All entries for March 2005

March 28, 2005

Pottering about

Hurrah, I'm feeling a fair bit better about things now. So how did I spend my easter weekend? Well, on Saturday I went over to Leamington to see my friend Ruth and do some joint physics revision. Doesn't sound too exciting perhaps, but frankly it was immensely helpful in getting our heads round one of our toughest subjects – Plasma Physics. I think I've mentioned that course before…Besides, it's always good to see Ruth. She's one of the few people who tends to stick around during holidays (though that may have something to do with her living in France…)

Sunday wasn't too much to talk about obviously, since everything was closed. And today? Well, since everyone is away I thought I'd clean the house. It's so much easier to do cleaning when everyone's out. Besides, it's a good way of avoiding revision.

So all in all, understanding a bit more about physics now. I'm still worried obviously, but that's never going to change! I've also managed to get my expenditure under control, hurrah :-) It probably won't last, but there's hope…


March 25, 2005

Easter…

Well, the easter weekend is upon us, and most people are probably jetting off home to enjoy a relaxing/fun weekend. I'm not going anywhere though – for me it's just a quiet few days to try and get some work done!

I hate holidays. Christmas vacation is the worst, but I'm not a fan of easter either. Why? Because it's an excuse for things to stop working properly that's why. Shops close, public transport goes down the tube (grr!), people aren't available, so attempting to get anything done is subject to lots of delay and general faff. I guess for most people holidays are a chance to go home and see family and be generally happy etc. Me? Um, no. Not particularly.

Ok, so not a particularly cheerful entry so far. I guess I'm not in a particularly cheerful mood! Shocking, I know. But there's more to come…

Overpricing

I was reminded of the sad state of the university's food outlets during vacations today. One of my course friends caught up with me in Kaleidoscope (oops, Cafe Library), and was eating a jacket potato, with cheese and coleslaw. Personally, I thought it smelled (and looked) a bit like it had PVC glue on it, but what do I know…

…but like most places on campus, the food was overpriced. The only decent value place I can think of is South Central, but if you want some food later on in the day, you're in trouble. Especially during the holiday, since everything's closed.

Of course, the most criminal thing to my mind is the Arts Centre. They charge £1.00 for a cup of tea. A teabag in some hot water?? £1?? I think not. At least it's not as bad as buying a cup of tea on a Virgin Voyager train (£1.20!)...

Food and drink is where most of my inheritance has gone at Uni (ok I don't have an inheritance, just an overdraft, but if I did that's where it would have gone.) Grr-age!

Grumpiness

So why so grumpy today? I dunno really – haven't been very productive, and am a bit disappointed in my ability to understand physics at the moment. And since the library is closed over the easter weekend, it's working from home 'til tuesday. Yay. But never mind, nothing a cup of tea (or three!) can't put right!


March 19, 2005

Edinburgh…and public transport

…hm, it's been a while since I've been up here in Edinburgh. Perhaps not surprising given the trouble it often takes to get here. On friday night I was supposedly catching the 17:23 from coventry to edinburgh. Thanks to the fantastic bus services offered by Travel West Midlands, I ended up having to prevail on my housemate to drive me to the station in time, the bus having spectacularly failed to appear. Silly me – I forgot I was getting a virgin cross-country service. It was already running 30 minutes late by the time it got to coventry! Sigh!

These services being what they are, by the time we rolled into Edinburgh Waverley it was 23:20 and we were 50 minutes behind schedule. About average, unfortunately! Mum was not too impressed :-) Mind you, it did give me time to read the exciting march edition of "Physics World"...several times. And drink lots of tea. Mmm.

Still, Edinburgh is as sunny as ever, and it's good to catch up with family and friends again. Not that most of my friends up here made much effort – apathetic lot that they are. At least the bus services work. I forgot that too, and ended up being extremely early for meeting people. Ah well :-)

No time to stop revision of course, so I brought my notes – well, some of them – with me, and am trying to at least do some reading. I find it really hard to work here at home!

Well anyway, bed is calling. Got the exciting return journey to look forward to on Monday. That could get interesting…


March 16, 2005

Mmm, curry (but not Ikon!)

Wednesday night already? Time certainly flies! As usual all my budgeting plans have gone out of the window, having thrown in a haircut and an impromptu curry today, that's another £20 down the tube. Not too good, considering the £60 I spent buying my train tickets home for this weekend. Such is life, however.

So what did I do today? I managed to read through my lecture course on "Synergetics". Understood some bits, was rather clueless on others unfortunately! Oh yes, and also popped into the MC office a couple of times to annoy Owen :-)

I also recieved my handover things from Lucy today, in the form of a brimming CD. In theory, I should now have everything I need to run WO for the next year! Something tells me it won't be quite as smooth as that, but I hope I can do a good job! I should take this moment to give an extra little thank you to Lucy, who's been great over the last year, and has answered all my stupid questions so far! It won't be quite the same without her :-)

But still, I'm looking forward to the challenge, and I think we've got a good team for the year! Mmm, now I need a cup of tea before bed… :-)


March 14, 2005

No tea!! Grr!

GRR!

