November 17, 2005

Toms University Update (week…erm…8? WHAT?)

Dear All,

Welcome to the latest (shorter) email about whats going on where I am.
The speed of term is really picking up, hence I've missed a week out
somewhere…

Last weekends scout camp was really good fun, although I must say I prefer
road cycling to mountain biking… I got a bit muddy. There was also real
backwoods cooking, with rabbit and pigeon. Also I turned out to be the only
person in my group competent with an axe.

Due to one thing and another (probably – I can't really remember) I was not
able to help with the beavers or cubs this week, sorry about that…

On Wednesday I went to Archery and scored a portsmouth round of 410/600.

This weekend's main event was the Warwick Ceilidh, and in preparation there
were two band practices this week, with the band now tentatively named "The
Occasional Tables", on Wednesday and Thursday. The event itself was good
fun, we played music, and the dancers danced, and there was cake and scones
and lemonade, Happy birthday Vic! Sunday was Mum's birthday, Happy Birthday
Mum!

Right, well that's going to be all for this week, I've got a mighty Civil
Engineering project to work on for the rest of the day

Cheerio.

Tom R.


Toms University Update (Week 6)

Dear All,

Can you believe it? Another week has passed, almost without trace (I
say ALMOST - I have done at least something useful this week), and
I'm back to the Friday 11–12 emailing slot. As the weeks get faster
and faster, I seem to get less and less done. This is probably a bad
thing…

Well, the SSAGO social was good fun, we played "Room 101", and my
laptop ended up there for a veriety of reasons, for being a wasp,
for being partially related to hollyoaks, for having windows
installed on it, and for being a computer. (Psst!... No-one mention
the welsh…).

On Saturday it was Rachel Tsui's 20th Birthday, and being a witch
normally, there was a great link to the halloween ball, which I
neatly avoided going to. Just think, no longer a teenager… that'll
be me next year, how terribly scary, dangerously close to adulthood.
Happy birthday anyway

On Sunday I took part in the Archery club's term 1 competition. I
think I came 9th, making me a reserve for the team (yay!) with a
score of 438/600.

Now back into the week, Monday was a 10 hour day, on campus 9–7pm,
with a test at 6pm (Lectures at 6pm? Are they MAD?). I also had an
intersting lab with conveyer belts and bags of sand.
On tuesday I did a whole lot less work than I should, and wednesday
I had a lecture on "Fusion Energy" which described the ITER fusion
reactor they are building in france. The power of the sun, in
france. (No will, it does not look like the one from spiderman). I
am now almost officially in the ceilidh society band, I have a
Bodhran drum to play in next week's ceilidh, which should be very
fun.

Mum and Dad came up to visit for the afternoon, which was nice,
althogh I do feel a little guilty about them travelling for about 8
hours just to see me for 3… Really, I'll be home in 28 days, don't
feel that you have to put yourselves out… They brought me up some
teatowels (yay!) and my mp3 player (nice!), and bluetooth headset
(Yay!), and GET THIS people, breaking news! I sent the gamecube
home! Gone! Drastic measures or what, eh?

Thursday evening was the "Peeping Tom" Ceilidh, which involved lots
of dancing (Yep! That's right! me: dancing, in a confused fashion),
and music as well.

Now, as many of you know, I'm not a terribly organised person, so I
am beginning to struggle slightly with the work around here, on
account of not doing very much of it. So, if any of you see me
around campus, or on msn messenger (for those of you who do not know
what this is, ask google… for those of you who do not know what
this is, you've not been watching the news enough on television), or
in emails, I would probably benefit from consistant nagging.

So, I'm off on scout camp this weekend! Hooray! It's going to be wet
and cold and in Leeds! And it means I can productively waste another
weekend. Luckily I already have a headstart on next week's
assignment…

So, I wish well to all, and send me your news! (or send me a regular
email with a link to your blogs!)I'm feeling a bit cut off from you
all, you know?

Tom.


Tom's University Update (Week 5)

Blimey, another week has passed in the name of Warwick engineering, and what a week it has been!

The scout camp at the weekend was excellent fun, Rifle, Climbing, Campfire Songs, Backwoods Cooking, Orienteering, Ultimate Frisbee, Quick Cricket, Walks near a nice lake, Connect 4 Tournament (I won that), Playstation 2 eyeToy, and Dancemat games, cooking and washing up, and avoiding the cubs camped on the other side of the field. It was good fun, indeed it was. I'm currently in the process of producing a video for it, based on the pictures people have taken. With all the other things I am doing, this could take a while.

The week started off as any other would, I was late for a 9am lecture. I was also on campus until 7pm. That was a long day. By tuesday I had fallen ill, standing up gave a splitting headache, so I missed all four lectures. I spent the evening writing a report, and then due to a bad estimate on how long it was supposed to be, and also due to the distraction of messenger, most of the night as well. As a result, Wenesday was a bad day, I had a rotton cough, I slept through archery, and I went to bed.

