Searching for blog posts tagged with ''my welcome week 2011''

A flat with walls and a floor




The inventory of my flat's contents – which I need to sign and return to confirm that there's nothing missing – informs me that I should have been provided with workaday items such as a kettle and a desk-lamp, but apparently there should also be “walls and floors”. That certainly seems to be the case, so I guess I'm one of the lucky ones!

My mum was fussing about how she'd carefully arranged my clothes in bags: "In this bag you've got trousers. In this bag, warm things. This bag has brown things." So basically I had all my things sorted à la the Chinese encyclopedia.

Because the flat's on the ground floor, one of the rooms is the 'disabled' one, and m'flatmate Max has somehow ended up living there. This entitles him to a back door (or tradesman's entrance) plus a palatial wheelchair-accessible bathroom, which – as he pointed out after we'd been queueing for 10 minutes to get into the Saturday Night Social – was very nearly larger than East Slope Bar!

Another flatmate warned us that she needed to be up and out "early on Sunday morning," by 9:45 at the latest. I managed to trump this by needing a slightly painful 8:45 departure, so please do excuse me for the moment!

The Runaway University



In John Grisham's The Runaway Jury, the jurors are sequestered into a hotel in a nearby town to stop them being got at by anyone involved in the trial. Each juror has their own bedroom and en-suite bathroom, all neighbouring each other on a corridor with shared eating facilities at one end. I can't think why living in Lewes Court reminds me of this scene so much...

Meanwhile, I've been getting to know the intricacies of my new home. Mobile 'phone signal can be picked up by standing in one particular corner, sometimes on one leg. The shower-cubicle is so small that it stops you from moving your limbs, making the whole experience rather like being water-boarded. And if you take it very slowly and carefully, it's possible to get from my room to the kitchen without activating the motion-sensitive lights. Such fun!

On Monday morning, I joined a relatively modest-looking queue in Bramber House to collect my ID card. However, on reaching the door at the front, a huge room full of alphabetised queuing students was revealed. Different lines for different initials. Passport-scanning at the back of the room. Photographers snapping away in a corner. A real modern-day Ellis Island!

This afternoon I had my first academic induction event, with the Politics department. The afternoon started off with a PowerPoint presentation. The first slide was a title-page reading Some stuff about Politics...

Then the legendary Politics handbooks were distributed ("It's incredibly good bedtime reading, or bathtime reading: whatever you prefer,") and we went on to hear that "university is more of a driving-lesson experience than a taxi experience." So that cleared that question up.

Next came a meeting with my academic advisor, who explained that his role "isn't to storm up to your other tutors and say, 'Why did you grade this essay 55%? It's a 66, as I live and breathe!' No, that isn't what I do."

All-in-all though, it was pretty informative, as was the Politics Social (or Politics Socialism...?) that followed; the quiz revealed that ED MILIBAND was an anagram of BLIND MEDIA. And still is!

Until next time Smile


Sussex's attempt to perfectly recreate the look and feel of World War II

In which the Jewish Society trumpets its achievements around campus



Check out my new blog, Gabrielquotes:


People in the Falmer House common-room yesterday afternoon might have been wondering why they could hear various unusual sounds being blown through a twisted ram's horn.

This was, of course, the Jewish Society hosting a local rabbi to blow the shofar for us on the occasion of Rosh Hashanah – Jewish new year. Rabbi Zalman provided each of us with a glass of ceremonial single malt whiskey and a slice of honeycake, then proceeded to alarm the surprising number of non-Jewish students in the building by sounding out a chorus of 'tekiah', 'teruah' and 'shevarim' notes.

After the formalities were over, he went about his business of calling out, "חג שמח Chag sameach!" (a festive greeting) to everyone who walked past, in the hope that someone's face would light up with recognition, betraying them as a Jew that needed to be immediately supplied with whiskey and the ringing tones of a shofar blast.

The event was the most tremendously surreal fun and I wouldn't have missed it for the world! Nor will I miss the rabbi-organised student  celebrations festival of Sukkot in October – the entire AMEX stadium has already been booked!!



In the library, in between sliding books into a glowing blue light-field and having them magically recognised and loaned out to me, I stumbled across what has to be my favourite ever title for any printed work...