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Adventures in Academia - Part Three

Some

Todd and Owen are in their first year of their PhDs, whereas I am still working hard in the final year of my MSci. Together we eat soup, visit pubs and struggle with second-year functional programming assignments.

The following takes place between the hours of 12:00 and 16:00.

It was a Wednesday! And it was the Wednesday after my first exam of fourth year, which had gone suspiciously smoothly - no doubt I had got literally everything wrong and failed miserably.

12:00

Having been engaged in a lengthy drinking session the night before (during which I acquired several stamps for my Goose gin card!), I rose late, and set out my tasks for the day - I had to go shopping and have a haircut! But then a spanner was thrown into the works - Todd called t boys to arms and a soupy appointment was arranged, bang on 14:00. There was one hope for my carefully planned day - soup could be subtly slipped in between my Aldi trip and my haircut. It was risky, but it could be done!

13:00

I wrote up my shopping list and away I went, arriving at Aldi with plenty of time to spare. Using my well-established knowledge of the store layout, I weaved through the other customers and ticked off various things from my shopping list. But when I got to butter, I was confused. Where was the butter? Had they moved it? Had they stopped selling it altogether? This was a shambles!

Of course they hadn’t actually stopped selling butter - that would be ridiculous! But it had moved, and it took me a good couple of minutes to track it down. When I eventually found it things got even worse - they were out of the lighter Norpak! I had to slum it with regular Norpak, so no doubt my waistline will suffer over the next couple of weeks.

With everything in my basket, I made for the tills. But I was distracted by the magical middle aisle, where I found some Scottish tablet! I added it to my basket and checked out as usual, although I was concerned that the transaction totalled over £17! Clearly I was being greedy with my groceries.

(I also forgot to get shower gel, a classic blunder)

I checked my watch as I left - it was already 13:35! Time was of the essence. I briskly walked home and unloaded my shopping into the fridge. I hurried upstairs, selected my soup of the day (carrot and coriander), and grabbed my soup bowl. But it was still dirty from yesterday! Alas, there was no time - I would have to clean it at CS.

I left bang on 13:45, back on schedule. I quickly paced to CS and immediately ascended. I realised that I had made a fatal error making such a fast walk, as I was now extremely hot and out of breath - and the raw heat of CS did not help my condition! I entered room 119 and stumbled across Todd making a breakthrough discovery in the field of theoretical computer science, probably. Where you had once needed four conditions you might now only need one - so many books now needed rewriting!

14:00

Owen appeared at the door and we proceeded to the DhD kitchen. During the heating process we encountered Ela Claridge, who made the observation: ‘Some men are fuelled by coffee. But I see you are fuelled by soup.’ We were all astounded by this wisdom.

With our soup piping hot all the way through, we headed for Sloman, and obtained one of the plectra! During our consumption, we were confused by the presence of mini flapjack bites and cookies on another table. Who could these belong to? We made enquiries and it turned out they had been placed there to aid in the mental health of the students in CS. As this was a fantastically noble cause, we proceeded to eat many of them. We also discovered a mindfulness colouring book, which would have been calming if there had been any pencils to colour it in with, and if I liked colouring.

Owen suddenly made a controversial statement. He claimed that the Sainsbury’s flapjack bites provided by the welfare people were superior to the flapjack bites purchased by myself (on a 2 for £3 deal, no less) from Tesco! Todd and I were less convinced, so we performed a blind taste test. The first attempt failed miserably, as I forgot which flapjack bite was which, resulting in me eating both of them. But the second attempt was conducted with the flair necessary for such an esteemed scientific investigation, and Owen was fed each bite in turn. After some thought, he said that the second one was better. But he was a fool! The second bite had been the Tesco bite! Thus it was concluded that the Tesco bite was the superior bite - and you got two more in the box too!

15:00

Our appointment had come to an end, and we all went our separate ways. It was time for me to go to the Guild and have my haircut. But on the way I remembered to deposit a cheque that I had received for my birthday, using the contactless functionality on the Santander cashpoint! I then immediately withdrew £10 for the haircut itself, and clambered up to the top of the Guild, where the hairdressers was located. I did once try to put them on Google Maps, but was shot down by Google higher-ups, who are part of a conspiracy to get more people to use the Selly hairdressers!

My timing could not have been any more perfect - as I entered another man left, with his hair in perfect condition. I sat down and a quarter of an hour later I emerged with a fresh new cut. On the way home I bumped into Docsoc alumnus Stuart Pirrie! But that’s a tale for another time.