Confessions of a teenage technology whore

Geographical isolation and dodgy hardware

2003-02-22Travelling into the unknown. More-so than usual.

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Well, today could be going better, I have to say. I hate moving. I hate reducing my life down to a dozen boxes and hulking it around twice in the space of a day. I know I'm not actually doing the driving yet (by the time I am, I hope not to be doing the moving thing anywhere like as often, which will be more bearable) but it still takes it out of you—frenetic activity interspersed with long periods of confinement. Hence the typing. :|

If this morning has been bad (although I haven't actually got to buy another inkjet, in spite of someone helpfully misplacing the HP600 adaptor), I'm aware that things could go hideously worse—I don't appear to have a phone number for Richard (I think he has mine), I've recently discovered that Llandeilo is 12 miles from Llandovery, and I can only hope that the school have been in touch with R about Monday.

…ah, the joy of instant updates, and specifically SMS—now have R's number, at least…

Why are we in Llandeilo, you ask? (Well, maybe you do if you know Wales at all. Work with me, people.) Well, basically because we couldn't find anywhere else. Oh, and another thing—we're staying in holiday cottages at £45 a week: that's nearly £20 less than Cwrt Mawr—we're being taken for a fucking ride by accommodation services in Aberystwyth. This point has been made several times, to pretty much anyone who'll listen (and several people who didn't), and it isn't just me feeling rather narked that we're paying so much for a block with a 2amp fuse system and dubious furnishing. It gives a spectacularly bad impression of the university, especially to postgrads who've been out of the academic loop for a few years. This isn't the Education Department's fault—everything at Aber is handled by separate departments, whose apparent function is to fail to communicate with the academic departments of the uni. :shifty:

Witness the debacle at the start of the academic year—I sent back my form quite late, in my estimation, but received an accommodation offer at the same time as everyone else. Some people were given three days notice that they needed to find their own accommodation, some people found out later that details had been sent to previous addresses rather than those given to Accommodation Services, and some simply never received details. We had people in our subject group sleeping in B&Bs and caravans because they couldn't get anywhere else for the short university sections. We had people forced into 12 month contracts in order to find housing. The university cannot offer placements close to the area, and thus has a duty to allocate space for university periods. Since the Primary PGCE course takes the accommodation for a good percentage of the time we're not there, it doesn't stand vacant long—and since we're being stiffed a higher rent on the basis that is is empty for a few weeks, the least they can do is make sure there's enough to go around! I've been at Aber and I know how easy it is to get uni accommodation in 2nd and 3rd years—and I don't understand why halls have been so viciously overbooked this year: which courses are to blame?

Incidentally, anyone who wants to know what some of the other accommodation at Aber is like should visit www.penbryn-hall.co.uk, a parody site with a serious edge hosted by public-minded CompSci students at AvAngel.com...much of the halls accommodation at Aberystywth can be okay, incidentally—just do make sure that you get a fair service.

Well, that rant (and welcome text message) really quite brightened things up. Now we're just miles from anywhere and I'm bursting for a piss. I'll live…

Next worry is internet access, or even whether there's a phone line in the house to get connected… I'd hoped to post something last minute to the effect that I might be out of the loop for a while, but time didn't permit. I think I told most people I mostly communicate with on-line, at least. If not, here's telling. :)

Ciao for a spell,
xXxXx

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