Let Zep! were amazing last night – two and a half hours of Zeppelin stuff, and performed really really well. It was quite funny, myself, Zishan and a few other guys were the only students there – the rest were 50 year-olds in leather jackets. My ears are still ringing, it was that good!
Today I met up with Lorna for half an hour, then had the Harry’s prayer meeting and worked for a bit and then met up with Cheng-shi for a bit. In the evening I went to CCCF and Bartow gave a really good talk on Matthew’s version of the rich young man. I also helped Lillian a bit with her essay and found out quite a lot about some of the Daoist philosophy in the process.
Over the past few days I’ve been noticing that the best way to explain something is through pictures. Perhaps not pictures drawn on canvas but pictures written with the pen. Perhaps it’s something to do with the brain having a good imagination and being able to see through the words to the picture they describe, but a written picture is much easier to remember than most other things for me. As well as this, it is much easier to describe to someone with limited English. I guess the description of the picture has a higher amount of redundant information, so even if you do not understand the full explanation of the picture, your mind will fill in the blanks and help you to understand the concept more fully. I remember Terry Pratchett writing something along the lines of “Humans can’t understand the big concept, so they come up with a nice picture to explain the concept. Then, because they understand the picture they think they understand the concept”. However, if you construct the picture correctly and remember that it is only an image and cannot be extrapolated too far, it is a very useful thing!
From Friends – rather sumarises the stupidity of the current Intellegant Design debate in America!
Ross: Some of these fossils are over 200m years old
Feebee: OK, look, before you start I’m not denying evolution, I’m just saying it’s one of the possibilities
Ross: It’s the only possibility Feebee
Feebee: Ok Ross, could you just open your mind like this much? Now, wasn’t there a time when the brightest minds in the world believed the earth was flat? And up until like 50 years ago you all thought the atom was the smallest thing until you like split it open and this whole mess of crap came out. Now, are you telling me that you are so unbelievably arrogant that you can’t admit that there’s a teeny, tiny possibility that you could be wrong about this?
Sorry for no updates.. I’ve been busy writing an essay on Mark 1:4-15 which I’ve now put up on my website… I got rather involved in it and so it’s ended up being about 4300 words long! Oops.
Some highlights of the week: Tuesday evening I went out to formal with about 30 students from Eden. We all went back to Widge’s new room afterwards. On the way into the hall I heard one of the ‘bouncers’ say to the other “Oi Steve, why’s no-one bringing any wine in?”.
Saw Jens on Wednesday lunch, and met up with Liz, Lydia and Emma on Thursday lunch – I’ve not really seen any of them in far too long.
I met up with Cheng-shi, Rachel and Barney on Thursday afternoon to play badminton for a few hours. That evening, Tabs and myself went round to Liz’s and sat around chatting and messing around for quite a while. Unfortunately I had quite a bad headache which continued all through Friday so I just lay in bed all day reading and finishing my essay. I finished “Treasure Island” as well. At 9:30 in the evening, Ellie gave a wonderful concert with her Flute in the chapel, and Emma and some other people played in it as well. Went back to bed but couldn’t really sleep. Today I’m feeling much better though, which is nice!
Tomorrow evening I’ll be going to see Led Zeppelin tribute band Let Zep at the Junction with Zishan and quite a few other second years. Apparently they’re meant to be really good but I’ll tell you when I’ve heard them.
Also found this comparison of Why DNA is better than perl.
I’ve been working quite hard the past few days; just reading books about the history of the Jews around the age of Jesus, the Greek in Mark’s gospel and also some things for my dissertation. I also got a 1200 page Revelation commentary out of the Div-fac library today for ‘fun reading’.
Friday evening, we had Harry’s as usual and quite a few people came round to my room after the formal hall. Photos here.
On Saturday evening, I went round for a party at Ruth’s new place which is really nice. On Sunday, I went to church then had a few people round for lunch, and slept for the afternoon. Tonight (Monday) I went to Revelation Rock Gospel Choir, which was really good fun as it had been last year. I think I’ll carry on with it again this year.
Just got back from the new Wallace and Grommit film – lots of funny bits in it.
“I put this down to ars’n!” “Arson?” “Yeah, someone Arsin around!”
Not much else got done today apart from some reading. Met up with Liz and Emma for lunch at Pembroke; saw Felicity, David and Mary at WEPG and ran around various libraries and photocopying rooms doing stuff for my dissertation.
Had lectures all morning and then did some work in the library. Did a little work in the afternoon but mostly faffed around. Saw my dad briefly before he went off to formal with his friends. I now have some well-fitting cushions for my window seat thanks to my mother 🙂
Formal was good fun. I’d invited some people I was in China with – Joel, Katie and Mary. It turns out that we were the only 4 people at hall so we had a whole table to ourselves… pictures to follow. We came back to mine afterwards and had a good time just hanging out. Hopefully I’ll do similar with some more guys from China next week.
Didn’t really get upto much during the day of Monday. Harry’s prayer meeting, and then in the evening I went to the Cambridge Chinese Christian Fellowship (CCCF) to see Joel, Daniel and Katie; some of the guys I was in China with. It was quite a shock to go into the hall and see about 50 people there none of whom was white. We started off by having some lovely Chinese food and then had the meeting. It turns out rather strangely that they were to talk about China on that evening and so I had to say something as well. It was good to meet so many Christians from Malaysia and Singapore and see such a loving community.