What did I find when I got up this morning? One of my housemates has managed to consume everybody's milk overnight! I'm shocked and appalled, since it means I can't have a cup of tea. That's right, NO TEA. (Unless you like black tea – eeuch, horrible stuff). As a result I'm feeling rather cross just now.

If there's one item of foodstuff that I don't like sharing it's got to be my milk. Not because I'm mean, but because I need to keep track of how much I've got, so that I can always have tea :-)
I may have to start taking measures. Somebody I know used to put colouring in their milk to dye it blue. Nobody ever went near it after that…but then, I'm not sure I would either.

Hmph.

So now it's Monday (my word, where does the time go?) and many people have already wandered off home for easter. For me, it's another fun day in the library. My plan is to read through another lecture course, and perhaps try some questions on Statistical Physics which I read yesterday. I was slightly worried when someone pointed out that if we leave off revising for our week 5/6 exams until after the week 1 set, we'd have about 3 days per subject available! Ouch. Better start now I think :-)

Going to the library will be delayed slightly, however, while I go shopping and buy some milk. And label it. And chain it up with a combination. Well ok, maybe not…


March 13, 2005

Questions…and revision

Yesterday, Lu asked me if I could invite any 7 people to a dinner party, living or dead, who would they be?

Tough question I thought. But here's what I came up with:

  • Richard Feynman
  • Garry Kasparov
  • Gustav Holst
  • James Clerk Maxwell
  • Nelson Mandella
  • David Hume
  • Lucinda Critchley

Now one of these people isn't all that famous outside of the University of Warwick, but still, there were no conditions :-)
So why these people? Well, Feynman I guess because he was one of the few guys who really understood physics, how things were meant to work. He's a bit of a legend, and his teaching had a reputation for being the best. Kasparov? Well, possibly the greatest ever world chess champion to date – having just retired from professional chess, he's achieved just about everything!
Holst? Well, anyone who writes such good music should get an invitation in my book. Maxwell, well he's Scottish, so nuff said really :-)
I suppose, like most people I have a fair amount of respect for Mandella, hence his invitation. But David Hume? Not the person I'd put down originally, but a philosopher, no less, and Scottish too so, er, nuff said :-)
And Lucinda? Why, who else but our new Social Sec to keep all the conversation ticking over! :-)

Revision

Well it's Sunday, and it's time to start revision, sadly. Will it be the joys of understanding Synergetics, or the wonders of Statistical Physics? Perhaps it's time to explore some Stellar Structures, or delve into the world of Ferroics. Or even, do the unthinkable and read about Plasma Physics? Quantum Physics? Laser Physics? The opportunities are endless…

…but as long as I have tea it'll be fine :-)


March 11, 2005

Another Term gone…

…just where does the time go?

It doesn't seem all that long ago that I was a first year, just heading back home for the easter vacation, exams only a dim worry on the horizon. I must say, those were the days! Now revision is the firm basis of my entire easter vacation, since as I've discovered since the 1st year it's the only way I can actually pass my physics degree! If only it didn't have so much…well…physics, in it.

But anyway, another term gone, and the end of lectures for another year. My friends on the 3 year course have finished lectures for good – a scary thought.


March 08, 2005

Teething Tuesday

Requeim...

Photocopiers aside, I went to see the Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performance of Verdi's Requiem tonight. Very impressively performed – but I don't think I'd see it twice! It was slightly too epic for my liking – not my cup of tea :-)

Productivity...

…remains depressingly low this week. It seems to be that week 10 feeling where I just can't be bothered to put the work in. Roll on easter (woo, revision, but at least I can manage my own time there). I guess not having an end of term deadline doesn't really help.

Will be taking a trip home to Edinburgh during the easter vacation. Hurrah! Haven't been back in quite a while now, so it'll be good to see family and friends again – plus I've missed good old scottish weather!

Anyway, must get on and do some work before bed.


March 07, 2005

Photocopier Heaven

Aye, I was wondering this morning, in my inimitable Scottish manner, why it is that I seem to find myself always loitering in the Music Centre Office. And then I realised. It's because I love the photocopier.

And not just in the way that you might normally say 'I love badgers,' I actually love photocopiers. Their beautiful grey sheen, their sleek curves, the subtle hum as they sit, waiting to pounce on any music that they are offered by way of sacrifice, the marvellous roar as they come to life, lights flashing, beeping as they devour the paper that is fed into them and spewing out vast tracts of paper, beautifully crafted with a delightful copy of the original – what is there not to get excited about?

Aaaaaah.

Oooooooh

[Coughs]

All donations of photocopiers very welcome. Hmmm.

BTW - Note to self. Next time Owen suggests not leaving myself logged in to a computer, I really must pay more attention.


March 06, 2005

Water Water, everywhere

Follow-up to Another week gone from Andy's Intrigue

On a completely unrelated note, not only does our bathroom still leak into the kitchen, this evening the washing machine decided to spill it's content of water all over the floor (the seal on the door having become loose). Annoying, but nothing a handy mop and a spare 20 minutes or so couldn't cure!

Managed to get some Quantum revision done today. Thank goodness for that, I needed to actually make a start sooner rather than later…


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