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27 October 2009

First Day at Uni

Today was my first day at Uni. I arrived on time (I found out yesterday that I was living in the wrong time zone, sometime after I arrived daylight savings ended or something like that. I was living an hour ahead). I met my supervisor, and we began to go through all the paperwork. So after filling out and signing some forms I went to get registered and get a bank account. I mostly got registered but needed to get a photo for my id card. I forgot to take my passport with me so the bank account had to wait.

I went on a tour of the new sports building because Anne-Marie, my supervisor, had been invited on one. It is called the Kingfisher club, and is right on campus and is real fancy. It has a nice pool and all these classes to go to. If you join the pool is free and some of the classes, and they give you some sort of personal fitness plan. Maybe I will join when I start getting paid. The pool looks good.

Anyway after that I went home to get the things I needed for the bank account. I go back to the bank (and it is a 25 minute walk from my place to uni) and the bank tells me I need proof of my address from the admissions office. That is ok because I still needed to get my student id so I go back to registration and do that and they tell me that admissions is on the ground floor. I go down there, and this time I don't have to wait in a line which is good, and they tell me that they don't give out letters with your address on them! So they tell me to go to International affairs. I considered just going back to the Martin Ryan Institute at this point because the bank said that a letter from the head of department would do. But Heads of Departments are generally busy so I went to International affairs (luckily after having a walk round yesterday I had already found all these buildings).

Finally International affairs was really helpful. I was intending to go there anyway. They gave me an info pack and someone came to talk to me, I assume some sort of adjustment counsellor or liason officer. I'm not sure who she was actually. And they gave me a letter for the bank, and one for social security, and one for immigration. And a map. So finally I was ready to go back to the bank.

And when I got to the bank it was finally all nice and quick. I got an account, and entered some draw to win and ipod of some sort. And by now I was so exhausted. I went back to the Martin Ryan Institute where we finished filling in forms and now all of that is sorted. There is more to do though, and tomorrow the work starts. Today I had a look at the cultures, which are the barnacles we are keeping alive. I will take a picture for you tomorrow. And I had a look as Paul, the other PhD working on bioadhesion, did some histology. He is only just beginning to learn that stuff so I am not really very behind. And then I went home, because I still had more to sort out here. Tomorrow I will be given some reading to do, and will continue to shadow the other members of my lab. I have to get a social security number too, even though I don't have to pay tax.

So I came back to DunAras and finally the office was open. I am now connected to the internet, and got the man behind the desk (not actually sure who he is) to come help me with some things. Got a new jug cos the other was full of brown gunk. He showed me how to lock the balcony door (these things are so simple once you know how) and how to work the heaters properly and stuff like that. I forgot to point out that the fridge seals are stuffed, will have to do that tomorrow because it just leaks water everywhere. And I think maybe the tv doesn't work. Maybe once again I am just not using it right.

All in all it was a hectic day but I got a lot done. I still have more to do and it is getting late. Today I learnt that the weather this last weekend is actually not the norm, a storm blew up before I arrived on Saturday and all this wind and rain (and the real bad turbulence landing) is the aftermath of that. And I learnt that despite looking so new the Martin Ryan Institute is about 15 years old. Goose barnacles are far more interesting than acorn barnacles. I guess soon I will have to tell you all about my project so that everybody has a rough idea of what I am doing.

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