Tag Archives: Front-Page

Chad’s Christmas Panto

Chad’s is well and truly in the Christmas spirit and what better way to kick off the festive season than with the pantomime.  Completely student led, each year the pantomime showcases the wonders of Chad’s and its exec. Congratulations to the cast who put on such a fantastic show on Friday night and had everyone in the Quad crying with laughter.

   

Bishop David Stancliffe

On Friday, St Andrew’s Day, David Stancliffe, St Chad’s Fellow (and former Bishop of Salisbury) celebrated the 50th anniversary of his priesting, and the 25th of his being ordained bishop. David  presided at a Eucharist at the shrine of St Cuthbert in Durham Cathedral. A number of Chadsians (including our chaplain, David Rushton) were delighted to share the occasion.

Postgraduate formal and MCR research forum

It was so great to see so many postgraduates at Thursday’s formal. Here at Chad’s we aim to celebrate every common room and what better way to do that than with some delicious food and wonderful company. At this time of year it is easy to get wrapped up in work but it was lovely to see so many 4th years and postgraduates, as well as guests, enjoying the evening.

The formal followed the MCR research forum. This week’s presentations were on two interesting topics: Claire Cooper spoke about nature based solutions to urban resilience and Matt Shahin Richardson discussed his research on the way Islamic State has used Twitter. Thank you to both for delivering such interesting topics, and for everyone who attended and asked such excellent questions.

Novice Cup

This weekend brought Durham’s annual Novice Cup, in which all college novices compete for the winning title. On the first day, crews have a time trial of 800m on the racecourse with a 360 degree spin in the middle. On the second day, depending on their time, crews are pitched against another in a head race. The weekend saw over 40 crews race with one another. It was a weekend full of splashes, crabs, some broken boats, but, mostly, team spirit. It is events like these which truly reflect the teamwork and effort contributed by not only crew members, but also coaches, the Boat Club exec, and beyond. It’s an opportunity for Chad’s ethos to be represented, it shows all members of the Boat Club, regardless of experience, pulling together to ensure a rewarding weekend was had by all.

Chad’s was lucky enough to have three excellent times, with the novice men’s crew finishing 4th, and the women’s crews finishing 15th and 34th respectively. It’s been a great weekend for St Chad’s College and our Boat Club. It’s fantastic that the novices get the chance to participate in this event so early into the academic year; and so early into their rowing careers! What’s also so rewarding about the weekend is seeing how far last year’s novices have progressed: now senior crews are focusing on WeHORR and HORR, both 8 kilometre head races in March which will take us down to the Thames. Who knows where the novices will be this time next year; a huge well done to all involved.

St Chad’s – volunteering in South Africa

What’s more terrifying? A cheetah 5 meters away from you or teaching 50 13 year olds? We ponder this whilst we recover from leading a 3 hour maths lesson at 8am on a Saturday morning. (Yes, 8am lectures, one thing Keiskammahoek and Durham University now have in common). But our time in South Africa did not begin here.

As three students, weary from a 10 and half hour flight, stumbled out of Port Elizabeth airport they were met by a knight in shining armour, Tim Bernard. Tim is a grizzled veteran of the South African education system (though he is not yet 51, Happy Birthday for Tuesday Tim!) and he would be our primary life support as we found our feet in South Africa. One could say we had a gentle start, braais, beaches and bitches (shout out to Molly, Tim’s dog). Tim and his wife Michelle gave a great insight into both the history and culture surrounding South Africa and the expectations upon us on the classroom.

By Sunday we were back in a small town dominated by a large Church and a university, yes we were back in Durham or something quite like it – Grahamstown (soon to be renamed Makanda – locals are joking that the government wanted to tie the town to Wakanda of the Black Panther films).

The first job was to learn isiXhosa. We bet you pronounced that wrong, we are still learning to perform an ‘aspirated lateral click’ to give but one example.

Wednesday and Thursday mornings saw our first taste of teaching. We observed some incredible teachers who showed us how it could be done, but our first attempts were perhaps less than inspiring, Ermos forgot what a verb was, Andy let a cow loose in his classroom and Sarina somehow lost the number between 7 and 9 – I would ‘eight to be her.

Fortunately, Tim’s son Eric took pity on us and rewarded our efforts with a game drive. This is where the cheetah became involved, we got a once in a lifetime opportunity to be next to a cheetah and him not want to bite our heads off, thanks to Steve the Wildebeest for taking one for the team.

After that it was time to go to St Matthew’s, where we will be spending the remaining 6 weeks volunteering. The drive here was rather uneventful, for once, no pedestrians were in danger from Andy’s driving, no passengers were in danger from Ermos’ and no driveways were in danger from Sarina’s driving.

Having met the staff and already started teaching here we are all incredibly excited for what the next 6 weeks will bring. Not missing you guys at all, for the final time Mum, I’m fine! (from Ermos)

Epiphany 2017: what’s on in college?

