Pomp & Ceremony … but not as much pomp as Monash

This afternoon I found myself donning graduation robes for what I think was the fourth time … Once, for real, when I graduated from Monash in early 2000, and then two other times as part of a ceremony for the National History Challenge [a programme that I used to coordinate for Victoria as part of my old job], and then once more today as an usher for the Facultyís graduation ceremony.
I hadnít realised when I volunteered for the job of usher that I would be wearing a robe. When I was called earlier in the week and asked my height and if I had any qualifications, I quickly realised that I would be donning the robes once more. On this occasion, as with the two for the National History Challenge, I didnít have to wear a sash or cap/trencher. I would have quite liked to don the pastel pink and aqua of the Monash BA(Hons) graduate again!
I did get a little hot in the robe while standing in the sun by the window, directing people to their seats. I had been warned beforehand by more experienced ushers that people get very grumpy and refuse to move towards the middle of the rows of seats, instead preferring to secure positions on the ends of rows so that they have the best chance at getting a semi-decent photo of their graduating family member. I discovered today that perhaps that attitude belongs to the ushers who donít ask nicely, as I had no trouble at all with people being difficult about where they wanted to sit. The only small drama of my afternoon was having to rush down to Pings cafť after the completion of the academic procession to commandeer some napkins in order to wipe up a small childís spilled drink.
The best bit about todayís ceremony was that I knew more of the graduates than I did at my own ceremony. History had about 10 of last yearís Honours class accepting their degrees in person [half a dozen or so were awarded them in absentia], and three of our PhD students became Doctors before the aged Chancellor. I clapped loudly for these people, especially my friend Benís sister, Clare.

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~ by pincushiondiary on May 13, 2005.

 
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