Hello faithful readers!
I do apologize for being so late in updating this, I've simply been frightfully busy! Actually, I just can't get into the library, but that's another story!
I was dropped off in Cambridge on Sunday around 4pm, on the complete opposite end of town. Luckily, it only takes about 20 minutes to walk across the entire thing! I checked in, and then called my good buddy Rowan. He took me all around Trinity and Kings colleges, and down the river. It was lovely. But I soon had to hurry back because the course was starting. I ran back to St. Edmund's and came to dinner. We met in a big hall, surrounded by portraits and gardens. After dinner was a drinks reception, so I stood there sipping beer talking to people I was terrified of. In fact, at one point I was standing with two very tall, very proper Englishmen, who both sort of mumbled things like "quite" a lot. I felt like I was in that Family Guy episode where Brian goes to the New York Times and he is sitting in this room with these really incomprehensible people.
Then, I was talking to a guy named Peter Harrison, a professor at Oxford whom I'd love to work with, and this American walked up, invited Peter for "a real pint" and since I and another guy were standing there invited us as well. The American is a guy named Ed Larson, a Pulitzer Prize winner, holds two University chairs, and all sorts of things. Of course, I knew nothing of this, and probably made a total fool of myself, but there you go! It was fun.
Day one was exciting - lots of good discussion, and great topics to talk about. And the other people in the course are fantastic as well - from all over the world. This morning, for example, I was invited to early morning prayer and eucharist. I only found out at breakfast that the man who led it is a Jesuit priest from Malta.
Yup, Cambridge is fabulous.
I also went to see Darwin's papers - they have the largest collection of manuscripts in the world here - so I saw his letters, notes he'd made on his Beagle trip, and even his annotations of Paley's books. And, surprising enough, Darwin's great grandson was actually in the room, advising another group of Darwin scholars. It was really neat!
Well, the next session starts in 4 minutes, so I'd better get going! Until next time!