The UBC Department of English Language & Literatures has long helped to shape readers and leaders who are passionate about the power of language, and who understand deeply how the narratives we weave change how we see the world. On May 25, the Class of 2022 crossed the Chan Centre stage and stepped into the next phase of their lives with literary criticism and rhetoric coursing through their veins.
To help our graduates celebrate, below is a message from Department Head Dr. Patsy Badir. We’re so pleased to celebrate your achievements with you, UBC English Language & Literatures Class of 2022!
Congratulations, 2022 graduates, on completing your journey at the University of British Columbia. Finishing a university degree is already an immense feat in a myriad of ways, and to do so during a global pandemic requires strength, self-knowledge, and resilience beyond measure.
You have survived so much, and you have learned so much. Whatever it is that you plan to do next, I hope you take the time to celebrate and reflect on all that you’ve gained and experienced along the way. More importantly, I hope you give yourself space to rest, to decompress, and to breathe. You did it!
An education in English Language and Literatures shapes the way we think about the world. During your degree, you learned how to read. You learned how texts of all kinds work, what they readily reveal on their absorbing and enchanting surfaces, as well as the obscured meanings that only make themselves available to you through deeper investigation of their structures, histories and contexts .
You learned how to write coherently, persuasively, and even movingly. You learned how to talk to other people, how to communicate your thoughts and opinions with logic, lucidity and passion. You have also learned to listen with empathy and kindness.
You learned that the English language cannot be taken for granted. It needs to be studied so that, in turn, you can use it responsibly to study the world, in its multitudes of pleasures and complexities. You learned critique. You learned to question everything, and never to take any assumptions, no matter how entrenched they are, for granted.
Most importantly, you developed a sense of curiosity and empathy for experiences that are different from your own. That is, you gained an understanding of, and a respect for, the diversity of human and non-human life, by challenging yourself with a lot of amazing ideas that you haven't thought about before.
Wherever your talents and interests take you, whatever you choose to do next, I hope you carry these invaluable skills with you. Knowledge, curiosity, persuasiveness and empathy will serve you well as you navigate this baffling and turbulent world.
You should also know that you have left your impact on this university, this faculty and this department. We have learned from you. Our practices have changed because of your creativity, your intelligence and your commitment. We needed you these past few years – more than you probably know. We thank you for being here with us and for making a difference to our lives.
Congratulations once again on finishing your journey with the Department of English Language and Literatures. Take good care of yourself, and be sure to keep in touch. Your peers and professors will be rooting for you.
Dr. Patsy Badir
Professor and Department Head
English Language & Literatures