Monday, July 7, 1980

Monday July 7th

I had to get up earlier than usual (7.15) and I set off to school at 7.45 approximately. When I got to school the coach was already waiting in the ‘bus turning circle with most of the people on board.

I sat at the front with L. Hoy (Beaumont and D. Verity behind) and we set off shortly after eight. The journey to York was pretty boring (the seats are just too small for me!) and we got to the University at mid-morning.

R. Q. and I wandered around the campus – the University was a massive place and quite well designed I thought – all the buildings and facilities being arranged around a big central lake with a fountain. The atmosphere was pretty much “inner city”; acres of brown, impersonal concrete and characterless grass verges reminding me of a cross between Regent’s Park and Easterby’s Queensgate or Law Courts area.

At 10.30 the EGS lot (plus a few hundred others) filed into the Central Hall, a futuristic looking building in the middle of the campus. Inside there was a stage surrounded on three sides by seats – the building rather reminded me of a TV studio. We were given an introductory talk by Ian Smith (not the Ian Smith) and then at 1100 a talk about applying to University by Mr. Francois Inglehearn. To apply there are thousands of different forms to fill in and procedures to follow – it was like being thrown in at the deep end – a month ago we were all doing what we were given and happily (!) following instructions. Now we are really having to think for ourselves. Most of the students there were apparently a year older than us so that probably explains it.

At 1145 we had a panel answering questions at the front. The only member of the panel without a tie was the President of the students’ union. He was quite a humorous bloke (he reminded me a bit of Mr. Scott) and made out that much of university life involves boozing, going to specially laid on concerts and generally having a doss – an image the other panel members desperately tried to rectify: “As far as engineering students are concerned . . . . . (groans from audience) . . . . “the university involves jolly hard work . . . .” etc.

At one o’clock or so I went to the Snack Bar and bought a can of Coke and a few edibles before RQ and I went off to our sessions. First we had to find the Politics talk, which was held in room 013 on the Ground floor of Derwent.

There were ten people there (including me) and the lecturer waffled on good-naturedly about politics. He also gave us all two booklets about politics courses (“Mexico and Cuba,” “Marxism, Social Science and History” etc.).

We then went off the Computer block where I almost immediately decided a Computer Science degree would be bloody hard! We were shown various VDU’s Computer banks and all the works.

We then went back to the coach and had a boring journey back (during which I got involved in an embarrassing little game with Crabtree, Dawn Jagger and a few other lasses). Jesus!

I got home at half-five and forty-five minutes later I went out to the Society. I went on the bus (46p).

Phillip Clarke had made one of his infrequent appearances and delivered a talk on ‘Soviet Unmanned Spaceflight.’ I was quite surprised to learn that he ranks No. 3 in the world in his field. Peter Garth was also installed as President. Bob Hoyle had regretfully had to resign due to work etc., and Peter Garth was appointed in his place. In a way I suppose I was a bit jealous – he’s been going about a year and is President whereas I’ve been going since Jan 10th 1977 and I’m still only an ordinary member. Not that I’d want to be President it’s just that I’m not pushy enough. He looked quite at home.

I also got “Astronomy” (June 1980) and a long-awaited copy of the ‘Rules and Constitution.’

When the meeting ended I went round to Nanna B’s where Dad, Uncle Arnold and the latter’s vicious dog were waiting. I don’t like dogs that growl.

I’d better stop now because I can hardly keep my eyes open.

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