Sunday Sundries | Vol. 17

I matriculated this week.

Matriculation is the official process of admission into a school. It might seem funny seeing as I’ve already been studying there for over a month.

The procedure is this: we don academic robes, engage in a little ceremony in the chapel, and the climax of all this excitement is when we sign the matricula (latin for ‘register’), a huge old book that looks like it contains magic spells.

My suspicion as to why the ceremony takes place so late in the year is the university waits until after the date where students can drop out with a tuition refund to make sure no one who’s leaving the school gets to sign the old book.

We borrow our academic robes from the school. We leave our student IDs as collateral for the loaned robes. I forgot my ID in the basement of the building and offered to leave my engagement ring with the register as collateral instead, then I thought better and ran back downstairs to fetch my ID.

We march outside in our gowns and head over to the church where the chaplin greets us outside. He’s an older gentleman with a white beard down to the middle of his chest.

He quirks an eyebrow, “I presume you’ve been told you’ll need to recite some latin?”

No. No one said anything about latin.

“If you get it right,” he says, “The wooden eagle statue at the front of the church will take off and soar around the ceiling three times… I’ll let you know right before we begin the blood sacrifice so that you can close you’re eyes if you’re squeamish.”

We head into the chapel and say our latin:

Ego in Universitate Collegii Regalis discipulus sancte polliceor me legibus pariturum, traditionesque meliores eius culturum, ita ut praeceptis eius convivendi edutitionisque oboediam, necnon ipsius academiae dignitatem atque saluten quantum in me fuerit per reliquam vitam procuraturum.

Then we see the translation below:

*I, a student of the University of King’s College, do solemnly promise that I will obey her regulations and best traditions in order to serve the precepts of communal life and of learning, and that of the rest of my life, so far as in me lies, I will care for the honour and welfare of this College.*

Turns out I’ve sworn a lifetime oath. Sure thing King’s, you got me.

After the ceremony, we retired into the adjoined president’s lodge for some sparkling water and chocolate wafers.

We pretend the wafer sticks are wands and we’re in Harry Potter. That’s why everyone comes to King’s in the first place, right?


Following the signing of the matricula, there’s a formal meal in the dining hall.  It’s pretty Harry Potter in here too.

There are large glass windows and the high ceilings are vaulted. If some industrious arts student used some projection mapping on the ceiling with a starry overlay, it would look pretty bang-on to Hogwarts.

This Week’s Reading:



Author: Mel Hattie

Hi, I’m Mel, blogger and tea sommelier at Mel Had Tea. I love to explore, learn, and meet new people. Nothing inspires me more than reading, traveling the world, talking to strangers, and drinking tea.

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