Sunday, June 12, 2005

super fusc.

this weekend i made several japanese couples, and even some americans, very happy.

sometimes it seems that oxford university specifically designed its rituals as a money-spinner for the tourist industry, and graduation was no exception. the mental scars of taking exams in 'sub fusc' (latin for 'show off') have barely faded, particularly the incident before my last exam when a group of french schoolchildren pursued me across Christ Church meadow shouting, "Arry Potter! Arry Potter!" There have been calls to drop the dress code for exams - surely a cause which will gird the loins of Damonline, scourge of the London club shoe nazi. The university says that students like the tradition, but we all know that having flocks of fresh-faced students roaming the streets in white tie and gowns (during the summer, no less) provides incalculably valuable free publicity.

So on Saturday we processed to the sheldonian theatre, dressed as prats, and took part in a ceremony that was dominated by a costume change into the furrier upgrade gown you get as a BA. So that's it, I'm untouchable. It will never matter if my degree was the result of a clerical error, they can't take it back.

And I suppose that makes the daft costume worth it. It was also very bizarre to see my friends from college, but very welcome. There was even a half-readable article in the Cherwell, which is a first, and the Isis interviewed Andre 3000.

In other news, I've decided to write a novel. It will be crap, but that's the point. If I can purge all the nauseatingly adolescent prose I have stored up, I may one day write something good. More likely I will be the new Julie Burchill.

PS. Talking of novels, may I recommend The Princess Bride by William Goldman? If you've seen the film, it's still worthwhile reading the book, to an extent I'm toying with the upsetting compound word "unputdownable" to describe it.

PPS. Has anyone seen Sin City? Was it good?


Blogger damonline said...

How come you've only just graduated? I thought you left uni a year ago.

6/12/2005 10:18 pm  
Blogger galatea said...

aha. you'll like this. at oxford, you have to wait for a year before graduating. i'm pretty sure it's because they have the ceremony in the sheldonian, which has the advantage of being designed by wren, but isn't exactly roomy.

for the last year, i have been a graduand. correct me if i'm wrong (i know you will) but that's a gerund, meaning 'in the process of graduating'. so that's what i've been doing for the last year.

it's amazing i've been able to get anything else done, with all that graduating.

6/12/2005 10:21 pm  
Blogger damonline said...

Ah, I see. The graduating process at my alma mater took slightly less than a fortnight, if memory serves - obviously a steeper grad-eint than your place - and we too had to dress up like nerks.

It also involved pulling an elderly classicist's finger and kneeling on a hassock, hands clasped, while a man swathed in a red blanket "admitted" you to the university. Quite what I'd been doing there up to that point is unclear, but clearly inadmissable.

This slightly peculiar ceremony took place in the grandly named Senate House.

6/13/2005 5:29 pm  
Blogger The Grinch said...

What's your novel going to be about? Mine's attempting to be satirical semi-political adult fantasy farce, or Terry Pratchett meets Charles Dickens in a crowded pub and attempts to conduct a shouty debate about global warming over the overloud strains of "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party) by the Beastie Boys. See if you can summarise your literary efforts in such a snappy, meaningless way, and you too can be a critic for The Spectator.

6/16/2005 3:58 pm  
Blogger galatea said...

mine's going to be about crying and fucking. not at the same time.

it's like the black humour of iain banks having a candlelit with the wry mirth of bill bryson, sipping from the wine bottle of post-Enlightenment philosophy, and then, over the cigars of postmodernism, quarrelling over the tip.

but mostly crying and fucking.

6/16/2005 11:03 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a fortnight I am going through an equivalently nonsensical process to graduate to an MA for doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WHATSOEVER. I have to hire a furry BA gown to wear before changing into an MA gown. Have no clue how they will up the gown-ante. Furrier? Feathered? With ring-tone? I just don’t know but am paying the princely sum of £40 to hire the dratted things and find out…

I shall also see my college friends, as you so astutely put it, ‘dressed like prats’. Some would have it that ‘dressed as a prat’ is not an unusual situation in which to find myself. But, as I shop at H&M or Primark, it has rarely cost me £40 before.

Any hoo! Parade and be damned.

7/15/2005 3:48 pm  

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