Let me get something straight first: I was expecting Stratford to be an absolute dump. Ben used to work over that side of London, and on hearing my uni was based there, exclaimed that it was a “shithole”. However, according to classmates, it’s been vastly revived over the last few years, and is much better than it used to be. I don’t know what it used to be like, but I really quite liked it. Plus UEL’s campus there is spiffing.
So what met me first as I found my way out of Stratford station?
And there’s a Nando’s not too far away. Hurrah! At least I have somewhere to crawl and refuel after a gruelling 6 hours of lectures on a Wednesday evening.
After some wandering around and getting vaguely lost (don’t worry – I always do this. UEL isn’t really THAT hard to find. I am just useless) I finally found the Stratford campus. Unfortunately it’s having restoration work done on it at the moment, so you can’t really see it fully, but it is a LOVELY building.
Our induction was led by the lovely Dr Ashok Jansari (who I had been dying to meet – a little bit like the geeky celeb moment I had at RIGB’s Ramachandran lecture). He gave us a general overview of the course and the campus, as well as talking us through some of his own research (in response to questions about dissertations). He was then kind enough to provide us with a light lunch (French bread, crisps, cheese and the like), during which I managed to corner him and generally kiss-arse. I explained how HE is the reason I came to UEL, and I’m really interested in long-term amnesia so wouldn’t it be lovely if I could do my dissertation with you as my supervisor don’t you think that would be a good idea Iloveyou? He looked a little bit afraid, but he did talk to me a bit, and ask me my name, so that can’t be bad, right?
We also had the chance to meet the charming Ian Wells, who will be teaching our Research Methods module. Having just completed (and passed! I got the email today! Hurrah) PY1026C (research methods 1) at London Met, I hope to have a fairly decent head start on the basics, so perhaps I won’t be completely in the dark for this one. We shall see! As for our other module this semester (Cognitive Psychology & Psychobiology) I’m hoping sheer enthusiasm will see me through.
As for the dissertation question? I’m not sure yet. I would love to have Dr Jansari as my supervisor, but I worry that my main interests lie just outside of his current research projects. Nevertheless, I intend to pen him a polite and concisely worded email about my ideas and preferences for a dissertation topic.
We also had a talk from the Psychology library specialist, and then a final Q&A session, but by this time (5pm) we were all thoroughly dazed, and needed to get on down the pub. So we did.
I only stayed for the one drink (an organic cherry beer that I haven’t tried before) but had a nice chat with a fellow Philosophy graduate. Mostly we talked about shooting hookers on GTA4 (ahem) but honestly? I think we were all a bit “psyched out” for the day.
I did the sensible thing and left around 5:30 – unfortunately, I failed to realise (too late!) that this is one of the busiest travel times in London. I was crammed up against strangers in a sweaty tin can, underground, all the way home.
Upon arriving home, I made the silly decision to start my new exercise regime! I have been meaning to do this for ages, but I had a serious reality check when I made the fatal mistake of popping myself on the scales when I was at my mum’s this weekend. I’ve decided to start gently, in the hope that this might trick me into thinking it’s manageable and therefore encouraging me to “keep it up”. I did 20 minutes on the rowing machine, beat up the punch bag a bit and then 30 very painful sit ups. It’s a start, eh?
Unfortunately, I undid all of my hard work by taking Ben to Happy Inn (a Chinese buffet situated in Wing Yip, Croydon) to celebrate… Our two year anniversary!! That’s right folks. We’ve put up with each for two whole years, without killing each other or anything 😉 Seriously though, it’s been wonderful, but I’ll save you all the soppy stuff, and just post a pretty picture instead: