Sunday was the first day of school and I couldn’t have been more excited to dive into this material. The first day covered the basics of DNA replication, and our professor casually mentioned how she, “chit-chatted” with James Watson. *sigh* Every girls dream. (She really sets the bar high.)
After our first lecture, we had the day free to explore. Lunch was again eaten at the best comedy club in Cambridge, A.K.A The Cam River and The Punters. Wow, that could really be the name of a band. Today the show was called, “What to do When You Forget Your Punting Pole Behind You.” The most common action was to just continue floating down the river until someone would be kind enough to bring you your pole.
Trinity College, Home to Newton, was the next stop on our exploration. The courtyard was beautiful and, even though the library was closed and I will have to go back, I met the friendliest porter who told me the story of a resident professor and his three cats. The cats do not get along very well, but they all manage to eat out of the same bowl when it’s dinner time. I got the honor of seeing one of them lounging majestically in the shade, licking her butt.
Christ’s College, Home to Darwin, boasted more attractions directly related to his school life, and work. His dorm room where he lived was unpronounced, and you had to be on the lookout for the sign; visitors can easily miss it. We couldn’t go inside his room, but the blue door was quaint. It didn’t look like it had evolved since he was there in the 1820’s. The garden of his statue pictured him in his student age of 22. The garden was especially cool because all of the plants were what he would have seen while traveling on the Beagle. They even had beetles on the statue to show his passion for the insects. It was like you were on an exploration with the one and only Charles Darwin.
We concluded our journey at St. Benet’s Church, the oldest church in Cambridge. There was a sense of unique peace at the church, in a bustling area of the city. This relic was not to be missed.
I spent the rest of the night studying in preparation for day two.
“Anything found to be true of E. coli must also be true of Elephants.”
An Introduction to Genetic Analysis (Page 503). W. H. Freeman.
The morning came way too fast, and I know at heart I’m still on USA time. I am going to keep the school day details short since it mostly consisted of lecture, tutoring sessions, homework, and eating. The interesting part of today was being able to work and talk to a previous genetics study abroad student who now is getting her masters at the University of Cambridge. She is such an interesting person, fully fueled into science who I am honored to get to know. I am looking forward to attend a social gathering with her on Friday night with her fellow graduate students. Side note: she has a selfie with Stephen Hawking.
Another notable part of today was our first two official tea times that the locals take VERY seriously. You will be shunned from society if you don’t attend. I can proudly say I finished both my ten o’clock and three o’clock cups of English tea without batting an eye. Tea time here is a social mixer and not just a break; it is a time to communicate what you have been learning, thinking, and feeling with others and I may just bring Tea Time back to the states. I am not sure how Europeans stay so slim when Clare College gives dessert with every meal and both tea times, but I am hoping to find out.
Bye for now,