Dome is home
Don’t diss Medwards.
An open letter to the anonymous John’s porter who caused me so much unnecessary embarrassment.
I know that Murray Edwards might not be the oldest or grandest of colleges – lets face it, its slightly grubby whitewashed Dome is no King’s chapel and its hill-top location is far from prime, but a Cambridge college it is, and I will forever be proud of my status as a Medwardian.
Why then, dear Porter, did you feel it necessary to question my status as a member of the University, and demonstrate your clear disbelief at the fact that I even owned a card which would allow me access to your ancient courts and soaring spires. (Was it the hoop earrings? If so, I am truly sorry that my choice of jewellery offended you, but they make me feel sassy.)
Discrimination due to my obvious lack of taste I can bear, but against my glorious, woman-empowering college I cannot. Your sneering question – ‘and what college is that?’ – brought back that sense of insecurity about Medwards’ status as a college that I thought I had buried and left to rot in Freshers’ Week.
Yes, our college is only 60 years old, and yes, it’s all female. Perhaps most of us there have been pulled from the pool and maybe its architecture does leave a little to be desired.
And yet, I wouldn’t choose to be part of any other college.
Murray Edwards, for all its flaws, has been more supportive of both my academic and personal welfare than I could possibly have hoped. It may sound like a cliché, but the college really, really cares.
If you aren’t doing as well as you should be, they will take any personal issue that may be responsible into account. I can say from first hand experience that the student’s well-being is the college’s priority. How many other students can say that of their college?
Also, girl power!?
Being part of an all female environment has its downsides – no boys being just one of them, but it also makes us less afraid to be the ones who make the jokes, or a point of information at the Union, or argue our side in a supervision, because in our college if we don’t, who else will?
Murray Edwards has shown me just how much I am capable of; it’s taught me that, if I don’t want to, I don’t have to shut up.
In particular, you should know how proud I am of our own porters – their smiles and bad jokes genuinely brighten my day. You, on the other hand, went out of your way to make me feel as small, insignificant, and unworthy of walking through your hallowed courtyards as possible.
Why you chose to act like that I will never know. Maybe you were overcompensating; maybe you were just having a bad day. Whatever the case was, it was unnecessary.
Murray Edwards is just as worthy of its place as a Cambridge college as any other; anyone who disputes that is simply ignorant.