By Day 9 of Immerse Education 2019, the participants were well and truly settled back into their Cambridge colleges. A return to the routine of academic classes and evening activities was welcomed by most after a busy weekend in Oxford and London.
The day began, like every other, with a hearty breakfast in the college dining hall. Participants then headed to their respective classrooms for morning academic sessions. Now in the second week of the programme, these academic sessions continued to build on the previous week’s learning. The Medics covered emergency medicine and began to explore the central nervous system through a brain dissection; the Chemistry students learnt about acids and bases and performed pH calculations; and students on the English Literature course discussed postcolonialism and postcolonial literature, focusing on Australia.
Following lunch, an equally diverse range of subjects were tackled in the afternoon academic sessions. The Medics had a histology lesson using microscopes to look at different types of cell and connective tissue; those studying the Creative Writing course undertook a writing session in Christ’s College Fellows’ Garden; and the Biology students went on a trip to see the Cambridge University Zoology Museum and the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences. A number of students were also given mock interviews by their Immerse mentor in preparation for their university applications.
Today the participants also received a guided tour of King’s College and King’s College Chapel. King’s College Chapel, construction of which began in 1446 under the reign of Henry VI, took over a century to build and is a splendid example of late Gothic architecture. The chapel, home to the world-famous King’s College Choir, has the largest fan vault ceiling in the world and also features fine examples of medieval stained glass. As well as visiting the iconic chapel, participants were able to explore the college grounds.
Following free time and dinner, evening activities presented a range of available options from which participants could choose. A number of students attended an outdoor performance of Hamlet as part of the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival. There were also two guest speakers. The first, Kate Atkin, gave a talk entitled ‘Success: What Lies Behind the Mask’ in which she explored courage, confidence and the imposter syndrome, while the second, Hayley Mulenda, discussed ‘The Hidden Filter’ in a talk addressing the importance of vulnerability.
Participants were also given the opportunity in private study to work on essays or presentations due on the final day of the course. These projects, designed to replicate the type of independent research and work necessary for study at the university level, give participants the opportunity to go beyond their classroom learning and explore a subject of their interest. The range of topics that have been selected is truly astounding, with examples including cystic fibrosis, Alan Turing, synthetic insulin production and the portrayal of women in literature.
Another busy day at Immerse Education!