Day 7 (Friday)
Posted a day late again as no network, once again. This is really annoying. I'm a CS student and having to go to the library every day for every single thing I need to look up on the net is pathetic. The Arthur Vick advertisement mentioned broadband Internet and there hasn't been any for a week. People are getting very angry, and one person said it might even be a breach of standards as they haven't provided advertised goods. All I know is it looks really bad on the University Accommodation if they can't have some form of Internet access after 7 whole days.
Friday 30th September
Morning I got up and fell asleep again. I got up again, and fell asleep again. I got dressed, to be a bit more proactive, wandered to the kitchen, and fell asleep on a chair whilst the others discussed the virtues and horrors of people being drunk and peeing/puking on, around or for people. Students never change! We did check up on Anika, and we also got told that a TV had arrived, but we needed a license for it, which we'll probably all chip in for… Anika arrived, sounding rough, and told us that her alarm went off when she was asleep, and they'd checked her room and it was a faulty alarm that caused the mayhem last night. I dragged myself to my room (gah, 6 hours' sleep, evil alarm). My feet hurt!
I had a shower quickly before the cleaners could reach my room. Then I headed into the main room to chat for a while more, but got distracted by two squirrels I could see through the window either bonking each-other or fighting each other. You can never be sure with the friskier critters. Eventually we decided to part ways for now (lectures, seminars, that boring inconsequential stuff!) but to all go off to a movie (Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy) later in the day. I skedaddled to the computer science department to post the previous day's blog entry and found my card didn't work to get in. Ah, lovely 'automation'. I need to fire an email, but the outgoing mail server isn't working! Luckily a hapless individual was too bewildered to question my authorisation as they opened the doors themselves and I scurried through too at high speed.
I then had lecture-o-phon. I had a very, very boring but very easy Statistics lecture that seemed to go over stuff I did in Statistics 3 years ago. This was followed by a simple, if new to me, introduction to Logic that I only just managed to keep awake through (6 hours' sleep, interrupted… gruuu). Then I went to a CS seminar and was about to set on the work when I realised I'd done it all and extracted myself to a corner where I used my laptop to covertly message people as well as do another few of the problems. Apparently I've managed to complete my first piece of coursework already, which is rather crazy. And I have a nice, clean implementation of a robot that randomly picks a direction to go in but doesn't bump into any walls, as well as reporting what direction it goes in! Woo! Just what every corporate client will need!
I then filled in some admin stuff and headed to the other terminal room. It was ooccupied and I got glared at by a lecturer and stared at by students. Using to my advantage the fact that I've not been here long enough to be recognised, I just turned and made a beeline for the library, where I used the working Internet to catch up with all the news, messages, emails (though I couldn't send them) and other luverly-jubberlies. I also noticed another magpie. It's very curious, here on campus the magpies don't fly away if they spot you 100 metres away. They're big, proud, look slightly like black-and-white crows and act more like pigeons, flying away only if you head right up to them. This is curious, as I once read that Norwegian magpies behave like this, because the culture in Norway doesn't threaten them. In England, the birds are threatened/chased all the time and learned their shyness. So are these magpies just na´ve or Norwegian? One of life's mysteries…
I spent a good hour or more in the library, tapping away at my iBook, receiving messages from all over the world and catching up on events and the suchlike. I really, really, really, really, really hope that the network is usable over the weekend. Most of my corridor-mates are going away and I'll be bored as bananas most of the time if it isn't up. Plus by then it'd have been a week, which even beats crappy NTL for their Internet downtime record at home (6 days). I headed back to my room. The Internet connected to an instant messenger successfully but nothing else. It's a start.
We all decided to head out to watch a movie on-campus so I abandoned my tomato pasta base (after eating it to not waste). The cinema turned out to be one of the higher-class lecture halls, and the screen was stunning, including Dolby Surround. It was also very, very quiet. Though the irritating number of adverts was the same! The movie was OKish, Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. For some reason they managed to make Douglas Adam's material boring and their own slapstick comedy funny, which didn't bode very well as it was mostly Douglas Adam's work.
We headed off to dinner at Xananas, and found out only after being seated and getting a round of drinks they weren't serving their nice, £5 lunch menu. Oh no, they were selling £8 steaks and the like. I settled for some Somerset Pork with onion rings, which came to £8.70. It was… a boring, but functional and filling, dish.
Conversation at that dinner was odd, as I only talked to people who weren't actually in our kitchen group, but instead were 'adopted members' of the kitchen group. They were very interesting, though one of them didn't really mesh around me, especially telling me off loudly for being annoying as I was building towers out of glasses. The conversation topics that worked, though, were:
- Films (Team America!)
- Adventure Games (Grim Fandango)
- Books (a dislike for Dan Brown, oddly)
- Sex (there were a few people on the table from undetermined cultures/religions, so I kept low during this one)
We paid up and the others decided to head off to the bar. I traipsed back to my room in the rain, my cold having entered my head, making me feel clogged up from the ears to the fore-head. I managed to knock back some paracetamol that made me feel better, then noticed that in the corridor some nasty piece of work had ripped off all the name-tags on the doors. I told the sub-warden, who didn't seem too bothered (probably some unsavoury people were let in and had since left) and set to picking them all up, identifying them, and putting them back on the doors.
By then the others had come back from the pub, having abandoned it because three of the people had come down with a horrible cold. I talked with them a bit and decided to retreat to my room to catch up with my messages and to work a bit on the Programming exercises. Interestingly, I found out that the solution to an exercise I came up with was far too efficient (my robot scanned the surroundings before choosing where to go, instead of randomly going somewhere unless it would bump into a wall). It meant the exercises afterwards couldn't be done. I resolved to go speak to my tutor about it on Monday.
02:00 For those in the know: An old 'very close friend of mine on the Internet' took a U-turn from their self-centred upset. This is really nice. I think I'll stop pushing them away so much now.
03:40 My mind is racing. It's taking a while to coax it to sleep. I may have to resort to Mackie.
06:42 Warden: "Unfortunately, our fire-system is what is known as buggered. We are trying our best to get it fixed today, but there is a chance it will keep going off at random points during the day. If this does happen you must still evacuated, but we assure you that something is being done about it today." I guess they must have felt just as annoyed as we did: they held the doors open for us to get back in this time. I've determined that a dressing gown and glasses don't cut it, the floor at 06:40 is murderously cold and you need slippers. I'll put them aside for the next time. I was also out 5 minutes before pledging to help someone I didn't know with their new laptop messing up. Bet it's a Windows one.
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