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February 2008

Nottingham

  • Buildings: transparent.
  • City: well-signposted.
  • University: annoyingly impressive.

Life continues, as it is wont to do. I get a word nobody normally uses stuck in my head and have to use it in my next blog post, as I am wont to do.

School photos today. Whole year (in which I'm not sure what people were shouting on the count of three), individual (in which I'm sure I blinked both takes), and some funny group of people I associate with (in which I'm the odd one out).

Went to Nottingham Uni yesterday. Pretty nice place, especially the campus where Computer Science is which is all glass walls and shit. Got the standard course details, accommodation tour, etc.. It's about a mile away from the main campus and didn't seem too far away from the city centre.

Oh, and it has ducks, though not as many as York. And a little waterfall thingy that makes funny noises.

Overall, I'm a bit annoyed that after having seen 4 out of 5 universities I haven't been able to totally rule any of them out yet, everywhere seems good and potentially a great 3 years. Need to think more about the bits that are actually different between places. Decision deadline is 6th May.

Whoa.

That's pretty much exactly what I imagined an earthquake would feel like.

Admittedly, though, I initially assumed I'd just drunk too much.

Hull

Went to visit Hull Uni yesterday. Can't be arsed to write anything about it, just wanted to keep up the pattern of blog post titles, and avoid going weeks without posting.

Been out all three nights this weekend, which probably isn't good for me or my wallet, but it's been fun. Having multiple circles of friends isn't always ideal, but when they're all as cool as they are there's nothing negative to say.

York

  • Steps: endless.
  • City: miles away.
  • University: full of ducks.

What's the least romantic activity possible to take part in on Valentine's Day? What? Maths homework? Okay. Good job nobody was doing that, then. Oh wait.

Went to York Uni today. Since it's the second place I've been to I probably won't be able to judge it on its own, but that's kind of the point as I'm aiming to make decisions in the end.

The interview was a bit harder than Manchester, but they seemed reasonably satisfied with my vague answers. The York campus is out of the city, which is a mixed blessing - it's a nicer-looking area, but feels a bit cut off from reality (not that that's always a bad thing). There seemed to be a bit more of a focus on lower-level/hardware stuff, and I lost count of the number of times I heard the term "embedded systems".

Other random notes about York? Erm... bars on campus, with large print signs telling you where they are, good idea. Accommodation about 2 minutes' walk from lectures, I think even I could manage to be on time. Safari on Windows Vista is an abomination. Not the university to go to if you don't like ducks.

Got a couple of other things to write about, but I need to get some sleep. In summary: the world is magic.

Manchester

  • Trains: confusing.
  • City: big.
  • University: seems pretty awesome.

I guess I should fill in the gaps since the start of the year. Where by "I should" means "I want to".

School started. I didn't do as much revision for the exams as I had planned, but overall I felt happier on my way out of the hall than I did on the way in, so it's all good. My ranking of confidence is about the same as previously, with one of the maths exams leaving me half an hour spare at the end, but no such luck in chemistry.

So what took priority over revision? Well, a recent under-stairs cupboard excavation discovered a Rubik's Cube, so that naturally required my undivided attention. I haven't put much effort into learning advanced methods, so I can only manage it in two minutes, which is good enough for now. I've since lent my cube to someone else, and given up cubing for Lent.

I managed to get my UCAS form finished and sent. I'm applying to do CS at York, Leeds, Manchester, Hull, and Nottingham. The first three require interviews, and so far the last three have each given me a conditional offer.

The HTML WG finally published a Working Draft of HTML 5. On a technical level this means very little, but in process terms it's an important step for things like the Patent Policy which I luckily don't need to understand.

We came second in a pub quiz. Which we thought was mildly impressive until we found out that was also last place.

Lost is back, and series 4 is really good so far. I'll freely admit I'm addicted, and I know to take "Answers are coming" with a handful of salt, but that's part of the fun. Part of why I prefer television to films, but I might write about that some other time.

Charlie Brooker Is Right About Everything, but then you knew that already, right? Marcus Brigstocke, too, but nobody's written a song about him yet.

Yesterday I was at Manchester Uni for an interview that wasn't really an interview, more an excuse to force applicants to come for a visit and a chat and then give them the standard offer. Not that I'm complaining, I wanted to see the place anyway. Got there (despite TransPennine Express's best efforts), and had a fun time working out that the entrance to the CS department was on the first floor. Came out at the end of the day pretty impressed by the staff and facilities, feeling as much of a nerd as usual and slightly less of a dork. The best university I've seen, but then it is also the first... still, hard to beat. Did a legendary run down the length of Piccadilly Station to catch the train back to Hull, which entertained me for no real reason.

It's half term, so my sleep patterns are varying even more than usual and I haven't been getting out much. I miss people from school, some more than others. Made some New Year thoughts - I don't like to call them resolutions - that I think make sense, but we'll see. Without wanting to sound too positive, I think my life's pretty good right now, and the people I spend time with are pretty awesome too. Big things.

tH