Sine Qua Nonsense

The Untold Story of the Original Telecom Grad Blog

As the Department of Telecommunications morphs into the Media School’s Communication Science and Media Arts & Production units, the Telecom Grad blog is also changing. Before we move forward, we must look back. Let’s explore the little known origins of the blog you are reading right now.

The Telecom blog was founded in the fall of 2010 by Director of Graduate Studies Harmeet Sawhney and the first bloggers, Nicky Lewis and Katie Birge. Their idea was to revive a tradition from the very first Telecom Department in history. Oxford University established its Telecom Grad Scroll in 1201. Since e-mail was a few centuries away back then, DGS Harrold Seaford, Duke of Texturia, would send Graduate Criers to faculty, staff and graduate students’ castles every Monday morning.

The grad scroll was groundbreaking for focusing on people’s hobbies rather than their research and official duties. It was especially innovative considering the fact that the notions of hobbies and leisure time weren’t even a thing during the medieval era.

“Hear ye, hear ye! Assistant Professor John Whitesmith enjoyeth forging his own swords during his spare time,” read a Crier from one early scroll. “Sayeth he, ‘it sootheth me while I worrieth about my chances of getting tenure. Also, it scareth the faculty members who may think of voting against my promotion.’”

In the 13th Century, stories about Intramural Battleship were very common, though post-game interviews with the players were rare. Let’s just say that college sports were very dangerous back in the day, even more than football.

The Grad Scroll was discontinued in 1228 by decree of the king, a graduate of the rival School of Mass Communication at Cambridge. “My alma matter shall remain the coolest of Comm departments,” he declared. “No more stories about extracurricular pipe organ lessons in Oxford!”

No king can decree to shut down the Telecom Grad Blog, but its fate is still up in the air, at least for ratings purposes, even if those behind the scenes know exactly what’s going to happen. The semester ends with a cliffhanger. Tune in in the fall to discover whether the blog will be permanently assimilated as the Media School Blog, wake up to discover this whole year was just a dream, decide to return to the island with Jack, find out who shot JR and Mr. Burns, or meet an untimely death!


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