What will we be doing in 20 years?
The question on everyone’s lips on July 1st 1989 which can now be answered!! Sitting here writing a blog post about how I can’t believe it’s TWENTY years since graduation. It was another glorious hot day, we’d had a month since finals ended doing May Week stuff for the last time, clearing the house, burning notes, drinking more fake champagne – and plenty real stuff. Most of us had jobs to go to in September so we were released from that feeling of needing to spend the summer working 😀 and then, one final burst of ceremony.
The official Cambridge website describes graduation far better than I could do, but for those of you who haven’t seen one – yes it really is that formal, you process from college ( or in our case half way as it was a bit further away that a lot of them) and process into Senate House in ranks of four, lots of Latin and bowing & kneeling and the the deed is done and you walk out the back and round the lane onto the Senate House Lawn to wait for your guests to emerge. A Very British way to graduate! It was pretty warm under that lot though – we’d been ( quite literally) pinned into the finery at college that morning checked off against lists of rules , rubrics & regulations regarding gown length, hair length & colour, earrings, rings & heel height. We’d turned up with the requested four stout safety pins (don’t ask me what the boys did but we girls all had our hoods pinned right through our shirts and attached to the front of our bras – they’re very heavy!) hair clips and spare tights ( just the girls again) and there was to be no unpinning however warm it got until well into the evening! I also seem to remember a lot of fuss about the correct angle of the ties & bands the guys were wearing.
I am deeply appreciating the irony that having shed the gown and burnt* the notes, here I am twenty years later, knee deep in essays once more preparing for a time and a job when dressing up in slightly archaic clothing will not be considered unusual!
So, here I am twenty years on, Happy Graduation anniversary to any Homertonians of ’89 who happen to chance on this, and here’s to the next twenty!
*ps don’t tell, but the note burning was only selective – the privilege of learning from some of the great historians was far too good to burn!! they’re in the attic ( the notes that is not the professors..)