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Girton
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#1
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This is a thread exclusively for people with offers from Girton and for students already there.

How do you manage with the location - Girton being 2 miles from the centre of Cambridge?

What would you say are the biggest strengths of the college?

Write back!
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kebab22
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#2
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I got an offer from there, last year and am on my gap year now. I often wonder what it is going to be like, I dont mind the distance but I do worry about the prospect of feeling alienated from the university community. But I suppose its just what you make of it. Two miles is a lot less of a distance than most would have to travel to lectures from there halls at other universities.

Would subject are you going to study?
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Girton
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#3
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I would be studying Oriental Studies. How about you?

Is there anyone on this site who currently goes to Girton? Do you feel isolated from all the other colleges?
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paravel
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#4
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I got an offer from Girton to read Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic. The location doesn't worry me too much - I'm just happy that I got in. My opinion may of course change when I have to walk these 2 miles every day...
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Minta
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Yay a fellow ASNC! I'm going to be at New Hall next year and can't wait!
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paravel
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yay! There aren't very many of us, are there? I'm really looking forward to it, it seems to be such an incredibly interesting tripos (at least if you have rather specialised interests...). Have you given any thought to what subjects you are going to do, languages or history or some combination? Or perhaps that's a bit too early to consider since you're doing a gap year. Anyway, nice to hear from someone in advance.
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Pollo Loco
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Hey,
I got an offer for Veterinary Sciences at Girton starting in Oct this year. For me Girton is one of the better colleges because it is quite close to the vet school, which is also a little way from the centre.
I'm not bothered about being removed from the centre, both times I visited the college, I found to be by far the most friendly college in the uni coz it is a tight knit community. I really liked it there and i don't think 2 miles is that far. Where i live is much further than 2 miles from anything!! (P.S Buy a bike!!)
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Minta
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(Original post by paravel)
yay! There aren't very many of us, are there? I'm really looking forward to it, it seems to be such an incredibly interesting tripos (at least if you have rather specialised interests...). Have you given any thought to what subjects you are going to do, languages or history or some combination? Or perhaps that's a bit too early to consider since you're doing a gap year. Anyway, nice to hear from someone in advance.
Yep, ASNCs are a rather select group! I'll probabaly do the history papers and 2 languages, and maybe start off taking paleaography as a safety option in case the languages go pear shaped. I can't decide which languages to do - definitely Old English, but am dithering between the other 3; I'm going to read up on the literature and try and look at some grammar books before October in order to see which might appeal most. How about you?
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lawladuk
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Hey, I have an offer from Girton to read law for entry in 2004. I had the opportunity to suss out its location when I stayed for interview and to be honest, it is quite far away. I don't think this should put people off because most people cycle into lectures together and there is a bus service/weekend taxi service if you don't want to use a bike. I can only imagine that there is a great sense of community at Girton because it is where it is. Visually I don't think that it is the most stunning college, though it is attractive and very large. I just hope I get the grades now....AAA isn't going to be easy!
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paravel
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(Original post by Minta)
Yep, ASNCs are a rather select group! I'll probabaly do the history papers and 2 languages, and maybe start off taking paleaography as a safety option in case the languages go pear shaped. I can't decide which languages to do - definitely Old English, but am dithering between the other 3; I'm going to read up on the literature and try and look at some grammar books before October in order to see which might appeal most. How about you?

I think I'll study the Germanic side of it, Anglo-Saxon history and language, and Scandinavian history and language. For the other papers I can' t decide: I would love to study the Celtic languages, but palaeography and latin seems interesting as well. I've read some old Scandinavian literature (in translation, of course) and it seems really fascinating.
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Radagasty
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(Original post by Minta)
Yep, ASNCs are a rather select group! I'll probabaly do the history papers and 2 languages, and maybe start off taking paleaography as a safety option in case the languages go pear shaped. I can't decide which languages to do - definitely Old English, but am dithering between the other 3; I'm going to read up on the literature and try and look at some grammar books before October in order to see which might appeal most.
I'm not from Cambridge, so I'm not offering any course-specific advice, but I come from a background in historical and comparative philology, so I may be able to offer some advice on subject choice.

You've settled on Old English, which is an obvious choice, and, to match it, I would recommend Insular Latin. Here, I am assuming that you don't already have a background in Classical Latin. If you do, it would be fairly easy to pick up on Insular Latin, so choose another subject instead. I cannot emphasise too much the importance of Latin in this field. It is absolutely essential if you wish to pursue further studies or research in the field, for there are many mediaeval documents written in Latin that are relevant to ASNC. If at all possible, I would strongly advise you to learn Modern German, at least to a rudimentary level, perhaps through the Cambridge Language Centre.

Note that the above advice is given without knowing which particular field of ASNC you wish to specialise in. If it is Anglo-Saxon studies, give more weight to Scandinavian topics (i.e., Scandinavian history, Old Norse) over Celtic topics. Clearly, if you wish to specialise in Celtic studies, then Mediaeval Welsh and Irish would most be useful, as well as Britonnic and Gaelic history. Here, the acquisition of Latin is less important, but still recommended.

Palaeography is less important than Latin, but no less essential if you plan to undertake research in the area. Any non-trivial study of the field would most likely require you to be able to read mediaeval manuscripts, and studying palaeography would help immensely. Note tha palaeography isn't simply the study of old handwriting: it is a broad field covering many topics like manuscript conventions, textual authenticity, etc.

I wouldn't worry too much about the languages going pear-shaped too much. Latin is taxing on the memory, but, in many ways, Insular and Mediaeval Latin are more straightforward than classical Latin, and shouldn't pose too much of a problem. Old English is quite easy to learn, although the syntax can be quirky.

The main problem you're going to encounter is variation: variation through time and space, i.e., regional variation in Old English and its evolution through time, as well as internal variation, i.e., arbitrary and non-significant differences in spelling and grammar, etc., that may be present in a single document, often due to lack of standardisation. These variations can be most frustrating when trying to decipher a document, especially if it is a manuscript text in illegible handwriting. At the beginning, though, you would most likely be reading redacted texts where spelling has been regularised, etc.

My recommendation, then, or rather, the subjects I would choose in your position, are:

Old English
Insular Latin
palaeography
Anglo-Saxon history
Scandinavian history
Old Norse

If you feel you won't be able to cope with a third language, then perhaps substitute another history (I would go for Brittonic over Gaelic here, though the latter is perhaps more relevant to-day) for Old Norse.

Keep in mind that I am not from an ASNC background, but rather one of philology (historical and comparative) and history (late antiquities and early middle ages), so my advice may be a little biased.
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Girton
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#12
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****Posts on Girton please****
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