Wednesday, 26 February 2014

John Henry Brookes Building, the place to be?

 Last time I mentioned that I would give you some inside information, so now I´m going to give you some. Very few students have so far seen the inside, but everyone at Brookes is really excited about it.

Wondering what I´m talking about? It´s this brand new building, called the John Henry Brookes building. All of the Brookes’ bloggers were invited inside for a sneak preview and a guided tour, and I have to say that it´s much more impressive inside than you might expect when looking at it from the outside. From the outside it didn´t strike me as enormous, but it really is.

Inside the building you find everything you need for a whole day of studying. I´m not a big fan of studying on campus, because I always get distracted by people passing by, eating crisps, which by the way is extremely annoying, and I always end up staring at people outside of the window, however I´m definitely going to do some studying at the new library. And if I God forbid should get bored I can just stare at the bright coloured walls. Compared to other parts of Brookes, the John Henry Brookes building is so bright and airy, I actually got motivated and inspired just by being there, so good job to the people who decided to use colours on the walls.

Another exciting thing about the new building is the John Henry Brookes Lecture Theatre. I´m lucky enough to have some of my lectures there, and I can´t wait to try it out. Usually, I start my Monday mornings bright and early at 9am in the old Main Lecture Theatre, where the seats are really uncomfortable, my MacBook doesn´t fit the table in front of me, and the whole room being full of students drinking coffee combined with bad air conditioning, equals a rather bad start of the week. The new lecture theatre however, has comfortable seats and tables that actually fit my laptop. I´m starting to realize that I´m a big fan of modern buildings. Especially those with sockets everywhere. And coloured walls.

If you want something to eat there is also a variety of choices, like a big restaurant, cafĂ©, a bar and vending machines. If you don´t want to sit in the cantina you could go to the lounge where you find a variety of fancy seating possibilities.

Another thing worth mentioning is the big area specially designed for group work. There are several stations with sofas fitting up to eight people, white boards, sockets for your laptop and so much more. Since I started at Brookes in September I´ve felt that Brookes has missed some things to make my student life complete, amongst others a bigger cantina and areas specially designed for group work, so when I saw that they have managed to bring all those things together in one building I was really pleased.

The different facilities have been located at different campuses, but the new building are bringing most of these facilities, like the Student Union, together under the same roof making it easier to actually use these facilities.

It´s fair to say that the other Brookes’ buildings look a little less pretty compared to the new one, but it´s what´s on the inside that counts, right?

Apart from being guided through the building, a building where I definitely will get lost at some point due to complete lack of sense of direction (I really hope they will put up some signs), some of the bloggers also participated in a small photo shoot. We took some awkward pictures of us pretending to have lunch, and at some point I think I smiled intensely at the baguette. The photographer was clever enough to take pictures of us when we forgot he was there, so hopefully he got some nice pictures when I looked at something else than the baguette.

The 22nd of January we got our results back. I woke up every 20 minutes during the night freaking out, but I did better than I expected. I was hoping we would be able to see all of the grades from each module and not just the overall grade, but I guess we will get it eventually.  I´ve done much better this semester than the previous once in Norway, probably because I´ve actually attended lectures and seminars, I don´t think I´ve ever done that for a whole semester before. In Norway I rarely had seminars and because my flat was 45 minutes away from the university including walking, bus, tube and some more walking, I often did the reading at home and went through the lecture slides afterwards. In Oxford I live 15 min in walking distance from Brookes, so it´s easier to actually attend lectures and seminars. Another difference is that in Norway I had my first lecture at 8 am and either the seminar at 3 pm or several days later, while at Brookes I first have the lecture and then the seminar right after or an hour later, and then I´m done with that module for the week. So my tip is to try to find accommodation as close as possible to your campus, or at least as close as possible to a bus stop. It makes everything so much easier!