Thursday, July 16, 2009
This week we went to Erin's graduation ceremony. This is the second graduation ceremony I have been to (I didn't actually go to my own) and they are interesting to compare. Kieran's was at Bath. Bath University is on a 60s campus on the edge of a beautiful historic town. Erin's was at York. York University is also a 60s campus university on the edge of a beautiful historic town. The difference between them was that Kieran's ceremony was in Bath Abbey whereas Erin's was on Campus. There are advantages to both. Obviously Bath Abbey is lovely but goodness the pews are hard. The thing is Graduation ceremonies are just a little bit boring. Obviously you are proud and eager to see your little darling get their piece of paper and you are a bit interested at seeing their friends get theirs but other than that you don't really care. The advantage of having the ceremony in a lecture theatre was that the chairs were comfier and you could see better. So comfy in fact that I was dozing off during the medics receiving their degrees. Mind you I woke up when I realized there was a new Dr Shipman in the world!
I was very impressed with the chancellor at Erin's. It was Greg Dyke who is a TV bigwig here. He gave a really good speech and he managed to look genuinely pleased for each student. Whether he is still as pleased by the end of the 8th ceremony on Monday who knows.
I think the best thing about having the ceremony on campus was that Erin got to see her freinds doing different subjects who were at the following ceremony whereas at Bath it all sort of petered out. Still Bath is a spectacular setting.
Students who are graduating now have grown up with the Harry Potter novels. Kieran started out the same age as Harry and by the last novel Erin was the same age. So everyone quite likes wearing the robes because they look like wizards! I noticed that the PhD students have to wear very silly medieval hats at York. I'm hoping they do at Southampton too as I shall definitely look forward to seeing Kieran in a silly hat in a couple of years time when he gets his doctorate!