Ustinov in the snow
Photo: Meghan Glass
Contents One of the advantages of life ‘on the hill’ is that we
see how the seasons change throughout the year. In
p. 2— GCR: Ustinov Wins Green, Treasurer’s
this term’s Ustinovian, we celebrate Ustinov in the
snow, and remember the days of putting work aside
p. 4— Clubs and Societies: Ustinov Hockey, Darts, to have fun in our own winter playground. If I look
Americas, and UIF out of my window I see snowdrops pushing through
and the promise of yellow daffodils. By next term’s
p. 7— Ustinov Seminars and Cafes
issue, Howlands will be in full bloom again, the
p. 10— Off the Hill: Places to Travel, Durham Ice winter snowmen on the grass replaced by students
Rink, Chinese New Year with books and laptops, April (and May, June …)
p. 13—Alumni and Advice for Job Seekers showers permitting, of course.
p. 16—Social Events: Durham in the Snow, The
View from Behind the Bar, Burns Night Enjoy the Easter break.
The Ustinovian Epiphany 2010 GCR 2
Doing it well on the side of the green
I’m sure you’ll all have noticed bottles, tubs, wrapping and bags; cans; and the big green
that we are soon to enter the final bag for glass bottles and jars. All those are obvious. But
stages of a contest that’s very did you know that you can recycle drinks cartons and
important for everyone here. Pringles pipes in the paper and card bin as well? The can
What? The general election? The (Continued on page 3)
Photo: wallyg / Flickr World Cup? Not those
nonsenses, no, but the College vs College
Recycling Competition! Haven’t you lot been
Here’s the deal: since the middle of
February, everything we’ve chucked out has
been monitored, weighed and recorded (so
it’s too late to be embarrassed about any of
it). To be fair, it usually is monitored, weighed
and recorded, only this time it counts more.
Come the end of term, when all the
undergraduates have gone home, the results
will be totted up and the college that has
recycled the most as a proportion of the total
waste it has thrown away will win the fabled
Golden Recycling Box! That’s probably too
big to fit in our trophy cabinet, I’ll admit, but
I’m sure with all the glass and steel we’ll have
recycled by then we can get a new one built.
Can you tell I’m a bit stoked about the
prospect of us winning this? Hell yeah. The
point is that while, as Ecology Rep, I will take
the ignominy of defeat squarely on my
shoulders if we lose, I can’t single-handedly
ensure that all your waste is recycled, or
indeed, recyclable. Believe me, there are
fewer things I’d enjoy better than going round
everyone’s kitchen and making sure
everything is in the right bins, but, like the
rest of you, I am doing a degree here (all
right, it’s a PhD, and yes, it’s in English, but ...)
so I should be spending at least some of my
time on that.
So what am I asking you to do? Essentially
this: think before you throw. If you’re going
to put it in a bin anyway, why not make it the right one? Green shield: Ustinov grabbed the gong for the Move Out,
There’s a recycling receptacle for pretty much anything can we do it for the College-vs-College Recycling
you’re planning to get rid of: paper and card; plastic – Competition too? Photo by Brian Taylor.
The Ustinovian Epiphany 2010 GCR 3
The Side of the Green, continued from page 2
bin will also take aluminium foil as long as it’s reasonably you’ve washed them to keep your leftovers in. It’s
clean. Ultimately, your four recycling outlets are taken to almost as if they were designed that way ... Remember
the council and waste streams sorted by hand. that everything in the main waste bin will up our total
Now, I know that most of you are very diligent and rubbish amount without increasing our proportion of
bins are getting full up already. In which case, flattening recycling.
cartons and plastic bottles is a straightforward way of And if you’re thinking about throwing away anything
making more room – we can get more in the bin, and unusual – or even still useful – think again! You wouldn’t
when the bags are taken away the housekeepers are not believe that I’ve seen everything from old woks to new
having to lug around two when they could have it all nice socks in the bin (yes they rhyme, but it happens to be
and compact in one. And guys – there’s nothing that true!) The housekeeping team hangs on to bits and bobs
looks more impressively manly than crushing flat a drink like this for the big Green Move Out at the end of the
can with one hand. Although this doesn’t work so well if academic year and passes them on to next year’s
the can is made of steel rather than aluminium. Or if it’s residents and if you ask them they’ll be happy to stash
a can of Special Brew ... anything like this away for you. You may well have taken
The only things we can’t recycle at the moment are advantage of the system yourself – Ustinov recently
food, and the kind of polystyrene boxes that takeaways received the shield it won from recycling the most this
come in. So why not cook only as much as you can eat, way at the beginning of the year (that’s me and your
and saving any leftovers for lunch the next day? As for president, Lara Wood, taking delivery of it in the photo).
takeaways, look for those places that serve their grub in We’ve got a couple of weeks left in which we can
cardboard, foil or plastic containers. Give ’em a quick secure our victory, so do me a favour and keep it green,
wipe and bung ’em in the appropriate bin when you’re won’t you? Once you’ve got it sorted, you’ll find it sticks
done. You can even reuse the plastic containers once with you.
Think before you throw! What goes in what bin
Paper, cardboard (natch); drinks cartons (squashed flat if possible); Pringles tubes (lids in the plastic bin!)
Bottles – drinks, shampoo, washing-up liquid, you name it ...; food boxes/tubs/trays (cleaned); carrier bags
Drinks cans; food tins; aluminium foil; metal takeaway containers (cleaned); metal jar lids
Glass (green bag)
Bottles; jars; light bulbs
Food waste; polystyrene; if you have big items that are still useable (e.g. clothes, books, cooking utensils,
electrical equipment) – ask your cleaner because we can recycle these!
Batteries, Printer Cartridges—Recycling point in Fisher House
The Ustinovian MIchaelmas GCR/Clubs and Societies 4
Just a short report this issue. where possible, provide funding for certain teams that
There have been some great do not receive the attention they deserve.
parties of late (Burns Night, the We have finally sorted out some of the issues with the
Chinese New Year do, the vending machine! Some of you might have noticed the
Palestinian Night, and the Bombay new, broader range of chocolates on offer, too.
Ball, to name just a handful), which the GCR has Chocolates have also been reduced to 50p each! So
contributed funds towards. that’s got to be a good thing, too.
