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November 02, 2006

I need help too

Writing about web page

I’m looking for a personal assistant. You will be in charge of my expenditure, and ensure I don’t buy more on campus than the daily newspaper, a banana, and a bag of crisps. And the occasional bit of chocolate. Salary depends on the number of CDs you’ll refrain me from buying.

October 17, 2006


Follow-up to A New Beginning from [TBA]

I love google personalised homepages. They teach you so much. I love my new computer. It’s not very noisy unless I decide to use the speaker system and it doesn’t generate so much heat. It’s colder in my room now though.

I hate sudoku. It consumes all my spare time. At least I can pretend I actually read the Times and don’t just buy it to write out some numbers. I’m not convinced I like the newspaper that much. It seems to stain my fingers more than the Guardian used to, and there aren’t enough pictures. And some of their sentences really don’t make any sense.

I love teaching. No, this is not another teacher’s blog, and most teachers I know don’t consider my teaching real, but I still love it. Not sure if the freshers appreciate my teaching, however, but today I had more students in my class than ever. Unfortunately most of them spread their fluish germs in my general direction. You can look forward to an entry aptly titled I’ve got man flu.

I love swimming. I can’t do it to save my life, but I stay afloat and I do feel healthiest I’ve felt in a long time. Apart from the punctured lung that is a pulled muscle in my back.

I love my degree. It’s a shame I wasted so much time. But I guess there is a set amount of time in a PhD that should be wasted, and I might have reached my quotum in the first 2 years. All hard work from now! If only I could ignore the sudokus.

October 04, 2006

And Eat It

Follow-up to A New Beginning from [TBA]

If you cook at random, you won’t get a cake

If you’re a maths student and still deciding on which course to take, consider Statistical Mechanics. Today, we discussed sex as an incentive, excretion as a means of survival by maintaining your entropy level, and baking cakes.

A New Beginning

Thought an update of life was in place.

Nikki was here. I told her I was looking forward to the start of term, for more buses would run to and from campus per hour. Oh how wrong I was.

Last night I sang in REV again. It’d been about 3 months and my vocal chords weren’t too happy with all the excitement. I can still talk though, and the enthusiasm of some freshers was rather infectious. And the surprising presence of a deserter was very much appreciated.

This morning I’ve been swimming! Ali and I are on a fitness regime – that is, we try and wake up on time to drop off Rich at Westwood and join the queue for campus to get to the Sports Centre and swim for 20 minutes for her to leave again to get to work on time. It worked today. She seemed to have had better swimming lessons than me though. But hey, let’s praise the effort!

I’ve got a new computer. I ordered it through MESH and it was delayed by a month and a half due to the AMD 5000 something processors being in high demand. In the mean time, a new processor came out and they put that one in without me having to pay for the upgrade, hurrah! It’s very shiney and black and I can now watch films without the computer levitating and blowing steam. I’ll still use my laptop but mainly as extra exercise for my shoulders carrying it around on campus.

I’m gonna start teaching on Monday. It turns out it’s not as much teaching as I thought it would be, but I will be in charge of a whole class, so that bit of excitement is still there. I’m also planning on following a few modules, starting noon today, but we’ll see how long that lasts. Jason and Brenda who did their 4th year and MSc with Sergey (my supervisor) last year are still here, so the age of loneliness is over!

Oh and it seems the whole world is getting married. Or it might just be a christian thing.

February 20, 2006


Dear friends, family. What you have feared for those years while I've been in the UK has come true. I've been taken over by the force, and have been identified as a Christian, and even been spotted evangelising

The signs have been there all the time. Whilst in England, I have visited a total of 36 churches, some of which more than once! I'm very proud of this fact actually, as churches are generally cold buildings, and revisiting them is a sign of true spirit.

Then there is Rev. Singing songs with words as Joyful, joyful, Lord we adore thee! must mean that I believe the Lord exists and is wonderful. In the same way as singing you make me feel like a natural woman is speaking from my deepest desires.

On this blog I have touched upon some religious issues, inviting Christians to help me out in finding out about Christian concepts, such as heaven. Clearly, one must be a Christian in the first place to even want to talk about Christianity, or Christian related stuff.

On other blogs, I have tried to explain how I see the ways some Christians work, for instance how evangelism to them makes sense, a sense that makes it feel like it's their duty to tell people about their faith. Another sign of being a Christian: actually trying to make sense of Christian activities and trying to explain others about their ways. Surely a non-Christian wouldn't even bother?!

Then look at where I spend most of my time. This term I've actually managed to get to campus in the morning every day when I didn't feel crap. Some of the time spent on campus was for direct maths purposes [lectures, supervision, seminars, PhD progress], but most of the time I spent in the Chaplaincy, where obviously all one can do is talk Christian stuff and be converted if not already and figure out how to convert other people.

What went wrong?!

Nothing, really.

