Part of: Graduate School in Oxford
Today's been a fun and eventful day, including both the arrival of Brenda (my friend from work, for those who don't know her) and my matriculation ceremony!
Brenda's trip went very smoothly and she arrived earlier than expected, but David still was there to meet her at the bus station in Oxford. Meanwhile, I was shopping downtown for the necessary white blouse for my "sub fusc" (meaning "under the black" - the required uniform under the cap and gown). Not last minute or anything.
By the time I got back home at around 9:30am, Brenda was already there. It was so weird but so great to see her sitting in our house! She came bearing wonderful gifts from home, including stuff we didn't have room for the first time and a few fun surprises from Dad like my gossip mags and pumpkin pie filling. It was so nice of her to drag all that stuff across the ocean for us.
I then got ready in a hurry while David and Brenda chatted, then we headed down to Wolfson's croquet lawn for a group photo. That was quite a long process, but I chatted with a nice girl with curly hair named Philippa who was standing next to me. David and Brenda watched the whole thing from nearby with their cameras.
When that was all done, we went back to our room and then walked through the University Parks, wheeling Brenda's luggage behind us, to the University Club where she's staying for her first two nights. It's a great place - brand new, modern, and stylish. I'd love to stay there myself!
We got her checked in and then had lunch in the Club restaurant. We all had a Mini English Breakfast - two fried eggs, bacon (meaning salty ham), 2 sausages, and toast, which was fantastic.
Then it was almost 1:45 and time for me to go to the Sheldonian Theatre for the big event. There was lots of lining up and waiting around again, during which time I met some of Philippa's friends, who were all very nice and about half American and half English. David and Brenda stood around and waited outside, as there wasn't room for an audience in the little theatre.
We all filed in to the sound of lots of organ music (it could be heard from the outside and Brenda said it sounded like a circus in there), and at 2:15 began the very short ceremony in Latin officially joining us all to the University of Oxford.
It was conducted by the vice-chancellor, who wore fancy red robes and stood in front of a red-velvet throne, but he seemed very down-to-earth and gave a short friendly speech afterwards welcoming us to university life and reminding us of the long tradition of Oxford academics.
All matriculated and everything (the whole thing took less than 15 minutes), I then joined up again with David and Brenda and we went to check out the nearby Trinity College. We wandered around the grounds a little and went in the chapel, which was lovely and smelled of old wood. Brenda loved it.
Afterwards, I asked her for the thousandth time if she was okay or wanted to rest due to the jet lag, and this time she actually said yes! One of her feet was hurting too as her tennis shoes were tied too tight! Get this girl back in her high heels where she's comfortable!
We deposited her back at her room, where she seemed quite likely to try out the plush little bed, and then David and I walked back home through the parks.
We haven't done much the rest of the day, as poor David has a cold and doesn't feel too great. But tomorrow we'll join up with Brenda again and see some sights! What fun to have her here.