Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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The higher the degree, the fancier the robes

Last Monday we went up to Bangor for G's PhD graduation ceremony. The traffic was bad, with umpteen sets of road works, but we still managed to arrive in time.

Compared to the OU's fanatical organisation of these ceremonies, Bangor's information was minimal. First we had to find somewhere to park and we'd been told that all the college car parks would be open. They weren't. No matter, we parked in the multi-storey and walked up to the old college on the hill above the town.

Somehow we managed to enter through a back door to a deserted building, but then found our way up some stairs and then out into a sort of quad where people in robes and their families were talking and taking photos of one another. We then had to follow all the signs in reverse to bring us to the registration desk, whereupon we were given our tickets and sent back the way we'd come so that G could be issued with his splendid red and green-gold robes. Further exploring brought us to a marquee. We were too late for the refreshments, but we had the gratis tea and coffee and then hung about for a bit until the time to move into the hall arrived.

The OU starts with the highest degrees and works down. Bangor did the reverse, so G ended up being the very last person to walk across the stage to shake hands and be given his certificate. But it was a very enjoyable ceremony and not too long.

After returning the robes, we walked back down into town and had a nice meal at a café. While we were waiting for the food, a fire alarm started sounding in one of the nearby shops and in due course a fire engine arrived. I don't know whether it was a false alarm or something small that was promptly dealt with, but we ate our meal in peace and eventually the fire engine drove away again.

I didn't take my camera because I find that I can either take serious photos or enjoy the event, but I couldn't help grabbing this snap with my rather feeble phone camera.

Graham in his PhD robes

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