Are you a ‘proper student?’

I was asked this in the Spar on the Campus at Lancaster University last night when I was looking for change for the bus into town.  They decided that I was indeed a ‘proper student’, and so wouldn’t give me the change.

(There is a happy ending to this though, the bus conductor had no such problems, and happily gave me change – £2.15 return into town – bargain!).

The residential week happens just twice on this professional PhD.  We had the chance to meet the cohort who are a year ahead of us, who are already half way through the two ‘taught’ years (though this is a misnomer).

I’m writing a full reflection on the week, and though I may share this on this blog it’s more for my own personal reference, and will be of interest to see how I feel a year on from now, after the second residential.

But it’s not giving much away to say it’s been hard work, but very rewarding so far.  We’re investigating in depth some very ‘big’ ideas, my mind map on commensurability spanned onto two pages – I need to tidy it up before use but I will post it up here warts and all.

One thing which makes this all great fun has been the rest of the group.  We’re geographically diverse, from Ontario to Japan, via Ireland, Dubai, Greece, Malta and France (and Brewood, the village next to my old haunting ground!).  We’ve all gelled well, and though individuals we are working to a common goal, though separately (does that make sense?)

Difficulties?  The student accommodation is less than two minutes from most of the teaching, but is basic in extreme, with cracked shades, a shower which I have to spin around in to get wet, and chewing gum stuck under the bookcase by a previous occupant (or two).

The other long term difficulty is that so many of my colleagues have very nice, very sleek aluminium Macbook Pros.  My trusty Macbook is nearly three years old, do I trade it in whilst it still has life?

Ah well, had better get ready for tonight, we’ve been left to our own devices, so the great on campus/off campus eating debate continues!

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