We are, of course, about a lot more than parties. The I’d like to bring people’s attention to the new signs up
GCR has invested in some new equipment, such as the on the doors to the Common Room/game room – there
Monopoly Pinball Machine in the games room, which has have been many nights recently when non-Ustinov
become quite popular (anyone up to the challenge of members have taken over Fisher, to the exclusion and
knocking Jon off the top-scores board should feel free to therefore detriment of Ustinov student who do, after all,
do so). pay for upkeep and the facilities on offer. A lot of
The GCR accounts were submitted to the university equipment (specifically the pool tables and darts board)
and have been accepted and approved, so that’s nice, have been damaged more in the past year than any other
and means I can breathe easier. A huge thank you to year I’ve been at Ustinov, and this is something that will
everyone who helped me with my frequent questions & be addressed in greater detail with College Officers in
wibbles - especially Lars (who doesn’t seem to escape the near future. It is not fair to expect Ustinov students
treasurer stuff!) and Paul Metcalfe. to pay for damage caused by others, so we’ll be trying to
In the latest funding round for clubs and societies, we put a stop to that.
gave money to the new Cricket Club, which has been in The state of the GCR accounts is very strong right
limbo for so long, it’s nice that enough interest has been now, and as a result the GCR will be putting on more
drummed up to make it a reality; the Americas Society and bigger events over the course of this and next term.
will be getting some help for their upcoming parties; and Our new Social Committee is doing a great job, so a
also the Pool Society. The Pool Society’s funding was a huge thank you to them, and keep up the good work.
special case, in order to provide parity for Women’s On a personal note, I still want to hold/host the Grand
Pool. This is something not offered by the university. In Ustinov Water Fight sometime in the summer. (Who’s
the GCR meeting, it was agreed that the GCR could, with me?!) Thanks for reading.
Ustinov Hockey Club
The hockey club has continued training on Wednesday evenings, despite it being very cold on some nights. Some
matches have been cancelled because of snowy or frozen pitches, but we have managed to play a handful, with mixed
fortunes for both men and women. Both teams now lie in middle of the league tables, although the ladies are in the
premiership, while the men are in Division 1. Neither team progressed very far in the trophy competition, but there’s
always next year!
The GCR awarded us funding last term which has now been put to good use with some new goalkeeping kit and
bright shiny new shirts for the ladies.
On the social side, we have entered the Durham City Hockey Club Mixed Festival in April and are looking forward to
days of sunny hockey! And just before Christmas, more than thirty of us went out to Che Vita restaurant to wear party
hats and pull crackers, fostering a good team environment and camaraderie.
The Ustinovian Epiphany 2010 Clubs and Societies 5
Ustinov Darts Society
This term Ustinov Darts team’s straints with organising teams across the university, this
fortunes have been more up and is no easy thing and cannot be done with a snap of the
down than a toilet seat in a unisex fingers. It is usually all planned at the beginning of the
bathroom. From a total darting university summer break (June/July time).
collapse, snatching defeat from the What is needed? Each team needs a minimum of eight
jaws of victory to moments of utter gifted brilliance, it players (nine for the trophy games) with one or two
has been a rollercoaster ride. But, the moral victory has subs in case someone cannot make it. So we are looking
generally been on our side with us winning about 75% of at about 20 people in total. If you are interested in play-
the beer legs! ing darts next year, you need to get in touch with me
As with last time I wrote about the darts team, Usti- ASAP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
nov sits in the middle of the league board. Sadly, we suf-
fered a very annoying 5-4 defeat against Hild Bede for
the trophy so we are out of that. Even so, I am pleased
with the progress; with half of our team comprised of
newbies it always was going to be a slow start, but we
have gelled together very nicely.
So, what next? Well, there are only a few more games
left before the end of the season, but there is talk afoot
of creating a second Ustinov darts team. Due to con-
Ustinov Americas Society
The Ustinov Americas Society has been busy this Indianapolis Colts.
term: as a follow up to our big Thanksgiving Dinner in Later this term we will have our first ever March Mad-
November, we’ve had two smaller events in the second ness Bracket Challenge, and next term we can look for-
term thus far: the Groundhog Day Movie party, which ward to a root-beer float social, 4-Square Tournament,
was held on February 2nd, and the 44th Annual Super- and our largest event for Easter Term: our Cinco de
bowl was celebrated in good old North American fash- Mayo party! So remember to keep your eyes open for
ion on February 7th with salsa, tortilla chips, guacamole, advertisements about those. Some of these events are
and tasty chicken drumsticks. going to be members only, so be sure to get in contact
This second event drew a large crowd to Ustinov Bar, with the President of the society, Meghan Glass
with our own Society Secretary Darrell Rohl gracing (email@example.com), if you would like to join.
our presence dressed in a tuxedo for the occasion
(alright—so he really had a tux on for something else... Proposed Dates for Coming Events:
but we can pretend). Although the *ahem* Minnesota
Vikings narrowly missed making it into the Superbowl May 7, 2010 – Cinco de Mayo Party
and blowing away everyone’s minds with their awe- July 1, 2010 – Canada Day Pancake Breakfast
someness, it was all OK when their NFC Championship July 4, 2010 – US Independence Day BBQ
rivals the New Orleans Saints won their first ever Su-
perbowl with a spectacular 31-17 win over the favoured
The Ustinovian Epiphany 2010 Clubs and Societies 6
The New UIF
After a period of metamorpho- know a bit more about English culture. So if you are
sis, the UIF is freshly motivated interested in attending the café or if you are an English
with exciting new projects which native and would like to volunteer, please send an e-mail
will help you get the most out of to Aslam El-Soudani (firstname.lastname@example.org).
your stay in Ustinov! We are In addition, we are also organising an International
trying to help you benefit from Dress Party at the end of the term (March 13) which
the cultural diversity our college offers by providing you will give you the chance to come around in a traditional
with the opportunity to share your own culture while at dress from your country and find out how your friends
the same time learning about other cultures. from different countries dress and watch some interna-
The UIF has just recently launched a Language Ex- tional performances! We will also reward the best inter-
change Programme which is designed to provide stu- national dress, so do make sure you get dressed up!
dents with access to native and/or fluent speakers of Next term will be just as busy. Our upcoming events
other languages. The programme include a Storytelling from Your Culture
pairs up individuals based on their event at the beginning of the new term,
language desires (e. g., an Italian who the Cultural Day in June with a Cooking
wants to learn Greek is paired with a Competition, and the Careers Abroad
Greek who wishes to learn Italian) Fair in July. For more information, please
and gives them ideas on topics to ap- visit our website at http://
proach within the language as a guide; www.dur.ac.uk/ustinov.college/
but each language pair can run their collegelife/interculturalforum/ or join us
individual partnership however they on Facebook.
feel suits their needs best. If you are Last but not least, if you have any ideas
interested in participating in the programme, please e- of how to improve your cultural experience at Ustinov,
mail Meghan Glass (email@example.com). or if you would like to join the UIF, and help us organise
We are also starting a new round of the English Café! future events, please e-mail me at
This programme is aimed at international students who firstname.lastname@example.org.
wish to improve their English language skills by practic- We are looking forward to seeing you at one of our
ing with native speakers and at the same time get to events!
events. Photo submitted by Annegret Engel.
