Having read an article I wrote reviewing bioinformatics courses in the UK, and despite my honest warnings, Wei applied to be a student on one I once taught on. Because the admissions office at [insert name of educational institution easily obtained by googling] failed to process her paperwork properly she had to make do with studying for her Master’s in computational biology at Cambridge University instead.

She did very well in Tabland and kindly invited me to her graduation a fortnight ago. Clever as she is, the main reason I am posting a photo I took of her outside Senate House is that Wei is [near-silent whisper] slightly more attractive than Nigella Lawson.

Wei graduates

Amusingly for a former student in the graduate school of the Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Wei really does have “cheekbones like geometry”.

Graduands only get three tickets each. That at least is how I explain my never having been invited to witness one of these things from the inside before. When I finally did gain access to the ceremony itself, I was a bit disappointed with the level of pomp (no music?!), though I did like that the candidates have to kneel down and bow their heads just a few feet from a device that looks exactly like a glass-bladed guillotine.

[For photos of Jo, the first to appear in this occasional series, go here. Nominations for the first blonde entry are welcome. The Babes Of Biology Calendar 2007 will be available from December of this year at a bookshop near you.]

Afterwards we walked raced through tropical rain to Wei’s college, Magdalene, where another of Wei’s guests took the photo from which I have cropped this wonderful image. Wei looks nervous. I look sleazier than Bill Clinton in a nunnery. At last: a new running visual joke on PooterGeek. I’d turn it into a caption competition if I thought there was any chance you lot could come up with some text that wouldn’t cause mortal offence to Wei.

Wei stands nervously next to leery Damian by the fireplace
Me? The First Earl Of Romsey? Alone in my Cambridge study with a nubile former graduate student? What were they thinking?!

There are more photos of me here and here. In almost all of them I am waving my arms in exasperation with one or more of Jackie Danicki’s Right-wing friends.