All entries for November 2006
November 16, 2006
I have decided that there is now a need for a comments policy on this blog as I have had a lot of comments on my previous entry, some of which are just people arguing with each other. I do, however, completely support the idea of debate. I just don’t approve of bitching. I wrote the following in a comment on my previous entry but feel that I should add it into another separate entry.
I welcome constructive criticism (i.e. explaining what is wrong with such and such a point of view and what could be done to improve that) but do not like the idea of anyone bitching about people or opinions. It is a free country and we are all entitled to say pretty much what we want (hence me not having an actual comments policy) but I will give you an example of what I see as acceptable and what I do not approve of – though I am always more likely to rip apart your arguements if you say something really destructive rather than deleting your comment.
Take, for example, a post on Union council – there are a few of these already and will be more throughout the year. Also my blog is primarily a democracy tool (as I explained in comment 12 on my last entry).
An acceptable comment would be something along the lines of:
“I don’t agree with the way you voted on the motion about green rabbits. It is in the best interests of the students if rabbits are allowed to be green. Would you please be kind enough to explain why you do not approve of rabbits being green. What would your alternative suggestion be?”
To which I would produce a constructive reply:
“I accept your stance on the ‘green rabbits’ debate, but after having heard arguements from both sides, I decided to vote against the motion. This was because I felt that it would be more in the best interests of the students if the rabbits were red. However, I have taken your point on board and will consider this if a similar motion comes up at the next council meeting.”
A not acceptable comment would be along the lines of:
“Ha, loser! Rabbits should be green and you don’t agree so I don’t like you.”
To which I would reply something along the lines of:
“Commenter, I do not think that I am a loser. There was a perfectly good reason I decided to vote against the ‘green rabbits’ motion and that was that I saw it to be in the best interests of the students if rabbits were red. This motion stated only that rabbits should be green. Please remember that I am representing the best interests of everyone and not just you. You can say what you want about me but don’t judge my personality only on how I voted on some motion about green rabbits.”
PS: Sorry about the “green rabbits motion” that I decided to use as an example. I just couldn’t think of anything better.
So now you know what my comments policy is, please try to stick to it.
November 14, 2006
I’ve now been at uni for more than 6 weeks and have come up with a list of ten things to do and ten things not to do if you want a really good time (and have similar interests to me). I have done all twenty things that I included in the list and I must admit I don’t regret the vast majority of these, though I look back and think “why on earth did I do that?” with most of the things to avoid – hence putting them in that list, I guess.Ten things to do
- Join as many societies as you have time for. I joined 11.
- Become really passionate about something. I’ve been opinionated for a while but now I have discovered that I have a passion for politics.
- Become an active member of a few of your societies. I’m on the exec in Craft society and I can often be found out in the cold on Saturday mornings with the Conservatives.
- Go to a democratic meeting – either just for fun or as an elected representative. I have not missed one democratic meeting since I arrived, though that is most likely down to my responsibilities as a Union councillor.
- Go on a protest. I went on the fees demo in week 4.
- Keep your options open for the future. I really don’t have a clue what I am wanting to do in the future now as I’m nowhere near as passionate as I was about my course and I can’t make a career out of my passion so I have no choice but to keep my options open.
- Make your voice heard. I went on the fees protest and I am also really involved in Union democracy.
- Get involved in a cause. The fees protest again.
- Discover the local area. I’ve been around quite a bit since week 4.
- Find an interest you didn’t know you had. Joining loads of societies has helped me find loads of interests I never knew I had.
- Missing too many lectures that you do not understand the course. Though I did only miss lectures when I had a legitimate reason (such as going to a conference and making a fool of myself by running round the campus all lunchtime trying to find anyone random who would sign my nomination form).
- Getting lost. This I mainly did in week 1 but I still do not know how to get to my maths supervision so am always late.
- Giving your diseases to everyone else. I was lied to and therefore thought it would be in my best interests to give everyone freshers’ flu in week 2.
- Double booking yourself and then leaving the decision as to what event to go to out of your hands. I did this in week 3 and it was a complete disaster as I was more concerned for most of the week where I would be going on the Saturday than I was about my course.
