Since I seem to be in the habit of writing nigh on 1000 word Blog posts every few weeks, I thought I’d chop this one up into friendly chunks for you to enjoy at your leisure. This is part 2 of 2. Read part 1 here.
So a world and Olympic champion in Judo has been training with us… More photos at the end of the post!
Other Extracurricular Activities
I’ve had several weekends away in the last few weeks. There was a wonderful (if exhausting) weekend in Cambridge with the choir. This was mainly to rehearse, but also to have a nice time away together. It’s a lovely city and an enormous contrast to London, reminding me why I applied to go to university there a few years ago. I must say, it’s a quite a contrast to London and imperial.
The whole place feels much smaller and focussed around the colleges and the university. Imperial is more one of many focal points in a massive city filled with focal points. Of course, this means that there are lots of focal points (national art galleries, museums, a mind-boggling selection of entertainment venues…) around you all the time. Sometimes it feels like being at the centre of the world.
I also went home for the third time this term, to go and refuel (both in terms of food and spirit) with my family.
Elsewhere, I’ve joined a Confirmation group at the main Catholic Chaplaincy near UCL. It’s really great, and I think I’ll have to write some more about it as part of a general comment on the (excellent) London chaplaincy services in the near future.
“So, everything is great! But how about your physics degree?” I hear you ask. Well, physics is ticking along. At the moment it feels like more of a day to day job than one of the great passions of my life, but I think that’s because unlike at A-Level, I don’t have other things to compare it with. Problem sheets feel like a chore rather than being immediately interesting. Passion clearly needs rediscovering, and it’s a problem the department is, pleasingly, trying to fix.
This is, I think, a symptom experienced by many in the middle of a long degree, rather than any kind of black mark against physics or Imperial! At the end of the day, I maintain that physics is hard but ultimately rewarding. To give an example: learning about quantum mechanics has felt difficult and overwhelming at times, but there is a palpable sense of satisfaction when one steps back and examines the entirety and the implications of what has been learnt. Perhaps I need to do more “This is Awesome” posts about physics!
So, to summarise: Choir is joyous and going to be much of my life next year, Judo is painful and invigorating, my family and friends are beacons of awesomeness, and physics is fascinating if occasionally draining.