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Matthew’s blog

Guitar player, amateur cook & all-round engineer

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The Dreaded Long Lab Report

Wow, It’s been a very busy week this week! It started off as usual, with Monday and Tuesday being the same as always: an hour in the morning followed by PDP (Professional Development Planning) and then double maths. I’ve taken to buying a coffee from the student union shop before the last lecture as it’s always something to look forward to during the first two lectures, and it helps get you through the final one. The  afternoon lectures take place in the great hall. The seats are the fold-away type and aren’t the most stable. Every time someone sits down in the seat in front of you, the desk seems to jolt and then tilt at an angle. There’s been many a time when the person in front nearly had a scolding hot coffee shower! ^^ It feels rickety and unstable but it does the job day in day out, so it can’t be too flimsy.

Last Thursday, I was set a long report to do for one of my labs. In the labs, you follow a worksheet and basically write down what values you need, draw a table/graph and the talk about them. It always gets tight for time, but it’s do-able. For a long report, you have to take the information gained in a lab and take it to a whole new level.  So I started last Saturday afternoon thinking I would have it done by the evening. It took 5 hours on Saturday, another 5 hours on Sunday, 3 hours Tuesday and 3 hours Wednesday to write, finalise, check, proof read and print. This makes a total of 16hours spent on one document! The reason it took so long was firstly, it was my first lab report. You have to include things like a contents page, theoretical referenced research around the topic under investigation, cited figures and graphs, sample calculations and the whole document to be written in a “passive past tense”. Secondly, there are too many people in engineering to do each lab at once, so we have to follow a rota. On my rota, it worked out I had the final 3 labs of the year in the first few weeks. This also means that I’ve been set the last laboratory of the year (Lab H) to do as my first long report. It paid off though, as I ended up producing a 19 page document with close to 3000 words in it, which I’m proud of. I handed it in on Thursday morning at 9:30 am before the 10:00 am deadline, with great relief. :)

The Dreaded Long Lab Report

On Thursday, it was pub quiz night! As I’d spent so long on the lab report, it was a celebratory evening. Josh Luke and I started off the quiz followed by Sam and a few others joining us later. It was a very successful evening, with our group coming 3rd with 46.5/50. The first place was 48/50. The challenge round in the quiz was by far the best round that night. Each group had to nominate a person from their team to go up and do a two person wheelbarrow race with a nominee from another team. After being out-voted in my group, I took the challenge and was in the winning team gaining 5 points for our team. The lads bought me a drink for it, which was cool. Never was a double vodka owed, to so few, by so many. ;)

On Friday, it was movie night! Josh, and Jenny  came over and we watched “The Raid”,  followed by “Crank” and finally “Commando”. The menu; cooked pizza and chips with salad. I had some chopped onion and half a green pepper n the fridge so I decided to put my own take on a classic peperoni pizza. Some oregano and pepper was added to bring out the main flavours a bit more We played some drinking games. The rules being take a drink when something ridiculous happens, when Crank’s heart is featured, or somebody swears twice in a row. Needless to say, there was a lot of drinking involved! :D

On Saturday my family came down to spend the day in Cardiff. We met up at central station about 10am, and went shopping for the day. I had to cook for 5 people in our tiny flat oven at the same time as all my flatmates wanted lunch – not easy! It was nice to see my folks again, and the weather was good for most of the day. We had a great time and I managed caught up on the happenings at home. I even bought a pineapple from the market stall by the train station for 50p, which I thought was a bargain.

The 50p Pinapple

Saturday night, Josh and I went out on a Live music pub crawl. We saw an amazing blues band at the Pen and Wig. The band took a while to warm up, but after they did the lead guitarist was amazing. Tone-perfect shredding, sweet harmonic minor scales and more note bends than you could shake a stick at! Next we went into the live lounge. There was a very professional metal band there, but as it was so busy we left and headed to O’Neils for some nice Guinness. There they had an acoustic duo playing there who were fantastic. Their music was record standard and they used harmonies in their singing too.

I can’t wait to see what the next couple of weeks will bring…

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