Sunday 29. October 2017
I woke up at 7:00 in the morning and after a small breakfast and some freshening up, I was ready to go. After saying goodbye to my dogs, my stepfather drove me to the airport in Copenhagen. I arrived a bit early at the meeting place but it did not take long before the other members of the group began to arrive. Shortly after we began checking in and walked through security, all without any major problems.
The plane trip was alright, I spent most of the time resting while listening to music. The only complaint I had there was that the seats, I found the seats in buses back home to be more comfortable than those on the plane.
After arriving at Birmingham airport and retrieving our baggage we were waiting outside the exit for the bus driver. It took an hour to get to Portland college, and after dropping our bags off in our designated rooms where we were given a quick tour and some instructions.
Afterwards, we were quite hungry so we went for a walk to Mansfield to find a place to eat. We found a nice Italian restaurant at a mall. The price was a bit too high for my liking, but the food was definitely worth it. I had lovely spaghetti bolognese as my main course and some chocolate ice cream for dessert.
When I got back I was going to read some news on Reddit, watch videos on youtube, and write about today in this diary, but this is the moment it all goes wrong.
- Reddit, my primary source of news and entertainment, is blocked by the school’s internet.
- The internet is so slow that you can’t watch videos on Youtube.
Shortly after finding out about this, I had a quick talk about this with my classmates, they told me they had the same issue, and one of them told me that there was not much water coming out of the showers, and what small amount of water coming out of the shower heads was everything but warm.
So now while writing this, I dread for what the next two weeks might bring.
Monday 30. October 2017
I had slept quite well, even if the bed was a bit too hard for my liking. Breakfast was ok as well, I had some boiled eggs, strawberry yoghurt, cornflakes with milk, toast with jam and some kind of bread? I don’t know what it was, but it tasted good with Nutella on it.
When we got to the school we were given a presentation about the college, then a tour around the place by a student. And the college? Damm it’s big, compared with ZBC this place is huge, and they have so many students that they need 2-3 canteens to keep the students well fed. After the tour we were put into an A-level math class, the equations they were learning about was familiar and I could somewhat understand it, I remember having a bit of theory about it back in HTX.
After class, I went to the nearest Tesco to find some lunch (the line at the canteen was too long), they had a lot of different sandwiches to choose from, but I bought a simple egg & mayo sandwich and ate it on the way back.
The next thing on the schedule was ‘Project Planning with IT – Robots with LEGO Mindstorm’. It was kind of interesting, the students were divided into groups of 2 people each. Their task is that they are ‘robotic manufacturing companies’ trying to get a contract with the British military. To get the contract, they must pitch an idea for a robot and build a prototype. A representative of the military called Mr Lego (The teacher alter ego), has given each company some specific requirements. There are two of the requirements the companies all have in common.
- No ranged weapons, only melee.
- The robots must have a dinosaur theme.
The groups are building their robots with LEGO Mindstorm and 3d printed plastic parts. And when they have built and programmed their robots, they fight against each other in an arena.
Only two groups were ready to present their ideas for Mr Lego on the deadline (30/10/17).
The groups had some interesting ideas, to say the least. But I think they were too creative, for example, one of the groups had the idea where they took a real dinosaur and gave it an exoskeleton, a bit too unrealistic in my opinion for a school project.
Mr Lego gave both groups his approval, so while all the other groups had to continue working on their idea, these two groups could move on and start to build their prototypes.
Tuesday 31. October 2017
The day started out with two hours of English. We split up into smaller groups that were paired with some of their students, then we got the chance to ask them questions about England and their daily life over here. I was in the same group as Fillip, so of course, he started by asking them their opinion about Brexit.
They were a bit surprised by the question but had not much of an opinion about Brexit. We learned from the students and the teacher that most of the young people don’t have much interest in politics.
After class, we had half an hour break, it seems like this is the standard schedule here in England. All classes are two hours long with 30 minutes break in between them, with the exception of the lunch break which is 45 minutes long.
The next class we had to introduce ourselves to the students, not much else to it. The last class for today was “World Skills Development” in it we (us and the local students) were told that some of the rooms needed new network cables (crossover) and wanted us to make some new one. It was nothing interesting since we this back at the start of the school year.
Wednesday 1. November 2017
Today we went on a trip to Manchester to see Manchester United football arena to look at the IT behind the scene and afterwards we would go to a retro arcade club.
The trip itself was kind of nice, something I noticed was that it seems like most of the houses outside of the cities are made of grey stone and black rooftops, while back home it’s more common to see houses made of red bricks.
The stadium was an impressing sight. After getting through the security point, we got on a guided tour. We learned about the history of the arena and its club, saw the changing room, and was up in the press room. Sadly, we never got to see the IT of the stadium for some reason.
The arcade club was in my opinion, one of the most beautiful places I have ever set foot in. They had so many old arcade machines, all in good condition.
After staying there for a couple of hours, we went down to their merchandise shop before heading back to Mansfield.
Thursday 2. November 2017
The original plan for today was, we went on tour in Nottingham but we postponed it until Saturday because Tore really wanted to come along on this tour but he will first arrive in England at tomorrow afternoon.
So a few of us chose to go on a shopping trip in Nottingham. We found some interesting shops but they did not have anything I wanted to buy. Afterwards, we went to England’s oldest inn “Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem” for lunch, I ordered fish and chips and I got to say, it was delicious.
After lunch, we all split up into smaller groups, but after walking around for a bit I chose to head back to Portland to rest and relax.
Friday 3. November 2017
Today we were starting on the Employment project and it was pretty much like what we have already done back home. We started out with a survey to see what fields we might fit best in. Then we had to do a mock job interview where I was an employer.
And last, we were told our assignment for next Thursday. A presentation Skills Health Check. The skill check seems to be split up into two parts, personal skill & activity skill.
Saturday 4. November 2017
Today we went on tour to the Galleries of justice and Nottingham Caves. The Galleries was an old court and prison that was converted to a museum about the law and punishment in England history.
The caves are the oldest part of Nottingham, they were used as homes as far back as the early medieval times and still up till the Victorian age, and during the world wars, as shelters by the civilians.
Monday 6. November 2017
Today we had, even more, employment project. And the last lesson for today was lego Mindstorm were we helped the groups building their robots.
Tuesday 7 November 2017
We started out with some English today, where we talked about some news articles and had employment project time.
Then we went on a tour of a large ware distribution and repair centre, named Know How. it was amazing to see how such a place really work. But we were not allowed to have any electronic devices inside.
Wednesday 8. November 2017
Today we went down to WNC’s “playroom” to try some VR, I remember trying it back on HTX.
After that, we did some more work on employment project. The last lesson today was English were we did some more work on news articles.
Thursday 9. November 2017
Today we presented our employment project it went rather ok. After that, we had world skill were we had to disassemble then resemble a computer.
In the evening we went to Re-fine dining where we had a three-course gourmet meal, it was outright delicious.
The had been quite an experience for me, but this whole trip has been too much out of my comfort zone and I understand she had her best intentions but I still regret letting Katie talking me into applying for this program.
Furthermore, because of a communication error between ZBC and WNC, we were not given the lesson we were told. And the schedule was changed in the second week.