Sunday, December 16, 2012

Dinner at Hogwarts

On Monday, Nick and I attended a very formal event, held at Northwestern's University Club.  It started with drinks and hors d'oeuvre in the eighth floor library, overlooking the Art Institute.  This was no public library.  It looked more like a castle library you walk into and discover the Duke smoking a cigar as he reads Shakespeare. I didn't want to appear out of place, or overly impressed, so I played it cool and didn't take lots of pictures.

But when we walked into the dining room, it was too impressive to maintain a cool demeanor.  It was a cathedral-like room, and to add to the magic, had dozens of large golden snowflakes hanging from the ceiling.  It instantly reminded me of the great hall at Hogwarts in Harry Potter with its enchanted ceiling.  The room has crests of Ivy League schools all along the wall.  The stories-tall Christmas tree added to the charm.  My pictures don't do it justice of course.
This picture doesn't show how awesome my hair looked.

The place is so formal, that I think they made the one guy who showed up without a jacket borrow one.  The event was to present three surgeons with endowed chairs at UIC.  Everyone in the program was wearing doctoral robes, which look a lot like wizarding robes.  The was a formal procession in, with the lead person carrying a giant wooden staff, which then went into a holder on the stage.
I never figured out what that was about.

Nick was invited by one of the honorees who he has worked under and co-written a paper with.  I think we were about thirty years under the average age of attendees.  We sat next to a really fun couple, and when they found out we were from Utah, asked if we were Mormon.  Then they said, "Oh, so do you know so-and-so?"  And yes, we did know that family.  

When we were leaving, I found this door when I was looking for the bathroom.  How can this place not be Hogwarts?
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