Well, that was a lot of palaver just to shake a man's hand and pick up a certificate. And what was the deal with the rolled-up scroll-type thing I held in that photo? The degree came in a bloody 'do not bend' envelope. Now my family will think that I'm some sort of certificate-bending miscreant!
This is a photo of my half of the hall. You can't see my face, but you can see my mortarboard. Contrary to the comments of a couple of trouble-makers on this blog, I was required to wear it for the duration of the sweltering 90 minute ceremony. The chancellor took his off, and implied that we could take ours off as well due to the near lethality of the heat, but although a few hands went to their hats, fortunately no-one fell for it. He may have been the chancellor, but we had a piece of paper stating quite unequivocally that we were expected to keep our hats on.
If there is one thing that the British do better than processions of people in ridiculous outfits following an ornate stick, it is queueing. The procession came earlier. Here I am queueing. I am the one who is in the queue.
Interestingly, my (ex-)university is, according to the chancellor, second only to the London School of Economics when it comes to the proportion of international students attending. As you can see, after at least three years in the country, they are well adapted to the customs of queueing and stick-following and are impossible to distinguish from the natives.
I was able to get some nice pictures of the university's sixties architecture. As one would expect of the time of free love and flower power, it is a confusing warren of dour rectangular concrete, something of a logic puzzle for the disabled. One rumour I heard was that shortly after completing the plans, the architect went insane and killed himself. This is quite unlikely though, since this place was clearly designed by M.C. Escher, and he died in the seventies.
When I got home, the sky decided to celebrate by being on fire, thereby reminding me that I should have been writing my entry for this week's Sunday Scribblings instead of faffing about in a stupid hat.