Saturday, October 19, 2013

Matriculation Day!

As one of my friends put it: 'Today, I became a tourist attraction.'


In other words, today was Matriculation Day. One of the most quintessentially Oxford traditions, it's a morning where you dress up in your full Harry Potter outfit, complete with suits and white bowties for the men and absurd blouse/string tie combos for the women, get your freshers picture taken with the rest of your incoming college class, walk en masse over to the Sheldonian Theatre in the center of town, stand around for ages and ages and ages, and then file in so that some old dude with silver scepters can chat at you in Latin for a few minutes before declaring you OFFICIALLY NOW A MEMBER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD.

In practice, it looks a lot like this:

 (Posing in front of the beautiful Pembroke hall!)

 (Heel. Stuck. in. Grass.)

 (Penguin suits on parade, wandering through our much bigger neighbor Christ Church en route to the ceremony)

 (Inside the Sheldonian)

As we walked over from Pembroke, a crowd of over a hundred young people dressed in our finest wizarding robes, throngs of tourists crowded around to take pictures and ask us what the heck we were so weirdly kitted out for. There were a lot of titters and a lot of really feeling like a spectacle.

I do admit that, all joking aside though, it did feel like 'a big deal' in the way I think it was meant to. I spent some time during the looooong periods of waiting before the ceremony began thinking about what a bizarre, unexpected journey it's been that's taken me here. I feel so lucky to get to study at one of the best and most venerable institutions in the world, and still have to pinch myself to realize that I'm actually here, that it's actually happening, that this is actually my life. It all felt a little like an out of body experience.

(My friend and I also somewhat deflated these lofty thoughts with very vocal discussions of how much we wanted hash browns, and then in a truly classy moment hot-footed it over to McDonalds as soon as the ceremony was over and ordered the biggest size of french fries we could get our mitts on. Oh well. It was a good moment of profound thought while it lasted.)

(Super classy)

The big tradition after matriculation is to transition directly into a day and night of the most wild partying, but unfortunately my exhaustion from earlier in the week has made that essentially impossible for me. So it's been an afternoon of hearty brunch-eating, napping, and curling up and watching the rain come down. No regrets.

1 comment:

Carrot Top said...

Congratulations, and stay classy ;)

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