SPS - Oly Duff
'I came from a statistically average state school in Bedfordshire and was lucky to have ambitious teachers who bullied me into applying to Cambridge, then helped me through the process. I somehow got a place to study SPS. The first year was a bit crazy: settling in to a big college and deciding which of the four strains of SPS to pursue in the second year. But John's is friendly and offers stellar resources. The library, sports teams and supervisors are the envy of other colleges. And there's no better place to be in the summer than sitting on John's Backs watching the punters glide past (and often fall in).
I chose to specialise in politics, specifically Israel-Palestine; 20th-century political philosophy; the aftermath of 9/11; and the invasion and reconstruction of Iraq. I had inspiring supervisors who could cultivate intelligent thought through my most bleary-eyed hangovers.
For two and a half of my three years at John's I spent a heck of a lot of hours writing and editing for the student newspapers. After graduating I became an editorial assistant at The Independent, then a reporter. I'm now the editor of the newspaper's politics and entertainment gossip diary, Pandora.
More than anything else, John's and Cambridge generally taught me how to think well on my feet. I'd like to take a gap degree from my job and return to John's soon to study the course papers I missed.'
- Oliver Duff, SPS, 2004
Download some of Oly's newspaper articles (pdf) here.