Graduations are always rather like weddings: everyone is cheery and pleased to be there, the dress code is archaic, and there is a set format that hasn't really altered for hundreds of years. To add to this feeling the ceremony at my university campus takes place at the Crichton Memorial Church which, according to the chap who sat next to me, was modelled on Hereford Cathedral.
The day goes thus: everyone congregates at the university's main building
before processing to the church
where we get called up one by one to be doffed on the head by the Principal,
have hoods whose colours symbolize our qualification placed over our shoulders,
and given one of these.
After the ceremony we are led back to the university by a piper (Stevie was lagging so didn't get a photo!) and arranged for a group photograph (current rector of the University of Glasgow is Charles Kennedy, seen here looking considerably less grumpy than he did during the ceremony),
after which we can resume normal activity.
Now I must read up on symbolism in the novel as I have to give a lecture on it (and ambiguity, which I'm more comfortable with) to access course students next week. Any of you got any brilliant examples, definitions or simple explanations that would enable me to keep some of my hair?