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May 10, 2005

What should be the main aims of University education?

I have been considering a rant for a while. I'm approaching the end of my degree and do not feel I have got value for money and wasting three years (sort of). But before I do go off on one I would be interested to know how people would answer the following questions…

What should University education be trying to achieve a) for an individual personally and b) for society as a whole?

What changes would you make to the University system if you were in charge?

April 28, 2005

I'm trying to be good, really I am….....

…....but people keep encouraging me to procrastinate (including to be honest me).

I've been good all week, not as good as my ideal revision schedule should make me, but making an effort like I haven't since A-Levels some 4 years ago.

10:45…Ready to go, earliest yet, up in two snoozes, only 45 minutes late. I wasted an hour on the net.

11:45… mindful of that fact I've done a car swap with Spuggy because mine is bigger and he's off on a trip this weekend, I decided to go on a hunt for new tyres as mine are getting a little dodgy and I don't want Spuggy to crash my car. I failed to get tyres.

12:40… That out of the way, I discovered RaW have got coverage of Elections Night, so I listened to my interviews and stuff, my voice doesn't sound nearly as weird as I thought.

13:30 – 14:30… I did an hours work (go me)

14:30 – 16:05… Stopped for a supposedly brief lunch break. Got distracted by somebody keeping me up to date with the John Cross affair.

16:05 – 16:10… Worked

16:10… Housemate comes to ask how I am, develops into and hour long conversation about Union democracy

17:10… Looks like I might get to work, other housemates descend on my room and try to instigate trip to pub

17:10–17:30… Protest I need to work

17:30 – 18:30… Pub

18:30–18:45… Locked out of room by mean housemates

18:45 – 18:50… Work!

18:50… MSN Message to phone Spuggy urgently about car (Wet myself there). He is in Varsity, has managed to break the key by 'playing with it'. Asks if I have spare (I did). Suggests I drop it round to his house and he'll pick up car in morning, no way in hell I'm leaving my car in Varsity car park on a Thursday night

18:50 -19:50… Deliver spare key to Spuggy

19:50 – 20:20… Speak to Ellie (allowed!)

20:30… Sit down to work

20:31… MSN, am I coming to mixed hockey social tonight, for an hour or so

20:32… Protest

20:33… Agree to go

20:33 – present… Blog that I tried to revise and that it didn't go well but it wasn't (entirely) my fault.

April 25, 2005

Wow, it's been dead tonight

Which is good because I've been trying to write an essay but bad because I've been bored silly.

This is my last allnighter, ever, EVER. 750 words and some tidying up to go.

April 17, 2005

And while I'm at it this one too…

This is my favourite of all these thingies. Mine doesn't look that impressive but it does involve 15 countries, just quite small ones. Still I Don't think I could say I have seen any of them really well apart from maybe UK and France.

create your own visited countries map

or vertaling Duits Nederlands

May as well do it for the record…

Last time I did this I came out as Lib Dem, but it's still close.

Who Should You Vote For?

Who should I vote for?

Your expected outcome:


Your actual outcome:

Labour 12
Conservative -15
Liberal Democrat 10
UK Independence Party -16
Green -13

You should vote: Labour

The Labour Party is broadly pro-Europe and takes a strong line in favour of all anti-terrorism measures, and of course supported the war in Iraq. Labour is against explicit increases in income tax to fund public services and against the abolition of university tuition fees, but has pledged to reintroduce maintenance grants for students.

Take the test at Who Should You Vote For

April 16, 2005

That who to vote for election thing…

…surely written by a lib dem? I haven't seen one come out with anything other than that so far, even my own.


Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/4439545.stm

UEFA had and opportunity to send a real message that behaviour like that of Inter fans will not be tolerated. I personally would have fined them all prize money for this years competition and ban them from European competition next season. Although if I'm honest the punishment was more heavy than I expected them to give.

I have seen some people write about this and condone it in the name of "passion" or say "it's not as bad as heysel" but I think this attitude is extemely naive. Ordinairy decent people don't react to a footballing decision with violence – the AC Milan keeper could have been killed by that flare, so ultimately it is a matter of life and death.
Until those fans learn how to behave they should not be allowed to watch games of this nature. What's more, this is not the first time an incident like this has happened there, how many more chances?

I have seen football hooliganism happen – a mass pitch invasion and people confronting the referee from my team's own fans, and hiding in my car as another teams fans left a trail of destruction. It's not big or clever and is frankly scary. Anybody caught behaving like this should be banned from football for life, and clubs that fail to take suitable measures to control their fans should themselves face the maximum punishment.

