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Coming down from Cambridge - Lines in the Sand [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
David

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Coming down from Cambridge [Jun. 22nd, 2004|09:41 pm]
David
[Current Mood |parenthetic]

(Quite interesting that there should be scope for that kind of wordplay; it would be nice to think that one slang copied the other, in whichever direction, but I suspect not...)

It is incredible how quickly a year has passed at university - in the academic sense, if not the chronological one. A latter form of year ago I was on my trip around Australia, probably on the coach to Airlie Beach (oh that I had kept up my diary!); and how much has happened since.

I have watched many people, including myself, grow up in a remarkable number of ways; that last despite the fact that I thought that a Gap year was meant to give you time to undergo almost all of your metamorphosis and leave nothing left to change. I have been stretched by my course, though not as much as I expected (hoped?) (and there remains the small matter of exam results still to be announced, so I should not be prenatally avian-enumerating), and there has definitely not been enough making things for my liking - apart from the semi-disastrous Structural Design Project, which taught me the value of getting someone else to check your calculations... Much less cooking than when I was in Australia, restricted to multitudinous toasted sandwiches and 4 fruit cakes (the latter with every possible combination of {marzipan/not marzipan, icing/not icing}, and much, much more socialising and talking to people - I now cannot imagine how I lived at 45 Cook Road, Centennial Park, Sydney, NSW 2021 for 5 months hardly talking to people in the evenings and at weekends, much less taking myself around various Asian countries in the same manner. I have met a large number of new people, mostly from Trinity Hall and second-mostly from Trinity College, all of whom are friendly, bright and great to be with; I hope that I have been at least as friendly in return, and certainly a fair few THians seem to count me as a better friend of theirs than they are of mine... Nonetheless I feel I have not fitted into TH (I still refuse to abbreviate it in the more common way, despite the evidence of small garden birds) or Engineering quite as well as some of my peers (i.e. knowing everyone in my year and plenty from others, going to all the Vivas (bops), getting riotously drunk in the College Bar (or indeed at all)), or at least not in the traditional way, thus causing various people to ask me periodically why I didn't apply to TC to do Nat: Sci: (I have also, amusingly, been identified as a philosopher, a modern linguist and quite definitively as a mathmo - though that was during Fresher's Week, so maybe I now smell sufficiently of engine oil not to be thus confusable...). I'm still not quite sure myself, but I don't currently intend to change - besides, we get to build robots next year! I have not got involved with any sport (save a single College badminton match, which I lost appallingly) and am not an officer of any society (apart from the Design Club's submarine project, which is rapidly becoming less than dynamic under my leadership...) nor Green Officer of TH JCR, though I did apply for the latter. I feel a little disappointed with myself, but next term I have already let myself in for being Production Manager of Varsity and of Blue Sci, the former through the Old Boys' network (I wonder for how much else I shall rely on it in future?), as well as saying I shall be on the CHaOS committee and novice at rowing; I have a suspicion that I will not manage all of them, but it's worth a try. Opinion is divided as to whether May Week was worth waiting for (not that I was particularly unhappy with the work anyway) - Christ's May Ball, at least, was not as good as I had h{o/y}ped, and my approach was summed up by a comment from the Scudamore's cashier on duty at 1am: "You seem surprisingly sober for May Week!". Punting is definitely good, though.

And now I am back at home, and it all seems rather unreal - and certainly far too brief (another notable thing about Cambridge - the days are about 48 hours long but the weeks fly by in 5 minutes). Next Monday I start my summer job, thinking about (but probably not doing anything as important as designing) robots for Astrium, the company that built Beagle 2 (though they don't like to be reminded of that!) for 8 weeks - also something that should be interesting and possibly lead on to a future career. I have other plans for fun things to do over the summer, but again I fear they will not materialise, probably not even the trip around Europe with friends from Win: Coll:; and then it's Michaelmas again, and the Cambridge cycle will begin again...

Life is still complicated, I suppose (hah! tautology!); so many intertangling threads that spread, and join, and again diverge into opposite corners of the weave. Sometimes those that were closest are the ones which next slide furthest away across the warp. I don't know what the pattern is yet; I can't understand it; and yet I hope that when our part of it is finished, all the lines traced to their ends, then the overall effect might be pleasing.
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