I am Troisnyx, LLB (Hons).

The graduation ceremony for my LLB took place two days ago (22 November 2012) at St Albans, the same city we used to frequent for our lectures up till mid-2011.

It was a very bittersweet day, with none of my family able to make it. I only had one witness for the day — my close friend and bandmate from Kingdom of Herts, Christo Tracey. 22 November was also the feast day of St Cecilia, patron saint of music and musicians, and I was unable to attend Mass on the day because it coincided with the graduation ceremony. To top it all up, Mark Tanner's birthday was on the 22nd, and we really missed him a lot!

I decided to wear my favourite dress: one that my mother got for me several years ago. Many people bought or rented new dresses, suits and whatnot... but I decided to go with the one that I cherished the most.

Pictures and visuals

My walk to the main building at College Lane Campus — the Prince Edward Hall. I was told that there were shuttles from the area, so I walked. I later discovered that there were no shuttles going from that place, and that we had to take the 602 (or 655) to St Albans and pay the standard student fare! Not to mention, I wasted about half an hour at the Prince Edward Hall looking for leads on how to get to the place.

The Alban Arena, the place where we were to get our robes. It was windy, and I dropped my confirmation e-mail that I had to bring for the day, and it got stained, and there was a slug stuck on it. Botherment.

So when I came to the Alban Arena, the first thing I had to do was head downstairs, where they had two stalls for ticket collection and robe rental. The people who were at Alban Arena by the time I came there... they were all preparing for their graduation ceremony which was at 2:00 p.m. (they were the Nursing and Midwifery students). Surprisingly enough, I got my tickets and my robe early!

The Ceremonies booklet and tix. In the envelope were my own ticket and two guest tickets, which I had paid for.

The robe rental stall. The people from J Wippell & Co, robemakers for (among others) Uni Hertfordshire. We queued up to get them. Now technically they didn't give robes to people whose ceremonies were much later — mine was at 7:00 p.m. — but since I already had the tickets, they presented the robe to me. So I'm the only person in the entire law school to have worn the robe for long hours! :D

Troisnyx, fully vested!

And I just repeated everything I wrote earlier.

The sea of people at the Alban Arena. It was insane to walk in and out.

Professional photographs were taken in the auditorium. But I passed them altogether. I was to go through a poor man's graduation. What's a poor man's graduation, you ask? I'll explain shortly. ;-)

Happy feelings and disdain get into the mix here. Blue prison bars!

I got back into the auditorium, it was full of people... A lot of whom were faces I had never frequently seen.

You think you got the best pictures, eh, photographers? Beat this! This was taken at the auditorium, and honestly, I prefer being natural to just posing for the backgrounds like a statue. And you get to see a little more of my cape, mortarboard and whatnot.

The helpers and ushers for the day were dressed in purple. Some of them were staff at the law school, while some came from other departments. Still university colours. Can't complain. :D

The one next to me is Nina. We knew each other from our A-Level years, but she was a direct entrant to Uni Hertfordshire in Year 3. We were especially close through these years.

It kinda felt bittersweet to see that people were bringing guests in droves... and by that time I was still alone.

The sands of time, gold and silver, they fall, and soon I shall be at my last breath.

There was a Students' Union stall set up selling Uni Hertfordshire merch. Much of it was particular to the graduation.

And here's the UH Alumni stall. I'll be joining the Alumni Association shortly. Technically, I'm still a UH student, but we're automatically entitled to be part of the Alumni as soon as we finish our first course. Case in point, the e-mail informing us about the Alumni Association came to all of us who had finished the LLB in May, although we were on the Legal Practice Course and/or Masters in Law.

There was a video being shot, "The Alumni Diaries", and it documented the thoughts of students graduating during this week. P.S. I am also part of this video!

This video should provide just a little bit more explanation about said film.

This is Clara. She and I have also been close throughout Years 2 and 3.

This is Collins. He and I are doing the Legal Practice Course together. We are part of a cohort of only 57. It's funny... doing the LPC and then revisiting one's steps during the LLB.

