On Skander and Georgie, the actors of Lucy and Edmund in the new Narnia movies!
The Michaelmas term at Cambridge University begins October 8, just 10 days from now. Skandar Keynes will enter his fourth and final year in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (BA), reading Arabic and Persian. Georgie Henley will enter her first year in English (BA). Skandar is studying at Pembroke College. Georgie’s college is still unknown. The colloquial term for first-year students in British universities is ‘fresher.’ Here in America, it’s ‘freshman.’ Skandar and Georgie’s courses comprise two parts with required papers. Each paper consists of lectures, classes, supervisions on weekly essays, and exams over one term (Michaelmas, Lent, or Easter). Skandar will begin part two this year. He will be required to submit a 5,000- to 12,000-word dissertation (15-40 pages, 300 words/page) next spring. The following papers are offered for fourth-year students in Arabic and Persian. Advanced Arabic Language Advanced Persian Language Themes in Arabic Literature Themes in Persian Literature Political Legitimacy in the Medieval Islamic World, 600-1300 Language, National Identity, and Conflict in the Middle East Political Anthropology of the Middle East Comparative Semitic Linguistics Georgie will begin part one this year. The English course structure is as follows. Part I below is studied over years 1-2. Papers 1 and 5 are required (i.e. exams), as is a language paper (7 or 8). A three-essay portfolio can be exchanged for paper 2, 3, or 4. Part II (year 3) consists of two required papers (Tragedy and Criticism), plus two optional papers and a dissertation (long essay). Paper 1 – English Literature, 1300-1550 Paper 2 – English Literature, 1500-1700 Paper 3 – English Literature, 1688-1847 Paper 4 – English Literature, 1830-present Paper 5 – Shakespeare Paper 6 – Literary criticism Paper 7 – European languages and literature [French, Italian, German, Greek, or Latin] Paper 8 – English language, 1300-present Paper 9 – English literature, 1300-present (open dissertation) Paper 10 – Early medieval literature, 1066-1350 Unlike most other courses, English lectures are optional. Georgie can also attend lectures in other courses; they don’t have to pertain to her chosen papers. We don’t know the papers Skandar and Georgie plan to take or the lectures they may attend. We also don’t know their schedules this year at all and I don’t plan to find out, for their privacy. Pray that Skandar does well in his final year and graduates next June with honors. Also pray that Georgie settles in as a fresher and completes her first year with honors. Cambridge is expensive: £9,000 per year tuition (2013-14) and about £7,850 per year living costs. Let’s pray they win scholarships with high marks in their essays and exams!