Friends, Election, Summer and Big 6-0 for someone special
The opportunity to go to seminars and conferences around the world is exciting and highly enjoyable for research students. However, there is always that unbridled joy that comes when one of your close friends come all the way from a different part of the world to say hello.
Visiting friends in London
I must admit, I wasn’t the only person or agenda on his itinerary, but it was such fun meeting up with old friends to reminisce about previous stories and events. He came from New York to visit London for some few days, and it was great to hang out for a whole day with some of our other friends.
The visit allowed me to see some areas in London I usually don’t go to. Such as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where some of the sporting events of the London 2012 Olympics took place. I must point out that Loughborough University has a campus at the Park, which is an excellent location for a University, as it connects easily to other parts of London.
As I happen to be from the Commonwealth, I can vote in the general election in the United Kingdom. Although campaigning by the politicians is slightly different from where I grew up and got used to, it was really fascinating to observe.
I learned a lot about what matters to everyone, and almost how each individual’s concern can never be dismissed flippantly by the politicians. The experience was fun, as I learned a lot from the policies put forward by each political party. Furthermore, how they go about trying to defend them, by claiming theirs is the best for the country.
It also taught me about an aspect of the economy I can admit to being a novice or lack a clue about. The outcome was somewhat surprising with regards to the opinion poll conducted before the election, although it showed the robust nature of the democracy.
One sour point of being far away from home was I missed my mum’s birthday. This year’s one is special as it happened to be when she clocked the big 6-0. I was obviously inundated with the birthday celebration pictures by my siblings and cousins, as is the norm, but I celebrated her in my own little way. I am sure she will read this blog, so I will like to wish her a happy birthday (in arrears).
One of the fun events that happen at least twice every year is the Open Day of Loughborough University. As a student and volunteer (paid) on that day, it is always fun to talk about my experience of the university, research studies, the town, and answer questions prospective students and their parents have.
The total number of visitors on both days of the event I was made to understand was more than 20,000. Yet, the organisational skills and delivery that goes into making the event successful is highly commendable. Not forgetting the ambience and overall enjoyable experience the students make the day to be for all the visitors.
The StemLab was a popular destination for most visitors on the open day. It is a new facility that would go into operation later this summer. It incorporates research equipment and laboratories from several departments across the university. It is a dream lab for research students as we can make use of several first-class equipment for our research work under one roof.
In between academic work and getting carried away with day to day activities on campus, I was able to extricate myself to visit the Loughborough town museum. I have visited on a couple of occasions previously. But, there’s something fascinating about the history of the town and people, as well as the wild life and scenic views. There’s always something new to absorb. I noticed and learned in greater detail the different types of birds kept in the aviary section of Queen’s Park, where the museum is located. It is also a popular summer spot for families, and as such, it is filled with people basking in glorious sunshine at this time of the year. It is complete with a lovely pond and houses the largest bell in England.
Till next time…