It's being four years coming and the final result was not without its last minute trauma but today I ended up in the Butterworth Hall of the Warwick Arts Centre for my son's graduation with a masters degree in chemistry. He got the grade he needed to take up a job as a trainee auditor with KPMG and today was the celebration. It was a departure for me as well. I've been teaching at Warwick for the best part of fiveteen years, but with Yasmin leaving for greater things at Hull I had given my last lecture the week before. Ignoring student solidarity demonstrations and committee/caucus meetings of NOLS back in the 70's, my first visit to Warwick was the day of 9/11 when I had to give a motivational lecture to a bunch of hyped IBM sales people while the towers were going down on CNN in background. The location was the same Butterworth Hall. I had flown in from DC overnight and I still find it difficult to believe that they insisted I go on despite the unfolding events. I managed to make a motivation talk a serious reflection on events and I was on the phone before and after trying to find out if the people I had been working with were still alive.
The arrival of Huw and other graduands to their seats dispersed those memories and my job was not only that of proud father, but also family photographer. It was a great moment when he was called up to the stage and the smile on his face as he left the stage was reward enough. He'e been a responsible lad my Huw, managed his budget, managed all the arrangements after his flat was rendered unoccupiable three weeks before finals, organised accommodation and so on. He also sorted out my tax affairs so I know he can cope with disorder financial records. It takes something to get into one of the elite auditing firms at the first attempt and needless to say I am immensely proud of him. I chose my favourite picture of us on the day – captured by daughter when I was throwing away the hat for the official photograph. After all of that it was off to the The Malt Shovel at Barston for an excellent lunch, then to home a short ride and packing for tomorrow and Singapore.
It's funny to think that both children will complete their masters this year and in theory are now off my hands, they have been out of my hands for some years now!