UIF Committee Members plan the next big
The Ustinovian Epiphany 2010 Academic 7
Rebranding The Ustinov Seminar
Matthew Griffiths speaks to Iliya Lazarov and Kalust Manukyan
How would you was the second thing we created.” They then prepared
react if someone some sample posters based on previous seminars, using
came up to you the new logo and the motto they devised – “Think.
and told you you Share. Practise.” – to check how eye-catching their
were doing it all wrong? In the case of the Ustinov designs would be with a range of different topic pictures.
Seminar team, they were delighted. “An important goal was to attract the attention of the
After the inaugural seminar of the academic year back target audience. We used a combination of visuals for
in October, they were approached by Ustinovians Iliya different seminar themes, enabling anyone who saw it to
Lazarov and Kalust Manukyan, both doing MAs in make the connection easily.” In this way, Iliya and Kalust
Marketing at the Business School. The pair thought that achieved the “professional look” they were after for all
the Seminar series logo and marketing materials could the seminar materials – the logo, the posters, the
do with sprucing up – and were only too happy to bookmark and, most professionally of all, a new business
volunteer their services for the task. Iliya elaborates: card.
“We really enjoyed the first seminar. However as Iliya and Kalust found the Seminar committee’s
marketing students, we noticed that its identity – in attitude encouraging: “They were really responsive and
terms of its visual provided us with all the
representation – did not quite information that we needed.” In
fit the essence of the seminar turn, the committee were very
and could be improved. The pleased with the look of the
point was that such an event, new materials that the designers
which attracts really bright presented. They were
students and specialists, has to particularly heartened to see
look ‘bright’ as well.” students taking the initiative,
I n k e e p i n g w i t h th e using the professional skills
university’s motto, “Shaped by they’re developing in a practical,
the Past, Creating the Future”, extracurricular exercise. Not
Kalust and Iliya set about their that Kalust and Iliya were
redesign by aiming to strike a balance between two without experience: they had both worked for the
different perspectives. “We tried to create a modern Product Marketing and Advertising Department of
and progressive image while keeping the spirit of Overgas Inc, Gazprom’s subsidiary in Bulgaria, and as
tradition associated with the college and the university.” part of this team had created a number of integrated
How did this work in practical terms? “We kept the advertising campaigns.
traditional spirit by more or less sticking to the old The committee weren’t the only ones who were
colour scheme” – using the college’s colours of black, pleased with the designs. “To be honest, we like the final
white and red – “but at the same time we focused on result of our work,” says Iliya, “so we will probably add
clear design and minimalist layout. We both prefer this project to our portfolio. With every new project we
simple designs and we try to follow this principle in our learn new things, and since we are now looking for jobs
work.” intensively, any opportunity to learn and gain practical
It didn’t take long for the two students to find experience is more than welcome.”
something they were happy with. Iliya explains their You can see the results of Kalust and Iliya’s
working process: “We come up with different ideas; we handiwork on the next page, around the college, and
change them, amalgamate them, twist them around or beyond, on the posters for the final two seminars of this
throw them away. In this particular case, the final idea term, on 6 and 13 March.
The Ustinovian Epiphany 2010 Academic 8
Ustinov Seminar, continued from page 7
Above: The rebranded poster’s simple design can be used with a variety of topic images to eye-catching effect
The Ustinovian MIchaelmas Academic 9
Café Scientifique Comes into Bloom Again
Café Scientifique is back. he cited to illustrate the point. He then went through
The first event in this year’s the pros and cons of GM crops, highlighting the fact that
series, on plant science, they do not represent the only solution to our
was held on 25 February in problems. If we find a better way to address them then
Fisher House, and both the scientists would be prepared to take that course rather
talks and the discussion that followed had a strong than GM research – but he pointed out that we have to
emphasis on genetically modified (GM) crops. make a decision, whatever it is. Hesitating is the worst
Dr John Gatehouse and Professor Marc Knight, both option because our problems will not do so themselves.
from Durham University, were the two speakers, giving In the discussion that followed, people from several
presentations entitled “GM crops: a good or a bad departments including Biology, Physics and Geography
thing?” and “What has plant science done for me?” aired their views and asked questions. The audience was
respectively. The decision to invite them was easy; I have interested in knowing more about crops modified to
seen them talk on several occasions already during my have a contraceptive effect to help slow population
PhD and know that both are excellent speakers and growth, about how space radiation affects seeds and
experts in the field of plant science. how movies portray scientists. The tutor dinner
After the audience had grabbed a drink and taken in a afterwards allowed the speakers and organisers more
short introduction on the topic, we got started. Despite discussion over a glass of wine.
having only just returned from Thailand and looking We hope that people who attended the Café enjoyed
forward to his bed, Dr Gatehouse put on an eye-opening it and learned something new. Next term we will be
presentation. He talked about how GM crops are a way holding an event on climate change (previewed overleaf).
for scientists to speed up the development of improved
traits in plants without resorting to classical breeding, Below: Marc Knight, John Gatehouse and Daniel Tomé field plant
and he also underlined the need to secure and increase questions from an engaged audience at Café Scientifique
agricultural supply in a world where population is still
increasing rapidly. He also
examined why Europe and
Japan are resistant to GM
crops, and analysed the
“fear factor” that scare-
mongering against GM
strains has generated.
