Les gens qui ne rient jamais ne sont pas des gens sérieux

Be who you are and say what you mean, those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Holiday Snapshot: The Graduate

'It's a bit sinister this music' Dad whispered, as the choir got going and the procession filed in, caps and gowns a mass of rich fabrics and mismatched colours.

'Very Harry Potter' I said, almost seeing the wizards flying past and trying to picture the chancellor in a pointy hat.

The ceremony was long, but not as yawn-inducing as I remembered from my graduation. All the speeches were kept short and sweet, and included an entertaining over-excited alumnus from Hong Kong, who talked about his university days with unconcealed nostalgia.

When the long bit came, the reading out of those who'd managed to get to the end of their courses despite the parties and other distractions of student life, it wasn't as lifeless as expected.

The girls were all long hair and interesting shoes. I was grateful to the one whose mortarboard fell to the ground on stage, prompting a red face and slight pause while she waited to see if the vice chancellor was going to pick it up for her.

The boys from the geek department (ok, computer science then) were for the most part satisfyingly dorky. There was lots of uncropped hair and thick specs. Edd, of course, was the exception to the rule. He looked like he'd been born to wear an academic gown. It fanned out behind him as he climbed the stairs, strode forward to collect his first - generously ignoring the mispronunciation of his second name - and cheerfully shook hands with the degree-hander-outer.

I watched him as he made his way back to his seat, nonchalant and good humoured as the ceremony continued. He looked older and more at ease with who he is, in his ridiculous black cape, than I've ever seen him.

He's not a little boy in a temper anymore, trying to make himself heard above everyone else's chatter. He's not even a teenager in a band, moderately successful and surrounded by people convinced they will make it big. He's a sensible, sensitive young professional who is, nevertheless, still my little brother dammit.

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