Cambridge Conference

18 05 2012

Over the two week Easter vacation I was lucky enough to be visited by my father. It was great to see him and to catch up on all the goings on back home, as well as showing him my new life in London.  It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows my dadthat we spent the majority of our time in the academic havens of Cambridge and Oxford. The next few entries (I promise they won`t be 2 months apart) will focus on Dad`s trip and what we managed to do during that time.

As is very typical with Dad this was not a true vacation but rather a bit of a working holiday. This was hugely beneficial for me as it allowed me to join him at the British Association of Canadian Studies (BACS) conference at Cambridge University. I had been with Dad to conferences before but had never actually attended the lectures and been a full participant so was very eager to have this experience.

This conference in particular had a bit of a peculiar dynamic as it focussed around Canadian studies and I found myself learning a lot about Vancouver while sitting in a classroom at Cambridge University. I think this was a fortunate break however as I was a bit more familiar with the topic than the atmosphere and environment that surrounds an academic conference.  It was certainly a bit of an adjustment listening to highly regarded professors presenting a paper after spending  7 months teaching lessons to kids in Hackney and Brixton!

Despite the initial `culture shock` of the first day in Cambridge I thoroughly enjoyed the conference. The keynote speaker on the second night was none other than Gordon Campbell, former Premier of BC and current Canadian High Commissioner to the UK. He gave an interesting, albeit rather politically motivated, talk and then was bombarded with questions about the current state of British Columbia. I was fortunate enough to discuss a few issues with him personally as he stayed for a dinner put on by the High Commission.

Following the Conference Dad and I made a quick visit to Emmanuel College where Dad introduced me to a professor he knows there Dr. Alan Baker. It was a very surreal experience sharing a bottle of wine with a Cambridge professor in his office, overlooking the gorgeous gardens of the University. An opportunity not many supply teachers in London get to have! It was then onto the bus, back to London and on to the next part of our journey.

Attached below are some pictures I took while in Cambridge,

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