And Breath Out…

Sorry about the lack of a post yesterday, but it has been a very, vey busy few days.
I started a key part of my course on Thursday afternoon. They are called LABS and I ahve them for 3 hours on a thursday and another 3 on a friday. Each week we are given an experiment to try and we have to do prep, keep logs, perform the experiment, write up, conclude and comment for each experiment. The first two (ie this week and next week) are just an introduction to using the equipment and the process of labs. So far labs is by far the most difficult thing I’ve had to do, so I need to make sure I do plenty of prep for each week’s labs to avoid being left behind.
The other big thing to happen over the last two days has been stage crew. I said that I had joined up and I helped out with my first gig on friday. I helped set up the venue: lighting, sound desk and inflatable decorations as well as learning some of the technical jargon and where things are kept. When the gig started I ran the lights on the disco floor for the whole night. Basically, Rubix (the venue) has 20 or so sets of lights for the dance floor to create a clud/disco atmosphere. I ran the lights, meaning I flicked them on and off, changed colours, movements, ect. using a big deck. It was the most fun i’ve had in a long time. Being able to choose the right lights and effects for a particular track or chorus was great. It was also great fun when I got oppurtunities to use the strobe lighting to fit in with the music. When I used the strobes, I blacked-out the rest of the lights to give a much cooler effect.
I spent from 10pm to 3am on the lighting desk. Time went so fast because it was just so much fun. At 3am the venue closed and I helped pack down, which involves putting everything away.
Then today Stage Crew had a training day. We had lots of Health & Safety talks and introductions to the equipment. The way Stage Crew works is we meet up every monday for everyone to put their names down for gigs happening that week and also to dicuss any thing that everyone needs to know. Stage Crew don’t get paid, but they do get free entry into Rubix (the union nightclub) for any gig, not just ones your helping out with. Obviously you have to remain an active member or you will be taken off the team. I won’t get my permanent Stage Crew card until christmas, to ensure that I stick around that long, but I won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, there’s just so much to learn and do. Until christmas I’ve got a temporary card.
So, to summize: Lectures getting a bit harder (well LABS are). Stage Crew is fantastic. Felling good. Busy. Tired.

Clubs (and not the kind you use on baby seals)

Over the past three days I have gone along to several clubs and societies to get involved and find out if they were for me.
GU2 Radio: I first looked at joining the campus radio on the technical side of operations. I went to a meeting last week and it looked interesting. I’m still considering it, but I’m not sure how I’m going to juggle everything yet.
Stage Crew: The Stage Crew meeting on Monday was very good and I am definitely going to join them. I will get to help out on the technical side of union events and can do anything from 1 to 10 events in a week depending on how I can cope. I am helping out this Friday with a setup for Rubix in the evening. There is a full training day on Saturday, so I will find out a lot more then (and get a free lunch!)
Climbing: Surrey has a very exciting climbing wall and other climbing facilities in (and around) the gym. I went along to the open session on Tuesday and absolutely loved it! It was great fun, but very tiring. This is the other club I am definitely joining.
Badminton: Just after climbing I went to Badminton. It was busy, but as expected. I don’t think I will be joining though because I will be able to book courts and then play in my own time, which will be much more convenient.
Canoeing: This was a bit of a wild card. I only chose it because I’d never been canoeing before and I wanted to give it a go. We went for a little trip down the canal and back again. I really enjoyed it, but the problem is that it takes up a lot of time to get there and then it is a 4-5 hour commitment, which is a bit much to ask every week. (I know I will probably do that much with stage crew, but that can be scheduled for any day, whereas canoeing cannot.
So I’ll probably end up doing Climbing and Stage Crew, very different but definitely the most enjoyable two of the lot.
As for lectures, they’re going fine and are so far very straight-forward. Got a 10am start tomorrow, so can afford a bit of a lie-in. Catch up with you all soon.