It’s graduation season again and all over the country, students are scrubbing up and getting their gowns on ready to cross the stage for their moment of glory.
It remains one of the few times of year when most people present are on the whole pretty happy with everything. In fact it always reminds me a bit of the national feeling during the Olympics in London back in 2012. Which after the year that higher education has had is probably just what we need.
Rituals, paraphernalia, daft ideas
But graduation is also a time of strange rituals and practices including the award of honorary degrees to worthy (and sometimes not so deserving) recipients like this set of acting stars or this group of musical giants.
There is also the paraphernalia, from mortar boards to maces (and I’ve covered the latter here before) as well as the really incredibly challenging issue of name reading (which was subsequently picked up by the BBC).
But name errors are sometimes the least of the problems on stage. In many years of daft behaviour by graduands I’ve not seen anything quite as splendidly dumb as this student’s failed backflip attempt during Davenport’s graduation ceremony:
And let’s not forget all of the staff, particularly those behind the scenes but also those on stage, who make it all happen. A huge thank you to all of them.
It really is still the most wonderful time of the year.