Professor Knight then
talked about examples of
how plants have changed
and continue to change
our lives. That the longest-
lived organism in the world
is a tree, the first observed
cells came from a plant and
the beginnings of
civilization required the
development of agriculture
were just a few examples
The Ustinovian MIchaelmas Academic/ Off the Hill 10
Café Scientifique Preview – “Climate Change: The Scientists’ View”
The subject of climate change is responsible for millions of pounds of government
now a global issue and no longer funding, with the aim of improving our understanding of
confined solely to academic the science. Although communication between scientists
research. The increasing level of is efficient, transferring this information to the public is
attention that the subject attracts difficult, and, as demonstrated by the recent
and the consequent media “Climategate” scandal, needs to be handled with caution
engagement with scientists is to avoid misrepresentation of the facts.
encouraging, but has associated problems. Public At next term’s Café Scientifique, there will be a series
understanding is still often poor, their knowledge often of talks by climate scientists about their work and the
riddled with uncertainties and inaccuracies, and this is implications they have for climate change, as well as
leading to a rise in scepticism. discussions of the importance of knowledge transfer
Researchers investigating climate change are between scientists and the public.
There are plenty of places to escape to without ven- scribes how the implements in the torture chambers
turing too far afield and without spending too much were filmed seemingly coming to life by channel four. It
money for action, history, or relaxation. has been featured on both Most Haunted and The Scari-
Tynemouth and Saltburn beaches in Northumberland est Places on Earth. Another less frightening location is
are two of the finest in the country for surfing; the for- Raby Castle which is just over thirty minutes drive from
mer is even host of the O’Neill British National Surfing Durham and has very beautiful grounds. Beamish Open
Competition in October. A lesson in surfing, the hire of Air Museum is an interesting experience, allowing you
a surf board and a wet suit from the Tynemouth Surf to actually walk around houses and streets which look
Co. will set you back very little. Something else similarly exactly as they would have in the 1800s and 1900s. Visit
thrilling and aquatic can be found at www.beamish.org.uk for further information.
www.4seasons.co.uk who offer whitewater rafting For nature-lovers, consider Tynemouth’s Blue Reef
courses for beginners and veterans of the whitewater Aquarium, which can be reached using the metro from
scene. They also offer training in canoeing and kayaking. Newcastle, where you can see seals, otters, and even
If water sports aren’t for you, check out the Peterlee sharks. If you’d prefer to see seals in their natural envi-
Parachute Centre at www.skydiveacademy.org.uk. It ronment then consider taking a boat trip around the
offers you the opportunity to learn how to drop from Farnham Islands (www.farne-islands.com/boat-trips/
12,000 feet safely, but sessions must be pre-booked and index.htm). There are tours that promise sightings of
are rather pricey. A more student-friendly priced activ- grey seals and wild birds and others which take you to
ity is paintballing at www.massiveattackpaintball.co.uk, Lindisfarne, Holy Island. This latter isle is cut off from
mere minutes from Durham. the main land twice a day; it was from here that St Ai-
There are numerous options for experiencing some dan and St Cuthbert spread Christianity in the seven-
British heritage in the North. Hadrian’s Wall is de- teenth century, and it is also home to the St Aidan’s
scribed as “Britain’s greatest Roman monu- winery and the renowned Lindisfarne mead.
ment” (www.hadrians-wall.org). At more of a distance is Visit the tourist information centre in the Millenium
the haunted Chillingham Castle. Located in Northum- Plaza, and they will be happy to provide you with fur-
berland, the website (www.chillingham-castle.com) de- ther details to plan your trip.
The Ustinovian Epiphany 2010 Off the Hill 11
Places to go over the Easter break
Need somewhere to escape to over Easter? Try
one of The Ustinovian’s recommendations...
Edinburgh: Easily accessible by rail (or by coach—the
GCR is running a trip on 24th April, tickets on sale
now!). Take a walk up the Royal Mile to Edinburgh
Castle and (if you’re lucky like us) meet the guy who
did the fight scenes for Braveheart in a gift shop!
Newcastle / Gateshead: Have you been to
the Baltic art gallery? Or taken in a show at
the Theatre Royal? Watched an independent
film in The Tyneside Cinema? Seen a per-
formance at The Sage? If not... there’s a lot
that you still have to see in the Toon.
Liverpool: Recently named the Whitby: Home to the best fish and chips
UK’s Capital of Culture. Home to in the world (fact). Best to go by car.
the Cavern Club, where the
Beatles performed on a regular
basis; go and see the Yellow Sub- York: 45 mins by train, a beautiful
marine near Albert Dock, or city where it’s still legal to shoot a
catch a football match at Anfield. Welshman with a crossbow from
the town walls. Go to Betty’s Tea
Rooms, or visit York’s oldest pub,
Ye Old Starre Inn.
Alton Towers: The biggest theme
park in the UK, Alton Towers is
home to such amazing rides as
Nemesis, Oblivion and, of course,
The Spinning Teacups. Hard to
get to without a car; watch out for a
possible GCR trip over summer!
London: Get an advance train
ticket and it could cost as little as
£20 return. Theatres, shopping,
art, sightseeing—if you want to
take a few days’ break this Easter,
the capital is a great place to go.
Cardiff: A lovely city to wander
around; once you’re done, go get
lost in the Welsh countryside.
Cornwall: For those who want to
get far, far away, take a trip to
Land’s End and enjoy some Cor-
nish ice-cream (the best you’ll ever Birmingham: Britain’s second city
taste, made with clotted cream!). boasts some impressive urban
architecture and a fantastic art
gallery (I got stuck there for a day
after a music festival—long story).
Check out The Bullring for some
The Ustinovian Epiphany 2010 Off the Hill 12
Durham Skates Into Winter Fun
Durham Winter Ice Rink. Photo by Chris Boyd.
