Archive for Maynooth University Library Cat

Between Papers

Posted in Biographical, Education, Maynooth with tags , , , on May 19, 2023 by telescoper
Maynooth University Library Cat, photographed yesterday by Joost Slingerland.

Yesterday morning final-year students theoretical physics students sat my first examination of the session, on Advanced Electromagnetism, and tomorrow another group will take my second, on Computational Physics 1. I collected the first scripts from the Exam Hall at the end of the examination at 11.30 and have actually finished correcting them. I don’t think I’ll come in tomorrow morning though. Correcting the second batch can wait until Monday. That doesn’t mean I get a break though because I still have to complete grading the Computational Physics Projects. It does mean, however, that I’ll probably be finished with examination marking for this session by the end of next week, in good time for the Exam Boards in June.

That won’t mean that I’m finished with examination matters for the year; I’ll have four repeat examinations to grade in August. When those are done, however, I won’t have to do any further marking of examinations or anything else to do with teaching for a whole year. My sabbatical starts on 1st September.

Meanwhile, Maynooth University Library Cat, has been patrolling the area in front of the Library, which is quite busy these days with students doing last-minute revision in the study spaces there. By the end of next week the examinations will be over, most students will have departed for the summer, many staff will be at home marking scripts, and campus will be much quieter.

Maynooth University Library Cat Update

Posted in Biographical, Maynooth with tags on May 12, 2023 by telescoper

So, teaching is over at Maynooth University and the Examination Period starts today. I just checked the timetable and found that the first theoretical physics paper is not until tomorrow. Yes, we have examinations on Saturdays here! Campus is notably quieter than usual, with the only undergraduate students about being those either going to or coming from an Exam Hall. Meanwhile, Maynooth University Library Cat is strategically positioned on his wall for petting and feeding purposes, although the excitement of it all seems to have got to him and he’s fast been asleep every time I have seen him during the past week, e.g.

It’s a hard life being a cat.

Maynooth University Library Cat Update

Posted in Maynooth with tags on April 28, 2023 by telescoper

It’s the Friday of the penultimate week of teaching term at Maynooth University, and it’s also a long weekend with the May Bank Holiday on Monday. I thought I would just give an update on our resident feline before I go to a seminar and then head into Dublin for a concert. I passed by Maynooth University Library Cat yesterday on my way back to the Department after lunch, and although he seemed well he wasn’t very sociable. I think he generally gets a bit sleepy after lunch. At any rate he seemed reluctant to open his eyes!

Maynooth University Library Cat Update

Posted in Maynooth with tags on March 22, 2023 by telescoper

A few people have asked me whether Maynooth University Library Cat is OK, specifically whether he has recovered from the recent events that led to the temporary unavailability of his regular home. I chatted to one of the security guards on Monday when he was tending to the Cat’s box and he said that our feline friend had disappeared for a couple of days over the St Patrick’s holiday weekend but eventually returned home in the early hours on Sunday. I think that’s probably true of quite a number of humans around here too.

Anyway, it being a springlike morning, I found His Nibs on post so I took a couple of snaps of him looking rather statuesque. I couldn’t persuade him to open his eyes for the pics, probably because he was facing the sunlight, but he did so as soon as I put the camera away. He seems in rude health and no doubt enjoying the return of the students after the Study Break. He is also, as you can see, well stocked with supplies…

Maynooth University Library Cat Update

Posted in Maynooth with tags on March 12, 2023 by telescoper

I’m afraid that there has been an incident on Maynooth University Campus, as I discovered on Twitter:

It seems that somebody or something trashed Maynooth University Library Cat’s little box, which ended up beside the stream that runs under the bridge next to the library. The poor cat was wet and hungry because it was raining most of yesterday, but I am reliably informed that he is now OK, the box is back in place and fitted out with new blankets:

I think I’ll go over later to check everything is in order.

If there’s CCTV nearby we might be able to find out exactly what happened.

Maynooth University Library Cat Update

Posted in Maynooth with tags , on March 8, 2023 by telescoper

It has been very cold in Maynooth for the last couple of days and the forecast is for sioc, oighear, sneachta agus flichshneachta. In inclement conditions I tend to worry about our resident feline, but have been reassured by various social media posts showing him fit and well:

Better still, this afternoon on my way back to the office from lunch I spotted him, oriented North-South on the wall next to the library. Judging by the empty feeding bowls behind him seems likely he was having a post-prandial snooze so I didn’t disturb him, though I was jealous that I don’t get to take a nap after lunch…

Festive Open Day Season

Posted in Education, Maynooth with tags , , , , on November 25, 2022 by telescoper
Some Incomprehensible Marketing

We have reached the end of Week 9 at Maynooth University, so there are now just three weeks to go until end of term. All of sudden the shops are filled with Christmas whatnots and thingies, and I’ve finally bowed to pressure and bought a ticket for this year’s Messiah.

