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Sunday, 5 October 2008

A Few Raised Eyebrows

The first week of university ends as it has begun - with total confusion, exclusively mine. It has been a massively enjoyable week, made inspirational by my first visit to the Library, but it has become clear that Universities, in common with every large organization in the world, are minute simulacrum of the world as a whole - overly complex organisms to which the streamlining power of computers has recently added another layer of complexity. The only difference between the University of Hull, and the malevolent Government Departments that I first encountered on being re-cast upon British shores, is that the University of Hull is not malevolent. Far from it in fact, it is a welcoming, friendly place. The casual racism, sexism and just bullshit macho rudeness that was my work environment in Leeds, is replaced by the Polar opposite - an atmosphere, at least in my Department, of good humour, open-ness and positivity. Quite frankly, the week has been brilliant.

The 'but' that you are quite correctly waiting for, is twofold. Firstly, I have always considered my self as somewhat of a dab hand with maps, and orientation in general. A strange effect of being a First Year Student in the first week of their first year, is that I, in common with every other First Year, have completely lost the ability to navigate, and in common with Christopher Columbus, have gained the ability to delude ourselves completely as to our exact location, even going as far as sitting in a lecture that is quite clearly about Particle Physics, for a full twenty minutes before meekly raising the hand and admitting the "I think I'm in the wrong place".

THe other 'but' is that necessarily, the first week lectures have been light on stone hard facts. Very little, if any, nitty-gritty has been gotten down to. Instead, the lectures have been gentle inductions into various matters - money, ethics, plagiarism - and I was getting a bit restless until I sat through the "What to do if you find yourself in a Particle Physics Lecture by mistake" segment of our Induction into Professional Behaviour, and discovered that apart from being slightly more prompt in admitting their error, the friend who found themselves in the wrong lecture had actually behaved correctly. I therefore awarded this friend 10/10 for their first week.

Next week, nitty and gritty are apparently going to coincide, so I'll have to buy some books and a pen.

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