Three years ago, I signed up to an MSc at Leeds University Business School in Manufacturing. Now, three years down the road, course done, dissertation finished, in and marked, nine of our class graduated yesterday. It was a really good course and I enjoyed it and learned a lot which in some cases I have applied in our work situation.
It was really great to meet up with my class mates, good to see them again, but my goodness, what a day! Initially, I was told that as I had not registered in time to attend the ceremony, I was too late to go. I asked why I couldn’t go to my own graduation and eventually received a terse e-mail to say that I could go after all. But it was all very last minute stuff and I had (unsurprisingly) not prepared at all. In my defence, we have been so busy at work these last six weeks or so, that I have not done many things I should have.
The day did not start well as it began to snow. Should I take the train from Ribblehead or should I drive to Skipton? Driving to Skipton gave me greater flexibility to get back home in time to feed the piglets as there are more trains from Leeds to Skipton, but taking the train from Ribblehead is a lot easier, especially if it was going to snow but it would mean that the last train home was 18.06 and doesn’t get in until 7.30pm which is a little late for cold pigs with empty, hungry tummies.
In the end, I drove 55 minutes to Skipton and promptly missed the train by a whisker, involving a 30 minute wait. I was supposed to have arrived two hours earlier, but actually, I arrived only just over an hour earlier in a very hot and bothered state. I found the whole process of hiring a gown, getting photos taken, then forgetting to register for a seat in the Great Hall, not to mention finding the various places to do all these things really stressful. It is entirely my fault as I had not pre-ordered anything, and until I spoke to my friend and class mate Nad, I didn’t even know where the ceremony was going to take place!
I have never attended a graduation ceremony before, so it was a real eye opener…I hadn’t a clue. The start reminded me of a funeral as all the gown-clad graduates were seated on the left side of the Great Hall and friends and family were seated on the right and we all waited whilst slow, ponderous dirge like music was played. A procession of very strangely dressed dignitaries walked down the central aisle, some holding oak staffs. I was reminded, very irreverently, of a Harry Potter film.
Each student in the Hall had to walk down the central aisle, mount some steps, shake hands with a University official who congratulated you, then you exited left down some more stairs, waited by the side until you could get back to sit down in your row of seats. The whole thing took about an hour and was actually run extremely well and very professionally, it was just me who got very stressed out.
I didn’t get home until about 7pm, so it was pig feeding straight away and then I saw that Snouter had been piddling in the old pig bed. I remonstrated with him and he looked a little sheepish and hid his face under straw. I spent the next hour cleaning out piddle soaked straw amidst much bad language directed at Snouter.
Then it was gritting the drive by torchlight with rock salt that does not seem to work; my drive is still impassable from last week, not with snow, rather ice and then sit down finally at 10pm with a beer, too late to eat. It was a long and tiring day, but a rewarding one.