Students Staff
University of Essex

5 April 2011

Life on Campus – Bringing the World Closer

Filed under: End of term,First Year UG,Mature Students,Mike Foote — Michael Foote @ 12:04 pm

There have been some very dramatic events around the world in the last two or three months, some (literally) earth shattering. For most of us we view these events through the television screen, and that, for many, is the nearest they will ever experience them as things going on ‘out there’, even in an increasingly shrinking world. However, on campus, we have experienced some of them in an almost personal way. Walking through Square Three recently, I witnessed the Libyan students calling on support for their people’s struggle against the Gadaffi regime, a passionate address through megaphones and the waving of their own, original, national flag. Then, over several days, the gathering of Japanese students appealing for support, moral as well as financial, to help them rebuild their country after what amounted to a ‘quadruple whammy’; earthquake, tsunami, radiation hazard and freezing winter conditions.

Life on campus certainly brings the world closer for all of us privileged to be here.

Mike Foote.

17 January 2011

Life on Campus – The Christmas Break

Filed under: First Year UG,Mature Students,Mike Foote,Start of term — admin @ 5:08 pm

In the last few days leading up to the end of the Autumn term, conversations between students around the campus all seemed to carry a similar theme, e.g; “Oh well, that’s me finished till next term. How about you, mate?” “Oh, a seminar tomorrow afternoon, then that’s it…!” A palpable, collective sense of calm seems to settle over the campus, echoes of dying conversations, the angst of essay deadlines fades quietly away, as students, mature and otherwise, drift off to their respective mansions and caves, with last exchanges of “Have a good one, we must reduce the stock of beer in the SU bar next term!” “Oh, too right!”.

Unlike some organisations in the ‘real’ world, the end of term does not stop on a specified day, at a given hour of the clock, but just dissolves with each student exiting stage left and right at odd hours over a couple of days. If you listen carefully, you might hear the odd murmur, “Christmas already? Blimey, that was quick!” Just as Week 16 advances the Spring Term in to gear, you can hear something awfully similar…..”Blimey, that was quick!”.

20 December 2010

Life on Campus – End of First Term

Filed under: End of term,First Year UG,Mature Students,Mike Foote — admin @ 12:22 pm

Unbelievable! Is it really possible that we have come through eleven weeks of the first term? Imagine the period as being like a video on fast forward—and it’s still playing! A moment to reflect on what we have absorbed so far. The geography of the campus will by now have been pretty much understood by most of us (OK, I think that you can switch off the SatNav now). The locations of those places which have become important in our academic journey, the SU Bar, Top Bar….(ahem), sorry, I meant to start with such as the LTB, the Alfred Sloman, Ivor Crewe and those of the various lecture and seminar rooms as they relate to our individual fields of study.

Question: how do you make strong men and women quake in apprehension, fear and dread? Utter the two magic words, Essay deadline! As you proceed about the campus, you can get snatches of conversation, whispered in a hushed, almost conspiratorial way that can include such as: “The essay or such and such a module is due on….!”, and, “OMG, I’ve barely started….!” And if you’re really quiet, you realise that you are saying them, too! Welcome to Uni. Have a good break, and let’s look forward to the Spring term.

22 November 2010

Life on Campus – First Impressions

Filed under: First impressions,First Year UG,Mature Students,Mike Foote — admin @ 9:37 am

As a mature student, I attended the House warming event in early September, so I and my fellow mature students had the advantage of an early welcome to the campus community. The first thing that we noticed was the warmth of the welcome and the friendly atmosphere, which remains every day since we started ‘for real’, from Freshers Week to the start of lectures and seminars and since.

Of course there is naturally the challenge of the exciting chaos and confusion that is the amount of information to be absorbed: course reading, various handouts, timetables, room numbers, schedules and navigating around the maze of corridors. SatNav would have been useful! This simply reflects the natural effect on students, mature or otherwise.

The support and friendliness of the staff is self evident, as is the atmosphere across the whole campus. These are, of course, early days, and this piece is just recording first impressions of a welcome to the rich fabric that is the University of Essex.