I joined Rev because I like singing. I ended up visiting churches [which I already did, but mainly for tourist purposes] with Rev because, well, that's where we stay, and that's how we're supported most of the time. I ended up talking about Christian stuff because many of my friends here are Christian, and I like to understand why their faith is so important to them. I believe in something there, and it makes sense to me to call it God.

Grown up in a Western society, it's quite common [understatement] to be brought up with Christian morals. Seeing that our laws are based on Jewish-Christian traditions, I don't think anyone in such a situation can reasonably say they have nothing to do with these religions. [I'm not implying Islam has had no influence or contribution in Western civilization, but it's not part of the current argument.] I understand if people don't want anything to do with these religions, but to dismiss their relevance in life shows a complete lack of historical and political awareness, and that annoys me.

Seeing that lately, I've had trouble getting my point across, so I'll try some more:

  1. I don't and I won't call myself a Christian [I believe in most of the stuff 'necessary', but without sounding rude, there's other stuff in my life that I think needs more attention]
  2. I don't mind you calling me a Christian if that makes sense to you. I don't see how what I've said makes me more a Christian than a Muslim though
  3. I don't mind anyone being whatever-ist or -im or -an. Just don't go about telling other people why they're wrong [note that this is different to telling people why your faith is good, which sounds perfectly acceptable to me - hence me defending evangelism]
  4. I'm sure there's another point, but no one's perfect so I can forget things too

On a final note

Apologies for the attack on your senses. I was on a mission, being truly annoyed by someone claiming to show so much respect but disrespectfully dismissing my attempts of coming to a common ground, and I changed my blog in such a way to get my message across of how ridiculous the dismissal was. The green-ness is all in favour of Hayley to see if she can shine a better light on the entry if the letters don't dance in front of her eyes. It's only temporarily, really.

January 24, 2006

While I was lost

I would have told you about the Wild Party, and how amazing it was.
I would have told you about the meeting with my supervisor I ended up not having.
I would have told you about the trip to Edinburgh.
I would have told you about the ceilidh I danced there, and about how I taught someone else how to dance it, even though I didn't really understand myself.
I would have told you about how I nearly cried in Fopp because of the incredibly low priced CDs, and how I managed to restrain myself and only buy 3.
I would have told you about the amazing pants I got that have bajan green monkeys on them.
I would have told you about the back to back lectures I've just attended. A new Warwick personal record.
I would have told you about my supervisees not turning up because they forgot to tell me they had a deadline.
I would have told you about the book [Bubbles, drops, and particles (Clift, 1978 (2005))] that finally arrived and that will boost my chances upon completing my PhD.
I would have told you about the DAT tape with hours of bubble viewing that arrived as well.

But I couldn't. I was lost. The power of resetting one password. The power of the internet and the time not being able to use it seems to be correlated with the number of meaningful events in your life.

Now I could tell you that I've just attended a lecture that started at 10am. Ten A M. And it's not even for credit.
Now I could tell you that I'm going to read my book on bubbles and learn a lot and enjoy it.
Now I could tell you that later today, I'll visit the Learning Grid and watch hours of bubble footage and enjoy it.

But I've got work to do.

November 22, 2005


The maths department is in dire need of invigilators for an exam on Wednesday 4 January. Sums up everything that's wrong with the academic calendar this year, last year, and I just notice next term [that's right, we're gonna miss 4 expensive days of uni this year!].

Starting term on Wednesday 4 January is stupid because

  • You lose 2 valuable days of learning [or days useful for sports/societies];
  • Most people decide not to celebrate New Year's in or around Coventry [oddly enough?] and will thus have 1 or 2 days to move back en masse, leading again to stupidly long queues etcetera;
  • Students who happen to go abroad to see their families for Christmas will have to pay considerably more for plane tickets right after New Year's eve;
  • You don't have time to get used to the fact you're in a new year before term starts, leading to you putting the wrong date on everything you own.

Anyone else? Alternatively, think of how many universities use this silly term plan, and how hard it is to organize events with other universities while everyone is either on or off term time!

November 21, 2005

Criminal Intent

Where were you on the night of 19 November, 2005?

If your answer involves the Union, dancing to the funky tunes of Timetunnel, not only did you probably have a good night out, you also might have witnessed a malicious act!

On the music side of the night, I'm still not convinced by the mixture of everything between 60s and 2005, especially when there are plenty of ace songs that don't make "Top B 3 years ago's top 10" [think Bohemian Rhapsody or I am the one and only]. Also, a bit more persuasion of people to dress up for this event to match the cool decor [including Arcade games!] and the style of music would make it just that bit more fun when acted upon. Which brings us to the afromen.

These special type of Timetunnel [or rather Boogie Nights but easily converted] visitors have made this night their own and look forward to it probably more than the football girls look forward to Score! Hence they spent some good time picking their outfits and priming their afros to look fine for the night. One particular specimen, let's call him R, always transforms during these nights [see first picture] as if times are turned back and he ended up in Austin Powers' nightclub. His afro is always in perfect condition with a good black shine on it and all the curls rounded in line. Saturday night was no difference, and with the tunes of Jungle Boogie in the background the afromen with R graced the dancefloor.