With all the snow that’s fallen over the past few before heading back out into the cold!
months, you could probably just skate down the street. Being an embarrassingly big fan of cheesy music, I de-
However, for those wanting a more traditional and safer cided to try out the new rink on a Friday evening, on
way to glide across the ice, then you could try the Dur- which they hold weekly “disco nights.” Living up to ex-
ham Winter Ice Rink, which opened in December 2009 pectations, skaters are treated to dance floor classics by
and will be around until late March 2010. The 20 meter favourites such as Journey and Kylie Minogue, while
by 30 meter outdoor rink is a real treat for Durhamites, disco lights increase the party spirit. It’s a more enjoy-
who would normally have to travel to Newcastle to get able, if slightly colder, alternative to Loveshack, and I
their skates on. Whilst it is currently only temporary, managed to make it through with only a few minor
owners Jan and Christine Eskildsen are running a peti- bruises!
tion for the local council to make it a permanent facility, However, the disco nights do tend to attract large
which has already gained over 2000 signatures. groups of local teenagers keen to show off their speed
The rink, which is at Freeman’s Quay, next to the and agility on the ice, which is somewhat daunting for
river down by Walkergate, is open every day between 9 the more uncertain skater. So if you fancy a slower
am and 10 pm, and costs students £5.50 for a one hour pace, visiting during the day is probably a better option
45 minute slot. After skating, you can rest your weary when, although still rather busy, there are a few more
legs in the Crystal Café right next to the rink, which people clinging to the side!
offers hot drinks and snacks like cookies and crisps. In addition to casual skating sessions, the Durham
The hot chocolate is particularly good for warming up (Continued on page 13)
The Ustinovian Epiphany 2010 Off the Hill 13
Durham Skates, continued from page 12
Winter Ice Rink is also encouraging the local commu-
nity to get sporty: they have recently run an Olympic
Challenge throughout schools, which included activi-
ties such as curling and ice-hockey, and offered a
Learn to Skate programme for all ages during Janu-
Owner Christine Eskildsen said: “It has proved very
very popular with all groups of people. There’s lots
and lots going on and it’s been absolutely brilliant.
It’s been full of really nice people and they’ve all en-
joyed themselves, so we’re over the moon.”
Deputy Editor’s Note: Ustinov College held what it
hopes to be its first annual Winter Classic on Satur- Skaters zoom past. Photo by Chris Boyd.
day, February 27. For only £3 if bought in advance,
Ustinov students had the entire ice rink to themselves people who have never been on the ice before were
for three hours and were entertained by live music at taught and encouraged by others who have been skating
the beginning of the evening as well as while the zam- for years. There’s already talk of doing it again as soon
boni cleaned the ice. The evening was a lot of fun, as as possible!
Chinese New Year Celebrated in Newcastle
the show. The gala event gathered the talented per-
formers who are currently studying in the five universi-
ties. They played modern rock and pop music as well as
traditional Chinese dancing, and played let and cross-talk
(called ‘Xiangsheng’ in Chinese), which was widely well
received by spectators.
As one of the organizers, CSSA Durham had the hon-
our to invite guests from Ustinov College. Principal Dr.
Penelope Wilson said, “It was an inspiration to see so
many Chinese students from different universities in the
North East working together to produce such a varied
and well-attended event, in such an impressive venue.”
She enjoyed the acts in Chinese and felt the actors’ fan-
Photo submitted by Qingrui Meng.
tastic energy and pace.
Five CSSAs (Chinese Students & Scholars Associa- The Assistant Senior Tutor Sarah Lee found the stu-
tions) in the five universities (Durham, Newcastle, dent performances to be excellent. She particularly en-
Northumbria, Sunderland, and Teesside) in the north- joyed the musical contributions and told us, “It was
east of England co-organized a Chinese New Year Gala lovely to see so much talent on display in such a splen-
in Newcastle City Hall on February 8 2010, about one did venue.” They were both impressed by the huge ef-
week before the Chinese New Year. The event at- fort of the organisers, the good organisation of the
tracted over 1500 students from all round the area. The event, and the talented musicians, dancers, comedians,
mayors of Durham, Gateshead, and Sunderland attended and other performers.
The Ustinovian Epiphany 2010 Alumni 14
Fond Memories of Ustinov and Advice for Ustinovian Job Seekers
It's odd to think of the time that’s passed since I
left Howlands, how the life of a Ustinovian has been left
behind. Long past are the days immersed in local north
wanderings, afternoons watching cricket or football in
the Barn, and popping down to the bar at a night for the
quiz. I find myself thinking of these times more often as
the abject reality of a "working life" begins to obscure
some of the leisure activities which I fondly recall from
my time in Durham.
Recently, my days have been filled with greater
workloads and diminishing spare time. Having been
fortunate enough to co-author a national best-selling
book, I’ve discovered that the process of turning a job
into a career is a pursuit of passion that seems
distant from the thought I had when I arrived back in the
United States following graduation: get a job, any job!
Rather than clocking my days by turning out research
project after project as I did for my first two years, I
have found that my career is now veering toward the
realm of "thought leadership," an ethereal label applied
to those who focus more on the advancement of the
field of research, rather than individual clients or
subjects. I often find myself working collaboratively with
academics and other thought leaders in the industry - all
of whom have taught me a great deal and have a great Ustinovian alumni Libby Peake, AnneMarie Lawless, Luke Williams,
and Rory Waterman meet up for a reunion in New York City. Photo
deal more to teach me - which makes me feel as if I
submitted by Luke Williams.
never left the academic environment that I have always
found uniquely appealing. I find myself working heading home to Belfast. There are a few folks to whom
on several academic articles and the initial musings on a I owe a phone call, such as Matt Durey (Collingwood
second book. My co-authors and I hope to begin writing '05, Ustinov '06) - after he has made the transition away
the next book sometime this year, and we're hoping to from academia to the private sector - or Steve
enjoy success similar to that of our first one. Martin ('06) who has signed on at Warwick to pursue
And though the negative time impact of these pursuits some theory and lab work with the University.
is evident, I still find time to spend on older pleasures: a It's always great to see folks when they are in the area.
bit of sport, the outdoors, and spending time with Anyone from Ustinov should feel free to drop me a line
friends. Recently, I had the chance to catch up with a few at email@example.com if you are ever in NYC
Ustinovians in New York City. Rory Waterman ('06) or the US Northeast region, even if we've never met. I
was in town over Christmas where he was spending am the International Alumni Rep for the Eastern US for
time with his wife, Libby Peake ('06), and her family. Just Ustinov, so feel free to use me as a resource!
this week I spent a good few hours with Dave McKinley
('06) over brunch with a mate of his. It was a fairly Fond Memories of Ustinov
riotous reunion as we were reminded of several stories
of our time at Durham. Dave had spent some time out Teaching Fluffy: One late night in the summer, when
in Las Vegas and stopped in NYC to unwind before (Continued on page 15)
The Ustinovian Epiphany 2010 Alumni 15
Memories and Advice from a Ustinov Alum, continued from page 14
we ought to have been finishing dissertations, a small was only partially returned. We kept the rest.
