Monday, 13 October 2003

I was in the GTUK taekwondo team championships yesterday in Altringham. I had to get up stupidly early to get there for 8.30am (early for a Sunday I think). But it was worth it as our team got silver for our category - women yellow tag to green tag. We got bronze place for the sparring and then the top four teams had to do patterns and we got gold for that so ended up silver overall.

The sparring was really good fun and we didn't do too badly since we haven't actually done much of it with the proper gear and everything. It was a knockout tournament and we won the first round, lost the second so we thought we were out of it then, but then they called us up to fight for bronze place as there were only six teams. We drew that so had to send up our best fighter for another 30 seconds as a decider. So I ended up going up for that as Sam and Rose who were in my team think I'm better than them at sparring even though they are a higher grade than me. Anyway I won that 4-0. I kept getting my opponent with the same move, she didn't seem to work out what I was doing and I kept getting points for it so I carried on doing it. It worked anyway.

The only problem with sparring was at first we kept getting loads of warnings for breaking the rules. That was because we didn't actually know the rules very well and we had been told different for a couple of them. But by the third round we had worked it all out and settled into it. The sparring looks quite scrappy but its really good fun.

Anyway then it went to patterns which was a knockout thing again. Two teams did their pattern one after the other and the judges picked the best team. So we ended up doing it twice and won gold.

Stockport got the gold medal which isn't so bad I guess as they have the same instructor as us. I didn't actually like having to go up against them in the patterns (we didn't have to in the sparring). We beat them at that but they had got more points overall getting gold in the sparring and silver in the patterns.

For my first tournament it was really good. There is supposed to be an individual tournament in March so I think I will see if I can go in for that. And next time I will have a better idea of what to expect and stuff. And a better idea of the rules!
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Friday, 10 October 2003

It's a little odd coming home to an absence of siblings, admittedly it's nice to see Mum and Dad, but I've rather got used to seeing or hearing one of you lot around. The train journey home was a little better than usual.

I'll be moving onto watches soon on the course after all this time, I'm a bit nervous as I'm not really sure that I'm up to watches. I'll enjoy being able to find my elusive head instructor more easily and hopefully avoid one particular student who is a general irritant for the Horology students, being a "You don't want to do it like that" personality.

Had a bit of a scare at college last Friday, all the staff were called away for an emergency meeting (at 11:00), so training was cancelled until after lunch time (13:45), obviously rumours were flying around, so a student meeting was called to "explain". The Principle in "manager \ politician" mode spent a lot of time saying nothing in particular, so the student asked the instructors for a real explanation. It turns out that it was just about a change in the college's board, admittedly it was the appointment of the stooge of the incompetent £40,000-wasting ex-chairman so there could be some worrying implications, but we eventually got the message that the courses would be unaffected.

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Sunday, 5 October 2003

I've decided that I hate undergraduates (well maybe hate is a bit harsh). Its been really nice living in Withington in Manchester until a couple of weeks ago when all the students decided to invade. There is now loads more rubbish on the streets, usually in the form of beer bottles and pizza boxes, and the bus into town takes so much longer as it usually sits for ages outside the halls. Also there is this flat across the road which must be full of students who don't know how to work a burgular alarm as its always going off as from freshers week. I hadn't realised how quiet it had been over the summer.

Seeing it from a locals point of view I can see why locals sometimes are not so keen on students. I never remember throwing litter on the floor or anything when I was a student. Its probably the small minority, as is always the case, that give them a bad name.

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Thursday, 2 October 2003

Just realised that I haven't blogged for over a week, so my gorgeous green boxes have dropped off the bottom of the screen. Hmmm, what have I been up to?

Back at choir on Tuesday. We're doing some nice pieces this year, Faure's Requiem (jointly with the orchestra), some Negro spirituals (we did one last year, and it was lovely), and other stuff. All looks good. Then I realised that I can't make the concert (13th Dec, Manchester, £3/5 student/non-student if anyone's in the area), 'cos I'm at: a) a wedding, b) a family do, both of which are in Hampshire. Grump. It's not looking promising that another day would be possible instead.

Tried out the Gospel Choir on Wednesday. I was curious. Entered the Catholic chaplaincy, to a small room filled with about 500 women, and 2 blokes (estimated figures!). Just did one piece, which sounded very nice by the end. Unfortunately, there's only one male part, so I'm struggling with the high notes, and the tenors are struggling with the low notes. I'll give it another go next week, but I'm not sure I'll keep it up. If I were single, I might be more tempted to stay.

Finally - today!
I gave a seminar. I usually find this a nerve-wracking experience, despite the audience consisting of the guys in my office (i.e. 3-4 people). Today's went well. I was trying to demonstrate an incredibly complicated computational technique in nice cases, the aim being to demonstrate that it's not that bad really, and to get people more comfy with using it. Makes me sound so considerate, doesn't it! I think people found it useful, so mission accomplished. Yay! Goran was also asking about what I was trying to calculate with it, so I got a lot out of the talk as well.
Enough technical rubbish - postgraduate football is back on! My Wednesday evenings are now complete!
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Hello, I've got a job. County Hall had another vacancy for the same job I was interviewed for in payroll, and they gave me a ring to ask me if I wanted it. I start on Monday and it's 11706 p.a. Got some blogs to read now.
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