So, yeah, I graduated. I skipped Commencement this time, but went to the Convocation for the College of Humanities. The regalia was much more complicated than when I got my bachelor's degree. The hood gets attached in both the front and the middle of your back, so I wasn't able to get into or out of this outfit on my own. The hood didn't come with very good instructions, and the ones on the university's website were only slightly better:
1. Inspect the hood from the side, as in Fig. 1. The long side (A) is to be next to the back.
2. Place small end of the hood over head, with side A (Fig. 1) next to the back.
3.Fold over side B (now the center of the hood) to expose its satin lining. The hood will then appear as in Fig. 2.
4. Attach looped end of cord (A) to shirt or blouse button. Blouse or shirt collar and tie should be covered by velvet, but not rub uncomfortably on the neck (Fig. 3).
5.Wrap cord (B) around button on center of gown (number of wraps adjusts hood opening width). Now attach looped end to button on opposite side of hood.
Yeah. Anyway, the convocation itself was kind of fun, though very long. The English MA students were the first ones to walk, so we were in the front row and had a lot of time to just sit and watch all the other graduates. We gave imaginary awards for best footwear, since everybody looked about the same from the shins up. All the guys wore pretty much the same kind of shoes, but the Best Footwear Award (male) went to a guy who was showing a good two or three inches of chartreuse sock between his pant legs and his shoes. The competition was much stiffer in the women's division; there were a few floral entries, and a couple of pairs of hot-pink patent-leather high heels which, unfortunately, canceled each other out. The Best Footwear Award (female) ultimately went to the woman in the shiny silver snakeskin ankle-strap sandals with what looked to be about a four-inch heel. They were a lot like these (which are listed at five inches) but shinier.We gave her extra credit for making it up the ramp onto the stage without falling.
So anyway, I walked across the stage in my turn, and the announcer said my name -- correctly! -- and I got my lovely, empty diploma-size folder from the Dean of the college. I was, surprisingly, less excited than when I got my bachelor's degree, but still more excited than I thought I would be when it came down to it.