band of individuals (some of whom are still at Ustinov) Kitchen Party Ethiopia: A fanatic of their local
had the genius idea of attempting to train a local rabbit cuisine, a very inviting and nice young lady created an
(we called him "Fluffy") to trail a friend of ours in Ethiopian feast for 10 friends in a kitchen one night,
an attempt to put him off. Though it didn't quite take, it including everything possible and an "edible table" which
was a great and long evening of trying to hatch a plan was brilliant through and through. An evening of
and put it into action. The night, though great fun, would feasting and merriment broke out into a night of
have been better spent at the computer. competition ... for Masters and PhD students, what else
The Notes and the BBQ: Following graduation, it is could it be? Trivial Pursuit. It was fierce.
not uncommon for a few students to be so elated with Portering: I was lucky enough to find brief work with
the relief that comes with "the end" of college that they the college after graduation, prior to the expiration of
act rashly. Some sing and dance and yell. Some spend my student visa. Working as a porter really changed my
some time at the Swan. Some do both. Some come whole perspective on the college. With all that the
home and light all of their notes ablaze in a BBQ pit. A college staff does, it is absolutely impossible for many
year's worth of notes and learning, up in flames. A students to understand all the effort and all the work
decidedly stupid idea. that goes into providing a great experience for students.
Rocks for Dinner: Claiming that he would eat anything, Even those things that get taken for granted (having
one individual was tested. While on a short jaunt to the clean and tidy spaces, for example) are difficult to do
library, all of his food (quite a full pantry) was replaced when dealing with hundreds of characters ... so if you see
with rocks and sticks found around Howlands. Upon a a college employee, give them a high-five and say thanks!
hungry return to his kitchen, the boaster was rather They'll definitely appreciate it.
dismayed with the replacement and made a roaring fuss. Graduating: Don't trip when you go up the steps.
Determining that he had not passed the test, his food
From Grad School to Gainful Employment
There is a serious error committed by several graduates of a Masters or PhD programme: they believe that having
extra degrees makes life easier when it comes to getting work. In some specialised cases this is true. But for many, the
process of acquiring a job or career is still an arduous and potentially-prolonged task. If you are applying for the same
sort of work that you came from prior to your postgraduate programme, then, yes, finding work should be decid-
edly easier, since you did that work before and now you're better educated. But most people come to graduate
schools to advance their situation, as well as their knowledge, so the echelon of jobs, pay, and expectation have been
elevated along with your degree status. So to make a strong transition from Ustinov College to the world:
Work Hard. There is simply no substitute for good grades, being articulate with what you have learned, and putting
your learning into the context of a career. You could reasonably get by on some of these, but to have it all well in hand
can only be accomplished by putting your shoulder to that grinding wheel and getting the work done at a high stan-
Start Early. Applying for jobs is not like applying for graduate schools. And it is not like applying for the job you had
before you came to Ustinov. You're probably planning on a more advanced position than the one you came from (and
likely with a distinctly higher salary). The "bigger" your job is the longer you can expect to wait on applications. Obvi-
ously this won't be true for all fields, but many fields will have a lag period that could last as long as two months. So
you'll want to start identifying candidate firms or universities well before you've finished. Ideally, start sending
out applications right after classes end in May. This can give you enough lead time that you won't be unemployed come
November if there is work to be had and your grades are good.
(Continued on page 16)
The Ustinovian Epiphany 2010 Alumni 16
Memories and Advice from a Ustinov Alum, continued from page 15
Apply Broadly. Don't get stuck on one firm because they certainly won’t be stuck on one candidate. I ended up ap-
plying to over 20 different firms in two fields (market research and consulting, so decently related) and had a few offers
on hand by December. Having more options not only gives you greater flexibility, but it also gives you leverage during
salary negotiations. A small stack of applications could leave you scrambling long after you've sent them in if some-
thing doesn't come back positive, and your competition will be already "in the pile". So apply to a healthy amount of
firms, but don't over-do it either. If you cannot list all of the firms you have applied to off the top of your head, you
have too many applications out.
Apply Abroad. A degree from Ustinov College and Durham University is known in much of the educated world. It's
not just something they say to get you to come to Durham. This means that if you're open to working in other coun-
tries, you should feel free and safe to apply; your degree can carry weight that gets you interviews at your firm
of choice. And getting the interview, after all, is what it's all about. From there, it's all up to you to land that job!
Set Expectations. You know your grades. You know your history. Apply to firms where you can see yourself being
challenged and nothing less. Also, apply to jobs that pay a salary in a range where you feel comfortable. Unchallenging
jobs are boring, and you'll probably quit or be miserable. Working a job that underpays is similarly problematic, and
shifting jobs is sometimes just as difficult as landing the right job the first time around. Ustinovians are notoriously com-
petitive and love a good challenge, so set the bar high on the firms you look at. But don't be afraid to take a job at a
good company that pays a little lower than you might like; you can still learn quite a lot and through your own efforts
get to where you need to go within the firm.
Set Deadlines. Understand that life can quickly become about calendars. You need to set deadlines for yourself to
get on track and stay on track. Around Christmas break, begin making your schedule for when you want applications
out, when you hope to hear back by, and what you'll do if the plans all seem to be heading down the tubes. When a
deadline for hearing back comes and goes, send your reminder emails to follow up on applications, then move on to
the next opportunity.
Use Resources. Durham has got incredible connections out there in the world, especially beyond the UK. Use the
services down at Dunelm or even talk to recent grads about how to get things done. No better experience out there
than by those who have walked the walk you're hoping to pursue. Plenty of job sites out there to help you along
as well. As in academics, leaving a resource blithely un-investigated is a tremendous error that may cost you.
Get Connected. Use networking sites such as Linkedin or Spoke, something along these lines. Reach out to people
who you think can help you, and be sure to help anyone you can who might reach out to
you. Your network can be the most powerful thing in your career arsenal. And for many people, connections made at
places like Durham can last a lifetime. So get to know folks and help each other out!
Get Involved. If you can manage, try to do something beyond your schoolwork. Lots of people have graduate degrees
nowadays (though not many from schools like Durham!) so showing on your CV that you can multitask, that you have
other interests, that you are responsible and time-oriented can be helpful in separating you from others in the pile of
applicants. So get involved not only for the fun and the experience of it, but for establishing yourself as a "do-er"!
