Words, words, words…and friends! (Part I)

Me and Elise on Magdalene Bridge, overlooking the Cam. Photo credit: some random guy.
Me and Elise on Magdalene Bridge, overlooking the Cam. Photo credit: some random guy.

I’ve been doing way, way too much writing in the last week, between the last two recipe posts and my NSF GRFP application, so I’ll summarize the early week in bullet points and let pictures do the rest of the talking:

My real-Cambridge-scientist lab notebook.
My real-Cambridge-scientist lab notebook.
My phone's sad attempt at capturing a beautiful sunset on the way home from work.
My phone’s sad attempt at capturing a beautiful sunset on the way home from work.
  • Had my first session as a demonstrator (first two now, actually), helping a group of 10 (then 8, the next week) first-year natural science students through a basic experiment that was mostly set up to make them think about how to graph things and calculate errors properly.
  • Graded (or “marked”, as they say here) my first set of lab notebooks. It wasn’t as painful as I had been led to believe.
  • Did some “real science,” in the sense that I finally got card access to the clean room and spent about 2 hours in there on Thursday, cleaning some very stubborn old photoresist off some samples. Yay!
  • Went to a lecture by Sir John Pendry, a theoretical physicist involved in some very cool optical design. Specifically, invisibility cloaks.
  • Read a lot of papers and did a lot of writing pertaining to my fellowship application. It’s getting there.
quote
Best quote from Sir John Pendry’s lecture on invisibility cloaks: “It isn’t magic, it’s science, which is much more exciting!”

Anyway, then Elise arrived from Germany at 2 am on Friday! She’s a Fulbright student doing research at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena this year; we’re friends from being on the Dartmouth Nordic team together. Despite the early hour, I was very happy to see her, and she got to see the best of downtown Cambridge in the middle of the night (i.e. lots of drunken undergrads). Then we did things and took lots of pictures! Too many pictures, in fact, so I’ve split this post into three parts in order to share them. Hopefully this will give a better sense of what the scenic parts of Cambridge look like than my incredibly sporadic pictures from my first few weeks here did.

Friday:

A quick peek at Corpus Christi College.
A quick peek at Corpus Christi College.
I'm pondering the architecture of Corpus Christi, I guess? Photo credit: Elise Seyferth.
I’m pondering the architecture of Corpus Christi, I guess? Photo credit: Elise Seyferth.
The Corpus Clock, AKA, the Chronophage (it's a giant insect running around on the gears).
The Corpus Clock, AKA, the Chronophage (it’s a giant insect running around on the gears).
The Fitzwilliam Museum (from the side exit), which is basically the mini-British Museum. Has some nice Impressionist paintings.
The Fitzwilliam Museum (from the side exit), which is basically the mini-British Museum. Has some nice Impressionist paintings.
A surprisingly sophisticated medieval prosthetic arm in the Fitzwilliam Museum.
A surprisingly sophisticated medieval prosthetic arm in the Fitzwilliam Museum.
Friday evening's main entertainment: roasting this delicious chicken and vegetables!
Friday evening’s main entertainment: roasting this delicious chicken and vegetables!
We also briefly checked out a "pub crawl" between the MCRs of the four Hill Colleges (Fitzwilliam, Churchill, Murray Edwards and Lucy Cavendish). The only picture I took was of this unusual stairwell at Murray Edwards.
We also briefly checked out a “pub crawl” between the MCRs of the four Hill Colleges (Fitzwilliam, Churchill, Murray Edwards and Lucy Cavendish). The only picture I took was of this unusual stairwell at Murray Edwards.

See Part II and Part III for more photos!

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