It's been a bit quiet in this part of the Blogosphere recently - the heavy workload required for my MSc is taking its toll, though I am still enjoying it.
Last weekend I was back in Oxford for my graduation, and I had a wonderful time. The ceremony was great, and full of the usual Oxford eccentricities.
For a start, it was all in Latin, with the exception of an introductory speech - explaining why the ceremony was in Latin. Even the Colleges were referred to by their Latin names. The degrees were presented in order from 'Doctor of Medicine' through to DPhil, Masters and BA and between each list of names we were treated to the 'Proctor's Walk'. This was not as exciting as it sounds , and consisted only of the proctors doffing their mortar boards and walking from one end of the Sheldonian Theatre to the other and back again. Apparently it provides an opportunity for people to voice their objections about someone being presented for a degree.
I really quite liked the way that we were presented for our degrees in our undergraduate gowns before processing out, putting on our BA gowns and hoods and processing back in again.
The thing that most amused me about the ceremony was the bloke giving instructions to the students in English. The Latin ceremony was punctuated at intervals by "rows of four" and "face the proctor on your right please" in a voice which would have suited a London Tube station far more than it did the Sheldonian Theatre.
Following the ceremony there was an excellent lunch in college and then in the evening a huge group of us went out for dinner and drinks. Some of us even made a stop at Medhis - who, amazingly, has a new van. His range of cuisine has possibly expanded as well, although disappointingly 'Vegetarians' no longer feature amongst 'Cold Drinks', 'Chips' and 'Burgers' on the list of items on offer.
It was really great to see everyone again. Sunday continued in a similar vein - I enjoyed attending St Aldates in the morning and I sang in the College Choir in the evening. Co-incidentally the one and only Nick Prozzillo was conducting for part of it, which was an added bonus.
The week since has been manic, with the first of many coursework deadlines. I am starting to see why people hate Matlab as well.
One highlight however was the 40th Anniversary service of the University of Bath, which took place in the Abbey. It was my first 'outing' with the University Chamber Choir, and I really enjoyed it. Fittingly hoods were worn by the choir (if applicable) and I was able to wear an Oxford BA hood.
Nim the brave has been bemoaning the recent lack of anecdotes on this site. I will try and rectify that in due course, but now I must get back to my maths. Yummy.