Today I woke up early and went to Greek Bible study. Then had the usual morning of lectures and reading in the library. I came home and translated Mark 1 and 2 into English… I ended up with about 150 words which I need to learn. Oh dear.
In the evening, I went out to St. John’s college formal hall with Chris Rice, Patrick and Lauren (on my team in China). We were on the BA table which meant we got served first and got some nice extras. Starter was Avacado mashed with prawns and perhaps some salmon. It was actually quite nice. The main course was some Chicken, and then for pudding there was a very weird cake type thing with some morangue stuff on top. Chris’ friend and I had a race as to who could eat it fastest without the use of hands, which I won by about 2 seconds.
Thursday, Zishan came round and we played some duets on our guitars for 40 min. Then, Patrick came and we had our first one-to-one meeting.. very official 🙂
Friday, Risa, her parents and sister came round for a bit and Jens, Tab and Ruth joined us. It was good to see them all again (Photos here). I then had to rush off to the weekend away that I was helping out with. It took us 3 hours to get to Wickham (south-east London) when it should usually take one and a half hours. We took two cars and one minibus – about 24 people in total. We had a nice meal with Liz (kairos worker)’s parents and were then dispatched to our various host families. I was in a nice family – the parents were Bill and Dawn and they had two children; Howard and Louise. Cheng-shi and I stayed with them and they looked after us very well.
On Saturday, we started the day with a Bible study on John 4 (the Samaritan woman by the well) which I lead. Later on in the day, Lisa lead a Bible study on John 10 (the gate and the Good shepherd). Our Bible study group consisted of people from Taiwan, China, Korea and Japan. There was a Japanese lady who was very eager to ask questions and also a Chinese lady who was very interested in engaging with the passages. Most people in the group seemed to understand well, which was something of a relief as these are quite difficult passages. We focused on how Jesus provides us with satisfaction – life to the full.
After the Bible study in the morning, we went on a short walk, had lunch and then went on a long and slightly muddy walk through some nearby forest (I didn’t know such existed within the M25). We then had the second Bible study and a meal. After this, we played various games (Jenga and I taught a Polish girl Othello). We were then taught various Greek dances by Tim, one of the Kairos workers for this year.
On Sunday morning, we went to the local church and were given a very friendly welcome. We watched some bell-ringing and joined in the service. We went for a short walk (20 min) afterwards and I chatted to a guy from Taiwan who has been looking seriously at Christianity for 6 months who said he was ready to become a Christian! I remember the first time I met him, he was not at all interested but then we got talking and I explained that I studied the Bible somewhat scientifically. I drew him a few ways of representing the trinity, and it seems from then on that even though I didn’t see him much, he went to one of the churches in Cambridge and discovered that the Bible actually makes sense scientifically. Praise God!
Cheng-shi and I went to another house for some Sunday lunch before setting off and finally returning home about quarter past six.
Photos from the weekend can be found here
Yesterday evening we all went out for a meal to celebrate Tabitha’s 22nd birthday. We went to a Singaporian restruant near to the Catholic church by Parker’s Piece. The food was very good and filling, but the waitresses were very unfriendly. We had asked for the party room upstairs but they said it was unavailable as there had been a party there the previous day and they couldn’t be bothered to clear it up.
Had a very busy day today – 4 lectures and 3 and a half hours of sitting in the library reading. The lectures were all good, and I’m really enjoying the 4 lectures I have about the history of the Jews between 200BC and 200 AD. I had my first Greek language paper which was really quite difficult. Basically the lecturer just read through the Greek of Mark, giving us a translation. He threw out notes about various grammatical constructions at such a speed that even if I had understood what he was talking about, I wouldn’t have been able to write half of them down. I met up with Anna during lectures and then went back to hers to have some lunch.
I then came home and was about to go to bed when I got a call from Tabs saying that Yumi had just come in from Norwich, so I went round to see her. She then phoned Ruth and we all met up and went back round to mine. Anna then came round and I cooked some egg fried rice with sweet and sour chicken. It was good to see all those guys again 🙂
After this, I went to CU where there were perhaps 10 people. We’ve started to study 1 Peter which is quite a fun book. After this, I decided to do my first laundry load of term and realised that I hadn’t got any more washing powder. I nipped over the road to Sainsburys and bought some, but when I came back I could not turn the lock on the black iron gate which guards the entrance to my staircase. I tried reaching behind to turn the lock, as I always do and finally tried putting the code in and kicking it. Eventually I got the porter to try to open it but he could not manage, and so he called out maintenance. After about 30 minutes they managed to open the gate by removing the lock… How strange.
It’s been a busy few days but I’ve not really been able to do much work! Yesterday I messed around quite a bit. In the evening I had a Bible study with Cheng-Shi which was very exciting and we ate togeather. After that, I met up with Ruth, Felicity, Serena and Jonathan from Emma and went to the Henry Martyn Trust meeting where we met other people who’d been away in far-flung places over the summer.
Today I had Greek Bible Study in the morning and then three lectures. The same lecturer gave all three so he must have thought I’d been stalking him, especially as one is meant for second years! In the afternoon I slept and read a little before going to Jesus’ Chapel to hear Patrick do a short talk – very good explanation of heaven and hell.
I’ve been asked to help lead on a weekend away for international students this weekend which should be good fun!
Here are some fun links I’ve seen the past few days: The Sacrament of Coffee. Also How to Become a Bishop.