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"Memories of Imperial"

Was just thinking about other fond memories from my undergraduate days – and I actually really enjoyed my degree at Imperial. Jolly hard work, and Imperial is a bit of a degree factory as far as UGs go, but a good time none-the-less.

I had a very interesting friendship with a chap called Steve, who must of been one of my best friends at uni. I always sat next to him in lectures (when I went) and copied his notes (when I didn’t), we went climbing every lunchtime, and always ate lunch together afterwards in the JCR, every so often went out to Mile End climbing wall of an afternoon. We were project partners, always sat next to each other in the labs, collaborated on coursework – you get the picture. Indeed he was the first of my friends to get married, at the tender age of 22 odd.

The strange thing? In 4 years of doing a degree, I think I saw him twice in a social context (if you exclude climbing/lunch – which was really in the context of work). Once was in the aforementioned Southside bar, and once was at his wedding!! Perhaps you need to understand that we’d (all) often be working in the labs until they shut at 11pm, so we spent a lot of time together, yet hardly any in a formal social sense. Actually there was another occasion, when he came along to an Alpha supper with me, come to think of it.

In fact we got up to all sorts of mischief, including the best Valentine’s day ‘card’ I’ve ever sent (and I still haven’t thought of a way to beat it). Of course this was a long time before I’d met A, in one sense sadly, as it would have been very cool to have done it for her (although it was an accurate representation of my feelings for the recipient at the time, so I can’t really regret it. Plus it made her feel good <grin>). Steve did the same trick to his (now) wife, which in summary involved the ladies each receiving in the order of 10 cards over a period of a week or so (culminating on Feb 14th) sent from all over the world, that revealed a suitable message when all 10 were put together in the right order. I think we had to start in December to make sure the one from Australia would be back in time! Of course Steve’s and my cards were independent, but it was useful to share out global contacts and postage costs for at least one leg of each card’s journey. I do wonder what some our friends thought when they got a package containing a card saying “Hi. How are you? Please post the enclosed cards as near as possible to Feb 3rd, ” (or whatever). “Find enclosed an international postage coupon to cover the cost of the stamp.”). I think I gave away my identity, as I really wanted to know if it worked or not, and she said it was great getting this random card from Norway on Feb 7th that made no sense at all – then another couple on Feb 8th from Scotland and France which still made no sense but indicated a pattern emerging, and so on.. 🙂

Anyway, after graduating he went off to Cardiff to do a PhD (and subsequently a postdoc – and I believe he’s lecturer now), and I ever so nearly went with him (one of our lecturers was going there, and offered us both PhDs if we wanted to join her), but decided I wanted to stay in London and that I’d had enough of academia. I guess we kinda lost touch after that – we still send Christmas cards, and I would certainly look him up if I was in Cardiff (and I would hope he’d look me up too), but I guess that’s how it goes.

Incidently, today’s Dilbert touches on keeping on journal (link should be good for a month or two).

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