As usual for this time of the year we have a pair of Open Days for undergraduate admissions. The first was today, Friday, and catered mainly for school trips whereas tomorrow’s (i.e. Saturday’s) is usually more parents with their offspring. During the pandemic these events have been online but we’re now having them on campus so that prospective students see the important features on campus in the flesh:

For the last few years, I’ve been the main person responsible for running the Theoretical Physics part of these Open Days but now that duty has passed on to the new Head of Department. It’s not that I disliked doing these events, it’s just that I think it’s better from now on to have a fresher face doing them. Today for me has therefore largely been a normal teaching day and I’m also able to have a lie-in tomorrow morning.

In past years, before the pandemic, some lectures have been cancelled to make way for Friday Open Day talks. That has included the Friday lecture of my 2nd year module on Vector Calculus which takes place in a room previously needed for admissions business on Open Days. Now, however, a new teaching building is available and many of the Open Day talks are in there so my lecture went ahead as planned. The room next door to mine was however used for the Open Day and a group of about ten schoolgirls, dressed in green blazers and plaid skirts in a manner highly reminiscent of the Derry Girls, almost came into my lecture by mistake.

I saw quite a few visitors around the campus this morning, and some came into the Science Building for a look around, but I don’t know how busy the day was in comparison to previous November events on campus. I don’t know how busy it will be tomorrow either, as I shall be putting my feet up at home.

Today wasn’t quite a normal day, however. I had lunch in Pugin Hall. I used to do that regularly before the pandemic but today was the first time I’ve been there since March 2020. Either Pugin Hall has been closed or I’ve been too busy to have anything other than a sandwich in my office.

Maynooth University Cat Updates

Posted in Maynooth with tags , , on October 27, 2022 by telescoper

Earlier today I found myself on the South Campus of Maynooth University where I encountered Maynooth University Library Cat looking not entirely gruntled. Behind bars like that I thought he looked like he was in the doghouse!

Anyway, this meeting reminded me of some important campus cat news from earlier in the week. On Tuesday afternoon I was just about to start my usual 3pm lecture on Vector Calculus and Fourier Series in Hall H on the North Campus. It was quite warm that day and all the windows on the side of the room (which is on the ground floor) were open. As soon as I started talking about line integrals I was interrupted by a plaintive mewing from outside which turned out to come from a small white cat who made its way outside to the rearmost window, climbed in and took a seat in the back row. It was quite disconcerting to see its little head looking at me, and its appearance put me right off my stride for a bit, but fortunately it didn’t ask any difficult questions and eventually dozed off.

I’ve never seen this cat before but apparently it has been hanging around near the Phoenix restaurant, where presumably it is being fed. It has no collar and, as far as I know, no name. We have recently experienced another visitation by rodents in the Science Building and wonder if it could be persuaded to investigate on our behalf?

So now we have a black cat on the South Campus and a white cat on the North Campus, polar opposites. Perhaps one is the anti-cat of the other? I do hope they don’t annihilate each other if they ever meet!

Maynooth University Library Cat Update

Posted in Maynooth with tags on September 20, 2022 by telescoper

Deciding to make my way to work this morning via the South Campus for a change I stumbled across Maynooth University Library Cat and was able to see to his breakfast needs. He emptied the dish and then went for a nap. With a large number of new students on campus these days our famous feline has greatly increased opportunities for interaction (i.e. cadging food). I am reliably informed that he has had at least two other meals today. I don’t know where he puts it all…

Maynooth University Library Cat Update

Posted in Maynooth with tags on August 11, 2022 by telescoper

Over the past week or so I’ve made numerous trips back and forth to the Examinations Office and Exam Halls on matters relating to the repeat examinations, which finished yesterday. In the course of my perambulations I’ve been keeping an eye out for Maynooth University Library Cat, but until yesterday I didn’t see him anywhere. When I did catch a glimpse of him yesterday he had flaked out underneath a bush and I didn’t want to disturb him to take a photograph. Luckily however whoever operates Maynooth University’s Twitter feed managed to get a good snap of him today:

It can’t be ideal in this weather to be wearing a black fur coat, but he seems well. I guess he has been keeping a low profile in the shade most of the time. Whenever I passed his residence I made sure there was water in his bowl, but if he got really thirsty he could probably drink from the little stream that flows under the bridge on which he holds court. There are fish in there, and even the occasional otter, so I suppose the water is OK to drink. I don’t think I’ll put that to the test though. Certainly not now. I’ve just finished marking the last batch of scripts so I think I’ll go for a glass of wine…