A day in the life: Classics
Georgina Wong (2014) joined Pembroke in October and is getting to grips with life as a fresher. Here she shares a typical day in her life:
9.30am Wake up call. This is definitely one of the better aspects of being a ‘non-intensive’ Classics student, which means that I don’t have early morning Greek lessons. After hitting snooze on my alarm a couple of times, I manage to drag myself out of bed.
10am After getting ready, it’s time for breakfast. Typically, I’ve missed breakfast in Trough so I eat in my room whilst checking my emails.
10.20am Attempt to do a little language work. This involves running through some Latin and Greek vocabulary that I’ll be tested on in upcoming supervisions.
10.45am Time to head to lectures. The weather’s looking good today, so I leave myself quite a lot of time so I can have a leisurely walk through King’s rather than taking the usual shortcut to the Sidgwick Site.
11am History lecture on ‘Living and Dying in the Ancient World’: this week we are taught about the various stages of childhood in ancient Greece and Rome.
12am Lecture two is on Greek Literature. First year Classics students study two Greek set texts a term, and we are currently focusing on the first of these: Euripides’ tragedy Medea. This lecture takes a philological stance on the play, comparing the linguistics of Greek tragedy and comedy.
1pm Lectures over, I head back to college for lunch in the JP. Usually at this time they’ve run out of the cheese and ham pizza slices, but today I get lucky, and munch away on the sofas with other freshers.
1.30pm Time to brush up on a couple of things before my afternoon supervision. I head back to my room in Foundress and go over my Greek translations, quickly running through some vocabulary before heading back to Sidgwick for my supervision.
2pm Greek language supervision. This usually begins with a mini vocabulary test, followed by translation work. We work through the translations we did for homework, ending the supervision with grammar work.
3pm Supervision over, I head to a new coffee shop across Parkers’ Piece, called Espresso Library. This week I’m reviewing this café for my weekly Food and Drink column for student newspaper TCS (which is basically an excuse for me to go to as many coffee shops in Cambridge as possible). I order a latte and finish off my article before heading back to Pembroke.
4.30pm Check my pidge before settling down in the library. This week is particularly busy because I have a shorter ‘practical criticism’ essay on one of my set texts, (Herodotus’ Histories Book One), as well as my weekly, lengthier essay: this week I’m writing on the Parthenon for my Art and Archaeology module.
6pm I meet friends outside Trough for dinner. I don’t always eat in Trough but I enjoy the opportunity to see a lot of friends and chat for a while.
7pm Back to the library to continue working on those essays.
8.30pm Tea break. My friend and I sit chatting in our gyp with mugs of tea: before we know it, this ‘break’ has quickly extended to an hour-long chat. I return to the library.
10pm I drop my books back in my room and head to the JP, where I get a drink from the bar and catch up with friends. I’m feeling tired, but am eventually persuaded to go out tonight.
11.30pm I grab my coat from Foundress, before it’s time for Wednesday Cindies! I will probably regret this tomorrow, but I’m only a fresher once.
For more on the Classic Tripos, see the Faculty website.
All photographs from Gina’s Instagram feed.