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- Cambridge Journal -

Making my own fun at Cambridge

If you talk to any fresher (that’s first year for non-Brits) in this weird and wonderful place known as Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK, they will tell you they don’t quite know why they’re here. Every morning we walk through one of the most recognizably academic cities in the world and breathe in the air of academia (supposedly)…

Exciting, it is.

Easy to adjust to, it is not.

I, C.E Lloyd Perrin of Cripps Staircase B, St John’s College, Cambridge University, have absolutely no idea how I got in… but that’s ok… most people here will spend most of the first term telling you they feel the same.

The university is not one organization that considers all applications – you apply to a single college, which is where you live and work.

There are teacher types called supervisors in college who supplement lecture-based teaching with discussion and set essays. These people also interview you and decide if you are good enough to enter the college, and the university.

The first few days are a social whirl, followed by eight weeks of mad work and sane fun. Yes, that means I have more holiday than term time, but it also means I type more words per day than my best friends combined.

For those used to other education systems, Cambridge is based on a system of colleges. Each college selects and admits undergraduates independently from the university as a whole. The college provides you with a support system, a place to live and professors on your staircase.

  – By Cass Lloyd Perrin

When Hurricane Katrina smashed ashore last year, Louisiana teen Samantha Perez started writing about the storm that washed away much of her old life. Her journal, chronicled in the pages of The Tattoo, is all online at Hurricane Journal. Read it for an eye-opening and intensely personal look into the eye of the worst storm in recent history.

For a miserable birthday, go camping

By Justin Skaradosky/ The Tattoo

Apparently Mark Twain once said, “Thunder is good, thunder is impressive, but it is the lightning that does the work.”

I will never understand that quote. And I haven’t even pondered the part that says that it’s the lightning that “does the work.” I just wonder how anyone could ever say that thunder is “good.”

Especially after my summertime camping trip.

It all started a few weeks before my birthday, which is on the last day of June. My dad and I were talking on the phone. The conversation went like most did – I asked how work had been going, and he asked me about school (which was about to end at the time).

And then he told me. He got straight to the point and said that he would be coming down in a few weeks to take my brother and I camping for a night, “for my birthday.”

The reason I write the words “for my birthday” in quotes is because I realize that my dad didn’t want to take me camping to celebrate my birthday, specifically. At least, not to celebrate it in the average “cake and presents” kind of way.

But, I have to say that it was a good excuse to get us to spend another night outdoors. Either that, or after 15 years he still doesn’t realize that I am not a son, but a daughter.

You see, my dad doesn’t exactly get the fact that I, an average teenage girl, actually might not want to go camping, especially not on my birthday. But I went anyway.

-- Rachel Glogowski




Gifts that keep on giving

Can changing the world be as easy as buying a t-shirt?

Sixteen-year-old Jennifer Randall of Bristol, Conn., hopes that it is.

For teenagers like Randall, going shopping at Gap and other stores is a way to help fight AIDS in Africa – and the holiday gifts they buy are doing a world of good.

Because of the (RED) Campaign, certain purchases can help African women and children impacted by HIV/AIDS – at no extra cost to the shopper.

- Beth Pond


Click here to find many journals written by Tattoo staffers over the years







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