St Andrews Open Day
We are on the university trail again, starting with last week's open day at St Andrews. I was exceptionally well-behaved, only taking my camera out at the very end of the day, when the crowds of prospective students and their parents had dispersed and there was less scope for being an embarrassing mum. The weather was not particularly photo-friendly: a typical east coast haar (thick sea fog) in the morning, followed by an afternoon of almost-sunshine. Part of me regretted that it wasn't raining - it's always good to get an early dose of realism about the place in which you might spend 4 years. In the photo above, the spire of St Salvator's Chapel fades into the bright haze. The two red gowned individuals are undergraduate students who have just finished a day of guiding visitors around the university.
You'll see that gown of one the students is slipping off their left shoulder. This is carefully orchestrated. Below, you can see three of the four ways in which the gown is worn. On the left, barely hanging on, is the gown of a fourth year student. In the middle, the gown is slipping off the shoulders slightly - denoting a second year student. On the right, the off the left shoulder look shows that the student is in the Faculty of Arts. A first year student wears the gown high on both shoulders.
One lot of ancient university customs down, three or four more to go on our open day rounds. British students can apply to a maximum of five universities - so far there are four on my daughter's list. Applications open in September for entry the following autumn, so we'll have a summer of touring campuses with historic buildings, state-of-the-art this, that and the other, to say nothing of eye-wateringly tiny hall of residence rooms.