Brighton at home, and at home in Brighton

So here I am again, in the office on a Saturday. This morning was the first UCAS Admissions Days during my tenure as Head of School so I came up to campus in order to make a short speech to welcome the prospective students and their parents to the University. Although I’ve only been in post for a week and hadn’t had time to prepare a proper presentation I think it went reasonably well. It’s bound to sound like a cliché when someone like me stands up and says it’s a very exciting time to be coming to the University of Sussex, but it just happens to be true in this case. We’re currently in the middle of quite a large expansion in the faculty across the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, or MPS for short, which means that there’s a lot of new blood coming with lots of new ideas in both teaching and research. The buzz around the place is unmistakable.

As far as MPS  is concerned,  today’s event was exclusively for students applying to do Mathematics so I had to pretend to know about  draw on my past experience of working in a Mathematics department in speaking to students and their parents. Of course the various activities inside the School were more detailed, so I tagged along a bit in order to find out what goes on in such events. Among the things that have changed since I was a postgraduate student here 25 years ago, is that there’s a thing called the Creativity Zone, which is a flexible interactive working space for the students to use in a variety of ways. I’m not saying we didn’t have any creativity when I was a student but teaching was rather one-dimensional in those days. I think the wider the range of teaching methods we can deploy the better, because different students respond differently to any given style; what’s best for one may not be best for everyone.

Anyway, in case anyone is interested I managed to find myself a flat in Brighton and took possession of the keys on Thursday morning. I then had to dash around buying bits and bob – bedlinen etc – before coming into work for some meetings in the afternoon. OnThursday evening I made a quick trip back to the old homestead in Cardiff to check everything was OK and  pick up some stuff for the flat (and my P45 which hadn’t arrived by the time I left last week). Passing through London on the way to Brighton last night I managed to make it to the Athenaeum for dinner with the RAS Club before returning late and very tired to my new Brighton residence.

If I hadn’t had to do the honours on campus this morning I would happily have slept until noon. It’s been such a busy week, that I’m definitely a bit knackered.  But then I knew it was going to be hectic and it’s all gone fairly well so far really. Now I’m going to head back home, put my feet up and do today’s crosswords.

The one complication is that Brighton and Hove Albion are playing at home today (against Hull) and their stadium,as you can see from the map, is right next to the campus, just on the other side of the A27…


However, the match is not until this evening (17.20) so I should be able to get home without too many problems.


4 Responses to “Brighton at home, and at home in Brighton”

  1. Bryn Jones Says:

    That’s funny: somebody who spoke to me in the street in London yesterday said something rather similar.

    Anyway, I thought it was the University of Brighton that was directly across the main road from the University of Sussex, not the football stadium. Did I get this wrong?

  2. Mark McCaughrean Says:

    And there was me thinking that you were hoping to get done by 17:00 so you could pop across the road and enjoy some footie 🙂

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