This is Lilian and her two sons. She is also one of my friends from the LPC cohort. I'd promised I would take the family picture for her... to disprove the idea that family pictures needed to be taken in a studio. I will admit, I love the second one.

The last picture makes it look as though we were frozen in time while the others moved around us.

The main entrance to Alban Arena. The UH light was on just for the week!

Down the High Street through to the road leading to St Albans Abbey. It was almost 6:00, and it was time for us to proceed.

The walk to St Albans Abbey. I was singing my favourite hymn of all time, Lead, Kindly Light, the words to which were penned by Blessed John Henry Newman. As you might tell, the weather was horrible. It was cold and windy, and not many of us could wear our graduation robes over our coats. Our capes and mortarboards were being blown all over the place, it was awful to hold the camera and keep my robes still.

At the Abbey, we were set out like this: the students were seated at the side aisles, by and large blocked by pillars, while the guests were seated at the centre aisles. Because some of us couldn't see much of what was going on from the side aisles (pillars!), there were screens nearby. The footage from the graduation was shown live.

The picture was taken by one of the Law School helpers. I forget the person's name (is it Asif??), but at any rate, I had met him on and off during my Years 2 and 3. Oh also, it's not that I have a downgraded cape. The white section of the cape got blown over by the wind!

I can only fix my eyes to you, Lord, even for a brief moment, when nobody else wants to think that you and all of Heaven are celebrating with us.

At around 6:30, Christo came, and I ran into his arms. I was overjoyed to see him! I passed him my camera so that he might be able to get one or two pictures in during the actual ceremony. Since only one ticket could be used, my other ticket was given up so that another person's family member could come and join in the celebration.

Right before the start of the ceremony. The Chancellor and Vice Chancellors, the Dean of the School of Law and the Law School lecturers were to process in academic dress.

I know this is kinda blurry, but I managed to point out a few familiar faces from the front. (Alliteration for the win.)

Another blurry picture, but one I decided to put up anyway. Essentially when Christo was taking this, I made a little salute to the camera before making my way up to the front. And yes, I was wearing heels.

Receiving my certificate. There were two phases: shaking the Chancellor's (?) hand, and receiving the certificate (apparently not from the same person). But at any rate, I was walking down from the sanctuary, a proud LLB graduate. And all that, without tripping on the sanctuary even once. Success!

It was a haze as the staff and students marched out in procession. Still, at least we can make out one face. : )

Back at Alban Arena...

I did the blessing gesture, yay! This was to be the last photo I would ever take in graduation robes for the day.  Between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. we were to return our robes, if we rented them. Christo and I settled for cups of juice and snacks, and then after that, it was time for me to return the robes. I wanted to avoid the crowd, so I slipped out early.

The two of us then went to Nando's for dinner.

Our little happy birthday note to Mark Tanner, ex-member of Kingdom of Herts and still a very dear friend of ours.

Dare you point that finger at me again, Christo... He was holding my certificate, by the way, but it had a little casing, and the casing was reflecting the light...

We both had a great meal, spoke about Kingdom of Herts stuff, school and matters of faith. (Oh, by the way: his normal spice level was Medium and my normal spice level was Extra Hot, so today we settled for a fair compromise: Hot. And he actually enjoyed it!) It was great company, and I especially enjoyed that time.

By the time we got out of Nando's it had begun to rain. Heavily. No surprise there, considering the strong winds we had earlier. We walked back to the bus stop and waited until I caught the 602 back home.

So there it was. Our humble graduation ceremony.

The poor man's graduation

There's a simple reason as to why we call it the "poor man's graduation". Note, a lot of my working friends also took this. Now: robe rental and guest tickets come up to a pretty hefty sum. And as if that's not enough, there are the studio pictures.

We decided to forgo the student pictures, because of how expensive they were. The pictures that really mattered to us were the presentation pictures on the sanctuary, but those cost us a good £30, and postage, online download and even the slightest edits were charged. Good heavens. We all thought, hang on a second: we have Photoshop, we have RealPlayer if we were to convert videos, we have a good camera and two SDs, we might as well use them to our advantage! And we did! :D

Well, that's it for now. See you at a later point.


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