Archive for June, 2009

Goodbye Goodricke

June 9, 2009

Greetings!

As of Thursday of this week I finished my last exam and I have finished my first year of Uni, a time for reflection if ever there was one.  Although if you said the word ‘reflection’ to any other York Law student they might be likely to subject you to torture, which is quite a tangent on its own but I suppose I’ll briefly explain.  As part of the sparkling new Law course at York, we had to complete a Learning Portfolio for five of our modules.  What is a Learning Portfolio?  That’s a very good question that many asked for a very long time, the answer early on being ‘If we tell you how to do it then that will defy the point in doing it’.  It turns out that a Learning Portfolio is an 8000 word piece of work explaining how we achieved the various module learning outcomes that we didn’t know about.  As a lead up to this we were supposed to have been keeping some sort of diary about how we were getting on with the modules called a Reflective Learning Journal.  As a result a large amount of our Learning Portfolio was suppose to be dedicated to our ‘reflections’ on different modules.  This basically resulted in us all writing 8000 words of made up rubbish a week before our Learning Portfolio had to be handed in.  It was an unfortunate time for everyone involved.  My friend Hannah said she still has nightmares about it.  Anyhow, after that tangent, I will actually get back to reflecting over my first year of Uni.

I arrived at Uni in October along with my mum, dad, sister and Anna (who came along for moral support or to laugh at me).  I was very scared and nervous upon my first arrival, especially seen as though the place I was about to see would be home for the best part of year and the people I met I was going to be living with throughout that time.  I did choose Goodricke College at my first choice of college when applying to York Uni, basically because it was in the middle of campus.  It turns out a lot of other people didn’t because they knew what it was like.  Despite having a better opportunity to go and look at the colleges than others I never really bothered to check it out and lets just say that Goodricke College D-Block isn’t the best accommodation on campus.  Upon seeing my room, Anna commented that it looked a lot like a cell, which is true enough seen as though the walls are just breeze blocks painted a less than delightful shade of cream.  Also, the less than large kitchen with one cooker and three fridge-freezers intended for all 17 of us seemed like a less than exciting prospect.  Later on in the day we all grouped together in the kitchen and took part in some awkward forced socialising, playing games such as ‘Never Have I Ever’.  However, it all worked out eventually as we got to know each others names and soon made friends.  Fresher’s Week was a really great time as we took in all the sights and sounds of York and went to places that we never intend to go again (Blue Fly for example and personally I’ve never been to Ziggy’s since).  It was an really awesome start to our first term and I think we all enjoyed it immensely.
Corridor Photo

After the turmoil and excitement of the first week things began to settle down and we started to get used to our Goodricke surroundings.  Facing facts it was never the best accomodation and things were never perfect but together we made the best of it.  Thanks to living with so many great people it was easy enough to settle in and my only major trouble was cooking (which I have no talent for).  I’m not even sure what I ate in the first term but I think involved a considerable number of Pot Noodles, plain pasta and tins of beans.  Some may even recall me listening to pasta sauce to hear if was cooking (something that I was later much ridiculed for).  I suppose I also got a number of food parcels from my mum via my dad (who was working in York at the time) which helped tide me over, although these food parcels were resented by many of the others.  With some support I managed to improve my cooking repetoire beyond pasta for the second and third terms so I could actually make some viable meals. 

I don’t feel it would be right to finish talking about the first year without mentioning the Goodricke Bar Reps, my good friends Sophie, Tom, Tim and Sam.  They ran for the position in the Goodricke elections in the year and after winning it took over the duties of the Bar Reps, which mainly involves putting on events in the College Bar, McQs.  Every Monday, they put on a bar quiz that we, as their housemates, faithfully attended.  Personally, I have attended every bar quiz they have ever put on, a feat only matched by Dave I believe.  However, my attendance for the last two quizzes of term as severly endangered by the fact that I’ve come home now (is it worth the train fare?).  I’d also proudly like to say that we have been the most successful quiz team of the year, winning many a quiz and many a cheap bottle of alcohol as a prize.

