Somewhere Else

Being in a better frame of mind is all you need to enjoy the side the dice of life land on.

The weekend brought a lot with it, very eventful and exciting. I went out on Friday night and had my first taste of that innocuous substance since the start of February. It was an OK night, but any night out in the union has recently turned into Pandora’s box. Bringing up all sorts of unneeded drama and unhelpful situations. It’s not so much a night out as an obstacle course of emotion that I must successfully navigate without making a bad decision I’ll regret in the morning…

After managing to jump through several hoops on Friday without unintended consequences, it was time to put in a full days work at Tote. For the first time since November. After getting to Newbury (a challenge in itself) and following another Tote employee to find the control room, I signed in. Only to find that I, in fact, didn’t have to work at all, only show another new student how to… win! All in all a good day just chatting and supervising, wish I was paid to do that every day :P

Saturday evening Beth came down to Guildford and went to Pizza Express with a few of my friends. After the meal Beth and I went to Fahrenheit 55, a cool bar in town, and had a great chat. Wish she could stay more often :)

On Sunday Beth tagged along to an event MAD TV was putting on in town. If you’ve never heard of a flash mob before then you are certainly missing out.

Our event went really well, despite only a fraction of the people turning up. It was a great day and we definitely managed to bemuse Guildford’s Sunday shoppers :D

Still haven’t heard anything from SONY, but there is a twist in the tale that you may find very interesting :) I’ll keep you guessing until next time, because I can!

  • Happiness. 8 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 3 out of 5
  • Workload. 8.5 out of 10
  • Last Meal. Free food at culture fair!
  • Song of the day. Razorlight – Somewhere Else
  • Thought for the day. “There are two problems with Sunday morning: Sunday, and morning”
  • What I’m Doing Now. Nothing… about time.

Special Post #29: Crossroads?

This is the second post specifically about my placement year. You can read the first post here

So since the last post some cool things have been happening on the placement front. To start with I’m going to get back that list of 5 placements (or “eggs” as I called them”) and we’ll see how they’re going:

  1. Siemens — Undergraduate Broadcast Trainee. As expected they contacted me to say that they weren’t accepting placement students this year. I’m glad they did this before they started interviewing and offering places unlike last year when they cancelled contracts at the last minute. It would have been an interesting placement, but still quite a lot of office work was involved. Maybe this result is for the better.
  2. Sony — Testing of Outside Broadcast Vehicles. “I think this is my dream: I love media and technology and this is such a great combination of both!” And I stick by that even more now! Getting an interview and a chance to look around was exciting enough, and then getting to go for a whole day was just too good for words. I can’t begin to say how much… I won’t say it. I’ll have to see what happens on Monday…
  3. Sky — Outside Broadcasting. I can’t see this happening, it was a long shot to start with, but now Sky don’t seem to have made any progress with processing Josh or my requests.
  4. Sony — R&D. I haven’t heard anything back. Might be one to chase up if I need to.
  5. BBC — Future Media & Technology. Still nothing, and it’s been over a month. Another one to add to the chase up list.

    So essentially we’re down to 3. But wait, there’s more:

  6. Mitsubishi Electric — IT Systems Provision. Based just down the road in Surrey Research Park, this placement looks at the IT system and network used on-site. On the basic level it’s an IT engineer, building workstations and IT support to staff. But on the other hand it has some very cool work with Web Design and internal marketing. I’d be really interested to work here for a year and I’d learn a lot about business approaches to IT systems which is something I’m interested in. So I see this as another on the back-burner.

All in all, my current situation is a crossroads:

  • I either get the place at SONY and therefore have the time of my life, learn so much about so many things I’m passionate about and get to work in a fantastic environment with a world renowned company who are the market leader in the OB field. I’ll need to start thinking about accommodation, travel, money and holidays, which is a whole minefield in itself…
  • Or I don’t get the SONY place and need to start chasing up a few other placements, such as BBC. This is by no means a bad situation, it would just require what would feel like starting again.

I’ll most likely find out on Monday or Tuesday next week what’s happening, and then I put one plan into action. Until then, I have the weekend to look forward to!

Don’t Wear Blue!

I’m on a roll! The maths lecturer for my course this year can often go very quickly through examples in lectures. Trying to follow his logic and write it all down often becomes a two man job, shame there’s only one brain in this head. But today, covering the subject of Z-Transforms (which seem to be the discrete function equivalent of Laplace Transform), I followed every last note and suffix! For those of you who are thinking “but how?” well I can tell you the 3 secrets to being a good student:

  1. Sleep! A regular sleep pattern does you a world of good. 8 hours a day minimum! That doesn’t mean start getting ready for bed at the 8 hour mark, it means be in bed, preferably asleep. I know as much as anyone their aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything, but believe me, those hours become so much more productive if you go to bed early.
  2. Be prepared. This is hard to quantify. For me, being prepared is spending 10 minutes the night before decided what work I want to do the following day. That alone gives me a mental checklist that I can follow throughout the day. Once again, it’s all about making the most out of the time you have.
  3. Doing work. I know it seems trivial, but if a lecturer asks you to look at a problem before the next lecture, then do it. I’m as guilty as the next guy for not doing this, but if you make sure to sleep and prepare then you’re far more likely to actually do it.

I’m not trying to get all high and mighty, I’m only hoping that someone out there will see this and go: I can better my chances of getting a good mark with pretty much no extra effort, I just need to be focused.

Well, I started writing this to say what a great day I had in labs messing around with Chroma Keying, but it’s kinda not turned out that way… ahh well :o)

  • Happiness. 9 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 1 out of 5
  • Workload. 8 out of 10
  • Last Meal. Not as exciting as my next meal: BEEF BOURGUIGNON!
  • Song of the day. Sara Bareilles – Love Song
  • Thought for the day. “The Mac won’t do two things at once”
  • What I’m Doing Now. Cooking BEEF BOURGUIGNON mmm yea!

I like March already

Today was definitely a good day :)

I got a phone call at noon saying that I’ve been shortlisted for the SONY placement. I’m going to spend a full day there on Wednesday with one other guy from my course to get a feel for the job with the other engineers and see what I’m like in the workplace. From that they’ll decide who’ll get the job, or if both of us will get it… WOOOO!!

On top of that I got my computer working this evening! I don’t know what I did, but fingers crossed it keeps on going a while longer!

My computer graphics lecture this afternoon was very full of mind-boggling maths, but the lab was cool, so that kinda made up for it!

I’m gearing up for March, looks set to be a brilliant month with lots happening. This week I’m going to parties and Beth (my cousin) is coming down this weekend! I’m also working for the Tote for the next two Saturdays, so that’ll keep me busy!

It was one of those days where nothing was bad news…

  • Happiness. 9 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 2 out of 5
  • Workload. 8 out of 10
  • Last Meal. Pie and chips, as Will put it “the meal of kings…”
  • Song of the day. McFly – 5 Colours In Her Hair
  • Thought for the day. “Mega pack of Shreddies! It is a godsend!”
  • What I’m Doing Now. Looking forward to another day working on the Media Project with Josh tomorrow…