Midnight snowball fight anyone?
It’s been a busy few weeks since my last post. Two weeks ago I fulfilled a lifelong ambition to visit the Royal Albert Hall by going to see Cirque du Soleil (a very impressive show and fantastic seats for just £25 thanks to some haggling by a a friend) as a halls of residence trip. Last week I organised my own trip with fellow hall senior Aysha, taking over 20 students to The Comedy Store to see a hilarious improvisation show. And last week it snowed twice, triggering much childlike glee. (See photos below the rant)
Holbein and Willis Jackson (HWJ) Halls of Residence have also started their yearly ritual of showing every Six Nations Rugby game on the projector in the common room, complete with deck chairs, free beers and snacks for all. There are some things I will definitely miss when I eventually leave HWJ.
In choir, Verdi’s magnificent Requiem is coming along nicely, and I’m thoroughly looking forward to a weekend away in Cambridge with fellow choristers for banter and rehearsing in 2 weeks time.
Oh, and memes have taken over facebook.
In the interests of balance, it’s also that time of the year when I’ve started to get a little jaded with physics work…
Feel free to skip the below (I’ve helpfully indicated where it ends, and added some editorial balance afterwards), it’s more therapeutic for me to feel like I’m feeding back to the department than anything else.
The physics department here is overall pretty good and we are clearly being taught to a high standard. In terms of work, they have piled it on: Extra work for labs has taken the usual exorbitant amount of time: there’s masses of data analysis to be done, things to be written up, and then at the end of the four week experiment, a mere 2 days to finish all analysis and write a four page report. Much as I appreciate that working to tight deadlines is an important skill to master, having to stay up until 7am to get a report done is a little over the top… but perhaps I’m too much of a perfectionist, 2-3am seems to be more the norm.
There has also been a big assessed problem sheet to work on (taking up much of a weeks worth of spare time set aside for working), and each lecture course (of which there are currently 4 running) provides 1 or 2 problem sheets to do each week. Then there are lectures and things to go to as well of course… I have friends that do nothing extracurricular, and even they are struggling to keep up, but we are all learning.
This is all well and good, I know from last year that all work can be caught up with once the Easter holidays start and there is much more free time to study. The problem is that academic tutors (one of mine in particular) seem to be blissfully ignorant to this, and consistently complain that we don’t do enough of the problem sheets, on top of the extra work that they set us to do anyway… Of course, I understand why they press us. There are a huge number of people that simply do not do enough work, and will not endeavour to catch up. These are the people that barely pass their exams, or commonly find they have to retake. It’s just disheartening to have a tutor getting frustrated with me for not doing enough work, when I know that I do all the work I can.
End Rant – Positivity Below
And that’s enough of all that. I should remind the reader that I hold Imperial in high regard overall (as stated previously) and this is just a niggle. If the above were to become a serious problem, I know that I could go and talk to my personal tutor and he would do whatever he could to help (my personal tutor is really nice), or use one of the many other channels there are of feeding back to the department (which I might just do). To give an example of feedback in action: Last term, half the year had one day fewer to get the lab reports done and our excellent year reps managed to get us an extra day to make it fair.
Most of the time I don’t use this blog to complain, which should indicate to you that most of the time I’m fairly happy. Time for some pictures of snow!