No Party Pics. Hate to say it, but when an application comes across a desk, that name gets Googled in about 45 sec-
onds. So, if you're on Bebo, Facebook, Friendster, or something similar, make your profile
private. The last thing you want is for a potential employer to see you sleeping on a street somewhere in Berlin after a
long night out. When candidates are examined, firms look at everything, including how
that person will represent the firm itself. Hiding this sort of stuff is a rule that holds after you've gotten a job, too. I
generally make a rule not to Facebook people from work, if you can help it. Someone writes something embarrassing
on your wall, and it's going to be office news before the end of the day!
The Ustinovian Epiphany 2010 Social Events 17
Ustinov (and Durham) in the Snow
As a proud Yorkshireman, I reading now, lest you feel the need to roll your eyes at
believe that the White Rose this ode to a temperate environment. I know that little
has the best of everything: England’s obsession with its rather predictable climate is
landscape (the Dales); a source of much amusement—and occasionally
literature (Philip Larkin, the amazement—to those of you from beyond its borders.
Brontes); music (the Arctic To which I say—you’re not the ones who have to hear
Monkeys, Jarvis Cocker); football teams (Doncaster the immortal words ‘How’s the weather up there?’ as
Rovers). Perhaps not that last. I have to admit, though, the first thing down the phone line when you call home.
that there is one thing that Yorkshire does especially This little Englander, though, is going to talk about the
well: drizzle. You know? That ‘fine rain that soaks you snow. I’ve seen some good winters in Yorkshire—I
through’, as Peter Kay put it in Phoenix Nights. It’s remember missing school to go sledging, throwing balls
ubiquitous – whether it’s January, July, or October, it’s a of honest-it-was-snow-not-ice that caused actual bodily
statistical fact that there is at least a 72.5% chance that harm, ‘snowboarding’ on planks of MDF down the hill at
you’re going to get slightly rained on. Unless you’re school—but my greatest snowy memories are all of
indoors. (Then it’s a flat 70%.) Durham. In my first year as an undergraduate (I’ve been
Anyone from a place with real weather—and I mean here a while), I remember walking down the hill from
blizzards, tornadoes, monsoons—can feel free to stop (Continued on page 18)
The view from Elvet Bridge in winter
The Ustinovian Epiphany 2010 Social Events 18
Above: The Mound covered in snow; Inset: A view from the old blocks; Below left: Howlands decked out in its winter best;
Far below left: A soft landing; Below right: The Mound gives the Cresta a Run for its money. (Photos: Meghan Glass)
Collingwood to a tutorial, with snow coming down hard
and the wind blowing uphill directly into my face. I
arrived at the tutorial completely untouched—from the
back, anyway. From the front, I looked as if I’d been in a fight to the death with Frosty himself.
Durham looks beautiful in the snow, particularly
when it’s just settled. I once spent a whole day just
walking around town with the snow swirling around,
listening to Sigur Ros’s particularly glacial album Agaetis
Byrjun and just enjoying how new the city felt. There’s
something regenerative, I think, something baptismal,
about fresh snow on the streets of this little city. Maybe
I’m being overly romantic—after all, once the snow
turns to slush and South Road becomes a slippery death
trap, I’m the first to complain. The fact remains, though,
that I look forward every year to that first sign of
snowflakes outside the window, and cross my fingers
that it’s going to settle.
The Ustinovian Epiphany 2010 Social Events 19
The view Parties from behind the Bar
Ustinov from behind the Bar
I’m trying something a little different you’re probably not the first (and will certainly not be
for this issue; namely, writing about a the last) person who had to wait for a drink. There are
party from the perspective of someone only four of us, but four hundred of you; the math takes
behind the bar rather than someone care of itself. For the main, though, and this is a testa-
enjoying the festivities from the other side. I hope it ment to the quality of student at Ustinov, everyone re-
gives you a sense of what it’s like at ‘do’s like these. mains polite and patient (for which we are all very
Working at the bar is a great experience, and one I thankful and appreciative) and usually in good cheer.
have been trying to have for years - every bar job I ever The Hallowe’en party last term was a great event. The
applied to turned me down. Eventually, Darrell gave me range of outfits worn by everyone in attendance really
a job and thus far it seems to be going ok: I’ve only bro- helped make the view from the bar that much more
ken one glass, and toppled one of my supervisor’s drinks interesting: it’s not every day we serve someone
all over his PhD work... (I now have constant supervi- dressed as a dishevelled caveman, Holly Golightly, and a
sion in the bar). medieval priest in quick succession. Behind the bar, we
When it comes to parties at Ustinov, it’s difficult not also went a little overboard on the temporary tattoos
to think about organised chaos. In a good way. The bar that we found in the second cellar – bullet holes, Frank-
and coffee shop area become rammed with students, enstein stitching, and enough vampire-bite-marks to
letting off steam after a long week studying (sure, we’ll convince people we were at a Twilight convention.
go with that), and letting their hair down. As members Usually, bar staff start the night with an equal sense of
of the GCR Social Committee buzz around making sure foreboding and anticipation. Anticipation for the fast-
everyone is enjoying themselves responsibly, and not pace and general good atmosphere that have come to
damaging the fabric of the college (or indeed the fabric typify a Ustinov event (which explains why members of
of reality) in any way, little mind is paid to those work- other colleges crash them all the time – we’re clearly
ing behind the bar. too friendly for our own good). This means we are usu-
With any bar job comes the expectation to work par- ally eager for things to kick off, the hours between 7pm
ties. While we grumble a little at having to work them, and 9pm dragging as we wait for the hordes to descend.
there’s no denying that they can also be a great deal of It also helps that we all get along, and many staff are
fun – the pace is frantic, the volume of drinks being happy to break into some weird dance routine when-
served is sometimes frightening, and time can just fly by ever Lady GaGa comes on the PA (sadly and rather em-
(as opposed to slow nights, when some of us have to barrassingly, this usually includes me singing along to all
fight the urge to reach for a sharp knife ...). This year, the words).
we seem to have much better and broader attendance The Palestinian Night earlier this term was a quieter
for events in Fisher, which makes for a more interesting affair, as it started over the in the Howlands building
experience all round. before decamping to Fisher. The organisers of this event
If I’m honest, when I first arrived, parties at Ustinov were friendly and polite throughout, even if one of them
were scary affairs: hundreds of people squashed into the did accidentally whack me in the face when I was trying
bar, fighting their way through the crowds to get drinks, to explain how to change songs on iTunes... (She was
with minimal breathing room. After attending a number very apologetic, but I bruise like a peach...!) I would like
of them, and helping with organisation my opinion has to thank Mario for bringing a stacked plate over for us
changed considerably. at the bar (of which I promptly ate most).
