Goodbye to the old and hello to the new

PRE1It’s been a very busy time at Beyond Distance in recent weeks. As well as welcoming new staff (hello Emma, Paul and Richard) and attending the ALT Conference last week, we’ve recently relocated to another part of the University.

In fact, we’ve left the main campus, and moved into a wonderful new home on Princess Road East in what is called the North Campus.

It’s been a chaotic, dusty and thoroughly enjoyable move. Ming won easily the prize for ‘best packing and general preparation for the move’,  while the rest of us seemed to resort to the old ‘sweep everything into a box and worry about it later’ method. Pal excelled at this.

We’ve been getting used to our new home, which includes numerous passageways and hidden store cupboards. We also have a great new room – with wheelchair access, disabled facilities and an induction loop – that will serve as the new physical Media Zoo.

My priority was to get the telephones and workstations established as soon as possible, and for this IT Services proved indefatigable. The disruption to our work has been minimal, especially as the move also straddled ALT-C. We were all able to hit the ground running on Monday.

And while I was finishing the final packing last week in the old offices (at the top of the Attenborough Tower, itself the highest point in Leicester), I had a visit from our friend, Rufus.

rufusRufus is employed on a fixed-term contract, Grade 6, by the University to clear pigeons (watch out, Winston) from the buildings. He’s hoping to be made permanent, but realises he needs to boost his publication record.

Rufus disappeared for a while, so I got to follow his handler into the park, and had the hawk fly down from the rooftops to land on my wrist (I had the leather gauntlet on). It was truly a thrilling spectacle.

I’d like to think that Rufus knew that we were leaving, and more importantly came to say goodbye to the Zoo.

So thank you to the University for our new home, as we say goodbye to the old and very much look forward to a new chapter in the Beyond Distance story.

Simon Kear

Learning Technologist and semi-professional freelance hawk handler

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