For those of you who have encountered health and safety legislation, you will understand the boredom encountered by a 2 hour lecture on different aspects of the act (1974), and why, in case of fire, you are not allowed to use a fire extinguisher. I went to see "Serenity", quite a nice film I thought, and then near the end it was like "Buffy" in space.

As for today, I've been here since 9am, and I've a lecture at 5. After that its the SSAGO social, in a nice place somewhere around here called Leamington, which is not covered by my local map… damn.

anyway, send me your news, your questions, your comments, it's nice to hear from anyone and everyone about what's going on in the world outside, and inside warwick.

Regards to all,
Tom.


Toms University Update (week 4)

Hello, and Good afternoon to all,

The time has come, yet again, for me to tell you all about the
interesting and exciting adventures I have had over the last week.
As always, don't forget to tell all your friends (even if they don't
know me, Ive been told the email is quite a good read).

Our story begins shortly after the previous episode, with me cycling
to campus with a guitar case on my back…

It's amazing how people don't look to the right on roundabouts, It's
true, it was dark, but the guy coming along the A45 hadn't seen my
bikelamps or reflective stripes as he came down the road. He was
also indicating in the opposite direction he had positioned his car
for, and I could HEAR the passenger in the car shouting "Woa! Woa!
Woa! Woa!" as the car came increasingly close to my back wheel.
Honestly, some poeple.

Anyway, the Ceilidh Society band practice was good fun, I aquired a
little sheet music (although I can't actually read it) to try to
practice my guitar to, and I will need to, as they played WAY to
fast for me to keep up with. I did enjoy trying to play a Bodhran
(Celtic traditional drum), and I managed to play it rather well
(apparently).

Friday's maths lecture is one to look forward to around here, the
lecturer is very funny. He's got a huge mass of bright red hair, a
german accent, is the only lecturer I have who doesn't use
powerpoint (OHP slides instead), sucessfully manages to confuse
himself with his own slides on occasion and comes up with statements
like "for those of you who have not seen this just say 'yes' 'its
there' 'so its probably true' " and "don't try showing this to a
mathematician without proving it, or they might beat you up" (Lizzy
you'd probably like him). He has a leather jacket and drives a
motorbike. Some people have coined the phrase "He's very Punk-Rock"
but I have no idea what that means…

You will have to excuse the very unproductive weekend, I was not
feeling very well, and just played on my computer. We had a very
good fun game of monopoly on Saturday evening though. Won by Merrill
(look, two 'L's, I remembered this time), who had not actually
played it before… beginners luck there I think.

I attended a special lecture explaining the Institues of Civil and
Mechanical Engineering on Monday, and we did get a replacement for
our washing machine (which hadn't been working), but the dryer
doesn't work on it, so we had to get that repaired as well.

On tuesday I went to help with the Kenilworth Beaver and Cub scouts.
The beavers were studying potatoes, which meant potato printing and
eating crisps. The Cubs did presentations for their Naturalist
badge. I successfully didn't finish the second assignment by 2am,
and managed to sleep through archery on wednesday afternoon (sorry
guys).

So thursday again, and I wen't to a talk by a computer games company
called Blitz Games, which was quite interesting, they explained lots
of things about how their company worked, and how they expected CVs
and Job applications to appear. There was then lots of computer
games related questions (which I won't bore you with dad). But it
was very interesting. I went following that to the ceilidh band
practice, at which I took some sound clips, and had another go on
that cool drum.

This weekend, I'm going on Scout Camp with the university's scouts,
so I'd best go and pack things into a bag.

Until next week

Tom.


Tom's University Update (week 3)

Greetings to all,

You will all be pleased to know that this is the second of my emails,
telling you all of the exciting adventures I am having at the university of
warwick. For those that I hadn't sent the first one to, you'll get the idea.
Feel free to print/forward/show this email to anyone I've forgotten to send
it to.

Well, I've had quite an interesting week, I was able to have a look around
the The university's own radio station, and see exactly how well students
can maintain high tech equipment. I successfully slept through my first 9am
lecture by forgetting to set an alarm clock (I won't be doing that again),
and the workload is starting to kick in, with example sheets and lab reports
now to write up.

On Thursday, I attended a Ceilidh folk music and dance evening at a pub
called "The Peeping Tom" which was quite good fun, although most of you will
know my dislike for actual dance, the music was good.

I had a fairly non-productive weekend, and I've not quite got the hang of
producing 'Roast Dinner for one' yet, I either need more people to eat it,
or less food. Also on Sunday I went to a SSAGO (Student Scout) Campfire,
which we got lost trying to find, navigating in true scout fashion with a
mobile phone, and lots of turning around and driving back again in the dark.
We lit a fire from damp wood and eventually built a fairly stron fire which
we sang some songs around, and toasted (or in some cases: incinerated)
marshmallows. None of the SSAGO members had ever heard the "My Name Is Joe"
song, so very well done by the 3rd Exmouth unit for repeating it enough
times to me so that I could remember it.

