Monday, 1 November 2010

Playing Catch Up - Starting University

In the spirit of trying to actually keep/get this blog going I have decided to do some catch up posts. (Some maybe just posted on the actual date in which they were intended too, as there are some drafts lying about.) This "Playing Catch Up" (PCU) post shall be about the start of University. As most posts are probably going to be about my studies, or should be depending on the project.

First the 'in a nutshell' background: Starting Uni is not new for me, I did this all a year ago while enrolled on a Computer Science course in Sussex. However it did not work out for various reasons and I have gone back to my roots and started an arts course, a Game Design course in Newport.

To start my first day I first had to find the bus stop from which the free Uni bus operates, now there are several stops down infront of the station, I was unsure as to which was the right one. However as I walked closer to the stop it soon became obvious. On one side there was a lot of people several generations removed from me with suitcases some not looking approvingly at the other side where there was a large gathering of people slightly closer to my generation. It was quite a funny sight while I was walking down the road and able to see both sides head on thanks to the curve in the street. For some reason the classic wild west music sprang to mind and it looked like there might be a face off in the road between young and old. Well if the younger people didn't either look terrified or apparently engrossed in various forms of technology. I probably looked like the former, as nerves had struck at this point and all I wanted to do was find someone else on my course. (My experience last time was not pleasant, as even though I made a friend the people on my actual course last time really didn't seem to be on the same wavelength as me at all and I didn't gel with them.)

This time however fate had dealt me a nice hand and as I squished onto the very crowded bus I ended up standing infront of a girl talking about Team Fortress and how she too wished she could find someone else on her course. I was about to turn around and introduce myself, but she was talking to what appeared to be a good friend, and I was also concentrating on not falling over. Lots of sharp turns and rounder-bouts are not your friend when you are standing up on the bus by the doors with only a small grip on the hand hold that's on the back of the seats. It was an interesting game of bus surfing on the way up to the Uni.

Once we got there I lost sight of the girl standing behind me, but I had managed to grab her name as she talked to someone else. (This would prove useful in the near future.) As the times of the buses are not always lined up with the timetable at Uni I had just under and hour spare before the first induction talk. Having already come to the campus for an interview I already knew a good place to go and grab a coffee, so that was my first destination. After refilling my caffeine reserves the search for the usual kinda stuff began from the toilets to the main reception, the shop, the cafe and the sports hall...all the places I needed or would like to know the location of in relation to one another. I must have looked quite lost as at one point I did find myself walking back and forth a corridor three times, but I had taken a wrong turn, thought I'd found a way out and stumbled into an enclosed out door area for smokers. (Which humorously was right outside the sports hall.)

Anyway after getting my bearings it was time to head to the induction talk. After finding a seat and feeling a little out of place all on my own the Dean came up to talk and introduce the names of a lot of staff members, none of which I was going to remember, but it was good to see the faces so I at least could spot them if need be. This introduction talk was by far better than the one I had at Sussex, was a little more encouraging in many ways, rather than saying that you will need to give 110% and always work and always do the right thing and don't do this or that....this time it was a little more chilled. The basic message was that the staff here are not here to get you to absorb information and regurgitate it, as it was a creative school it is you who are expected to be the driving force behind your education, they are here to help you on your way to discovering your own creativity and drive. The Dean accepted that not all the faces he saw before him today would be the same faces he would see upon graduation, or even next year for the welcome back talk. At the end of the day he asked us all to give it all we got, be the best that we can, and above all always ask for help and guidance if we needed/wanted it as he would like to see as many faces as possible next year. Sorry Sussex your regimented rule hand out and what felt like a telling off before the term had even begun was not as inspiring.

Anyway after a lot of other talking by various departments and people advertising parts of the Uni or services we were then all called up to meet our course tutors, one course at a time. This gave everyone a chance to see who was on our course. At first I was the only girl standing in a growing crowd of guys, I started to get a little nervous but thought that it wouldn't be that bad, just be like being at work again. Yet it was at this point I saw the girl that was behind me on the bus, and the girl I had seen post on the Uni freshers message board. So in a rare (in comparison to recently) moment of confidence I turned around and asked if she was the girl talking about Team Fortress on the bus. It turned out she was and all of a sudden we were chatting away as our new tutors led us to the computer labs for our course introduction talk.

That talk was rather amusing as again it was pretty relaxed, though we were given the distinct impression that there would be hell to pay if we messed about and didn't get our work done. We were after all here to further our career, and any mucking about at the end of the day would not do ourselves any favours, and more importantly it would make the head of course look bad. And we wouldn't want that now would we?! :) The sense of humour of the tutors here reminded me of my college tutor, and I was liking it already. I felt that I had made the right choice, it wasn't going to be easy, but I felt more 'at home' here in the first five minutes than I ever did at Sussex. (Shame we're moving to a new campus next year!)

Yet it is more about the course content and the people you are on it with, everything that is lined up for the next three years sounds so exciting and I can't wait to sink my teeth into it all. My confidence is back, it still fluctuates a little, but I finally feel that I am back on course again and heading in a direction that I actually want to go in rather than one that I should or have to go in.

Oh and the other two girls on the course, younger than me they maybe, but even after only a few weeks now they have become good friends and I look forward to getting to know them better. The guys on the other hand are a different kettle of fish....some may take a while to realise that girls are okay to talk to, some others could be a pain in the butt and a few could really do with finding out what a shower is for. But it is only early days and time will tell, always give everyone the benefit of the doubt and get to know them. :)

Time - There never is enough of it!

So that was a while ago when I last blogged?! I have ended up in a bit of a pickle you see, I have been very very very busy since that last half post. Yet what is frustrating about it is that I have not been short on things to blog about because of being busy and generally getting up to some interesting things.

My nice new shiny phone has a Blogger App currently installed on it, so that I can attempt to blog on the go, however I have many a draft saved now as blogging on the go means you get interrupted while writing, or I realise that my spelling and grammar are so off it is unreadable to anyone else!

A sort of catch twenty-two really, as during the summer I had lots of time and consequently not much to blog about in terms of interesting activities. Of course there are many other subjects in which to post, and for which I could talk about. I realise that now after reading a *lot* of blogs over the summer. However I still feel I maybe lost in the direction and content of my blog. I know that it a personal one and also a Uni one now, yet there is the organised part of me that wants to have those separate. However that didn't work before as I never got round to updating the other blog, and I also realise that it just ain't a good idea. :)

Maybe it's time I actually started using that labels feature....I certainly have my Gmail labelled quite well that now when I get multiple e-mails in my Inbox I have a rather nice rainbow effect.

Whichever way around I do this I need to get into a routine, purely for myself as I want to write more regardless of readers, that and I also need a routine for working on my poor forgotten website. At least the web space is getting some use at the moment as my other half now has his domain registered to it as well. But it still doesn't feel right, especially with all the Dreamstone goodness sitting on my hard drive and not out there for the community to enjoy. (But that is another matter....)

For now I type this rather random thought dump out while wearing a Chi the Cat hat on my head from MCM Expo (thank you sis!) and feel that I should be doing something more constructive, like a proper post. Yet I fear this may continue on for a while as this week ain't gonna involve much free time, as always. Wednesday is my day off so I am going to make that my "Lets write a proper post and catch up on my blog day." :)