Within minutes of entering the dark oak-paneled Old JCR where Dr. Phillips was gathering his students for drinks on the first day of term at Emmanuel College, I began talking to Rebecca. Dark-haired, pretty, and incredibly warm, she was exactly the kind of person I was hoping to meet at Cambridge, someone who was clearly smart, energetic and motivated, but not intimidating or arrogant. I warmed to her right away.
A few weeks ago I enjoyed a very special evening at the Atheneum Club at the California Institute of Technology. It was a dinner hosted by Dame Fiona Reynolds, the current Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, who was visiting the US and had invited former students to meet and chat about their time at Emmanuel. Sitting in the oak-paneled library of the Atheneum with all of these people who were united by their time at Emmanuel, I was caught up in nostalgia and pride for the college where I had spent four years learning Japanese as an undergraduate.