Friday, May 25, 2007

Stay away from the Beach

Recently, all the students in college had received a notice from our College Marshall. Each year, they will issue a warning against students jumping into the river Cam. Each year, without fail, students will end up in the river. Usually, this would happen after Tripos ends, during May Week.

However, this year, we have already had one fatality. Daniel bolger fell into the river one evening, after having a little bit to drink. He died due to a heart attack suffered when his body suddenly hit the cold water of the river. In the end, they had to drain the river to find his body. It was quite a harrowing week for his family. I even saw them standing in the brown building on the right of the picture, looking at the river longingly, while the sky broke out in rain. This seems to be an interesting characteristic of the Brits. I would never expect such reactions back home. Looking at the recent case of the missing girl in Portugal, it amazes me at how the Brits support each other in times of tragedy.

Then, there's the custom of falling into the river to get a First. Some students just jump into the river because they feel like it. It tends to get warmer towards the end of Easter Term and I guess, the kids need to cool off somehow. The river is extremely polluted though, and there are all kinds of unknown sharp objects in the river. So, jumping in is certainly not advisable. Anyone who gets a cut in the river is bound to get an infection. I almost fell in last week when bringing my friends out punting in the rain. I personally know of one Magdalene graduate student (who is currently working at Goldman Sachs) who jumped off the Magdalene bridge, into the river, and bumped his head, while being pissed drunk. That's another thing that amazes me about the people here. They can really get pissed drunk and do crazy things every weekend.

PS. I took this picture sometime last winter. Then, I gimped it into the current surreal looking thing. I think it looks much better this way. The picture was taken from Magdalene Bridge. The patch of green on the right is the beach of Magdalene.

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