Well, maybe the last post was too early I guess. It's wk6 now (our weeks start on a Thursday. Don't ask me why. It's weird, but Cambridge is like that...) And this place is just so fun. Honestly. Week 6 is probably the most stressful time for anyone here in the term, simply because it's the middle, which is neither the beginning (the workload isn't ramping up from zero), nor the end (the work is still pouring in), and, it's near the end, but not quite (which means that stamina is being taxed). But yet, having to do alot of work is one thing, the other activities also pile on, since no one likes to leave things till the end of term to do. Competitions, special occasions, and trips are all organised before the end of term, but not quite near the end (i.e. now).
I've ponned 3 lectures yesterday to visit the Fusion Energy Research Centre. IT WAS WORTH IT! Standing before the giant facility (747 hangar size), seeing all the pipes, the cables, the people in hard hats, the many computer screens (about as many as NASA Houston control room), and having a look a spare section of the machine that was still non-radiated (so it's actually safe for us to see) was like being in the hangar of Gundams. Nothing short of f**king awesome! Sure, we can't see it (although videos were shown), I mean, you wanna try standing close to a 150,000,000C plasma? It's transparent too just so you know... But well, they can't either, at least not directly. Having a tour around is the best thing you can have already.
OH! And the coolest part of all was that we saw a guy working remotely on the maintenance of the reactor! They don't usually put people inside, since the machine is pretty complex (don't want to be stepping on the wrong things), not to mention beryllium poisoning, so they get robot arms, which are remotely operated through a force-feedback system. So this guy was grabbing onto this arm-like thing, and twisting the wrist to screw in one of the tungsten plates (I believe), while watching the actual progress by through camera. Really cool stuff!
Well, that wasn't the only thing that happened so far. Cambridge was up against Oxford for Kendo, and enthusiastic as we beginners were for our beginners' match, none of the Oxford beginners turned up. So we won by default (as Cambridge), but we still had our own match to see who was first. I was at least happy I wasn't last. The rest of the Cambridge team of course beat Oxford by a wide margin, both in the singles and team matches, so we're happy to say we've gotten the cup back. Good progress there. I hope I make some way in Kendo. Such a nice bunch of people to train with!
Back to the present, tonight was the World Cultural Theatre Competition! (well, it's engineering actually...) The idea is that all students who are in the Language Unit work on an imaginary engineering problem, and come up with an imaginary (unrealistic) solution, and present it in the language that they are learning. So naturally, my team presented in Japanese. I'm really loving the language in the way that it expresses certain concepts that make it sound funny, cute in some ways, and is really good for comedy. I must say, I'm sure that everyone in the audience enjoyed the skits presented by us (3 Japanese teams, as opposed to 2 from the other languages), and as a whole, we probably got the most votes. I suspect, though, that because we were all pretty good, the votes were distributed amongst our 3 teams, and hence, we didn't get the individual prize. 大丈夫！カバンちゃんがありますよ！
This Sat's another trip to London for the musical "Great Expectations", and also something like a science centre rain facility which my friend found, and is keen on going. It's supposed to regulate the artificial rain in such a way as to keep you dry while you walk under it. Sounds fascinating enough!
It seems that I go to London rather regularly (4 times last term), but I don't really know how this happens. It's not like I just go there to stroll around or something. Sometimes it's for a convention for The Neo Tokyo Project (which I'm a photographer for), sometimes it's club activities (week after is the UK Universities Kendo Competition), and sometimes, it's because I have to (last term's visit to the Olympic Park Site as part of the engineering course). One of my friends was mentioning that I too much time that I can travel to London so regularly. I assure you I do not! (or at least not as much as you're thinking)
So maybe it was a bit early that I said nothing much was happening. I guess it could be because it was towards the beginning of the term. Alright... better continue with my stuff! Too many things to do, too little time, but a great ride all the same.