Christ’s College – Cambridge

No, Jesus didn’t go to school here, but Charles Darwin did.IMG_9818

Darwin isn’t the only famous alumnus of Christ’s College, which is part of Cambridge University. Others include John Milton and Robert Oppenheimer. It does seem a bit ironic though that Darwin’s name would be the one most commonly associated with Christ’s, as many people consider his theories fairly anti-Christian.

The town of Cambridge is full of the various colleges that make up the university, 31 of IMG_9951them all told. The smaller, lesser known ones still seem to be open to the public if you want to visit. Larger ones, like King’s College, are open only upon paying an entry fee.

I considered paying the three pounds to see Trinity College courtyard, famously depicted in a footrace in the film Chariots of Fire. I didn’t though. I was traveling with a former Cambridge student who balked at the thought of paying to see any part of his old school, so rather than have him wait for me, I have marked it for next trip. (It occurs to me now there is probably a way for alumni to avoid the fee, but I didn’t think about that at the time. I knew my wife and daughter had been to Cambridge and not had to pay, so the fee came as a surprise. Things change in a decade.)IMG_9815

So I contented myself with seeing the courtyards and chapels of a number of the smaller colleges, which may not be as architecturally interesting but still carry a rich history.

I must admit I felt a little envious of the students. I don’t know if I would actually enjoy studying (and living) in centuries-old buildings. I imagine there are not a few inconveniences. The calibre of education at Cambridge is high – but there are other schools with similarly high standards that perhaps don’t have the same history. So it’s not necessarily the Cambridge experience that makes me envious, but that I miss being a full-time student.IMG_9816

My love affair with the printed word is driven by my love of learning. It is a luxury to have the time to concentrate on that, to not have to worry about job(s) and family commitments, friends and whatever else is going on in society. I’m still learning, but not as much as I would like.

If you were to ask me, I could rattle off the titles of my doctoral theses in English Literature, Political Science, History and Religion. Given unlimited time and money you’d find me back in school working on one of those. Maybe all four of them. Though what I would do with four PhDs I have no idea. It would be fun getting them though, and for me education is more about the journey than the IMG_9820destination.

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