I arrived in Sydney yesterday. I’m based at the University of Sydney for the next two weeks while on study leave. My first morning here was pretty-well taken up by walking round getting administrative things done like getting a key to my office and getting a computer account and internet connection for my laptop.
It was very reminiscent of a day a few years ago when a new PhD student in our research group turned up at Waikato and needed to get keys, out-of-hours-access card, library card, computer account, etc etc. I spent half the day taking her around the campus. Now at Waikato, this problem should now be much diminished by our student centre in the library building. A lot of the administrative things new students need to do are now located in one place. That’s logic for you. Does it work? I’ll have to track down a few new students when I get back and interrogate them.
Now, at Sydney this morning, in order to get a key for my office in the Physics building I had to walk close to a kilometre, through the campus, across a main road, to the security office, which for some reason is located right on the periphery of the campus. Apparently, all keys are issued centrally – departments don’t issue keys for their own buildings. Then I had to walk back again. An easy experience? Hardly. At least getting the computer access could be done through the physics department. One positive thing from the trip, however, was that I’ve now located the swimming pool, which is large and indoor and cheap and available to short-term visitors like me and open early morning. Yay.