I have an unusual routine every Thursday night. I pull on a pair of swimming trunks, a dive mask and snorkel, and a pair of fins before diving into the deep pool at Putney Leisure Centre. I am an underwater rugby player.
Underwater rugby is played in a 3D-environment where attacks can come from anywhere: above, below and all around you.
Underwater rugby (UWR) started life in Germany in the 1960s as a way for divers to stay fit during the winter. It quickly took on a life of its own and today, it is played in much of Europe, as well as the US, Australia, Colombia and Singapore.
I’m definitely a social animal. While I need some “me time” once in a while, I tend to surround myself with people. This is why when I embarked on my first PhD journey, I wasn’t too thrilled to learn that I’d be travelling alone. That sounded so scary, I was afraid that something would go wrong or, in the best case scenario, I’d just feel lonely and miserable for a few days.
Since then I’ve been to so many conferences in various countries, often extended to a mini-vacation. Almost always, completely alone. And let me tell you, I learned to love it.
If you’re thinking of going to Amsterdam, go to Haarlem instead. No, seriously.
Haarlem is a smaller city just 15 minutes away from Amsterdam by train. It’s got far fewer tourists, cheaper and nicer accommodation, and way better food. PLUS, it’s a mere 20 minute bus ride to the beach!
Haarlem’s main square. Photo: iamsterdam.com
With the final assignment of term 2 done and dusted, we decided to take advantage of Eurostar’s new direct train from London to Amsterdam (£35 one way). Well, almost direct. It does do a short stop in Brussels and the total journey is about 3.5 hours.
This is how I’ve been wasting my time.
As the holidays came to a start- my initial mindset was, “Oh, I’ve got looaaddss of time. I definitely deserve a break. One more season of this show on Netflix won’t hurt.” It must have slipped my mind that the exam on the day I go back is not a mock. Now that I’m about 70% through my Easter/Spring break, I am filled with regret and drowning in revision. :’)
- Watching a season of Hell’s Kitchen
The first thing I did was binge watch as soon as the term ended. Personally a big Gordon Ramsay fan, even though he’s not a believer in Vegetarianism/Veganism cries.
- Attending a university fair
Got to rep Imperial at a secondary school in Bexley, London.
“Joining cheer was the best decision I’ve ever made”
“I was not proud of the bow, nor the uniform. I was proud of what it meant”
“When I initially message the president asking to join cheer late in the term, I hadn’t really left my bed in three months. I was then in hospital for about a month in December. After that, cheer was the only time I left my house for in a while. I just want to thank all of you so so soooo much for being so lovely and welcoming from the start, and just overall amazing people.
Dieses Jahr habe ich Deutsch gelernt!
I successfully completed my German Horizons course last week!
Imperial’s Horizons programme provides optional, free of charge, extra-curricular courses for undergrad students. The classes for all courses are two-hours long and take place once a week on campus. Mine were on Tuesdays from 4 to 6PM in the School of Medicine (SAF) building- I’m still grateful I didn’t have to trek my lazy butt half way across campus for them.
The course is split between two terms (Autumn and Spring term); some options last one term in duration whereas others, like languages, last two. The different courses on offer fall under the following categories: Business and Professional Skills; Global Challenges; Languages and Global Citizenship; and Science, Culture and Society.
Watching cat videos can give you a Nobel Prize.
Well, Ig Nobel, to be precise, but still sounds impressive. That’s what I learned thanks to our Graduate School.
I just came back from the Ig Nobel Award Tour Show 2018 hosted annually by Imperial. Ig Nobels are awarded every year at Harvard University by actual Nobel laureates. The only criterion is: the research first makes us laugh, and than think.
Having attended the show last year, I suffered from a stomach pain after laughing too much. The “goat man”, Ig Nobel prize winner in Biology who decided to become a goat for a few days, still makes me giggle.
Coming to you from mid-way through play week.
Picking up where I left off in the last blog post; as the Autumn Play was happening, Freshers’ Play was also a thing! So each year, older years in drama get together to direct (and sometimes even write) 3 short plays featuring the freshers. I remember genuinely freaking out because one of the plays were improv meaning the audition would be too. Honestly ended up having an absolute blast- and got one of the leads. I played a (largely-drunken) drama fresher who was couch-surfing because she had been kicked out of halls. Good times.
Right after Freshers’ and Autumn play, came Christmas play- wahey!
And what netball has meant to me this year
Although netball was not a new sport to me, playing a sport at university has certainly been a new experience. Imperial College Netball Club (ICUNC) has become one of my favourite aspects of Imperial, and even though, for a while, I almost regretted not taking up a new sport, the last few months have definitely reminded me why I chose netball. For months on end, the repetitive cycle of training on a Thursday and matches on a Monday seemed cruel in the subzero temperatures, however, looking back now, I can see how much we’ve improved, bonded as a team and had a really great time along the way.
We can all agree that Imperial has great neighbours. On the same street, you find some of the most stunning museums of London: Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum and Science Museum, all of which are free to enter.
Natural History Museum
If you love nature, animals and science, you cannot miss the Natural History Museum. You’ll be impressed viewing their dinosaurs or experiencing an earthquake simulation in a Japanese store.
Last Friday after class, I visited the NHM as it was hosting a special evening event about the Blue Planet II TV show. I’m a huge fan of this BBC series that manages to capture the wildlife in the planet’s oceans with the latest technologies and innovative filming methods.