Students Staff

21 March 2019

Lots of love from the Library

Filed under: Loughton, News — ckeitch @ 10.33 am

We ran a ‘Love or Break-up Letter’ activity last month to get some feedback on our library services and were thrilled to receive 22 love letters.

That’s right, none of you wanted to ‘break up’ with us, which is fantastic news.

Thanks for all your kind words and suggestions, which we have already started to implement.

Book swap corner

Book swap corner

Book Swap Corner

First up, you told us that you want more fiction in the Library.

We have now created a Book Swap Corner, which you can find near the newspaper rack to the left of our library entrance.

Just bring along any books that you have read and want to pass on, and pick up a couple of others to read.

If you don’t fancy picking up a book, you can still drop off any you’re finished and want to pass on.

It’s really easy to use and completely free – two very good reasons why you should get involved.

Some of our new books

Some of our new books

More, more, more

In your love letters you also told us that you want more modern plays as well as more international texts. Well, good news…you will now find more than 200 new titles.

For the next few weeks, we will display a selection of new texts for you to browse through.

So what are you waiting for, get yourself to the library to see what’s new.

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15 March 2019

The Essex Cross-disciplinary Experimental Methods Conference is coming your way

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 2.36 pm

Are you starting your research and wondering about your study methodology? Are you in completion and want to increase your employability by expanding your repertoire of experimental methods?  Whatever your stage of study, The Essex Cross-disciplinary Experimental Methods Conference (ECEM) is for you.

Grant funders increasingly prize early career researchers with skills and networks beyond their primary discipline. A wider knowledge of experimental methods opens doors to forging competitive interdisciplinary collaborations.

The first ever ECEM Conference will take place on Thursday 20 and Friday 21 June, bringing together researchers from multiple disciplines to share the varied and complementary aspects of their experimental methods. Get ready for two days packed with exciting workshops, multidisciplinary keynotes speakers, and plenty of networking opportunities.

This conference is organised by postgraduates, for postgraduates and supported by the Essex PGR Interdisciplinary Conference Fund Competition and Eastern Academic Research Consortium.

Registration is free, and will open in April.

If you would like further information, email with ECEM Conference in the heading.

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13 March 2019

Imagine more in our Green Thumbs garden

Filed under: News — ckeitch @ 4.44 pm

Find out more about our Green Thumbs garden, and the positive impact it can have on your mental health, from Héloïse Kroband, the secretary of our allotment society.

Héloïse Kroband

Héloïse Kroband

Imagine a beautiful, secluded garden, sun-kissed and surrounded by a wooden picket fence. Imagine people laughing while trying to work a manual lawn mower, imagine people eating delicious late raspberries under the cold sun of November. Imagine people sitting down and chatting around a picnic table, imagine people harvesting peas and carrots. Imagine planting pear trees and imagine making delicious pear pies in a few years, when the fruits have grown. Imagine building a wooden shelf from start to finish, imagine the reward of knowing you grew all those fruits and vegetables and imagine contributing to the earth.

I know what I am describing sounds like the Garden of Eden, but it does exist, and on campus too! It is the Green Thumbs’ garden. The Green Thumbs is the allotment society on campus. If you are intrigued or curious, do not hesitate to come check us out, or drop us an e-mail, we would love for you to join us.

You might be thinking: “I don’t know the first thing about gardening!” But let me reassure you: most of the time, we don’t either, we just come to have a good time. We are all learning, and there is not one gardening expert in the society. So what if you are the kind of person who kills every plant they get? In 19 years of existence, I have killed many a plant, I even managed to kill a cactus (overwatering is apparently a thing). Whether you are an expert in gardening or a relative beginner, we would love for you to join, and you may even learn a thing or two about how to keep plants alive.

No matter who you are, there are several reasons why you will love the garden. To start with, it is incredibly soothing to garden. I love going there. It is the most peaceful and positive time of my week: being outside, connecting with nature and with people, building things and growing things. It just makes me feel so uplifted. And it’s not just me – all the members of the society can confirm the good side effects of gardening. Better still, it’s not just the members! Several studies show the benefits of gardening for depression, mental health, stress and self-esteem.

Let’s delve into mental health issues for a minute here: sometimes, life at uni can be overwhelming and stressful. And sometimes, life in itself is hard. I can perfectly relate to this. In those moments I stop taking care of myself. I isolate myself and I stew in my own unproductivity and self-hatred. And yes, sometimes, when I feel bad, all I want to do is binge watch How I Met Your Mother for six hours to forget about my crippling anxiety.

In those moments though, I have noticed that forcing myself to get out of the house to go to the garden is a self-care act. It makes me feel better, it makes me feel productive, and it makes me feel like I am in control of my life. Of course, going to the garden is not a magical fix to a problem or a mental health condition, and gardening is not a substitute for counselling . But it does help.

Moreover, socialising with the beautiful people from the society is always enjoyable. The case I want to make here is simple: the members of a gardening society are necessarily chilled and nice. Don’t get me wrong, we are not all the same. We are a very diverse group, but from what I have noticed, everyone is really friendly, really genuine, natural and humble.

In summary, gardening is fun, good for your mental health, instructive, social, and you will even score some free organic vegetables and fruits as a result of doing it. Want to try? We meet every Saturday in the garden at 1pm. If you don’t know where the garden is, drop me an e-mail or message us on Facebook, and we’ll arrange to meet you to show you around. Looking forward to meeting you!

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