Saturday, June 26, 2010

Last Day in Cambridge

written on June 25, 2010

Time here has gone by so fast! It's okay though. I think I'm ready to leave. As with NYC, I didn't feel the need to walk around again and see all the sights. Not much has changed in terms of how the city feels and such.

I really didn't do anything useful this morning. Woke up and mosey-ed around for a long time. I had a meeting with a friend for lunch, at noon. I didn't feel like going out for a walk or anything. But the lunch was good. We went to this new Chinese restaurant in Cambridge that has a lot of Chinese people as customers. The food was pretty good. We went to a museum inside a polar research institute that had exhibits on expeditions to both the north and south poles. It was pretty interesting.

After the museum, I went off to the Caius graduation ceremony. I was cutting through the Lion Yard when I realized that there must be a bathroom inside the mall. This mall had been under construction when I was there and there are now many more levels. I saw a sign that said that the toilets were on the 2nd floor so I promptly took the escalators up one level and walked around until I saw another sign. Then I realized that “2nd” floor in the UK is actually the “3rd” floor in the US. Such a dumb mistake! The bathroom was free, luckily. Someone was actually wondering out-loud in front of the bathroom so it really wasn't just me.

I headed to the ceremony and sat with Sophia's parents. They met a few of the other Chinese parents so they were pretty happy. Some of the other Chinese parents were working in the UK. It seems like they hadn't gotten the chance to talk to very many Cambridge students during their days here. I somehow ended up with a seat right opposite the doorway. It was kind of weird.

The ceremony itself was pretty painless. There were no speeches at all. Only some mutterings in Latin that no one could understand. And then the graduates came in groups of 4, by alphabetical order, held onto the fingers of this one guy while he presents them to the Master of the College. Then, one by one, they knelt before the Master, while the Master confers the degree upon them. It seemed a bit archaic, I have to say. But I guess it was pretty fast, compared to American style ones. I didn't like the fact that they didn't ask the graduates to submit phonetic cards with their names. But then again, the name calling was not very loud at all. More for the graduates to know when to walk up to the Master.

I saw a bunch of people afterward. I was surprised at how many people I still recognize and that they also remember me. Everyone I talked to seemed to have plans for after graduation. A few are doing more school and a couple of others have jobs. There were also tons of opportunities to buy various stuff, like frames, pictures, and even a better looking diploma... I took pictures with a few people and helped a few other people take photos with their families and friends. Didn't really get to chat with people all that much because they were all busy saying goodbyes to friends, tutors, etc. But it was really good. Definitely worth the effort of coming all the way back, I suppose.

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