Coming Home to the States

January 1st, 2021

Jamie Lee

Michaelmas term, which officially concluded on December 4th, felt like a sprint to the finish line — most of my courses (which are all taught) such as Probabilistic Machine Learning, Computer Vision, and Robotics, had assignments due in the past few weeks. Despite the cumulation of work, many of the deadlines were at the beginning of the month, which left me with several weeks of freedom to relish before the start of Lent term in January.

I also enjoyed some time with friends with the lifting of the national lockdown in early December. The Churchill Scholars had a great time exploring the Churchill War Rooms and the bustling city life of London a few weeks ago, as well as a late-night trip to the Madingley Road kebab truck. After four weeks of isolation, it was extremely refreshing to get to see my friends from different households. My small local church in Cambridge finally switched over to in-person services after four weeks of Zoom services, and my friends and I shared long conversations about our experiences afterwards.
Normally I don’t like puddles, but they make for a nice nighttime view of Cambridge’s bright holiday lights.

Once England’s national lockdown was lifted in early December, I was able to enjoy company with others out in town. The Churchill Scholars had a great time exploring the Churchill War Rooms and the bustling city life of London a few weeks ago, as well as a late-night trip to the Madingley Road kebab truck. After four weeks of isolation, it was extremely refreshing to get to see my friends from different households. My small local church in Cambridge finally switched over to in-person services after four weeks of Zoom services, and my friends and I shared long conversations about our experiences afterwards.

Fortunately, I was able to fly back safely to the States and spend time with my friends and family for the last two weeks of December, prior to the discovery of the new COVID variant in the UK. As a resident of Virginia, one of my favorite things to do over my breaks is to tour the many art galleries in D.C. and walk around the city; however, almost all of the D.C.’s museums have closed to the public. Other than this, everything else felt pretty normal — I was able to dine-in at restaurants, and my family and I enjoyed some fresh air and the historical (outdoor) wonders of Harper’s Ferry National Park. At home, I spent much of my free time painting, baking treats with my mom, and catching up with my neighborhood friends, several activities I missed while I was away in England.

A painting of the backside of Cambridge.

Despite the many limitations the pandemic has imposed for us, sharing my experiences from the UK with my friends and family reminded me of how lucky I am to be able to study at Cambridge with the Churchill Scholars. If you’re reading this, I hope you too are spending the holiday season with loved ones cheerfully and safely. Happy holidays!

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