- Being really impatient. I don’t know how many emails I’ve sent along the lines of “when is such and such happening” or “what happened with such and such” – another issue from week 3.
- Analysis!!! To be avoided like the plague – I mean, is there even anyone who can understand analysis?
- Sleep deprivation. I really need to spend more time in bed, I’m just most awake late at night.
- Getting stressed out by things that, in the great scheme of things, do not really matter. Well it was my fault for double booking myself on Saturday week 3 – note to self: never again!
- Missing lunch on the grounds that you did not know how to use the internet. Monday week 3 was definitely another day never to be repeated – I’m so in a mess if I stand for council again next year.
- Criticising the pedantry of pedantic meetings. The whole point of composite is to be pedantic about grammar so there was no point in me criticising that fact yesterday.
Any other suggestions for either list would be more than welcome.
November 13, 2006
I thought about writing this blog entry earlier today whilst in a meeting – though my mind was completely on the meeting.
I was quite happily drinking a can of Coke that I had bought in the break during this meeting when I had in front of me the 2 opposing motions on Coca-Cola. In fact, a significant proportion of us were also drinking Coke at this point. Some of us were discussing (before we got down to the pedantry of improving the wording of the motions so that all you guys know what you’re voting for) how our choice of drink was not in any way intending to make a political statement. It was just what was convenient to buy during our break.
I love it when things like that happen. It happens to me so much – and it’s not just a recent thing either. Another such example (though completely unrelated) is when one of my memories I have from long ago came back to me. It happened in almost exactly the same circumstances as the original memory – the biggest difference actually being that it was several years later and therefore I understood far better what was actually happening so it was just a complete coincidence that the situation was repeated almost exactly.
It could make quite interesting debate seeing if anyone else just seems to attract irony. Post something ironic in the comments section if you want. It would be good to know that I’m not the only one who seems to be living their life by irony.
November 09, 2006
Grrr! I hate them so much. Apart from week 1 (when it was Tuesday – and that is a completely different story about Thursdays that I will not go into), Thursday has always been the most evil day.
Week 2 was just a complete disaster for me. I don’t think that I can really say anything good about any of the days (apart from possibly Wednesday) but Thursday was definitely evil.
Week 3 was just one of those really random weeks. I have mentioned far too many times why I thought that Thursday was evil but, for those who do not know, it was linked with Leamington and any other plans I may have made for that weekend. This would probably be my worst day in the whole term – though there was one really good thing right at the end of that day that I remember – my dad thinking that I would have loads of advance notification of ents (before everyone else) when I told him about Union Council. Errm, no, not quite!
Week 4 was when I realised why I fell asleep in week 3’s examples class and that it most likely had absolutely nothing to do with me stressing about what I was supposed to be doing on the Saturday. This was also when I really began to hate Thursdays with such a passion.
Week 5 was pretty much the same as week 4. Just my most boring lectures (and falling asleep in them).
Week 6 (today) was again like weeks 4 and 5, though I had so much else to do today. I think that differential equations assignments should be a lot less worded – it took me longer to read the question (and I still didn’t understand what it was trying to get at) than to actually do the maths. Much as Tuesday is a busy day for me and I was really glad I went to the conference on Tuesday, I think it would have worked out better for me if I was at the conference today – though I would have missed out on going to any further conferences by not knowing I had to stand again rather than by not being elected. The former is definitely worse! I’d much rather be unpopular than stupid.
This is why I am so passionately against Thursdays right now. If only Thursdays were like any other day, even Mondays.
I’ve had loads of fun with my many commitments. I ended up with 18 different commitments by yesterday but was starting to consider what could go. I hate being kitchen rep, for example. Before this, however, I decided I’d have a crack at going for one further commitment. I failed miserably! I’m not too disappointed by that as I knew that I didn’t stand much of a chance. I just thought I would give it a go as I had nothing to lose.
I heard that commitment number 18 (NUS regional conference rep) only applied to yesterday’s conference – or if it is after midnight, Tuesday’s conference – and not to all regional conferences in the year. I also really enjoyed the conference I went to so wanted to go to the others. I decided in council that this was what I would do (or more correctly, attempt to do) so stood to be a NUS regional conference rep for the rest of the year. I, however, was not elected so will not be going to any more conferences for the time being – though it is highly likely I will at least consider standing again next year.
