Thursday 23 July 2009

Teacher Lady's Graduation

I travelled with Fashionista and my mum to Guildford yesterday in Surrey to watch Fashionista graduate as a teacher. The ceremony was in Guildford Cathedral and was very, very nice.

We had to wander through Surrey University’s maze of a campus to get to the Cathedral which suddenly appeared looming over us at the top of a hill. The campus is one of the most pleasant I have seen with absolutely lovely accommodation for the students - it felt like walking through a student village.

The cathedral was rather gothic, even without a spire and the surrounding area was lush and green. The ceremony began with rather deafening and tuneless organ music which suddenly gave way to the tune of Sting’s Fields of Gold. All of the deans of the college then walked up in a column two-wide, looking as if this was no big deal and they did it all the time (probably do), except one very old, hunched-over man who walked along scowling with what looked like a sceptre in his hand.

As the deans approached I am sure the organ music switched to the Superman theme tune, Fash says she heard it too, so I am not going crazy, before going back to its mournful dirge. The Chancellor was introduced as veteran BBC reporter John Simpson (the one that was sneaking round Afghanistan in a burka ) and the nasheed artist Sami Yusuf was awarded a Doctorate of Letters which he followed by a speech. He was very shy, but his speech was very inspirational, focussing on having the courage to follow your dreams (most of the audience were English so had never heard of him before).

John Simpson handed Fashionista her degree and I totally missed the photo opportunity, but got lots of pictures of her with her friends with their mortar-boards in the air. The university put on a lovely reception after the graduation with not much to eat or drink, but a very lovely atmosphere, one of the graduates’ wives commented that it all reminded her of the film Dead Poets Society (which I have never seen), it did look very like an English wedding though with the marquee on the lawn and everyone dressed up.

By the time we got home it was seven pm (we’d left at 11am), so we were exhausted, but it was a lovely day. I loved the pomp and ceremony and formality of the whole event and the surroundings were very pretty.

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