Bar Quiz Winnings Our Alcohol Winnings at their height
Sadly, people soon began to figure out that we were the Bar Rep’s housemates and started to suspect foul play.  So much so we were booed once for winning (some people are just sore losers).  Our success in the bar quiz, sadly, has never quite been matched in the bonus round, which always involves some sort of bizarre challenge.  It is customary that Dave always does the bonus round no matter what it is, however, he has only one once in a dry cracker-eating contest (which left Dave crying and in great need of a drink).  Other bonus rounds have included a paper aeroplane contest (which we definitely should have won) and recently, in a Student Welfare-themed quiz, I had to hold a banana in my mouth while Dave to put a condom on it (not one of my proudest moments).

I have to say that what I have written is basically a random jumble of memories from my time in Goodricke in first year and not half of the stories I have of my time at Uni but I suppose I’ll keep them for another time.  All in all, the whole year of living in Goodricke and all the things that happened during that time with all the friends I made were fantastic and I can tell I’m going to really miss those times.

My course has also proved to work out quite well.  Apart from the Reflective Learning Journal and the Learning Portfolio that I mentioned earlier things have gone pretty well in this first year.  We were put into groups of 10 at the start of year to form a Student Law Firm, which is basically just a group that your in for practically everything.  My group consisted of Aditi, Ben, Felicity, Frankie, Hannah, Ian, Kate, Rachel and Sam, who fortunately are all great characters and we all managed to get on really well (although we have had some differences between us).  In the style of ‘The Apprentice’ we had to name our Student Law Firm at the start of the year and after some sort of team work exercise we ended up voting for Ab Initio (a latin legal term meaning from the beginning) as our name.  From there on we staked our claim as the best Student Law Firm in York Law School, whether we suceeded is highly debatable but from a purely subjective point of view I think we are (or perhaps that should be ‘were’, as we make new Student Law Firms next year).  I don’t think any of us are looking forward to being split up next year and being put with different people who just won’t understand us, however, I’m sure we’ll managed to survive one way or another.  Ab Initio has been a wonderful group to work with and I think we’ve all helped each other out over the course and especially during the exams.  It’ll be a shame to be broken up but I’m sure we’ll all still get to see each other and stay friends.

Moving onto the future, I’m very much looking forward to the start of next year as we all move into our houses.  It’s a daunting but exciting prospect and not sharing the kitchen with so many people is something I think we are all looking forward to.  I’m happy to say that I will still be living with the lovely ladies, Emma, Erin and Sarah as well as two newcomers in Toni and Chui next year on Cosmo Avenue (which is a pretty cool street name too).  However, I’m also quite sad as living with so many good friends was really great.  I think next year its going to be a bit more of an effort to see each other but I for one will certainly try to keep in close contact.  I certainly wouldn’t want to miss out on any of the fun.  Also, I’m sure I have another fun-filled year of Law ahead of me and if not, well I’m sure I’ll survive.  With any luck next year will be just as good as this year has been and I’ll be sure to do my best to make that the case.

To summarise, I’ve had a really awesome first year at University, I’ve made some awesome friends and I’m quite sad that it’s all over but looking forward to the future. 
That’s about all I’ve got for now…

Peace Out!

End of Exams

June 7, 2009

Greetings!

This is my first post in my new blog, as suggested by Anna and much supported by Danny (a long time fan).  I haven’t been blogging for quite some time and I never really knew what exactly made it entertaining but I thought I might as well give it a go again.

The past couple of weeks have involved revising for exams and sitting exams.  There were four in total, a Criminal Law, Obligations, Property Law and Public Law exam.  Two days (and in some cases longer because Sundays and Bank Holidays don’t count as days because nobody could possible do any sort of work or revision on those days) before the exam we were given a scenario and then the exam questions were based on the issues in the scenario.  Overall, I think the exams were pretty well structured, apart from perhaps Public Law, and I feel that I’ve done reasonably well in all of them.  After our last exam, Public Law, on Thursday finished at around 11:30, fellow Scarborough native Ben Proctor and a few others organised a post-exam barbecue.  Through the art of persuasion they managed to get the Law School to pay £50 for the barbecue and all the food.  The barbecue was suppose to go on from 12 til 5 but as the weather and suddenly become unfortunately cold I went back to Goodricke to change clothes and get a coat.  Frankie then gave me a call telling me to come down and I headed to the field we were suppose to be having the barbecue, when I arrived there was absolutely nobody there and I had to give Frankie a call.  Her and Ian had also arrived to find nobody there because apparently Ben and co. were still out buying the food and the barbecues; so Frankie and Ian decided to go to Derwent Bar to avoid looking odd.  As they were coming back to meet up with me some of the Law tutors approached me asking where the barbecue was, to which I had to explain that I didn’t really know.  I also felt like a massive reject as it looked like I was the only person who had turned up.  The Law tutors then decided to leave to buy a sandwich instead.  Frankie and Ian then turned up, managing to make me feel a little bit less like a loser and we sat on Frankie’s blanket on the grass, apparently Frankie and Ian would have done this earlier but they didn’t want people to think they were on some sort of tragic date.  We then sat and chatted hoping either the food would arrive or other people would arrive to make the situation less dire. 

