anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,

Matriculation Dinner

Matriculation dinner was not as painful as I was expecting. In fact, it was kind of enjoyable. It was a formal dinner for new graduate students at Magdalene, and 'formal dinner' basically means wear a nice dress underneath your academic gown - and yes, it includes having dinner with your gown on. It is quite an odd tradition but also endearing at the same time.

I am getting quite used to wearing the gown. Initially, I felt so weird in it; I felt like a poseur, the gown was so long, I felt uncomfortable. Tonight, though, it felt pretty nice. The Master of the college gave a nice welcome speech at the end of the dinner which made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Dinner was held in the formal hall, which is fairly small, consisting of three long tables and one high table (basically a long table placed vertically where really important people would sit). We were arranged according to our subjects. There aren't enough law students to fill one whole table, so of course, the table had a mix of subjects. I sat next to a Greek LLM student and opposite a Greek Architecture PhD student. It is actually kind of crazy, the number of Greeks that I've met in Cambridge. The most fascinating thing is that they all have pretty different accents.

I spent quite a lot of time talking to the new law fellow at Magdalene, who sat on my left. After talking about PhD and law and whatever, we started talking about something actually interesting - literature. I was so impressed when she said that she finished Infinite Jest - and not just that; she read it in two months. Oh my god. I gave it a pretty good shot but I gave up after a few pages, and now my copy of the book is sitting on my shelf somewhere in Singapore, collecting dust and getting all moldy. She made it sound really fascinating so now I feel like tackling it again. It reminded me of my first ever conversation with G, during which he directed me to a commencement speech that David Foster Wallace gave ('This Is Water'), after which he waxed lyrical about DFW's thought process. Incidentally, G never finished reading Infinite Jest either, a fact which made me feel better about my failure to finish the mammoth novel after it was divulged to me.

Anyway. The law fellow mentioned a few other authors, most of whom I'd never heard of, let alone read. Nevertheless, I'm very happy to have some new authors to read, such as Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. I'm currently reading Vanishing by Gerard Woodward, which was slow to start with but it's picked up momentum. Still, I'm not sure what the point of the novel is. It reminds me a bit of Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage for superficial reasons (e.g. Vanishing goes into great details about its protagonist's childhood and the protagonist's adolescence in London reminds me of Philip's life in London) but the comparison is probably baseless. I'm quite keen to finish it so that I can move on to something else, namely, The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.

I am tired. I skipped post-dinner drinks and came back to the house with Theo (Cypriot LLM student) because I want to wake up early in the morning to work. It's 15 minutes to 1 right now. I hope my plan does not get stymied by my failure to wake up in the morning.

I kind of can't really be bothered to sleep yet though. Last night, I went to bed at midnight because I wanted to go to Cripps' (Cripp's?) Court to go to the gym while I did my laundry, and since the gym opens at 8am, I wanted to be the first person there. Alas, I woke up at 8.15am. It wasn't my fault; I was woken up at 1am by the Dutch couple. It's not their fault that I can hear their footsteps when they walk around the room but that's what it is and I was woken up and I couldn't go back to sleep until 2am, so that was quite annoying.

Gym was so inefficient as well. I didn't know how to use the cross-trainer and messed up my programme, so in the end I burned like 265 calories in 28 minutes, which was pathetic. I'm not really a fan of the gym; I definitely prefer running. I discovered a nice route through the huge field in the afternoon when I walked through the same to return my unassembled chest of drawers to Argos (I carried that box on one arm and walked 20 minutes!) and it looked like a nice running route. I'm very pleased. I can't wait to go running, perhaps on Sunday morning.

I'm actually down with a cold which has been bugging me for over a week. Surprisingly, or not, the gym session seemed to make it go away somewhat. To be honest, I'm already sick of this constant cold. I honestly am looking forward to going home so that I can enjoy some proper, decent weather. I'm not sure how I'm going to deal with the winter but I guess I will just have to adapt.

Lastly, I had coffee and cake with Ilias at Aromi in the afternoon. I was really hungry while walking around town running errands and I was going to sit down somewhere anyway, so when he texted me to ask if I wanted to go to Aromi with him, I was like YES! He paid for my coffee and cake. He's really funny and his accent is quite thick so I couldn't understand some of the things he said, and vice versa. He went to Imperial for undergrad and I find it shocking that he prefers Cambridge to London. I honestly don't know how anyone can not like the best city in the world.

Speaking of London - need to get my rail card sorted so that I can book my ticket to London! I really want to go to the National Gallery. Apart from appreciating amazing works of art, I want ot buy some prints for my room. It's so bare and boring. I'm miffed that I didn't bring my Federer things this time due to lack of luggage space.

Oaky I need to sleep.
Tags: books, cambridge, friends, g, london, running

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