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Designing a Ritual

So my dear Skirt!istas, as you know I’m nearing the culmination of my PhD.  Passed my viva voce in June and now just have some corrections standing in the way of me and the big floppy hat (PhDs get big floppy hats in the UK, not mortarboards.  I couldn’t find a good picture that wouldn’t mean linking to somebody’s personal webpage, and they might find that a bit creepy, so you’ll just have to imagine it.  They look a bit like squished chef’s hats.)  This is the end of twenty years of (nearly) continuous education. I’ve never thought of myself as anything but a student, so making the transition into…not-student-hood is a big step. Someone suggested that I design a personal ritual that would mark this process.  Yes, I know, that’s what graduation is for, ceremoniously ushering us from one era of our lives into another–but when graduation comes round (and it’s still quite a few months away) it will only commemorate the end of my PhD, not the end of studenthood altogether and the new beginnings into…professionaldom?  Much sooner than graduation, I’ll be finished with the corrections and have received my qualification, and even sooner than THAT I’ll be moving away from Exeter, the place that I’ve spent the past four years.  Lots of change.

So my question to you is: do any of you have a personal ritual that you designed for any purpose that you’d like to share? Or any ideas about what I might include in my ritual?  I’ve had some interesting suggestions from other venues (see my post on the QI talk forum) and from friends–I look forward to your thoughts on the subject.

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