Tag Archives: University

Manchester, with sun and people

Tuesday 2nd March 2021, 2.20pm (day 3,477)

Sun on campus, 2/3/21

Misty and cold at home, but sunny and mild in Manchester all day, sun which filled the public spaces of campus with students, at least compared to how it’s been for the last two months. ‘Without making a political point out of it, the idea of ‘lockdown’ is just no longer being confirmed by observation. Small businesses are still being shafted, but otherwise, many people have obviously just returned to living their lives.

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Joe’s tour of inspection

Saturday 17th October 2020, 10.55am (day 3,341)

Joe inspects Staffs Uni, 17/10/20

Astonishing as this may seem, our Joe is now at the stage where he is putting together applications for university in 2021-22. Staffordshire University, in Stoke-on-Trent, is on the list, but all any of them can offer at the moment are ‘virtual open days’ which provide info, sure, but not a feeling for the place. And that’s essential if you’re going to spend three years anywhere. So we arranged for our own little tour of inspection today, both of the campus and the city. And despite it being dead, like the set of a post-apocalypse movie dead — the campus tour did not seem to be offputting. Perhaps then we will be seeing more of this place in the future.

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Turing Building entrance

Thursday 16th January 2020, 9.40am (day 3,065)

Turing building entrance, 15/1/20

Two Manchester morning shots in a row. I must be working. There’s still not many people on campus, so let’s keep pointing the camera at buildings. I quite like the Turing building, in fact. A decent bit of architecture.

Lately whenever I have tagged anything as university-related on this blog, the posts have been ‘liked’ by accounts that are obviously providing contract cheating ‘services’ to students — “easyessayonline” for example. Hi, guys. Let me point out that detection of this kind of thing is becoming easier as we redesign our assessment processes to focus on the student, not their words. Put extra stages into the process, like the submission of drafts and preparatory notes, and milled essays stand out like sore thumbs — and are failed. We don’t bother going through tiresome disciplinary procedures. We just fail them for blatantly having not done the work. I wonder if you advise your clients of this likelihood, and return their money in such cases. I doubt it.

You might argue that it is a free market and you have the right to exploit processes of deliberate fraud in order to make your profits. Whatever. But in the meantime, kindly don’t exploit my blog for advertising purposes, and fuck off.

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On campus (with optical illusion)

Monday 6th January 2019. 2.05pm (day 3,056)

Campus optical illusion, 6/1/20

A Manchester shot for the first time since December 19th. I must be showing my face on campus again. I like it when there’s nobody there. I only went in, basically, to up my step count.

There is a nice optical illusion on fhis shot. Look at the three pieces of guttering to the right and note how we seem here to have one of those ‘can this shape exist?’ dimensional paradoxes. I know how it’s happened, but it’s not immediately obvious on the picture itself.

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Lecture theatres — the same the world over?

Monday 25th November 2019, 9.20am (day 3,014)

UKSW lecture theatre, 25/11/19

A trip away to Indonesia might seem to offer a wealth of photo opportunities, but it’s a work trip — and the more that I do this kind of thing the more I realise that universities look much the same the world over. A Monday morning class, a decent turnout — but no one ever breaks the golden rule: Thou Shalt Not Sit In The Front Row.

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The Old Quadrangle

Tuesday 14th May 2019, 2.20pm (day 2,819)

Old Quadrangle, 14/5/14

Even Manchester’s crowded, fully urban campus can crank up the architecture quotient now and again, especially on a sunny May day. The Beyer Building and its cloak of ivy have featured before. My only day on campus this week, so I’m glad it was a pleasant one.

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The IG Farben Building

Friday 10th May 2019, 5.55pm (day 2,815)

IG Farben building, 10/5/19

At one point during the conference I was attending at the Goethe University in Frankfurt today, there were vague references to ‘our famous building’ that drifted through my Friday consciousness but didn’t take hold. Then, on my way back into the city centre afterwards, I saw the building.

The IG-Farbenhaus has had a chequered history to say the least. HQ to the eponymous company, when built in the 1920s it was the biggest office building in Europe and remained so for thirty years. IG Farben manufactured the world’s first antibiotic — and also the gas that was used in the Nazi concentration camps. After the war the USA used it as a military base — the ‘Pentagon of Europe’; following German reunification ownership passed to the state of Hesse who renovated it and then helped the Goethe-Institut build a new campus around it from 2001 onwards. And all set in parkland (kept free of development by the Americans for security reasons) right in the city centre.

I’m sure this photo doesn’t do the architecture full justice, but what the hell, the sun looks good too.

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Andrea in his office

Tuesday 30th April 2019, 12.05pm (day 2,805)

Andrea in his office, 30/4/19

I don’t often do work colleagues in their natural habitat but Andrea (who is Italian, so presents his name like that) made a fetching scene in front of a blackboard filled with stuff that I don’t really understand. I was a learner for an hour today.

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The cameraman gets ready

Wednesday 3rd April 2019, 9.40am (day 2,778)

RMIT cameraman, 3/4/19

My last day in Vietnam — this time — but I certainly hope there will be further visits. I have had a very fine few days and want to return. The day saw me do the one bit of work I had committed to while here, a talk at the RMIT Saigon campus, and this guy was setting up to film it; I like the random arrangement of table legs behind him, they give the shot some background texture.

The M in RMIT stands for Melbourne — and that’s where I’m heading off to next. Today is the halfway point of this trip as a whole.

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Nanyang Technological University campus

Friday 29th March 2019, 2.45pm (day 2,773)

NTU, Singapore, 29/3/19

Last day in Singapore before I move on once more on this spring tour of Asia. Nanyang Technological University, or NTU, becomes the latest campus to feature on the blog. It’s a pleasant green space, though with that generic feel that many campuses — and, in the end, the whole world — is starting to have. This is one of those shots that would be nicer if it were truly symmetrical, but I guess that level of symmetry happens only rarely, so perhaps I should embrace the nearness of it, its imperfections in that respect.

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