Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Chris did a thing!

2020 changed the world in a lot of ways.   For us, it gave Chris the final push he needed to change careers.  His career change, however, required a return to school.  

The adventure began!
True story!  The acceptance letter came with actual confetti ;-P
I feel like I was way more amused by this than Chris was.

The ceremony was similar to other ceremonies I've seen.   I had prime seating right on the aisle.  This meant both good picture taking options and I got to watch some of the behind scenes organising ;)

The entry procession

*insert a bunch of speeches and people we don't know here*

Chris was in the second group of graduates to cross the stage.

You've heard of the "walk of shame"?  I'd like to introduce its opposite.
The only objective is "do not trip" ;)

Somehow I figured not having kids, I wouldn’t be sitting through any graduation ceremonies, but here we are.  And honestly, possibly even more proud.  In my world, it's normal for kids to go to uni and graduate; it's a lot harder to do it as an adult.

Judging by the amount of chairs set up for graduates, they expected about twice as many people as attended; that being said, it ran almost exactly on schedule. 

So my husband is now a university graduate!

 Some differences from other ceremonies I've seen, cause that’s always what interested me: 

  • Graduates weren’t separated from audience in advance — Chris came to visit after he had his gown, and others were taking pics on the stage in the formal chair. When I’ve attended before, once guests and graduates went their separate ways, they didn’t reunite until after the ceremony.  And definitely we were not allowed on stage until we were invited.
  • Instructions weren’t super clear to the graduates or the audience. The poor woman in charge of making sure people went where they were supposed to (and doing so subtly) was really earning her (likely volunteer) paycheque that day. At the very end, she gave up completely. It did work out, just not quite how they’d intended.
  • Lots more setups for photo ops than in my past — to me this is a sign of the times; the last grad ceremony I attended was 2005, selfies and social media weren’t even really a thing yet. So setting up photo ops wasn’t required either. I actually would’ve enjoyed this, but would not have wanted to wait in line for it :) - They weren’t as strategic about portions of it — for instance, the degree framing was hidden indoors where graduates return the gown; it wasn’t where the parents were with their kids (given that in *most* situations it’s parents who are likely to pay for that particular piece).
  • Chris humoured me and let me take a pic with the badger ;)

  • Graduates didn’t receive their degree on stage — they had their colours draped over them instead. They got their degree when they returned the gown. lol. This, to me, combines with the photo ops and the structure. I don’t recall exactly how they enforced getting the gowns back when I did it, but I suspect it was the room we went to right after the ceremony, before going outside again. Photos were taken before, and far less of a “thing”. 
  • I really enjoyed people watching after the ceremony, while Chris was off collecting his degree. Brought back some happy memories for sure. It’s a day for positivity and enthusiasm and, well, we can use that once in a while. 
    Success.  Woohoo!


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