Friends of the Earth conference

I spent most of Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Friends of the Earth Conference with eleven other members of the Manchester group.

The whole weekend was a bit of a strange experience. For starters, all the expections I had were exceeded, especially when it came to the food arrangements. I wasn’t surprised to find out that everything was either vegetarian or vegan, but the standard of catering was impressive, it really was like spending a weekend in a hotel in terms of food. Admittedly the cuisine wasn’t terribly imaginative as almost every hot meal had lasagne as one of the options (not that I mind as it’s one of the vegetarian dishes that I like and fills me up), but it was more than the hastily made sandwiches that I expected.

Even more strange was the reaction of other delegates to me. One woman asked if I was a Parliamentary Private Secretary or a researcher for an MP (I wish!) and another commented that I seemed to be very well informed on all the issues being discussed. The most amusing part by far though was people trying to guess my age after they’d spoken to me—all of them somehow managed to guess twenty two or above and one woman put me at the same age as her nephew (twenty eight!) for some reason. I’m not entirely sure why that was, but Frank commented on the way back that it was probably because I have an authoratitive voice and suggested that I should go on the radio.

I’m not entirely sure what I got out of the conference though, I feel somewhat more enthused about doing things but I think all the positions at Manchester FoE already have people wanting to do them so I doubt there’s much for me to do there. Most of the areas that I’m interested in only really apply at national level, but most of the FoE stuff is based in London so getting involved with that is also a bit difficult.

In other news, I’ve been trudging along to the SAGE sessions which are a compulsory part of my MA, even though they don’t count for anything and are, to all intents and purposes, utterly useless for my course. I’m getting a bit bored as well, as I just want the course to start so that I can be learning something instead of just sitting around attending sessions because I have to rather than because I want to. I’ve found out that MA students are allowed to, and indeed encouraged, to take more units than they have to in order to get a better understanding of the subject, so I’m hoping to do Ancient Greek as a non-assessed unit (no credits but I do get to go to all the tutorials and hopefully learn some of the language), which should help me in the module about Athenian Democracy that I want to take.

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6 thoughts on “Friends of the Earth conference

  1. That would be amusing. 🙂 Thinking along those lines, we could do a Rogue Students podcast or radio show once a week once term starts—not quite sure how it would work with us being in different parts of the country but it’d be a good laugh trying.

  2. Definatly would be a good idea I agree it would intresting to try and sort out how we could do it with uni and such like.

  3. Why is everything at Friends of the Earth things vegetarian or vegan?

    Surely true friends of the earth would respect the fact that the food chain needs animals to eat each other…

  4. As omnivores humans are designed to eat both meat and veg so therefore there should be a meat option plus a veggie option.

  5. “Why is everything at Friends of the Earth things vegetarian or vegan?”

    I suspect because a significant number (possibly even the majority) of its members are vegetarians or vegans. I’m not, but I can still eat vegetarian food whereas vegetarians won’t eat a meat dish. I guess you could say they’re catering to the lowest common denominator as well as keeping things simple.

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