At the start of my PhD study I decided to grow my beard.
Part of the reason for this was because, while I have had facial hair in various forms for a number of years, I had never really let my beard grow out to reach its full potential, and this seemed like a good time to do it. The other reason was that when you graduate with a PhD you were robes and an odd wizard like hat – so if I had a big bushy beard I would look so much like a wizard – it would be awesome, AND I would find it hugely entertaining to graduate.
So after deciding to grow my beard out, I started researching beard care, techniques for trimming, and other general beard information. I found a number of books (some good, others not so good) and I also found out about the World Beard and Moustache Champs. I also discovered that there had never been a representative from NZ make the trip to compete, and I wanted to be the first one.
This quest to represent my country in the olympics of facial hair was well-documented by local media – they even got us to write a weekly blog about beards.
Unfortunately being a poor student, and not managing to find sponsors with the $$ to get us to Norway, this dream was put on stand-by. In the meantime we made some hilarious bearded videos, ran a NZ national competition at Beach Hop, and even pitched the local networks for a reality/doco TV series about bearding competitions which they dismissed (I guess they thought it was a joke), until about a year later when this show was featured on the evening news…
Anyway, next weekend it is the US Beard and Moustache Nationals in Las Vegas. It would be awesome to go and check out the scene, meet the people and admire the glorious facial hair – but alas it is still not possible (PhD work, concerts, and of course my awesome son)… but my hopes are not completely dashed… there is still the next World Champs in Germany.