After a morning of lessons, in which students demonstrated that they are well and truly settling into the swing of things in Clare College, the afternoon was devoted to a raft of activities across Cambridge.
In the Fitzwilliam Museum, students marvelled at the enormous range of weaponry on display in the marble halls and glass cabinets of that illustrious institution. One of the jewels of Cambridge, even those who had professed themselves unconvinced by museums in general declared afterwards that the Ancient Egypt section, in particular, was very worth seeing, and the Monet gallery was beautiful. The first rooms of the museum, however, held its visitors’ attention for longer than all the rest, as they pored over the many different daggers, helmets, halberds and maces on display.
Elsewhere in Cambridge, a self-guided tour of St John’s College was taking place. St John’s is a sprawling medley of different architectural styles: one of the largest colleges in Cambridge, it has grown progressively over the years, with new additions often introducing a new architectural inclination. Its manicured lawns and blend of Gothic, Tudor, Georgian and neo-Classical approaches captivated students.
Passing along the River Cam just behind St John’s, meanwhile, was another party of ORA students: for yesterday, there was the opportunity to spend an afternoon in punts, those vessels that ensure a time of either tranquil motion or frantic course correction, depending on who happens to be holding the quant –that is, the pole used for pushing the punt along— at the time. It was tremendously fun, and all returned safe and sound— though perhaps not all dry!
The Botanic Gardens provided its visitors with an equally, or perhaps more, tranquil afternoon amid natural beauty from across the globe. The gardens hold a wonderful array of plants, and wholly delighted those who saw them: one student made sure to take photos of some of the most enchanting flowers, in order to sketch and paint them later on.
After dinner in the Great Hall, the evening was spent in a choice of activities. For those who wanted to press on and apply as soon as possible the ideas learnt in the morning’s lessons, there was the Homework Club; for those who fancied they have a steady hand and a good eye for colour, there was a session of cupcake-decorating; and for those who wanted to switch off and enjoy some of the driving rhythms of ABBA, there was the chance to watch Mamma Mia! with ample supplies of popcorn. After the activities, students gathered in the marquee to play cards and listen to each other play the guitar: a peaceful, friendship-filled way to end a busy and very fun day.