educated man.

Barry Edge
Western Australia
July 10, 2006


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