Hi, my name is Colin, I am a third-year medical student and this is my second year of the telephone campaign. Today marked our final full day of calling. Well beyond the half-way point of the campaign, the team has certainly gotten into the swing of things: coffee to hand, pen and paper at the ready.
Sunday is usually a long but fruitful day, and this one did not disappoint. I had the pleasure of hearing from our alumni who were starting their own film production company, buying a new house, having children, travelling the world, and beginning retirement. Getting in touch with such a broad age-range of alumni you get the odd experience of viewing the whole span of life events over a short period of time. It certainly makes you appreciate how quickly time passes, and how soon it will be before my own reunion.
During this campaign I have heard so many different stories and the general feeling from them is of fulfilment and of success ahead. Even when speaking to fellow medics, where we have commiserated about the catastrophe that is the junior doctors’ contract, it is always encouraging to hear of their own plans and ambitions, and of course the invaluable advice they are more than happy to give.
Some callers have periods of not getting through to many alumni, and hearing voicemail after voicemail can certainly become laborious. Today reprieve for the unlucky ones came in the form of pizza from Wildwood and, in the Cambridge tradition, a glass of wine at the end of the shift.
This evening the Master, Dr Williams, and Lady Williams kindly hosted us for drinks. Conversation inevitably turned to our experiences speaking with Magdalene alumni and I don’t think I was alone in getting a touch of jealousy when hearing about Dr Williams’ own canvassing trips – as good as the Buckingham room can be, Paris or San Francisco it is not.
Afterwards, with sparkling wine giving us some much needed Dutch courage, we returned to the library for a late night of dissertation writing.
P.S. Special apologies to the alumnus who had to deal with talking to me while my headset was repeating my own voice back to me, I have never had such difficulty getting my words out except when on the “Speech Jammer” app.