Outdoor pursuits

Things have started to pick up a bit for Cambridge Lindy Hoppers as far as social dancing goes. Last weekend we decided to exploit all this nice weather and hit Parker’s Piece (a park in central Cambridge) armed with a stereo and some snacks. These photos were taken by Graham Stratton. Then on Friday we hit Jazz@John’s en masse (there must have been 25 of us) to stun the crowd, and it worked. A lot of people came up to us and asked us where they could learn. More importantly, we had fun. In other news, the cricket season has started and this year I’m captaining Cavendish during the week and playing for Cottenham again on the weekends. I started well with the bat, making 31 not out off about 15 balls in a practice game at Cottenham, and then made 32 (5x4s, 1×6) in the firsts on Saturday. Unfortunately it was a losing cause however, with our guys bowling and fielding badly on a very fast ground to see Doddington make a whopping 360 off 45 overs. Then a friendly game for Cavendish against Blackheath on Sunday was a success despite our loss. We were missing at least 4 of our regular experienced players, and had a host of guys who’d never played together (or never played before) so we used the opportunity to give everyone a bowl and a bat. Blackheath batted first and made 205 from their 40 overs, and we were all out for 143 after a spirited start and some middle order defiance. Even though we lost, we did well to keep them to so few runs, and definitely put in some good individual performances with the bat . The Cavendish season-proper starts next week, so we’ll see what happens when it counts.

Justin and Sara

This week we were visited by Justin and Sara. Below are just a few of the 700+ photos taken mostly by Justin during the week. They spent a few days here in Cambridge before we headed down to London to hang out with Dozka, Heidi & Ian and Simon & George. Visiting London means we actually got to go social dancing, which we’ve been missing recently. We also finally got to go punting when the weather improved on Tuesday evening, and it was worth the wait.





Walls

One of the things you can’t help noticing when you arrive in Cambridge is the architecture. The buildings with their archways and courtyards and the narrow cobblestoned alleyways. And the walls that surround them all. Signs warn that this area is PRIVATE, or that the grass is for the enjoyment of those more privileged than the reader.In fact the whole place is designed to regulate behaviour in very specific, time honoured ways so that at every turn you are made aware of your place — or rather, just how difficult it is to get to the next. I’ve enountered this not only in walking around the city, but in all of its institutions, from its bike shops to its banks. The most curious example is probably the University Library, which is a rather imposing building already, since its tower is by far the tallest building in the area. Before even arriving there, however, it was more than a challenge to discover whether borrowing rights extend to every member of staff by default. The Library website lists 10 different categories of university staff. Exactly which of these I fit into is still a mystery to me. Despite assurances from some colleagues that staff are unlikely to receive sanction from the venerable UL Admissions Office without considerable effort, I decided to presented myself to the front desk to politely enquire as to the process. I was told that I would need to return with a copy of my employment contract. Dutifully, I returned the next day with my contract, and I was directed to a waiting area outside the Admissions Office, which has a sign on it reading “Please do not knock on this door. We will attend to you at our earliest convenience.”When I was eventually invited in for my interview, I was asked a few questions about my “status”, and finally my University ID card was registered with borrowing rights. Even though I realise that most universities have procedures for all of these things, it’s the feeling you get just being here that gives the impression of exclusivity. When I finally managed to get into the hallowed building it was only under careful surveillance, in an orderly manner, through an electronic turnstyle that required a manual override from library staff. Then I realised I was out of time and left immediately.

Our first visitor

This week we played host to our first visitor — Lotte’s mum, who visited us from Holland. Happily our tiny flat seems up to the task, thanks to a newly acquired inflatable mattress. On the weekend we again had very nice weather, and we made the most of it with a long walk into town and then to Grantchester. We had lunch at The Orchard Tea Gardens. Don’t be fooled by the sunny weather in the photos, it was pretty cold by the time we left and the sun was a little lower in the sky. But it was really nice sitting outside and taking in the scenery.


An Aussie In Cambridge

I’ve recently moved from Australia to the UK to work at the University of Cambridge. I intend to use this blog to reflect on my time here, and talk about issues in educational technology along the way. I’m an educational designer, and have been working at the University of Melbourne for about 13 years. My new job is as a research associate at the Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies (CARET).

This was the first entry in my blog over on the Educause site, which I no longer update.