Cynthia Thickpenny, 2011 Scholar, University of Glasgow

cynthiathickpennyI am spending both scholarship years at the University of Glasgow, where I am mostly immersed in a world now over 1,000 years old: in massive, scowling hill-forts once guarded by walls and watchful spearmen, or amongst carved sculpture and painted, gilded vellum so dense with designs that your eyes actually cross trying to follow them.  This is why we call medieval manuscripts “illuminated”, for the pages shimmer when you turn them.  It was a world left to us by artists, epic poets, and learned kings, and Scotland has taught me just how poignantly human and brightly coloured the ‘Dark Ages’ were.  But I live in the 21st century too—my teachers are so generous with their time and encouragement, and I have met dear friends amongst Scottish and international students alike.  I would not want to be anywhere else.