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Graduations, Valedictions and Celebrations

Graduation
Graduation

Breakfast and early morning classes began as usual today – but there was no doubt a slightly more nostalgic tone to it all. As the final day of the course is upon us, students tend to become a little more reflective about the personal strides, friends and memories they have made over the last two weeks. Whilst many students feel some relief at the prospect of getting home and having a good rest (both mentally and physically), there is an understated quality of sadness to the day because, really, we each know that soon it will all be over.

Presentation Time

Nonetheless, there is still much to do! Many students are scheduled to present a formal project to their classes today, which is the culmination of learning lots of new material very quickly and challenging application of old skills to novel situations. The exercise is a good way for students to review and revisit the compendium of knowledge they have gained over the last two weeks, and is also a great initiation into the regimented tradition of university projects!

After classes and the final lunch of the week, students attended West Road Concert Hall for their ‘graduation’. Here, students heard from the programmes academic manager, Ore, who urged them to reflect on the progress they have made in the last week and to especially think about how they can use what they have learned in the future. Sean, the overall programme manager, also gave a valedictory address that spoke of the hope that the friendships and memories formed in the past two weeks might last for much longer into the future.

Students then proceeded to a ‘Gala Dinner’ at Christs and Sydney College respectively. The combination of good food, great friends and some glam outfits here and there, made for a fitting end to the week. However, things didn’t stop there…

Over the last two weeks, a team of highly skilled and enthusiastic mentors had been meticulously planning for the Final Night Party. Many phone calls were made, deals broken and dilemma resolution meetings extended late into the night – with the result being a final bash to top it all off. The party – based around multiple rooms in Christs College – included an array of light effects, disco rooms catering to various tastes, as well as a silent disco. Mentors were on hand to supply the great tunes, and ended up having as good a time as the students themselves!

In summary, the week ended with a bang, though the knowledge, memories and relationships that have been gained over the programme will last for much longer. Thanks to those who’ve been following the blog, and thanks to the great kids I’ve had the pleasure of mentoring over the last two weeks.

Yours faithfully – Mark.

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