Lydia Thompson: Snapshot from Cambridge

Honors history student Lydia Thompson spent the 2011-2012 year studying abroad as a Libby Finch scholar at Cambridge University, in Cambridge, England.

So many fantastic things have happened since my last update. I’ve been exploring college, which is huge and complete with a duck pond and tower. We also had a party with a super-natural themed before classes started. My first week here I wore my matriculation robes a lot—to meet the headmistress, for the first fancy formal dinner, and even super early one morning to take our matriculation picture.

Two weeks ago I had a lovely dinner with my family! My college family, that is. I have a college mum and dad who are second-year students studying the same subject I am and are basically supposed to be like mentors/generally nice if I need anything. My college parents are amazing! It’s traditional for college mums and dads to make their children a dinner the first or second weekend after moving in, and my parents joined up with two other college couples and made us an absolutely lovely dinner of pasta with homemade sauce, wine, garlic bread, tiramisu, and chocolate cake. You can see we were a bit cramped, with twelve of us in a tiny kitchen (and others coming in to pop things in the oven from time to time), but it was still almost as lovely as dinner with my actual family. 🙂

Saturday nights the dining hall doesn’t serve dinner, and it’s traditional for students to cook a meal together. Last night I got together with some friends and made a feast – two kinds of pasta, three kinds of curry, pizza, and orange juice.

One of the most fun things, if not the best thing, that I’ve been doing is rowing! We had an outing today and the weather was absolutely gorgeous. One of my boat sisters and I got a snack after our strenuous outing today. (It was quite windy.)

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Some other things worth mentioning: going on a lovely long ramble (British for “long walk”), wandering around inside Kings College (BEAUTIFUL), eating fudge from Fudge Kitchen (sooooo good), and going with some friends to a university-produced sketch comedy. I suppose I should also mention that I’m getting into the swing of academic life. It’s quite different here. I have a series of lectures for each course, and for each course I also have a “supervisor” whom I meet with once a week, or once every two weeks, for small group discussions over reading and essay assignments. So far it’s working. I’ve enjoyed my discussions and lectures, and I turned in my first assignment of the year on Friday.

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