I’m writing this post today because I’m not sure how I’ll be fixed for writing anything tomorrow!
Tonight is a BIG Graduation Night for a group of us from Ireland who completed a brilliant online course from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. The course was a Postgraduate Certificate in Sense of Place: Heritage Tourism and pushed us all not only to the pins of our collars but frayed the collars in the process.
I was never much of a person for graduations in my ‘youth’ and when I look back I wonder how I could have skipped my BSc Graduation from Trinity College, Dublin in 1979. I thought it was crazy getting all dressed up in a gown and sitting around for hours on a lovely sunny summer’s day when I could be at the beach.
Fast forward to 1991, and I did the full biz for my PhD which I had worked on part-time for what seemed like a 100 years. I think it was the sense of the 100 years and the whole history of the thing that lured me to that conferring.
My mother came to stay with me in my ‘bedsit’ for a few days and the preparations were real mother-daughter time with the pair of us acting like kids and tripping over each other in the tiny room that had seen me grind out the ‘tome’ on an old typewriter!
Father, being a complete home bird, just flew in for the day on the train from Waterford and had to rush off to catch the train back a few minutes after the ceremony ended. I knew, though, by his witty remarks about my ‘get up’ that he was intensely proud and vastly relieved that the piece of paper had f i n a l l y been collected! I can vividly remember him saying just before he left: Oh, once a student, always a student. You’ll never stop after this.
So, maybe it’s age but I’m really looking forward to this ‘Graduation’ that we’re having tonight at the Copper Coast Geopark Centre in Bonmahon. How glorious to have that lovely drive along the Copper Coast to get there and home. I’ve been grinning to myself all morning wondering how we’ll all look in our Harry Potterish gowns.
Most of all, this course is living proof that one can make amazing friends through online courses. We have been hauling each other through the various hoops during the year and always intended to have a right bash if we ever came out the other end.
What Sense of Place means most today is the realisation that the fruits of labour become even sweeter the further one travels along the highways, byways and laneways of life.
What’s your perspective on Graduations of whatever description?