This means that I am back on 17 commitments. I don’t see this as a bad thing but it is always the better commitments that I end up losing first. Now if only I could figure out how to no longer be the kitchen rep for my flat!
November 08, 2006
Last night was the second council meeting of the year so here is my analysis of what happened, of course including how I voted. Just like last time, feel completely free to approach me about anything in this blog entry and I will be more than willing to take the time out to explain for example why I voted in that particular way.Two policies were lapsed last night after having received no challenge. These were:
- Policy 585, Warwick Sport
- Policy 586, NUS extraordinary stitch-up
There was also a motion, “Stop the war”, that was withdrawn.The policies up for lapse that we discussed were:
- Policy 324, Adherence of Warwick NUS delegates to Warwick policy
- Policy 384, GM food
- Policy 519, Discrimination in the National Blood Service
- Policy 572, Smoke and alcohol free space in the Union
- Academics spying on Muslim students
- Honorary membership for Dr Damian King
- Amendment to appendix 2, Union meetings
- Amendment to policy 640, Propaganda
Policy 324, Adherence of Warwick NUS delegates to Warwick policy
The renewal of this policy was approved. It was suggested that, as it is a very sensible policy to keep forever, this policy be included in an appendix though there was not an appropriate appendix in which to include the policy so the matter was taken no further and we will continue having to renew this policy every 2 years. I voted in favour of keeping this policy.
Policy 384, GM food
The renewal of this policy was approved. I voted in favour of keeping this policy.
Policy 519, Discrimination in the National Blood Service
The renewal of this policy was approved with a small amendment (replacing “LGBTU Campaigns Convenor” with “LGBTU Campaigns Officer”). I voted in favour of keeping this policy.
Policy 572, Smoke an alcohol free space in the Union
The renewal of this policy was approved with a small amendment (removing “This Union Notes 1 – Union policy 368, Smoking policy” as policy 368 no longer exists). I voted in favour of keeping this policy.
Academics spying on Muslim students
This motion was approved. I voted in favour of this motion, though not before I stumbled with my words whilst attempting to contribute to the debate when I said “The vast… the overwhelming majority of Muslims are perfectly rationable and law-abiding citizens” – I mean, what on earth does rationable mean?!?
Honorary life membership for Dr Damian King
This motion was approved. I voted in favour of this motion.
Amendment to appendix 2, Union meetings
This was actually the most controversial motion of the night. It was rejected. I voted against the amendment as I felt it was not necessary.
Amendment to policy 640, Propaganda
The amendment was approved so as of last night policy 640 will now be called “Inside scoop”. I voted for the amendment.
I hope that this is an improvement on what I said last time. I am, as before, completely open to any comments or suggestions and will always try my best to explain anything you wish to know more about.
November 02, 2006
The 3 main political party societies are going on a bar crawl tonight. This led to a conversation between a few of us in my kitchen last night. Obviously the main aim of tonight’s bar crawl is to have a good time but one of us came up with what I thought was a really interesting idea, even if a little controversial. This idea was whoever drinks the most should form the next government. Who needs elections when you have alcohol deciding the next government? This could be the perfect solution to voter apathy!
November 01, 2006
Last weekend I finally went off campus for the first time since I arrived here. I went to Warwick on Saturday – not to the castle but to a housing estate. I am not one of those really annoying people who is already looking for off campus accomodation that is too far away from campus for convenience anyway, I went with the Tory society campaigning for next year’s local elections (and the rather important issue of saving Warwick hospital). We then went for a pub lunch which was really good. The most annoying thing was that I had to do my analysis assignment when I got back.
Then, on Sunday, I went on the Fees Demo in London. I had to get up rather earlier than I would have otherwise done but it was a good day out. I’m not expecting anything from the government – when have they ever listened to the people (apart from when there is an election next week but I am not going to wait another 3 years to be listened to) – but it was worth going because I had a good time and I do disagree with top-up fees. I also appeared on TV on Sunday lunchtime. If you didn’t see it then you can watch online here.
I’m not going anywhere over the weekend but I will be going to Birmingham on Tuesday next week. That should be quite a good day.