Cambridge

On Friday I had the distinct opportunity to visit historic Cambridge.

The walking tour I went on started at the Eagle Pub, made famous for being where James Watson and Henry Crick made the announcement of their discovery of DNA. Practical experiments in Cavendish building with large windowsill to place test tubes. This building was where Rutheford discovered atom and 24 other Nobel Prize winners worked over the years. 

Other interesting bits of trivia about Cambridge include;

  • Bill gates and Microsoft is large supporter of Cambridge due to Roger Needham and his support of the computer science industry/ 
  • Dr. Taylor invented element to make electric kettles donated clock to Corpus Christi College, where he receuved his education, which Steven Hawking unveiled. The clock is very ornate because Dr, Taylor gave engineers and designers three years – the amount of time it took for the library to be constructed in his name – and endless funding for the project. The clock is unique because it is only accurate every five minutes and every hour a chain falls into a coffin to symbolize the mortality that all viewers of the clock are faced with. 

The graduation ceremony at Senate House is also a unique tradition. The procession of graduation dates start with Peterborough house and progress to the newest college. Students parade through town and are required to wear black or white or professor fined a bottle of port. Their robes are also warned during fancy occasions during their undergraduate careers. 

Two music students designed bells at University Church at the center of Cambridge. It is traditionally that students live within sound of the bells. Another, non university sanctioned activity, is the climbing of buildings at night. The tradition is to jump on the top of Senate House, where an antique car was once placed by engineering students in the 1960s. 

The inclusion of women in education in Cambridge is also something of interest to me. The first women was awarded entrance to Cambridge in 1869, but it was not until 1950 that they were given full diplomas. Before the respect of their contribution during World War II, women were only awarded certificates upon graduation. Surprisingly, the last college at Cambridge became coed in 1986. The strong tradition of education in Cambridge comes from when King Henry believed religion and Education combined was most important. 

In addition to the university, the city itself is very interesting as well. Set on the river Cam, a visitor can be aligned by the architecture and gardens of some of the 34 colleges of Cambridge while punting down the river. Punting, characterized by long poles pushing flat bottom boats down the river, gives viewers a different view of the history of the area. For example, there is a bridge that was constructed complete with the use of straight timbers and stays together simply with the use of its own weight, no rivets include. The bridge was designed by William Etheridge, and built by James Essex in 1749.

Overall, Cambrige was a very educational experience that has left me valuing the power of a strong education. When talking with the tour guide and others I met in the marker, I now have a more profound respect for the pride that locals hold for this historic city and the university culture it fosters.

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