• The Return of the Student

    Today was my first day back at the University since leaving for a three-week trip to Canada at the beginning of last October. I’ve been a student at the University of Sussex since, I think, the fall of 1996. Yes, I’ve been a Ph.D. student now for 8 years. While, that doesn’t beat the record of Dr. Robert Runte, a celebrated perpetual student in my personal circle of friends, it’s certainly getting up there.
    The last time I went away for an extended period of time, I came back to discover my desk was now occupied by someone else. Space is always at a premium here, even though the IDEAs Lab is fortunate to have their very own space fairy. This time, however, I only needed to shove aside a few piles of electronics gizmos. My “new” office is shared with the lab equipment manager, who made good use of my empty desk space.

    Everywhere I look now, the signs of the University’s decision to rearrange the school so that there no longer is a School of Cognitive and Computing Science are in obvious fruition. Even my building, previously known as COGs, is now just relegated to the not-so-glamorous Pevensey II. Printers have moved, the wireless network is finally launched to the public, and I cannot find the departmental support pages to save my life. Irrespective of the changes, it’s good to see that some things never change: Darren is still “almost done” his Ph.D., like he’s been for the last two years; and Rob is still pursuing his Ph.D. slowly but surely. I’m in good company, I figure.
    I ran into Beate in the hallway and she seemed glad to see me. She’s also working part-time on her Ph.D., but she started several years after me. Nevertheless, I was quick to assure her that she would probably finish first. Shortly thereafter, I ran into Darren, too. He also seemed pleased I was back. It’s nice to be welcomed and assured that there was a slight bit of worry that I might have “slid in the depths of Brighton’s underbelly.” All in all, it’s good to be back.