 

Another term promises another host of noteworthy events in college. We’re just approaching the end of the second week, and already we’ve had Ladies and Friends’ formal, complete with wonderful food and even more wonderful singing; the first Perspectives talk of the year, a riveting discussion on the importance of class in a modern society; and Burns’ Night, a triumphant occasion with Chad’s’ very own chaplain, Ashley Wilson, performing the Ode to the Haggis with such fervour that Robert Burns himself might have been in the dining hall. The natural hearth of every Chadsian, the college bar, is rarely without handfuls of students regaling one another with stories of their holidays, or their achievements already this term – so far, Epiphany has been a great success.

The green army preparing for the annual ‘Palace Green dash’ on Chad’s day 2016

 

And, aside from the perilous dissertations facing the third-years, it looks to continue in the same tenor. Candlemas Launch is next week, a chance for everyone to see what the Candlemas Committee have in store for our biggest college ball of the year; the event itself follows a week later, with a dinner, ‘ents’, and dancing set to continue well into the early hours. Before that, we have Gents and Friends’ formal, and soon after, Chad’s Day, the craziest and greenest day in the Chadsian’s calendar (perhaps in any calendar). Also on this term, another wealth of fascinating Perspectives talks and the JCR officer elections for next year. The term will round off with more formals and a final megaformal before we welcome the prospective next generation of Chadsians to college for the post-offer application days in March. Good luck to all this term, as summatives loom: however, it would be an understatement to say that there is certainly a lot to look forward at 18 North Bailey.

Showcasing the breadth of talent in college at Chad’s got Talent 2016.

 

Green Door Theatre Company presents: The Flint Street Nativity

Green Door’s Michaelmas production of The Flint Street Nativity was a festive treat. Aside from the hot chocolate and warm mine pies served during the interval, the production ticked all the heart-warming boxes expected from a play about the iconic and much-loved British ritual of the school nativity.

The cosy and nostalgic atmosphere, accentuated by staging in the chapel, was in large part achieved by the creative flair of the production team, the heads of which include many of Chad’s own: Hannah Smith as co-producer, Alex Greenen as Technical Director and Teresa Cherubini as Costume Manager. Their costume and prop creations could not have been more authentic in their charmingly makeshift feel—the ass-head and giant star were especially impressive—transporting us back down memory lane to the days of bed sheets and tinsel.

Aside from all the visual delights, the hilarious, endearing, and at times very touching, performances given by the cast affected to heighten the play beyond cuteness and frivolous fun. Well done to Chadians Mikki Redhead (Wise Gold), Richard Penny (Star), Mary Lord (Ass) and Marcus Dell (Inkeeper) who formed part of the super-talented cast. Massive congratulations to everyone involved for making the play such a memorable success. All the hard-work and passionate attention to detail really paid off.

Perspectives 28/11: Is Democracy working?

15016223_158333891301405_4145109148776098590_o

Perspectives last week was on a really interesting and vitally relevant topic. We all know the famous Churchill quote, ‘democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried’; to be honest, I think our political system is something we tend to take for granted. All the more relevant as the final Perspectives event of the term, considering recent events – it is too easy to simply assume this system is the norm and is faultless because it is the only one we have ever been exposed to.

img_0241
Professor Fred Robinson

Chad’s hosted Professor Fred Robinson (Professorial Fellow of St Chad’s College), Dr Anna Rowlands (Theology and Religion), and Lily Botrous (Alexandria School of Theology, Egypt), who put forward their very interesting views on the question of democracy – Prof. Robinson and Dr. Rowlands focussed mainly on Brexit, while Ms. Botrous talked about the Arab Spring. In classic form, after their thought-provoking talks, we broke off into small groups, with discussions ranging from the virtues and vices of political correctness to the problem with modern voting systems to how politics is all too often boiled down to basic ideas and ideologies. Some really stimulating discussion, which certainly left us with a lot to think about.

img_0261
Lily Botrous

All in all, a very successful evening, and a great relief from the summative stress which tends to drown students in the last few weeks of term. I hope that next term’s lectures are as thought-provoking as the fantastic schedule put together already this year.

img_0250-2
Dr Anna Rowlands addresses attendees

Man Booker reading group

The Man Booker Prize is a prestigious literary prize awarded every year for the best original novel published in English in the last year. Three British authors made the this year’s shortlist, including David Szalay’s All that Man. Szalay’s exploration of manhood is presented through a series of linking stories, each centring on a different male figure.  The work is currently being enjoyed by first year student Julia Atherley.

A personal favourite from this year’s titles was Graeme Macrae Burnet’s second novel, His Bloody Project. It details the murder case of Roderick Macrae, set in a 19th century Scottish crofting community. Second year student, James Kerr, praised the work for its form as a historical novel that presents the reader with a selection of documents including a murderer’s memoir, witness testimonials and medical reports.

The winning novel was announced on Tuesday 25th October at London’s Guildhall. American author Paul Beatty took this year’s title with contemporary satire The Sellout. Fiona Meads, a first year student, praised Beatty’s work, explaining that the novel’s satirical tone ‘doesn’t overshadow it’s sombre and serious message’. A novel in which the central character wants to bring back slavery and segregation, it was a hit with this year’s judging panel.

Shadowing the prize has been a great washortlist group-picutrey for the group to delve into contemporary fiction. Next term we have plans to shadow the Costa Book Awards which runs into the new year.