On Monday it was Liam’s Graduation day, following a year’s hard work studying for his Masters.
He actually finished his Masters in September, but they wait until the undergraduate ceremonies for the postgrads to formally shake the hand of the Chancellor (Sandi Toksvig!) and Vice Chancellor – so he had to wait a long time before doing that dreaded walk across the stage.
It was strange for me to be in the audience this time round – after all, 2 years ago it was me walking across that stage. Admittedly, it was also Liam with his undergraduate degree, but it felt very odd not being one of the ones wearing a mortarboard and gown. I was somewhat relieved though, as the graduate dress was hardly practical in the heatwave.
I am so incredibly proud of Liam – not just for completing a Masters which made for a rather stressful summer for him writing his dissertation, but for also getting a Distinction for doing it. His hard work paid off with the best grade you can get, and although his current job is not related to what he wants to be doing (he wants to become a lecturer one day!), I have every faith that an opportunity will come along for him to do his Phd, and I hope he lets me stick around long enough for me to watch him cross that stage again!
The day was really lovely as Liam’s mum and her partner came down, we took photos out on the Portsmouth Guildhall steps as well as having professional photos taken (this time round we got a couple’s photo too) before going in to the ceremony. Surprisingly, despite the hundreds of names we heard before Liam’s (Liam was the very last person to get to cross the stage – Sandi deemed him her favourite graduate for that reason!), the time seemed to go very quickly and before long we were sat in the pub having a drink with some of Liam’s course mates and families.
Following that, we returned Liam’s gown and mortarboard and headed back to our flat before heading out to dinner. Liam chose to go to Coast To Coast, an American style restaurant where we feasted on wings and burgers. I initially thought an American diner wasn’t really the best place to celebrate a job well done, but changed my mind after feeling well and truly full up and content – and Liam definitely felt the same!
After a long and hot day, and Liam’s family had left, we settled down and watched South Park and Pineapple Express because you can’t be quite so academic all the time, can you?
I hope anyone else who graduated over the past couple of weeks has had a lovely time! Watching Liam has made me want to do a Masters one day too – so here’s hoping some time in the future I will be sharing my experience crossing the stage for the second time.