Just sharing a few pictures of Pembroke’s premises, to give some shape to the imagination of our lives here.
Some accompanying notes:
Christ Church College is the college across the road from ours. We have a rivalry going with them, which seems mostly to be a humble gripe against their affluent pompousness. Theirs is the college where the Harry Potter films - particularly the dining hall and the stairs, I hear - was filmed, or where the appearance of Hogwarts is based upon.
We, like all the Freshers/First-Years, have dinner in College 6 times a week, from Sunday through to Friday. Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays are formal dinners, where we wear our academic gowns and are served a 3-course meal, but whether formal or informal, all dinners are served in the Hall, as it is very simply called. We’ve noted, however, that the Hall’s purpose doesn’t end there - it truly is a multi-purpose hall, being the venue for talks by the College administration, Collections (examinations), and even the Boat Club’s cheese and wine reception.
Most of the College is organised as Staircases. Whether it’s a friend’s room, a teaching room, or an academic office, you’ll typically be referred to the relevant staircase number, and then the room name or number. It’s very efficient! Especially since Pembroke is so compact. Places really aren’t difficult to find, though I’m still amazed at all the rooms they manage to pack into this little compound - there are so many hidden passages and rooms! North Quad is where most of the administrative offices are found, while the accommodations lie either along the side of Chapel Quad, or immediately behind that.
At the Porter’s Lodge, where you enter the college, we each have a pigeon hole, where we receive all our mail, and anything forwarded from within the College or the University - which I just heard referred to as “pige post” this evening! It’s free and it’s awesome, just a man on his bicycle, cycling inter-college/intra-University mail across the city, and your mail usually gets there within the day.
One of our most famous denizens was J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the Lord of the Rings. He reportedly wrote “The Hobbit” here in College, in that room I snapped a photograph of. Nice!
In 2003, Pembroke College became the only college of all of the colleges in both Oxford and Cambridge to hold double headship at the Summer Eights - meaning both the men and women’s Rowing teams came in First at the Summer Eights competition - a big, big deal. For the celebrations, they brought the boats back to the North Quad and burned them (!), and painted that proud lettering you see pictured. Pembroke is huge on Rowing, and sports in general, really. But Rowing especially.