February 28, 2005

Economics makes me nauseous

I think I've spelt nauseous wrong too….

This has happened throughout my three years of studying at uni. I will be awake alert and in a good mood, go into a lecture and come out feeling tired, miserable and lethargic.

Today I was in the library trying to do some reading for my RAE project. I thought it was going ok, I was understanding it and everything. Then wham, an hour and a half in and I can't concentrate, I go all shaky and feel weak and tired. I've come to the computer room and am writing this blog to procrastinate and hopefully redress the balance.

Bloody economics

January 27, 2005

The blue screen of death

Damn Microsoft, although it probably wasn't their fault, stupid Kodak camera software. I haven't had a computer problem for almost two years, and all in all it has decided to die at an extremely inconvenient time….. I made myself feel better by remembering that it wasn't the 'worst' possible time, that would have been at 2am on the morning of an all nighter.

Now in the Learning Grid, doing what I'd prefer to be doing in the comfort of my own room!

November 26, 2004

Quorum = possible

If we do not now reach quorum in the referenda we will only have ourselves to blame. Around 430 to go this morning, get voting people!

November 24, 2004

Don't be rude. Please vote today

Writing about web page http://www.sunion.warwick.ac.uk/portal/voting

I have just been chatting to somebody on MSN who'd said that a couple of his hallmates said what's the point in voting? And I lost my rag and had a go, the extended and tidied version of which is below:

Elections and referenda do affect every single student that ever sets foot in the students union.

The people that are elected will write and implement policy of the students' union. They are the people who will be working and campaigning for improvements to every single members' day to day lives and representing our interests at NUS conferences. They should be elected by ALL students not just by Union Council because not enough people voted.

And the referenda. For goodness sake motion 1 is a vote on whether to make changes to the Union constitution, the very thing by which the Students' Union exists. Without a constitution the Students' Union wouldn't exist….Surely then changes being made to it is issue that deserves every single student's consideration?

Look at the motions and the supporting documentation and decide whether to vote for, against or abstain. (If you don't understand the issues or don't have any opinion either way then that's no problem, you have the right to abstain, this will still count toward quorum.)

However to not vote at all and leave elections and refernda inquorate is just plain f*cking rude to the people who work hard to make the Union work for everybody

And apparently one of the non-voters read what'd I said and voted. And I felt pleased so I blogged this blog, you never know it might work on somebody else. If you don't cast some sort of vote you're just plain rude. VOTE TODAY

An update on the quorum dream

Follow-up to The dream of quorate elections and referenda from A blog for me

Hmmmmm, have been talking progress with several people today. When asked where I thought we needed to be I said (from instinct):

900 tomorrow morning will leave us in a difficult but not disastourous position. 1000 tomorrow morning should give us a good chance, but is no guarantee of reaching quorum.

Having said this I became slightly confused as to why this makes any sense, there is only 100 difference, but on reflection here is why it actually makes quite a lot of sense:

With a quorum of 1889, 944 will see us half way there. Call this 950 for sake of argument half way between the two. Thus if you are on 900 you have lost approximately a vote an hour (which will see approximately 100 under by the end of polling) but if you are on 1000 you have gained approximately a vote an hour. (which would see you approx 100 over by the end).

This of course assumes voting is distributed evenly over the days, but to me this depends on how hard people are campaigning throughout the time. Hence, with warning 900 is recoverable but 1000 is not a guarantee.

Anyway, today (until 4:30) went well. I'm at home again now, away from the figures again, so can't report further until tomorrow.

November 23, 2004

The dream of quorate elections and referenda

Writing about web page http://www.sunion.warwick.ac.uk/portal/voting

Hurrah, I've finally worked out how to blog, don't understand all these new fangled technologies….

Anyway, myself and my good friend John Cross (Returning Officer) talked about the idea of blogging the work we do for elections group (I am the chair I hasten to add) a few weeks ago, with a view to tidying it up and making it into a nice handy guide of how to run an election.

Anyway, I was so busy doing stuff for the elections that I didn't get round to making a blog, but since I'm now at home and have answered all my emails and should be doing some throughly uninteresting economics reading I've decided to start!

I will attempt at some point to log things I've done, but I've probably forgotten most of it to be honest.

Anyway, to the point of this blog. I have a dream….which is to run a quorate autumn elections and referenda (I'll confess this is rather an odd and short term dream but what the hey).

When I left uni today at 5pm it actually did look possible. I'm currently optimistic but not holding my hopes out too much. We need 2000 people to vote by Friday….. if you haven't voted go to the students' union website and get voting.