The final stretch

With less than a week to go here at Cambridge, I’m definitely feeling the pressure to do some of the things I still haven’t gotten around to. That has so far meant a few days of traveling and visiting some of the most beautiful areas of Cambridge.

I was also informed yesterday that I won the “Academic Life” category of the PKP Photo Competition! That does mean I get a prize, though I have yet to find out what it is.

The library at Pembroke College, Cambridge.
PKP talent show!
Visiting chapels in Cambridge.

I had my last final exam on Friday, and since then I have been done with classes. The only school-related thing I have had to worry about is my supervision research paper. While I’ve certainly devoted a lot of time to getting that finished, I’ve also had more time to do other things than before.

My day in London a week ago was a great success. I took the bus there with a group from PKP, and our program included watching a show at the Globe Theater—we saw Shakespeare’s King Lear. And guess who played the part of King Lear? None other than Geoffrey the Butler from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. We went out afterwards and took great pictures of London at night.

Of course, the best part of the whole day was going to see The Lion King broadway show! I’ve been wanting to see that show ever since I first heard about it in like elementary or middle school, no joke. Did it live up to my expectations? Absolutely. I enjoyed every minute of it, and ended up listening to the soundtrack non-stop for the next few days.

Our happy faces after seeing the Lion King in London!
Waiting for our show to start at the Shakespeare Globe Theater.
Isn't London beautiful at night?

The Oxbridge Debate

Everyone knows about the (friendly?) rivalry between Cambridge and Oxford. Since I don’t know enough about the academics of one vs. the other, I can make no comment on that. But, since visiting Oxford this last Sunday, I can at least give my two cents on the differences I noticed and my own preferences.

I have been wanting to visit Oxford from the moment I arrived here, and I was certainly not disappointed. The weather while there at first didn’t seem ideal, but after the rain subsided and the sun came out, everything worked perfectly to our advantage. Oxford is beautiful. I mean it is stunning. I thought Cambridge was as beautiful as it could get, but Oxford’s grander buildings and gardens make it something else. The architecture is very similar, everything simply seemed to be at a bigger scale. At least to me.

Oxford University Library. Epic.
Stalker pic I got of some tennis players at Oxford.
Oxford stroll.

With that said, Oxford was in general a bigger city. The streets are much wider, there are many more cars and buses, and in general it has more of a city feel to it. Parts of it felt more like London than Cambridge. While that may be what some people prefer, this is one area where I enjoy Cambridge’s atmosphere better. Cambridge feels more like a small town where you grow up knowing everything and everyone (except the tourists) and where you can feel more like the town belongs to you.

The main thing I wanted to do at Oxford was to visit the _Eagle and Child_ pub, where the Inklings used to meet. The Inklings was a group of friends that included the likes of J.R.R Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. At this very place, two entire worlds were created: Middle Earth and Narnia.

Birthplace of Middle Earth and Narnia!
Random dude wearing the greatest shirt I've ever seen.
We ran into some protesters at Oxford.

Adventures Still to Come

Since all I have to do now is finish revising my supervision paper, I’ve decided to go on one last adventure in England. This morning I took a train up north to Leeds, where I will be spending a couple of days at the house of some friends who will show me around the area. Thursday is our final goodbye formal, and Saturday I fly to my last destination this summer: Switzerland!

This is what my future house will look like. St. John's College, Cambridge.
Home sweet home. King's College, Cambridge.

It is very hard to believe how quickly this summer has flown by. At points it felt slow—to be sure—but now as I look back I realize that it really has been a surprisingly fast, action-filled … break? Not much of a break perhaps, but certainly an experience to remember.

But it’s not over yet. Stay tuned for what is sure to be a great end to this grand summer.

Yep, I really am that cool.