And I’ve Been Working Like a Dog

The dreaded Week 5.  The miserably work- and stress-filled week we just suffered is (hopefully) at an end.  (Of course, someone more accustomed to Cambridge than I might say that Week 5 ended last Wednesday, due to our university’s ingenious way of starting the week on a Thursday, but I’ll abide by the guidelines of the rest of the world).

Anyway, on Friday, I was supposed to be at a practical, measuring the sweat produced by my lab partner as he cycled away on an exercise bike.  Now I had no great desire to mop up someone’s sweat, and the stress from the pile of chemistry on my desk and an unstarted essay made me consider doing the unthinkable.  Skipping.

This entire year, I haven’t missed a single class–not one supervision, practical, or even a 9am Saturday lecture.  And here I was, in my room, with a falafel wrap in one hand and a calculator in another, watching the minute hand of my watch circle past the time I was supposed to be back in the lab.

I did study hard that day, though, and the day after, taking only an hour’s break to sit on a bridge over the river Cam in an attempt to sketch the chapel.  Today, on the other hand, I’d finished my essay in the morning (if you still consider 2 in the afternoon part of a Sunday morning), and had a few hours to explore a sunlit and beautiful Cambridge.

The first place I headed on my stroll was an area behind King’s, past the river, where I knew I’d find the markings of early spring.  I wasn’t disappointed–the crocuses were everywhere!  The daffodils, however, did surprise me.  They always bloomed a bit later in my memory.

Then, I looped around, heading back to the front of King’s the long way, stopping to take in the glowing architecture that I’d been ignoring during my days of cramped handwriting and statistics calculations, and the infectious cheerfulness that seeped from every bird on every rooftop, from every tourist’s ice-cream cone, from every boat on the river.

And music.  I heard a familiar song, and saw a crowd of people, but no performer.  I nudged my way forward, and, well, I suppose the picture says it all (except for the fact that he was playing the Beatles).  I really hope the fact that a great Beatles song was being played from a trash-can isn’t insulting to the band… either way, I took my time, snapped some pictures, and parted from every British coin I could find on my person (I had some american money in my bag, but I figured he wouldn’t want it, since it’s just about worthless anyway, isn’t it?).

Then, reaching King’s again, just as I thought my walk was over, my attention was caught by a group of extravagantly dressed individuals, carrying various instruments, and posing in front of our college.  Well, I never heard them play more than a few notes before they headed off down the street, and I returned to my room to change for yoga, sad that my short diversion was over, but refreshed by the change of scenery nonetheless.

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