Unfortunately, given the bar set-up , there are certain If you haven’t attended a party yet, you’re really miss-
areas which become effective blind-spots during parties ing out. They’re experiments in Chaos Theory, with
(nearest the tills, for example), which has frequently led plenty of willing participants...
to some grumbling from patrons. Please remember that
The Ustinovian Epiphany 2010 Social Events 20
Stefan Fergus, Matthew Griffiths, and Maddy Mant
In January, Ustinov hosted its annual Burns Night Formal. Natasha Ella, our formal secretary,
and her fellow Social Committee members did a fantastic job organising such a great event –
the decorations looked great, and everyone had a fantastic time. One of the traditions of
the night is the Toast to the Lassies and the Laddies. This year, two new Ustinovians
gave the toast: Maddy Mant and Matthew Griffiths. Because their toast was so good, we’ve
decided to reproduce it in its entirety here. Needless to say, the formal was an excellent
night, fun and haggis was had by all, and it will be difficult for next year’s committee to
surpass this one. Over to Matthew and Maddy, then. Enjoy... (Continued on page 21)
Toast to the Lassies and Reply from So tucked in it looks like their breeks are stuffed.
With two squirts of Lynx these laddies think
the Lassies That lassies won’t mention their usual stink.
With soapy water you’ve splashed your face
But still picked Matthew to argue your case.
“She’s sweeter than the morning dawn
When rising Phoebus first is seen
And dew-drops twinkle o’er the lawn
I wasn’t picked, I volunteered.
An’ she has twa sparkling, rogueish een.”
Natasha asked, it would be weird
To spurn the girl. I’m too in love
With ladykind to have rebuffed
So now we’ve heard from Mister Burns
Her call to celebrate your virtues –
It falls to us to take our turns
The way you smile, demure; you flirt, choose
I’ll let him start, but soon it’s time
One or, well a few of us
To mock these silly lads in rhyme.
To dance with, ‘cos deciding’s just
Too hard. To praise you all’s my duty…
Whereas you…let’s face it cutie
I know it’s hard to find the words
You weren’t picked for your turn of phrase
To sing the praises of our birds –
Your toast is burnt. Your pretty face
I mean, ladies. (Christ, it’s tricky
Is why you’re up here. All you need
To take the mic and not the mickey.)
To do is take your lines and read.
And so, to make it easier for blokes
I’ve an analogy (plus jokes):
While I’m no Clarkson, I think a car
So that’s a jibe? You think I’m pretty?
Provides comparisons that are
Man, your insults sure are…twitty.
Quite feminine – the paintwork, body,
Let’s focus on the task at hand
The miles she’s done, all these are obvi-
And get back to the script as planned
Ous, but our interest in a lassie’s
Now take these laddies over here
Beneath a bonnet in her chassis.
They’ve been pissed every night this year
I’ll park it there – it seems that Maddy’s
Procrastinating on school tasks
Composed some lines about the laddies.
Taking Scotch from hidden flasks
Hope the doctor finds your liver
In all that mess…that’s if you give a
Dear Griff, it's tough to take offense
Toss about your body’s state
At insults that don't make much sense
A drunken waste is what girls hate
A car, like lassies, has grace and speed
Remember lads – there is a cost
Both qualities boys like you might need
Case 1, Matthew – All youth lost.
To handle girls who stop you dead
With one look from a good-looking head.
The lassies know lads are out to impress 'em –
I’ll have you know it wasn’t drink
Seen in the way their mommies have dressed 'em
But girls that did this – you might think
These lads are wee boys, spit-shined and buffed;
The Ustinovian Epiphany 2010 Social Events 21
Burns Night, continued from page 20
I’m ancient, if I’d never been Maddy:
Near ladies, I’d still look eighteen. You mean those compliments you twisted?
‘Cos unlike girls, we can’t just smear (I wonder why I even bother
the Revlon on to hide the years. With a man as aged as my father.)
I’ll not stand here and take this slander –
Maddy: Find someone else to bat your banter.
Us girls look grand made-up or bare
And take less time to do our hair Matthew:
Than guys like you. But we don’t go for But Maddy, wait! Who else could take it?
A chap who thinks nights on the sofa
Are best spent with a beer – we Maddy:
mock a No, Griff, some other girl can
Lover that knows only soccer. fake it.
Matthew: DRAMATIC PAUSE
Whatever, sister. We keep fit
As footballers, we’ve got the kit. Matthew:
And hell, I’m not a couch potato I guess it’s just the same old
I save my stamina till … later. ;) story
Stamina? You’re not just boring We want to, but can’t say
But a liar, you didn’t hear me we’re sorry
The other night? You didn’t last, Matthew:
But started flagging at ‘half-mast’. We need someone with whom to spar –
You told me you’d not mention that Without me, you’d not be as far –
In front of everyone, you tw-----
Maddy: Along in speaking, which would be worse -
He may distract you with his hair Maddy:
Lift his sporran, there’s nothing there. You’d have to answer your own verse!
Just like the space between your ears. If we lack lassies, who are sublime,
I’ve noticed that you’ve had the shears Aren’t we like couplets that don’t … sound alike?
Up there to cut your hair and give you
Side Burns as a Rabbie tribute -- Maddy:
A look that suits your mannish face. And gals, they may not be profound
But it’s a laugh when they’re around.
Hang on a sec, you came to praise Matthew:
The lassies, not to bury me! It’s not too late to make it right
The two of us are history.
Matthew: Let’s lift a glass –
You’re right, I came to toast the lassies
You’ve let me down, you’re not as classy’s Matthew/Maddy:
The virtues that I went and listed. It’s Robbie’s night!
The Ustinovian Epiphany 2010 Back Page 22
Editorial team: Tim Lane
Editor: Theresa McKinven
Deputy Editor: Allison Weeter Qingrui Meng
Design: Simon Robinson Luke Williams
Features: Stefan Fergus
Cartoon: John Shafer
Miles Hudson Qingrui Meng
Guy Siviour Luke Williams
Meghan Glass Maddy Mant