Friday, October 1, 2010

Clotted Cream

It has been one week since I left Utah but I feel like it has been much longer.  Our weekend was much longer than planned – we spent quite a long time on the tarmac at the airport waiting for things like weather and luggage.  Once we had our car we spent a long time driving lost but it gave us a good chance to see some of the countryside.  It is beautiful here.  It didn’t look as foreign as I expected.  I guess I am used to places like Israel and Egypt, which DO look foreign J  But the houses and buildings are old and look old.  I love that!  The western United States so lack the historic charm that permeates the British countryside and the town of Cambridge.  I haven’t had much time to snap some pictures, but I will add what I have below:

Hopefully I can take many more but it has been very rainy since I have been here.  The rain and wind have actually been uncharacteristic for Cambridge at this time of year, which has been unfortunate, but I am hopeful it will get better in the next couple of weeks.  No one is ready for winter to set in yet, even the Brits who are here with me! 

Three out of the four girls in my flat are American BYU grads.  Lucy is the only one who is British but we have all been grateful for her cultural insights and clarifications.  I am quickly learning about the British obsession with tea.   Due to the cold and wet weather outside I now understand why tea is so important here, but I think I will still only appropriate the scones with their clotted cream and jam, which are very good! 

Orientation week has been packed full of activities and I am relieved to have a week and weekend before classes start on the 11th.  However, I have so enjoyed the opportunity to meet and become well-acquainted with those in my program.  Everyone is arriving with such a vast array of differing experiences.  I was told before I came that everyone I would meet at Cambridge would be interesting and I have so far found that to be true.  When someone has invested or is investing so much time and energy in his area of specialty, he can make that study come alive – even if it does regard Danish manuscripts written in the 13th and 14th centuries.  I feel very comfortable around those in my program and appreciate the diversity, not just of interests, but also of backgrounds.  Ages range from early 20s to upper 50s and three of the ten have PhDs already.  Another has a law degree.  That puts pressure on me, of course, because it means that they already know how to write a dissertation, but I still have confidence in my ability to keep up and do meaningful work.  We will see if I continue to feel that way after I receive my first essay grade! 

I am grateful to be here and, though I miss my husband and family very much, am looking forward to the next two months of total academic emersion.  That statement is enough of a lie already though, as Courtney and I have a trip to Dublin planned later this month (one of the women in our program is from Dublin and has offered us a couple rooms in her home for a weekend) and we are probably going to go explore London and Bath fairly shortly J


Ashley said...

I'M SO JEALOUS!!!! I want to go!

Gaylene said...

It brings back so many good memories. Soak it all in and study hard:)

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