We just attended Pascoe’s graduation. UEA is a cool, convention-busting 1960s university. Then why did the graduands have to wear traditional robes? Where was the bold spirit that thought up the motto “Do Different”?
Pascoe enjoyed tremendously wearing the navy gown and mortar board and he assumed the persona of an academic superhero. With the breeze billowing his sleeves, he brandished an imaginary staff/sword/wand? Anything for a bit of dressing up.
However, gowns are archaic, hot and cost a fortune to hire. Not to mention the ridiculous mortar boards.
But then I noticed how tenderly UEA was celebrating its new graduates who were about to be launched from the comparative safety of its campus – a ceremony, photos, drinks reception. The youngsters were being told that a huge change was happening in their lives. Rite of Passage. Somehow they had to understand that their status by the end of the day was different from when they got up that morning.
If it takes mediaeval robes to make that magic happen, then robes it is.
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