Eventually, the food did arrive with Ben and Linda carrying bags filled with burgers, sausages, crips, donuts, cakes and gateaux, it seemed we had the potential for quite a feast.  Particularly as there was only a very small number of people around at the time.  Not soon after, if I remember correctly, the Fairfax troupe joined us along with a blanket and sweets and our gathering became a little bit more substantial.  Sam turned up as well as was integral to the lighting of the barbecues as he had to teach Ben and Frankie how to use a lighter and follow the instructions.  Once we actually got the barbecues we then had to wait for them to be ready for use, however, the waiting game soon got boring and we ended up trying to cook some rather horrific looking burgers pretty early.  During this time we actually managed to get a few more people coming and we got a real gathering going on.  Sadly, the barbecue wasn’t going all that well and the burgers had a looked fairly horrible.  Against common sense I ate the first burger of the day in a breadbun with a slice of what was apparently cheese (although as Frankie pointed out it didn’t actually call itself cheese).  The definitely wasn’t the best burger I’ve ever had or what Jonny would call a ‘good burger experience’, however, I think I can count myself fortunate not to end up with food poisoning. 

Not a good burger experience

Not a good burger experience

Nobody else had a burger for a very long-time, which, perhaps says something about the burger that I was given.  Everyone else decided that eating crisps and sweets was probably a better idea.  The poor development in cooking meant that Ben and Linda decided to go and cook some of the food in a kitchen at Derwent.  This was actually a fortunate decision as our barbecue was soon shut down by the man (or the powers that be as stated by security), two members of security came over to us and told us that the land belonged to the University and that we weren’t allowed to have a barbecue on it.  Although there were a number of attempts to argue otherwise this ended up bringing a tragic end to our tragic barbecue as we were forced to put them out.  So, as though the main course was spoiled we moved onto dessert and busted out the iced buns, donuts and cakes.  Eventually, Ben brought out some of the products from their cooking in the kitchen and we did manage to get a few hot dogs and burgers going.  After eating so much low quality food I started feeling quite ill so I decided to stop there.  During all this time, Sam had been drinking cans of Strongbow and somehow managed to get incredibly drunk.  As Sam is a very energetic character at the best of times this turned out to be quite eventful.  Sam ended up doing a variety of gymnastic manoeuvres including numerous attempts at a no-handed cartwheel (which is about as dangerous as it sounds), which he didn’t quite pull off but he didn’t injure himself which may be more impressive.  Sam’s other antics included stinging his feet on nettles by going to the toilet in a bush with bare feet and having a wrestling match with Ben.  Impressively, despite Ben’s massive height advantage and Sam’s very drunken state, Sam managed to stay on his feet the whole time and even managed to floor Ben.  After all this excitement, time was pressing on and as the plan was to catch the train to Leeds at 7:30 for a night out we all decided to head back to our respective homes.  Sam, despite being blathered, insisted that he was going to go play badminton, which against better advice he did. 

Later that evening, there was celebratory night out to Leeds for the end of our exams.  I was in two minds about going but I decided, seen as though I was going home on Friday, that I should do something exciting before I go.  I’m glad to say that I didn’t regret this decision and it was an awesome evening.  I met Ben, Ian and the others in The Courtyard (the Student Union Bar) and then we booked taxis.  Sam was supposed to turn up but after his incredible drunken performance at the BBQ and going to play badminton afterwards we all had our doubts about him.  Felicity managed to turn up, although she sadly missed the barbecue, which was good.  As the taxis arrived Ian and Felicity went to throw a plastic bottle at Sam’s window in an attempt to wake up Sam.  Sam did wake up but it was a bit too late as he wasn’t dressed or anything so we caught the taxi and Sam managed to catch up later.  We arrived at the station and bought our tickets and then had to wait around in the cold for the train to arrive.  Sam managed to catch up before the train and Frankie along with a couple of her housemates turned up in time also.  Frankie’s choice of dress wasn’t all that appropriate for the temperature and so I ended up lending her my cardigan as we stood at the platform.  Eventually the train arrived and after some confusion about which train we were getting on we got on the right train and managed to get to Leeds.

