My day job

/ Monday 1 November 2010 /
Academic procession
Thought you might like to see what I do in my day job.  Not that it's always so ceremonial.  Our convocation, or graduation, ceremonies happen twice a year.  This year I took surreptitious photos with my iPhone.
Outside Grant Hall
We dress up in our gowns in one of the buildings on campus and then traipse around to the building where the ceremony is held.  The students go in ahead of us - they are piped in by a bagpiper, who happens to by my next-door neighbour.  (Luckily, she practices with her windows closed).  When the students are organized, we make our entry accompanied by an organ.  I always feel I am marrying the university as I go down the aisle!
After we sing God Save the Queen, and have the benediction spoken and the honorary graduand makes his speech, the students come across the stage one at a time, and the Dean puts their hood on.  The hoods are those strange things hanging down our backs.  Traditionally, they were worn by scholars to keep warm in the middle ages, before universities had central heating, but now they are just ceremonial.  This year I had a good view.
Graduate student being hooded.
Sometimes I get stuck behind someone wearing one of those fancy hats and can't seen a thing.  Our gowns are determined by the university which granted our doctoral degree.  You can't see mine, but it is black with wide red sleeves and red facing down the front.  I also wear a red hood lined with white silk.  It is not our tradition to wear a hat.  At the university where I am now, the doctoral candidates wear gorgeous red gowns with blue and gold trim. You can see them seated in the front row in the photo below.  Undergraduates and MA/MSc candidates wear black gowns with hoods that are coloured according to their discipline.  In the photo below, everyone has been hooded and the class of 2010 is being applauded.  Then it's O Canada, and we're outa there!
Applauding the Class of 2010, Fall Convocation
Sometimes convocation goes on for a very long time.  I amuse myself by looking at the women's shoes - as a result I am always up on the current footwear fashion!
P.S.  If you are looking for the giveaway post, go here.  Comments will remain open until November 5.


{ Jocelyn } on: 1 November 2010 at 10:55 said...

This is my son's first year in college, and they had a convocation too. Looks very stately.

{ Sarah Craig } on: 1 November 2010 at 13:23 said...

I love watching convocation, and seeing all the unique doctoral regalia out there! My husband's doctoral class chose one of those funky hats you so dislike - and now it sits in a drawer - what in the world do you do with them if you're not in education? Wear them at Halloween? ;-)

{ elle } on: 1 November 2010 at 17:09 said...

Nice colourful day job! I like tradition. It makes a nice rhythm in life and a colourful convocation is a high in that rhythm.

{ felicity } on: 1 November 2010 at 18:02 said...

For the record, I LOVE bagpipes. Have no idea why.

I love the pomp and circumstance that surrounds convocation - all that tradition etc.

{ Kris } on: 1 November 2010 at 21:07 said...

How fun! I think wearing regalia is part of what motivates me to finish my degree. :)

{ Faith Hope and Cherrytea } on: 2 November 2010 at 22:10 said...

just enjoyed this for DIL's grad-
masters architecture.. loved the day & the great dinner party afterward too :)
nxt yr will be my son's masters sociology! whew~
tthx for posting this little insight - fun to see that side of you..

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