Well, today I graduated, obtaining a Master of Law from the University of Cambridge (their 800th year!).
The usual group photo was taken in the morning (according to college rather than course), which was especially unbearable because of the heat (unusual for UK, even in the summer) and the fact that we were suited up and draped in gowns and hoods didn’t help. It was brutal, and they were really slow and disorganised. One would have thought that after taking such photos literally thousands of times over a hundred years a decent system could have been devised…
We then dispersed and returned after lunch for a brief rehearsal, when the sky opened up and rain began pouring down, though fortunately it cleared up again before we made our march down to the graduation hall. We were treated like celebrities, with people gawking, photographing and clapping all the way there. It was weird.
The ceremony itself was quick and sweet. As the more ‘senior’ members of the graduating group (the majority were undergraduates), we were up first. Nothing against tradition, but it felt a little pretentious to me with all the gowns and funny hats and men carrying metal staffs, the master sitting on the throne, having to grasp the finger of the praelector (seriously, we did) and lots of phrases thrown around purely in Latin which no one understood (they could have been saying anything!). I should have been prouder but I just wanted to escape from the stuffy heat!
What did I feel? Surprisingly, not much. Quite empty, really. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that the entire degree only took 9 months (or to be more specific, 24 weeks, or 3 terms of 8 weeks each). Or maybe because my mind was preoccupied with other more interesting aspects of my life for the majority of the time (though make no mistake, I studied as hard as I could (maybe…) for the exams).
I think rather than securing my LLM, I will remember this year more for the amazing places we visited in Europe, starting this blog, and finally getting serious about my novel, which I fully intend to continue pursuing and finish. Whether it gets published or not in the end is no longer that important to me anymore.
I’m really more disappointed that this long vacation is over and I’ll be heading back to work before the end of the year. Oh well…