Upon our arrival we headed out to find somewhere, sadly that place ended up being Yates’s which to put it politely had nobody our age in it.  Felicity, Sam and I decided it wasn’t worth the expensive prices in a place we didn’t want to be so we just sat and chatted.  While we were talking Felicity decided that I couldn’t understand sarcasm (although I beg to differ) and so she said that she would wink when she was being sarcastic for my benefit.  This then led to just saying ‘wink’ at the end of sentences or putting them at the end of each other’s sentences to imply something very different from what we were saying.  Such as the time when Felicity said ‘I am not a racist’ to which I replied ‘Wink’.  That was about as much entertainment as we got out of Yates’s and we were glad to move on.  However, as nobody seemed to know where to go we ended up in an almost equally empty Varsity, next to Oceania (our destination for the evening, for the purpose of 80p drinks).  In Varsity, we had a few drinks, sat and chatted, Sam sang every song that cam on, Felicity and I bonded over our shared appreciation of Irn Bru and the lads almost ended up in a fight over a pool table.  After Varsity, we decided to head to Oceania which was next door and get started on some 80p drinks.
Somebody decided that we should start by going to the top floor, where we bought some drinks and watched a few breakdancers have a dance-off (something that doesn’t happen in York so often).  Sam, Felicity and I soon managed to lose everyone in a very short period of time and ended up hitting the dancefloor by ourselves.  There were certainly a few odd characters out that evening, particularly those who were dancing by themselves and some of their dancing was verging on criminal.

Sam & Felicity in Oceania

Sam & Felicity in Oceania

Clearly, the three of us brightened up the dancefloor no end and after some more dancing and little more drinking we managed to attract our other friends back to us.  We managed to dance with Ian, Sarah, Frankie and her housemates before the night was through.  As it approached 3:00 we decided it was time to group together and go, we met up with April who tried to organise everyone and we set off.  Before heading to the train station, Sam went for a late night McDonalds while some of the others went to Subway.  Sam shared his food with Felicity and myself and after trying Sam’s mayonnaise filled chicken burger I started making obscure Pulp Fiction references.  Surprsingly, Felicity actualy knew what I was talking about, suprising because if I’m not talking to Adam or Dan usually my obscure quotations go completely to waste.  We managed to arrive at the train station in time for the last train, although it was later than expected, which is when I found out about what happened to Ben.  He was rather conspicious by his absence and when I asked about where he was Ian told me that he ended up in A&E due to a heart condition.  This was certainly a surprise although I had great faith that he’d be fine.

On the way back, Felicity told us all about the delightful stories in the Metro and we chatted until we were back in York.  Once there, we found there was a horrific queue of people waiting for taxis.  Apparently, someone had ordered taxis but by the look of the queue I felt like we would be waiting for ages.  I suggested walking and Felicity said she would as long as Sam came along too.  With some persuasion and Felicity lending Sam a cardigan she had in her bag we headed off into the early morning.  We made good progress, however, sadly we encountered a chav on a bicycle as we got into town centre.  He decided to stop in front of us bouncing the bike on its rear wheel and asked us ‘Have you ever seen a pro-biker?’.  He then hit Sam in the face with the front wheel of the bike, to which Sam was greatly surprised.  We decided that discretion is the better part of valour and just walked around the guy, while a small group of his friends (who apparently were stood behind us) decided to start swearing at us despite the fact that all we did was have one of us get hit in the face with a bike.  Getting away from that misfortune we walked on discussing how we had all been misled as to what pro-bikers actually do.  Later on the walk we also think we might have seen as pro-rickshaw rider but he seemed considerably less aggressive.  We also decided to climb Clifford’s Tower as Felicity said it was something that we should do in our first year.  It wasn’t the easiest of climbs but we all made it.  We then walked on and eventually arrived at Uni as it was getting bright, it was probably some time past 4:00 by then.  I said goodbye to Sam and Felicity, who I may not see now until next year, and headed back to Goodricke to have a good sleep before leaving later that day.  Overall, it was a really good day and I enjoyed going out with my Law friends for the first time, definitely a good way to spend my penultimate day before leaving.

Peace Out!