Thursday, October 4, 2012

I have matriculated at HOGWARTS...(aka St. Edmunds)

 Matriculation or matriculatus: 

To enroll as a member of a body and especially of a college. 
ma·tric·u·lation not to be confused with maturation!

For a few days before...I honestly struggled to say it correctly. However, I got it sorted out. This is a monumentous event marking the moment I become a lifelong member of St. Edmund's College. It also formally admits me to reading the MPhil in Education at the University of Cambridge. To be a student at Cambridge one must be a member of a College (like a house in Harry Potter). There are 31 Colleges at Cambridge. St. Edmund's is a graduate college meaning most of us are imports to Cambridge Uni. Also, it is the most diverse student composition in Cambridge. There are 400 students representing 69 nationalities. 

Then the official mail started arriving. Along with all the rules. First off, it is mandatory event. Next university gowns of the proper rank must be worn. Under the gowns...well "Gentlemen are required to wear a lounge suit and tie and women to be smartly dressed." During the ceremony, each student was called the the front of the Chapel. 

Photo: Waiting for the Butler's call to dinner

"Miss Carly Christensen reading a Masters in Philosophy of Education." Then the Master had a little conversation with me! Afterwards, I turned clockwise and walked to the rear of the chapel to sign the official members book....which is very old. The ceremony was nice. The statement that the Fellows swear to uphold for the College of St. Edmund's is "Education, Religion, Learning and Research." Then it was time for the formal hall dinner. 

Formal Hall has many cell phones (obviously), no purses/bags, no PHOTOs, no leaving the dinning hall before the post cibum Grace....ohh and there is assigned seats. Now I was excited for the dinner and figured the other students (made up of 69 nationalities) would be forgiving about the strict table manners (most of them don't know the rules). It was a 4 course meal.  

There are three long tables and a main head table. The head table has the Masters and Fellows seated at it...along with visiting members. The dinner lasts about 3ish hours! Meaning that person next to you better be engaging. So just my luck, I was lead to my seat by the butler who seemed to smile when I said my name. He walked me straight up to the head table! At first I thought he had made a mistake until I saw my name tag!!! 

What a night! I knew the basics. The conversation was incredible. My mind was literally exploding. The Fellows are very personable. They talked about such a range of topics--the time flew up. There was ceremonial sections between the courses. 
Getting ready!! 

It was almost like Hogwarts...minus the hats! 
I few times I really thought "Wow, it's like I go to Hogwarts." Mainly, because of the formal gowns...but also because everything feels unbelievable...or really magical! 


  1. Amazing Carly!! I hope you can keep up with these blog posts, I am living vicariously through you. What did they serve for dinner?

  2. Carly, that is amazing! I am glad you are having a good time so far and it seems just like Harry Potter!