Today, in our first SE24 lecture Owen announced some lavish prizes!

Normally when Owen gives out lavish prizes they are of the chocolaty, coconutty variety. Today though, the prizes were for the highest marks for SE20 coursework. Although I waited with baited breath in case someone had managed to beat my 95.5% average, it was no surprise that I took first prize. A girl named Mai took second place and my esteemed colleague and house mate, Kieran won a very close 3rd place. Between us we got £200 in bonds out of Microsoft. Quite ironic that myself and Kieran are amongst the most vement anti-Microsoft students in the year.

To add to this we are now due to meet a Microsoft representative in a few weeks time. I wonder what I should say. I obviously cannot be rude, this would be bad form. On the other hand I don’t want to give them the impression that I am a fan of their company’s software (or their business ethics for that matter).

Normally I really enjoy helping out in SE15 lab sessions, I always relish the chance to encourage our budding young programmers, some of whom are doing incredibly well.

However, there is always an issue with the “computers to first years” ratio and we [the helpers] often have to ask [note the emphasis on ask] second and third year students to come back later. Most students are more then happy to either relocate to Eniac or grab a coffee or three before coming back after the session was over.

Oh if only it could always be the way! I approached a group of three girls all scratching theirl heads over the AI22 coursework and asked as politely as I could if they’d mind coming back later. They certainly did mind. I’ve never seen such pretty faces contort into such grusome sneers as the blonde one protested “WE HAVE COURSEWORK TO DO, WE HAVEN’T DONE IT YET! BESIDES WE’RE ONLY USING ONE MACHINE!!!!”

Did I deserve such harsh barating? I only asked, I am nothing but a loley happy helper doing my job. This encounter totally sapped any enjoyment I normally get from working in the labs [so thanks if you’re reading].

They were only using one machine, but there were none free with four 1st years waiting, how selfish! So what if they have coursework, what do they think the 1st years were doing? They have coursework too and the lab was booked for them.

Another Thursday, another early morning SY21 lecture. As we were walking in Michelle asked the question that we’ve all asked ourselves; “Why do they put his lectures so early in the morning?, its not fair”

It isn’t fair, Kevin might be a good person, but he isn’t the best lecturer [no offense Kevin if you’re reading]. He knows his subject material, but he isn’t great at conveying his knowledge. His constant pauses, memory lapses, goofs and reiterations makes for a very dull lecture. So when we are all sitting there at 9am, its a miracle we manage to stay awake.

I don’t believe in miracles, and I was proven correct today, as Michelle demonstrated a whole range of “sleeping whilst seated in a lecture theatre” positions; the ‘leaning tower of lectures’ pose, the ‘hollow gorge’ pose and the ‘Poirot investigates’ pose.

Today was our first shift of demonstrating in an SE15 lab. Myself, Kieran, Sarann and George [Helyar] were the first up at 2pm.

The session went well, I was able to answer most peoples questions without any difficulty, although I did need Kieran’s help with one Linux question. There were several first years who were asking lots of general programming questions, giving me a chance to shine. I really get a kick out of explaining concepts to people. It keeps me reminded why I consider going into teaching after my degree.

I am looking forward to our next session next Thursday already :)