Thursday, December 08, 2005

Now for the not so weekly family update ;-)

:-)The major news would of course be Halldórs graduation a week ago, when with infinite ceremony he graduated with honours from the University of Edinburgh. It was a very interesting experience on the whole. We arrived (as is our custom) far too early but managed to meet up with friends who were giving us their extra guest ticket allowing for all three of us to attend. The thing is each graduand only gets two guest tickets, the rest are distributed by lottery and well with our luck at gambling, needless to say we had assumed either me or Níels would be at home watching the kids. Luckily I managed to get babysitting for both kids on the day and off we went, me snapping eagerly at everything and nothing, trying to come to grips with my graduation present which had in a manner both most evil as well as great, been handed to me right before heading off, leaving me flying high grasping the reality of being able to take photos at the ceremony (something that had brought me down not being able to do) whilst at the same time figuring out all the knobs and buttons in the taxi on the way :-D To clarify my ramblings, Halldór, Dad, Valgerður and Níels all threw together to get me my Olympus E500, an extra zoom lens, a gigabyte memory card and a bag :-D even though my graduation isn´t until January ;-) *observe one wee person jumping for joy*
Helgi og Ragna Stella, Emily og Julie Prezzie time

Halldór með mastersgráðu ;-)To get back to the actual ceremony, it was held in a hall specifically built for the Universities of Edinburgh’s graduations. It is a round awe inspiring building and all the walls are laden with frescos. Once inside dark wood benches ecircled the main floor where the graduands sat all wearing their witchy robes. Elderly gentlemen clad in green long coats guided people around as everyone’s parents snapped away. Once the ceremony started everything moved very fast, way faster than my high school graduation. As each person was called up they were duly hit on the head (literally) and according to the graduands the only difference between those graduating with distinction and those not, was that the d ones were hit harder. The implement used to hit the students is apparently this 400 year old scholars hat, a piece of which, we found out during the initial speech, was set to travel around the earth in a space shuttle next year ;-)

í salnumThe whole hoopla, what with the hooded robes, the ceremony and regality brought to my mind images of a certain School of wizardry, not an unlikely connection seeing as Rowling lives here but it also made me think of the age old connection between education and knowledge, and wizardry and magic. Iceland’s most famous magician studied at the black school, i.e. Sorbonne in France and was renowned for outwitting the devil. It will be curious to compare this graduation to my graduation in a modern University in an industrial city.

Valgerður og Níels með krökkunum í Princes street parkValgerður and Níels left us for Iceland yesterday, leaving a mountain of presents to intrigue the children, also making one miss having family around. Then again both of us having been brought up globetrotting it is perhaps to be expected that as grown ups we would do the same. After going down to Sheffield for a meeting with the head of NATCECT I´ve decided to at least apply to the School of Asian studies for a PhD with joint supervision surrounding the research to be done in Japan, so fingers crossed. So all in all a good week filled with momentous events, family and the chance to meet up with friends who had left Edinburgh and who only returned for their graduation :-D
Awwww ;-D Ian and Daisy Theo, Susanne and Tony Stella with Ians birthday candle


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