I found that the oven had suffered a small amount of damage from being left
on (its very difficult to tell with electric hobs – I hate them) and the
dials on the front had melted slightly and gone wonky. We won't be making
that mistake again, I think.

So a new week begins, with monday lectures between 9am and 7pm (harshly
done), and on Tuesday I was returned my laptop, fully repaired (very
pleased), and the internet connection to our house was activated, making me
'Network Administrator'. So if you get a message saying this is the chap to
contact, then I'm the chap to complain to.

I went to help with a Beaver scout group on Tuesday evening, it took me 35
minutes to cycle the 5(ish) miles to get there (thats 10 mph – is that good
for cycling?), and the Beavers were followed by a Cub Scout meeting, which I
stayed to help with as well (there's also scouts after that, but thats
getting into the realms of excessiveness). I cycled back in the dark, and
the rain, and was nearly hit by a speeding ambulance going through a red
light. I need to have some means of seeing through large red transit vans,
and a lot of reflective stripy things about my person. It's on my to-do
list.

As for Wednesday, I attended a guest lecture called "Inside You" which I had
been given the impression that it was on 'Nanotechnology', but instead
turned out to be on 'Pregnancy Screening', which from my point of view,
slightly less interesting.

Following this I breifly went to the archery club social, the ssago social
(to sign camp forms) and also cycled home to eat things and set up my
computer.

I home everyone is having a nice time, and I'd like to hear about other
people's news as well. (It's the new postal system, people, send me mail!)

Until Next week,
Tom.


Tom's University Update (week 2)

Dear All,

Inspired as I was by Tom H's "Tom's American Adventure" series of emails that I recieved over the summer (which I really must get around to reading – sorry Tom), I will refrain from this newfangled journal technology known as a WebLog (or Blog), and have resorted to the now old fashioned email service.

What you are about to receive is a quick (or maybe slow) update of my time here at University. I apologise if I've missed out any emails, but feel free to forward/print this email and distribute.

Well now I'm back for my second first year, this time in engineering (the first first year I had in maths was complete gobbledegook, and I do not reccomend it), and I am now staying off campus in a house in the Earlsdon area of conventry with 5 good friends I made last year staying in halls. We have been struggling ever so slightly with our internet connection and phone line, but never fear, because someone living in our road has left their connection 'unlocked' so we can access that using wireless. (This is probably not very legal, but don't tell anyone, we'll have internet in 5 days time).

My new course is going well so far, I've had about a week of "Welcome to…" lectures, and have not acutally had to do any work (It's all change now that I've hit week 2 of course), so have instead devoted my time to searching out the most interesting Clubs and Societies to join up to.

As with last year I have come back to join the Archery club, but now as an inexperienced "experienced" archer, I'm not expecting to be selected for any of the six BUTTS archery competitions this year. I have however joined up with several new societies, SSAGO (Scouts and Guides – Campfire on Sunday), WVGDS (Warwick Video Game Design Society, this will probably be geeky, but I'll see how it goes), Ceilidh (This is traditional British folk music and dance, but don't expect me to dance), Warwick Engineers (Because they made me), and RaW (Radio Warwick, third best student radio station in the country, and I've signed up to the Engineering Department, because it should help with the electronics side of my degree, and looks very good on a CV, Andrew will tell you this is true, being the station manager of Exmouth's own radio station). It should be a good selection, and I'll try to keep the work going well as I become sucked into more involvement in these societies.

But it's not all fun and games, there are lectures to go to as well, I've
had several SolidWorks Tutorials (Computer Aided Design), which is like
playing with a huge set of virtual lego (yay!). There are maths and physics based lectures in the form of "Technological Science", Chemistry and Manufacturing (materials and processes) as well as computer aided design are covered in the topic "Design for Function", and then theres the ever compulsorarily dull buisiness lecture "Economics and the Structure of Industry"; Anyone ever wanted to know about the 'Next Bench Syndrome' of research and development? Or the portfolio analysis method of company mergers? Or how about the 'dog' goods at the end of the product life cycle (Like a standard type of forklift truck which don't make any profit) which are kept only for the purposes of existing? I thought not.

My chefery skills are not doing so hot recently, we have a very stupid electric oven, and I've managed to burn everything I've put in it so far, and it takes a very VERY long time to boil a pan. Oh, and I broke my Laptop, so if I've ever given anyone anything off it, I'd like it back please, because I've lost all my files. And someone in our house has drawn up a cleaning rota, with detailed instructions (she assumed no knowledge of cleaning existed in anyone else), so I've been carefully instructed in the practice of cleaning a toilet. (and NO I will NOT clean yours.)

There, you see, that was longer than even I expected. I may keep you updated again, or you may have to email me with a reminder.

Keep in touch,
Regards to all
Tom (Radford)


My Web Log

Here is my Blog, or Web Log, a newfangled piece of technology for organised people.

This blog will display a duplicate of the last 8 weeks of term's "update" emails, because I can't think of anything else to write in this space currently.

Enjoy.


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