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Graduation and Reflection June 26, 2009

Posted by pacejmiller in Blogging, Novel, On Writing.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Well, today I graduated, obtaining a Master of Law from the University of Cambridge (their 800th year!).

The usual group photo was taken in the morning (according to college rather than course), which was especially unbearable because of the heat (unusual for UK, even in the summer) and the fact that we were suited up and draped in gowns and hoods didn’t help.  It was brutal, and they were really slow and disorganised.  One would have thought that after taking such photos literally thousands of times over a hundred years a decent system could have been devised…

We then dispersed and returned after lunch for a brief rehearsal, when the sky opened up and rain began pouring down, though fortunately it cleared up again before we made our march down to the graduation hall.  We were treated like celebrities, with people gawking, photographing and clapping all the way there.  It was weird.

The ceremony itself was quick and sweet.  As the more ‘senior’ members of the graduating group (the majority were undergraduates), we were up first.  Nothing against tradition, but it felt a little pretentious to me with all the gowns and funny hats and men carrying metal staffs, the master sitting on the throne, having to grasp the finger of the praelector (seriously, we did) and lots of phrases thrown around purely in Latin which no one understood (they could have been saying anything!).  I should have been prouder but I just wanted to escape from the stuffy heat!

What did I feel?  Surprisingly, not much.  Quite empty, really.  Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that the entire degree only took 9 months (or to be more specific, 24 weeks, or 3 terms of 8 weeks each).  Or maybe because my mind was preoccupied with other more interesting aspects of my life for the majority of the time (though make no mistake, I studied as hard as I could (maybe…) for the exams).

I think rather than securing my LLM, I will remember this year more for the amazing places we visited in Europe, starting this blog, and finally getting serious about my novel, which I fully intend to continue pursuing and finish.  Whether it gets published or not in the end is no longer that important to me anymore.

I’m really more disappointed that this long vacation is over and I’ll be heading back to work before the end of the year.  Oh well…



1. Nate - June 27, 2009

Sounds like the weather really did a number on you and kept you from truly enjoying your grads ceremony. Perhaps it didn’t feel so cool because it basically signified that your european sight-seeing days were over.
Treated like celebrities? I’m sure it was just people happy to see their loves one graduate, which ain’t no small feat, especially law school, and if say you become a successful writer? You gonna have to deal with it everywhere as you go about promoting your *Twilight*.

You’ll see, looking back on it, once inside the relax atmosphere of your home/hidding lair/medieval fortress/shire you’ll be very proud of having been there and the whole ceremony I’m sure. If anything the wife should be glad…. she can now put you to work and not be the only one bringing the bacon! (I kid).

pacejmiller - June 27, 2009

Ahhh…the wife was actually not bringing any bacon either during this time! We lived off savings!!! So it’s back to reality for her too!

2. j-a brock - June 27, 2009

congratulations on finishing your studies, and good luck with more of your writing! it can be daunting juggling work and writing, but it can be done.

pacejmiller - June 27, 2009

Thanks so much! I look forward to the juggling…I think writing was what was missing in my life the last time I worked full time, which is what made it so unbearable!

3. Nate - June 27, 2009

So you guys were sort of living like hippies? In Europe? I don’t know that I would want to give that up and come back to reality.

pacejmiller - June 28, 2009

Hehe, I think living like bums is more apt.

4. Matt - June 28, 2009

congrats mate! hit me up when u come home and we can discuss blogging war stories lol

sounds like u had an awesome year / 9 months. probably don’t realise the significance of graduating til a few years down the track.

pacejmiller - June 28, 2009

Thanks dude. For sure, will definitely get in touch as soon as I get back.

It’s been a surreal year. Going to summarise the experience in my final UK post just before I leave.

I’m sure I will always look back fondly on my time here.

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