Monday morning brought the first lessons of the session, and students were happy to be able to begin getting to grips with their subjects. ORA’s expert teachers were pleased with the enthusiasm shown— many arrived from different time zones, but it seems like jetlag won’t be slowing anybody down.
After lessons and lunch, there was the first in a series of workshops. Architecture students were especially happy to have the chance to draw some of Cambridge’s buildings: time in Clare College’s Memorial and Old Courts, as well as in Harvey Court of the nearby Gonville and Caius College, provided some excellent material for sketches.
With workshops concluded, students were taken on a tour of Cambridge. With ORA situated right in the centre, it is very easy to explore the town; and when there are dedicated and knowledgeable guides on hand to point out quaint passages and share the histories of the individual churches and statues, an appreciation of such a beautiful and historic place is quick to arrive. Particular historical highlights from the tour included the story of the Ghost of the Lucy Cavendish Laboratory, and the etymology of ‘Cambridge’: it originates from the fact that the town sprang up around the bridge over the River Cam. The weather was wonderful, but a trifle hot, and as the tour came to an end students almost unanimously made their way towards Cambridge’s ice cream shops.
Having gotten their bearings and learnt more about the town that is to be their home for the next two weeks, the students returned to Clare College to have dinner in its Hall before a Quiz Night organised by the counsellors. Always a favourite, the quiz was hotly contested. The ‘Blue Eyes’ team emerged the victors; and after a day of excitement, there were no objections from students over a slightly earlier bedtime than normal.