A recipe for the perfect winter soupervision

Ready, Steady, Cook (then cry)

Cambridge University camrbidge English Literature girton Medieval supervision

There’s nothing like a warm soupervision in these winter months to keep you toasty, nourished yet intellectually demolished.

My recipe today is for an English soupervision, but to fit your dietary requirements feel free to swap out my references to medieval literature for some chemicals/triangles/whatever you guys do that means you actually have to get up before 9am.

You will need:

1 essay (as fresh as possible, crafting it the night before often provides the fullest flavour)

1-2 supervision partners (I recommend 2 on those days when you’re really feeling weak)

1 supervisor (whole)

2 1/2 strained popular culture references

300ml of self worth

A copy of your admissions letter

600ml of bodily fluids

1 copy of the primary text

1/2 a Kuda stamp

200g of carrots

1.  Cure the supervision partner(s). This can be done by seasoning them with the assertion that your most recent essay was ‘literally the worst thing’ you’ve ever written. If they try to out-do you, mention how little sleep you’ve been having, how hungover you are or that there is a mathematical formula for altruism that suggests there is no selfless act.

2. Place yourself and your partners inside a large baking tray, and prepare for a roasting.


This one is just me – for some reason I think editing my supo partner’s face onto a roast duck is not the quickest route to lifelong friendship

3. Once given permission to enter the soupervision brewing room, choose a seat wisely. The seat says more about you than the entirety of the academic content of the soupervision. Pick a sofa too soft and easy to sink into, and your supervisor will instantly know about your fear of rejection, close relationship with your mother and the teddy bear you sleep with which you should really throw away but it has too much sentimental value. Pick a chair too hard and you might as well just be giving your supervisor a transcript of your parent’s divorce case. (These lines were cut from the original version of Goldilocks)

4. Mix the supervisor with the essay slowly and tentatively. Desperately try and explain your train of thought, before realising the futility of the situation and allowing it to simmer in silence for up to 5 minutes.


Remember fire hazards: they’re always a potential exit strategy if things go horribly wrong

5. At this point, you may want to add some flavour to your primary text by throwing in the popular culture references. My own personal favourite was attempting to compare Gawain and the Green Knight, a poem commonly praised as the ‘best known and most important Arthurian story’, to the equally classic Dreamworks triumph that is Shrek. This is risky business, and through trial and error I would recommend sticking mostly to the first film. Shrek Forever After is much too idiosyncratic for an institution as prestigious as Cambridge. Save that for the East Anglia students.

6. Peel the carrots

7. Allow your 300ml of self worth to slowly be evaporated off by heat coming from the fire breathing mouth of your supervisor (just like the dragon in Shrek 1. Only Shrek 1).


It says 25% less sodium but my DoS isn’t any less salty

8. Begin to consider whether Life was worth the intense, visceral pain that is excavating it’s way through your lower abdomen, like some sort of Underground System of Suffering.  Abandon this thought as you feel the leftovers of your Kuda stamp begin to burn like the Dark Mark (pop culture reference #2), and remember where your real allegiances lie: the alleyway next to Waterstones.

9. Chop the carrots

10. Once your soupervisor’s disappointment has stewed in the air for between 30-40 minutes, gently garnish any questions they have with sections of your admissions offer letter. Optional add in: ‘YOU WANTED ME, REMEMBER?!’ (Suprisingly, this general tactic works less effectively with ex-lovers and/or parents. They never entered into a written contract.)

11. By now, you should feel the 600 ml of bodily fluids kicking in. The real test begins here: not the strength of the argument postulated in your essay, but the strength of the muscular walls of your bladder.


When the soupervision gets too lit

12. Eat the carrots. They are a healthy and crunchy snack.

13. Your soupervision should have been brewing for long enough by now. Gather the diced mixture of your essay, hubris and mental stability and leave the dungeon, feeling warm (from the blooding colouring your cheeks) and ready for dessert: an hour long scroll through Memebridge.

Follow this guide and you will have a delicious soupervision for any occasion.