Jumpstart in a Nutshell

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OK, I’ll admit it, I’m about five days late posting this. I meant to write this last weekend, but never quite got around to it somehow.

JumpStart is the first thing that hits anyone arriving at ECS on time. While it does count a bit for one of the modules, it’s not really about the module scores, more the fun that can be had. Our challenge this year involved creating a photo storyboard which had to meet a load of criteria. Some of these ranged from the mundane (e.g. get everyone in the group in a picture) to the challenging (e.g. must include a piece of male or female underwear). Of course, the answer involved a very weird and wacky story. The main purpose of this exercise was indeed team building, and getting to know my tutor group. Also, it was hopefully going to give us a quick overview of the city, which would be needed for the several trips to Asda, and other stores for food and so on.

We also met a very interesting individual, the ECS Senior Tutor, Eric Cooke. His wonderful anecdotes and tangents meant that his allocated slots during our welcome talks invariably ran over, but I was enjoying it – rather helpfully he’s also teaching me Programming Principles, one of the modules.

The JumpStart plan was well thought out, allowing the whole of the Wednesday for the so-called “Bunfight”. This is a case of every single society and club in the university getting together and trying to recruit as many new members as is humanly possible … a few managed to succeed in persuading me, many others did not.

Our Thursday was spent back in our groups trying to frantically complete the storyboards (while I proceeded to annoy Helpdesk at the same time by finding any tiny problem and trying to get them to fix it – this is not a good idea, future students take note!)

Finally after a very busy week, proceedings came to a close on Friday evening with a buffet and prizegiving in the marquee. Prizes were presented for the best storyboard and various others. IBM were there to present the prizes, which included substantial amounts of Amazon gift tokens, and also to chat to about life in IBM. Although our team didn’t win anything, we’re pretty sure we should have done, if for nothing else, getting the underwear into our story – I’m not sure anyone else did!

As this is already five days late, the next instalment could be a while away, but hopefully I’ll find time in amongst the many hours of lectures that have now started to post here about just how much fun life in ECS is. It wasn’t until I got here that I really found out just how active the ECS community is. And, as Eric would say, “It’s good fun!”

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