All entries for Friday 30 September 2005

September 30, 2005

Day 6

Again, posted a day late due to network outage.

Woke up early, around 8:30. I went and had breakfast in the kitchen, asking some people why the cleaners hadn't put out new linen like it said in the handbook. No-one knew. I has some breakfast, before I ventured back to my room to read up on Philosophy. One girl was waiting in the corridor for Will who apparently had been 15 minutes or more getting ready to go to a 9 o'clock lecture, and it was 5 to 9. Some people are peacocks!

I read up on the Philosophy, though I couldn't understand some of the terminology and the network was still down so I couldn't look them up, either. Bugger. I decided to move to the lounge with my laptop to read just in case anyone else showed up. Just then mum rang my mobile, and I gave her the number of the local payphone as there was no network to use Skype. We chatted a bit on that phone and I decided to go to the library to do my studying instead, as well as post yesterday's blog entry. The trip was gorgeous, bright sunlight, lots of birds and the trees in blossom and a steady stream of student life flowing down the campus streets.

The library was nice and functional and had wireless. I studied in there (especially on Philosophy). Well, I also surfed the web a bit, but you need nerves of steel to read Mackie for more than 30 minutes at a time! I'm a bit worried as I just can't wrap my head around the horribly confusing and overblown language in the material. Hopefully the professor will make things a bit less confusing in the next lecture. I also catched up with online pals, which was nice, but some got very angry at the fact I was mostly busy doing my reading.

The time went quickly and I had to look up where to go for my first actual CS lecture, CS for mathematics. It was apparently in the 'ACCR', which after a websearch turned out to be the Arts Centre Conference Room. I wandered over there to take a look, noting that the glorious sunshine of earlier was clouding over, and I didn't have a coat or an umbrella. Sigh.

I went to the ACCR and no-one was there, so I went wandering. I bumped into Olga and went with her to buy a snack, a rather non-descript Blueberry Muffin. Then we went back to the lecture, Mathematics for Computer Scientists. The speaker was an amiable, white haired lecturer with glasses, though nothing much was said and I almost dozed off. Afterwards I went up to him to ask if the lecture notes were in PDF, because a lot of the lecturers are using Word, which I can't read easily. He said they were, and I suddenly remember to also ask him about the wireless he was setting up (I met him on the Open Day). Apparently his PowerBook was pre-wireless, so I recommended a USB wireless card but to be careful as most are Windows only.

I wondered past a plant sale on the way. In a complete impulse buy I bought, for £5 including suitable mineral water, a new housemate for the common room. Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome the venus flytrap Sir Ernest Anthony Lavalee Msc., named after an Floridan botanist pal of mine. I bet he'll lynch me if he reads this! (Pictures available in the mobile phone section.) Despite me asking her not to and explaining why, some girl poked a snapper with a key, so I'll have at least one dead head. She wasn't apologetic either. Don't people listen? It wasn't even hers!

Only having 15 minutes to cook by this point I gave in and had another set of noodles with another fresh French salad, promising myself that I'd cook in the evening. For some reason, the irony of ramen with fresh salad makes peoples' minds clog up and cause them to pause, point at the table, stutter and ask me 'whyyy'.

Running low on time I ran to the health centre just getting there on time, and notified them I'd arrived. I got called in my the nurse 20 minutes late who was really surprised by my condition, and I was even more surprised to find that my Medic Alert wasn't around my neck. Luckily I managed to remember all of my details and gave them over. She said I should see the doctor to establish a good doctor relationship and tell some of my closer room-mates about my heart condition just in case. She then looked at my ears due to my strange Morse Code-like titinus in the mornings, but saw nothing and said to give it a few weeks in case it was a lingering headcold.

I had to dash all the way to the programming lecture and almost didn't make it. It was very, very, very easy but Dr Jarvis, who also is my tutor, was fascinatin to listen to and just as humorous as the rest. I think I've managed to get very lucky with the lecturers, as I got told the the one I didn't pick (Economics) has one of the worst lecturers known to mankind. I'm not surprised, with Economics!

I headed to the library, after buying an extortionately priced drink from the 65p for a can drinks machine (I know break-even point is around 40p as I knew someone who ran one in a school common room), and nosied down into studying for an hour before Philosophy. I'd given up on reading the Philosophy reading material until I'd been to another lecture. I really couldn't understand the sea of strange terminology. Now I know what the public feel like when they use a computer, and why they should all use Macs.

Philosophy wqas a complete and utter mindf**k! I was surprised that I understood it. It's just like how they depict it in the movies, people pontificating about practically anything, eventually getting so arbitrary and abstracted that it starts to eat itself. I actually got so confused I asked two questions, what they actually are being a giveaway to the strangeness of the subject:

  • Given objectivism means discussing something that can only force someone to react, is discussing subjectivism objective?
  • You say that colour's subjective, but what about an objective analysis that determines the colour of something?

My head was reeling after the session! I went back and promptly made myself a generic tomato-ey pasta with meatballs and mince (I hope mince can be fried from frozen, 'cos I did). Someone had some carbonara going spare and I mixed my sauce with that. It tasted really odd, but was nice enough. I procrastinated doing the washing up and watched some of the girls playing Prince of Persia: Sands of Time on my PS2. It seems to be taking off, which is nice. Then I caught yet more buggers teasing Ernest. I expect Ernest will die and I'll have to get a replacement and leave it in my room where no-one can poke it with keys.

We all settled down to watch Shrek. I agreed despite not liking the film that much as the Internet was still down. And it gave an excuse not to do the washing up just at that point! The movie was good, everyone enjoyed it, and they immediately started Shrek 2, which wasn't as good. In the middle of it two people tried to catch a cranefly to feed Ernest, but they had very little success and ended up screaming.

Then we wandered around to Kitchen 2 to see who was there but there wasn't anyone, so we came back. We sat and chatted for a while, listening to the end credits of Shrek 2 (and the god-awful Far Far Away Idol extra feature) and the sub-warden came around and we got talking. She's doing a ph.D on 'Cricket and its representation in English and Caribbean literature', so Will and I pointed her to Life, the Universe and Everything by Douglas Adams, which she got really excited and thankful about. Then some people came from Kitchen 10 and got chatting. They were seriously strange, loud and constantly clapping, but friendly enough, but it was late and approaching 1AM so I sauntered off to the land of nod after checking the state of the network. Interestingly it was 'up', but really slow. But it was enough to message a few pals, though I couldn't do anything else. I eventually managed to sleep around 2:30AM.

05:33AM Auuuaruaaarrrrrrgh! The fire alarm went off at 05:15 and some very, very confused and dazzled people were forced outside (I decided to lump this with today as I only got 3 hours' sleep before it happened). I didn't have glasses or any clothes and I ended up freezing outside. Some very kind person whom I was too blind to see offered me some clothing but we got let in just at that point. Someone in our corridor's room seemed to have set off the fire alarm, her name I think is Anika. She looked very stunned when she found out and couldn't apparently speak. The warden was in her room with the subwarden, though from the vague things I heard she didn't do anything that could have set it off. Poor thing. I crawled back into bed, never more awake…. My feet are completely frozen! Grar….


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