Trip Start Jun 20, 2006
4Trip End Aug 28, 2006
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Let me introduce you to the place I have the privilege of calling home for eight weeks. Cambridge is a city whose birth is shaped around the wool trade. The fens, in which Cambridge resides, used to be flooded and rivers such as the Cam were used to export wool from sheep to the Netherlands where it was dyed and made into goods with market value. Sometime around 1200, several scholars at Oxford about to be implicated in the most sensational scandal fled to Cambridge where they founded their own university. Peterhouse was the first college founded followed by many others including Pembroke (the third oldest at 1347 and co-sponsor of my summer program) and King's, founded in 1441 by King Henry VI
King's is perhaps one of the best known college in the Cambridge system owing to the magnificent King's College Chapel with world renown King's College Boy's Choir. Just this afternoon I participated in my third (and last) Evensong which is an evening Anglican service lasting for approximately 45 minutes. The service consists of spoken and sung texts with the Boy's Choir providing the music; today the congregation had the privilege of singing the final hymn, one by Charles Wesley, which I greatly enjoyed.
King's College Chapel is an architectural masterpiece and I can go in just about whenever I want with my yellow "King's College Junior Member" card. The Chapel is constructed completely of stone, even the vault, though wooden rafters above the inside stone vaulting comprise part of the protective roof. When you first walk into the chapel from the South entrance, there is a mini gift shop to the far left opposite wall and a screen to your right. The screen traditionally keeps the uninitiated away from the high altar though tourists and members of the College are allowed in for services. As you walk past the wooden screen (heavily worked) in Decorated Gothic Style) you face the high altar with floor seating, the choir, and more floor seating to your left and right
As I walk out of the chapel and pass through a gate marked "Private" I wonder at the privilege I have been afforded to live and study in this gated, hallowed place, steeped in tradition. I say hallowed because Cambridge was originally founded in the monastic tradition to train men for service in the church. In the architecture and general ambience I find a lingering spirit of religious commitment and sincere faith
Beyond the chapel you will find the River Cam, stocked daily with eager tourists and sporting locals. To the left you may walk past King's Bridge and through a green gate marked "Private" into Bodley's Court. Walk over to T Staircase (I lived in T Hall at Deseret Towers for three years so I feel right at home) and raise your eyes to the second level of windows. Just to the right you may see me waving, inviting you inside. Ascend the stairs, not failing to notice my very own Cupboard-under-the-stairs marked "Toilets." At T 4 you must pause to knock and give the password--Chocolate Macaroons. You will enter my sitting room complete with brown couch, peach colored walls, fireplace, desk, and little refrigerator. Through a door to your immediate left is my bedroom with a window into the Provost's garden just next to my own sink and mirror. Following my bedroom around from sink back to door I have boudoir, chest of drawers, night stand, and bed--with another fireplace behind the chest of drawers. Following the tour I will have you stay for afternoon tea (Camomille and lemon) and a lively discussion on the topic of your choice.
Have I made you jealous yet?
My first and second weeks have been fantastic
Our first weekend we (the Pembroke/King's Summer School) traveled to London for an orientation weekend. I made my first visit to the British Museum after happening to run into Katherine and Miriam at St. Paul's Cathedral! That night we stood for three and a half hours on the floor of Shakespeare's rebuilt Globe Theatre watching an unabridged performance of Antony and Cleopatra. The quality of sets and acting were phenomenal though I was not terribly fond of Cleopatra's costuming in her suicide scene. The cast did a terrific job of interacting with the audience as well including spitting seeds and nut shells at them, referring to some with their arms on the stage when Octavian says something about a group of people stinking, and splashing water on another section of the standing audience
I think I have probably exhausted you though I have so much more I could write! Thank you all for being supportive of me and sending along messages whenever you get the chance. I do love sharing my experiences with you and hope you have enjoyed savoring them with me.
Until next time, I remain your ever faithful correspondent.