Tuesday, 19 July 2011

My World Tuesday Graduation!

Last week we travelled to Portsmouth to see our eldest daughter graduate. Excited graduands milled about in the distinctive purple of Portsmouth University, surrounded by proud parents, spouses, partners, families and friends.
The skies threatened rain and there was a brisk wind but the atmosphere outside the Guildhall was one of happy anticipation and some nervousness.

We filed inside and found our places. It was fortunate that the ceremony would take no longer than an hour and a half for the congregation was crammed into seats with very limited leg room. As we waited for the ceremony to begin the Organist and Master of the Choristers of Portsmouth Cathedral played a programme of organ music. Finally, the congregation stood as the University procession entered the auditorium and took their places on the stage.
The Chancellor declared the ceremony open and the Vice-Chancellor made a brief and amusing address before the graduands were admitted to their degrees. We clapped as hundreds of young and not so young graduands crossed the stage. The men walked steadily in sensible footwear but some of the women, notably the younger ones, wore shoes with such high heels that it was difficult for them to toddle along. The most striking shoes were a pair that sparkled as they caught the light – they were so glittering that it was possible 
to believe they had integral lights.

At last Gillian’s name was called and she could have won a prize as the speediest person across the stage! She is never happy when the spotlight is on her.

This was the sixth graduation ceremony I had attended (neither Barry nor I went to either of his ceremonies) and I was astonished afresh at the bad manners of some of the congregation. As the people they had come to see graduated so they got up and left the hall. One person left because he was unwell but the rest that I saw simply had no further interest in the ceremony. Had everyone adopted the same strategy there would have been very few left when the last graduands were admitted.

What they missed was a fine speech by the Chancellor, Sheila Hancock, who was warmly applauded for her heartfelt sentiments. She was particularly impressed by and complimentary about the mature students who had studied and gained their degrees at the same time as working and bringing up families. Gillian and her cohort were most appreciative of that. Her children understand at first hand the difficulties she has experienced of studying for long hours after work and family duties have been honoured and we all hope, Gillian particularly, that they will continue to further education while they are still young and relatively unencumbered.

The congregation stood as the University procession retired. Yet again I was amazed at the lack of respect and courtesy as people left their seats before the procession had completed. Barry and I were probably the last to leave, having enjoyed the organ music once more, and yet when we reached the ground floor there were still crowds queuing to leave the Guildhall.
We met our happy daughter and her family and then made our farewells. We knew that we would see them at the weekend when we could have a relaxed celebration. Gillian has laid the ghost of being the only one of her siblings not to have graduated and intends to carry on studying for further degrees.

See what has been happening in other worlds here.


  1. How wonderful, Janice. Congratulations to Gillian for a hard job well done.

    —Kay, Alberta, Canada

  2. Congratulations to Gillian and i'm glad you enjoyed the ceremony. Mummy gets to see some of them when she is at the Greenwich Campus :)

  3. What an achievment, you must be very proud of her.
    Congratulations to her x
    ... and as fo her being 'the speediest person across the stage' ooh I know that feeling, that would be me too!

  4. Congratulations to your daughter!
    I know exactly how good it feels to study and graduate when you have a full-time job and a family.

  5. Congratulations and well done! to your daughter. What did she study (or is it ' what did she read'?)?

  6. Congratulations to your daughter for all her hard work. What a wonderful achievement! I think those people acted quite rudely.

  7. Congratulations to your daughter ! it must have been a wonderful feeling for you to see her success.
    It's sad that nowadays people are behaving so badly and politeness disappears more and more.

  8. Congratulations to your daughter. Attending school while taking care of a family is a major accomplishment.

    People can be so disrespectful at large gatherings. I have seen similar occurrences recently.

  9. I know you are so proud. I agree with you that some people are rude and I hate that about today's fast-paced society.

    I could picture the girls in those shoes. Little do they know how they'll pay for that in the years to come (I had to have foot surgery as a result of wearing improper and missized shoes when young).

    Love the pictures, too.

  10. You must be soooooo proud! (And rightfully so.)


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