In between very dull data importing, I thought I could find time to mention Essex. I am about to leave and spend a year at Northwestern.
I've been at two universities in my life, and have had an incredibly happy time at both of them.
Among the great things this place has are psycho ducks and rabbits, Wivenhoe (aka Wiv, The Hoe, Thundercatshoe to various deranged residents), the Wivenhoe trail, and the main building , which is cunningly designed as an ornamental maze. Then there's the amazingly international student body: a sample of young, determined and smart people from all over the world.
The best thing though is the academic community, which is closeknit, friendly, unpretentious and professional. People here are incredibly generous with their time and knowledge. The seminars are great - informal but tough. The PhD students are a very varied and interesting bunch. And Essex is imbued with the spirit of the 60s, from the not-beautiful-but-just-about-lovable architecture to the democratic optimism.
Things I won't miss? The food. Not that it's bad.... I just feel that I have eaten enough Cafe Vert paninis for one lifetime.
See y'all in a year. I'm off to Chicago!
"Are you ready for the city? Is the city ready for you?"
Futureheads The City is Here for You to Use