Late afternoon June 9th, Mile End Park’s sun-baked astroturf would be the scene of another fierce battle between student and teacher. After a tough season in the 7-a-side league a battle hardened PsiStar Belgrade were out for revenge having lost to the staff on penalties in the winter and looked to have their heads in the game (go wildcats.)
Okay, enough of that ‘gritty’ sports writing, basically we played the staff at football again! It was actually a really good game, PsiStar ended up winning 5-1 (I got a goal and an assist!) and it was a fun day had by all! Some spectators came down with some drinks, posted up in the shade and spurred on their respective team as well which was a welcome addition as they brought orange slices for half time!
Now you’re probably thinking “what’s the point of all this?” In short, we’re doing the Ashes. After three matches, we’ve decided to make this into an ongoing series playing for a beaker full of ashes (each game’s team sheet’s ashes to be precise) and the losing team is burdened with looking after them until the next game in 6 month’s time. It’s very reflective of the School of Physics and Astronomy as a whole actually, how connected the students are to the staff and the level of respect both groups have for each other. We’re constantly interacting with each other throughout the day during term time, sharing social spaces with them, forming relationships with them and in my opinion at least, this lets the students know that this isn’t just 6th form again, the lecturers are more than just teachers and it is important to have a working relationship with them to succeed.
This link between students and staff makes Queen Mary stand out as a university. Talking to my friends who go to other universities has given me some perspective on this interaction with lecturers that I had taken for granted before these games. It’s rare for this level of interaction to take place between students and lecturers especially across the department like it is at Queen Mary and it has been incredibly helpful to my degree and a right laugh at these events.
Hopefully the staff will come back fighting in the summer with their midfield maestro Dr Ramgoolam back on the field and maybe then they won’t lose so badly!