Was it greed? Was it jealousy? Or was it a mere spell of degradation? Right after another jolly photo shoot, R's afro seemed to be disappear in midair. Some shady character [m/f] managed to grab the perfectly groomed wig leaving R and his fellow afromen in despair. A 5-song-long search ended without results, and now they need your help.

If you were on the Union dancefloor the night of Saturday 19 November some time between 11pm and 2am [Sunday 20 November by that time] and saw anything suspicious regarding the stolen afro issue [trying to narrow it down here, please don't inform me of any other suspicious behaviour, though you might want to inform the Union people, or the police, depending on the seriousness of your observations], please contact me, using the useful contact me link at the top of this blog.

In the exceptional case that you have gotten hold of the afro in question please be man/woman/kind enough to leave the wig in the Revelation pigeonhole in the Resources Room, Union North. It might sound all sound funny to you, but a low quality afro wig costs already 4 pounds. An afro groomed to such excellent condition as R's afro could be worth far more! Regardless of the cost of the wig, theft has taken place, and someone's night and future nights at Timetunnel has/have been ruined. Please do the right thing and return the afro wig to the owner.

Do note that the images do not bear an exact resemblance to R. Though if you do wish to recognize him from the images, bear in mind that the scribbly bit around the mouth is supposed to be a goatee with moustache.

November 15, 2005

Why smoking should not be banned

Writing about web page /bjkeates/entry/the_boar_this/

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view

Okay, that entry title was mainly to mirror the previous entry, but still. Smoking is stupid. Anyway, here’s the entry.

On a break from doing what most people here tend to do(studying) I came across this rant. It led me to the Union website and I had a look at the forthcoming referenda. For the record, I hate smoking. I understand that some people feel the need, and usually these are the more polite smokers, that get out of your way, and don’t smoke while you’re eating. Some of my friends are convinced that smoking while going out will actually make them drink less [mainly coz they’ll be having a cigarette in their hand rather than a drink]. Wait. I’m losing the point.

Basically, I don’t mind people smoking when I’m going out – provided the place has good ventilation and a high enough ceiling. I’m more annoyed by overly drunk and unnecessarily pushy people, by the music being about 5 times too loud [especially when the building is quite empty], and the general sweatiness of the Union. But well, I can see a Union without smoke could be more fun and less sweaty, so let’s see what we need to do to get there.

This Union Resolves:
4. That cuts to Union services, as a result of this policy, will begin with the following:
The least commercially successful events (possibly including Vapour, Crash, Pressure, Coalition, Heat and live music events);
Society funding;
Opening hours;
Computing and support facilities for clubs and societies.

Now I thought Warwick student life is mainly bearable because of a great SU, with many societies to choose from and where each day you can have a different night out. Without the “least commercially successful events” the Union will discard all its variety. With less funding for societies [I’ll leave it to you to find out how much funding there is now. Suffice to say that I know of only one society that doesn’t need Union funding to stay afloat. Who knows, there might not even be a Warwick Boar!] many will find it hard to stay functioning, and students will have to find other ways to bide their spare time. Maybe that time will be spent finding another uni…

Lately I’ve found that policy changes apparently have to be drastic. In Rev, there was the motion to ban alcohol from big national events. There is no need to bring alcohol to the building, as we usually manage to find a church with a pub around the corner, but sometimes people just need a drink after a hard day of singing/organizing/general stress, and that time might come after 11pm. To ban alcohol from all events is petty and shows of little faith in the choir members to behave. Sure, there have been occasions where individuals lost a bit of control, but there is no reason to let individual actions ruin everything for the rest of the choir.

Now with the smoking ban, the only way to change the current badly adopted policy is to turn to zero tolerance? There are enough enclosed seating areas in the Union to designate as smoking areas, away from eating establishments such as Rococo, South Central, and the Cholo bar. Similarly, if you ban smoking from the dancefloor [which is where most people will/should be at Union events, and where most oxygen is needed!] you still leave people with the choice to smoke elsewhere in the building, where they can still hear the music, talk to their friends, stay warm, and get their daily dose of nicotine.

Most importantly, the Union will stay an important place in Warwick students’ lives. I’m not sure but I hope this motion is just a big joke, to see if students care enough to read the policy changes and see how ridiculous they are. If not, then I hope the policy makers will rethink the motion and see that there is always a middle way. And everyone will live happily ever after. Just with a slightly blacker lung.

EDIT: Just found the policy list here hopefully the link works, but you might have to sign in for the Union portal to see it. The smoking policy is 368. The only changes necessary I can think of now is making Rococo non-smoking, with the Piazza area smoking instead. Then smoke will be far away from the food! Also, the Graduate Bar and Club are not being mentioned, whereas they seem to be the more cloudy places in the Union.

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