Kahikatea Tree at Papakura South School

Kahikatea Tree at Papakura South School
Martha-Lee and Madeline

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mrs. Raman's Graduation - Victoria University of Wellington

My husband J.T. and I took a one hour flight to Wellington on Tuesday 13th May and spent two nights in the wonderful windy city. To my surprise, I didn't feel it as cold there as it was in Auckland this past week. On Wednesday morning we had a scrumptious hotel breakfast and then set off on foot to collect my graduation gown. We started off walking in the opposite direction to where we were going and fortunately a courier guy pointed us on the right path. We made our way up a steep hill with over one hundred steps to climb into the street above leading to Kelburn Parade. It was an arduous climb which must have taken about fifteen minutes what with all the stops I made after climbing each flight of steps. We then staggered another twenty minutes until we reached Murphy Building and collected my graduation gown, hood and trencher. I refused to walk back so we grabbed a taxi to the Law School at Lambton Quay for the graduates street parade. It was a new and exciting experience for me but I only wish I could have had more family and friends there to share in my joy like the rest of the graduates. The parade started at 12 noon and finished around 12:45 in time for ceremony 1 starting at 1pm. Luckily my ceremony was at 6pm that evening which gave us time to enjoy a delicious lunch at an Irish restaurant before heading back to the hotel for a two hour nap. With all that walking, it was a well deserved and refreshing sleep before getting dressed for the ceremony. We took the taxi to the Michael Fowler Centre at 5:25 pm and arrived there on time at 5:30pm. All the graduands looked wonderful, wearing hoods and gowns appropriate to their degree, and carrying their trenchers. We lined up according to our marshalling numbers for an unrehearsed ceremony. When we walked into the dark hall, a Maori Kapa Haka group was rendering some beautiful waita ringa. After singing the national anthem and some speeches we were capped. It was a fantastic ceremony and I couldn't help but feel so proud of my achievement. I remembered my late Dad and my mum who were at my first graduation at Springfield College twenty years ago in 1988 and gave thanks to them for my journey - not forgetting the Grace of God.
After the graduation there was a reception for everybody. J.T. and I walked back to the hotel so I could change out of my sari and we set off for dinner.
We slept in on Thursday morning until 9am and after breakfast we spent the rest of the day at Te Papa Museum, then had a light lunch before flying back to Auckland at 4:30pm.
All in all, a fantastic and memorable graduation experience.

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