25 October 2007


Inordinately late due to the inadvertent destruction of my USB ports, I present for your enjoyment a post about matriculation--the day on which I became an official student at Oxford University.

First of all, I feel compelled to explain that the weather was extremely sticky. My hair looks a bit Hermione-esque. But, here I am in all of my sub-fosc glory.

The head burser said I would earn a reputation wearing this hat. He tried to talk me into borrow a mortar board. But I've worn mortar boards and I think they are far sillier. Besides, students must carry their mortar boards--they aren't allowed to even wear them until graduation. I, on the other hand, must wear my soft cap as it cannot be carried.

En masse, the entire new undergraduate and graduate body of Exeter College marched down the street to the Sheldonian Theatre. The experience was rather strange. Oxford is one of the only places in the world you can stand on the street looking like this without anyone thinking anything of it. As a group though, you attract loads of attention. We did look rather dashing.

The Sheldonian Theatre is very nice, though very small. The colleges could not all come at once. The colleges marched in in order of foundation, so Exeter was in the first group.

The ceremony itself was rather anti-climactic. It gave the surreal experience of actually earning my place here, achieving my dream of coming here, a degree of cold, final reality. This is really happening and I am really here!