Michael Rosen
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Hon Doc

The Open University very kindly gave me an Honorary Doctorate. This is like a prize - their way of appreciating someone's work. It all took place at the Festival Hall in London, at the same time as the people who've studied for their degrees come to get their certificates. I had to dress up in a blue and yellow gown (Arsenal 'away' strip, really) and process. This means walking very slowly behind the bigwigs from the university down through the audience and up on to the stage. I should also say that the hall is not only full of students but also their friends and family. There were about 2000 people there.

It was very friendly, and before it all got going, a man took us through what would happen, and we had to rehearse, standing up, sitting down, bowing, turning, going over to a book and signing our names, coming back, sitting down and the like. It all seemed quite straightforward.

Then we had a very nice lunch overlooking the London Eye.

After that, it was the procession, up onto the stage, and wait my turn for the ceremony. You'll never guess what happened: at the crucial moment, just as I'm about to be given the certificate, I turned the wrong way, and, in front of 2000 people headed off the wrong way across the stage. So the Director of Studies was left standing there with my certificate in his hand while I wandered off.

The good thing about the occasion, is that this didn't seem to matter. Thanks very much, Open University.



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