Archive for April 12, 2014

Odds, Ends and Admissions

Posted in Biographical, Education on April 12, 2014 by telescoper

Term has ended at last. These 12-week teaching terms we have at Sussex are quite exhausting, but we got there in the end. In fact, I much prefer doing all the teaching in one block like that instead of having to split it in order to accommodate the Easter holiday which happens when Easter is earlier in the year. It’s tiring, but worth it.

Teaching actually finished yesterday, but today we had yet another UCAS Applicant Visit Day on the Sussex University campus, with both Departments in my School (i.e. Mathematics and Physics & Astronomy) in action.  It’s been quite a nice day actually, which is no doubt part of the reason why today has been very busy. There’s only one more such visit day left – at the very end of April – and then we can sit back and wait until August, when the A-level results come out, to find out how many students we will be welcoming into the first year next year.

I’ve had other reasons for being especially tired over the last couple of days. On Thursday night we had the Sussex University Mathematics Society Annual staff-student ball, a very pleasant affair held in the splendid Hilton Metropole Hotel on Brighton’s seafront. I had planned to leave at a respectable hour as I had to work on Friday (yesterday), but ended up getting home well after 2am.

On Friday afternoon I went up to London for the regular Monthly Open Meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society followed by dinner with the RAS Club, which was very pleasant but I didn’t get back to Brighton until after eleven. I was quite pleased that a bus arrived at the Station almost as soon as I reached the stop. About half-way home a lady got on the bus who was clearly in a tired and emotional state. As often seems to happen this person sat next to me. She proceeded to ask me if I’d like her to sing. I politely declined but she started anyway so I had an unwanted “musical” accompaniment for the rest of my journey. I wouldn’t have minded so much, but she had a terrible voice.

Then this morning I had to get up pretty early to get up to campus for our Applicant Visit Day – not that it was much of a chore to do so because I always enjoy these occasions and it was a lovely morning anyway.

It’s not quite over, though, because tonight is the Annual Physics & Astronomy Ball. It is quite disconcerting to have two Balls squeezed together in such close proximity, but when I took over as Head of School last year I decided that I should either go to both Balls, or neither. Naturally I chose the first option. It’s a tough job but somebody has to do it. I think I’ll need to give my liver a rest for a few days afterwards, though.

Now the plan is to have an afternoon nap before tonight’s event. There’s a football match kicking off at the Amex stadium at 3pm, though, so traffic is likely to be heavy until then so I’m killing time writing this meandering blog post until getting the bus back to my flat.

I’ve just got a few more days at work until I take a break for ~10 days. I haven’t decided yet, but I think I might take a break from blogging then too. But I’ll be back tomorrow on campus to try to make sure I finish all the things I’m supposed to do before I take my holiday.