Nozomi’s Halloween Treats

NOZOMI, A THIRD YEAR FILM STUDENT, SHARES A FAVOURITE HALLOWEEN RECIPE…

It is a known fact amongst most university students that there just doesn’t seem to be any time at university to do anything at all. So, what are we going to do for Halloween?
Perhaps you’re going to a fancy-dress party, or watching scary movies with your flatmates – either way, here is something you could definitely do with on Halloween…


GHOST SMORES RECIPE

Ingredients (portion accordingly)

Marshmallows
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
¼ c. Heavy cream / double cream, warmed
Mini chocolate chips

Graham crackers / digestive biscuits, for serving

Total Ingredients Cost (based on prices at Asda)
£4.59

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450⁰.
  2. In the bottom of a baking dish, spread out the chocolate chips and pour the warmed cream on top.
  3. Cover completely with a single layer of marshmallows (pack them in tight!).
  4. Place the mini chocolate chips on the marshmallows to make little ghostly faces.
  5. Bake until the chocolate has melted, and the ghosts are golden (approximately 8 to 10 minutes).
  6. Serve warm with graham crackers / digestives for dipping!

 

Happy Halloween!

 

 

Reading University Tennis Club

HOLLY, A THIRD YEAR HUMAN GEOGRAPHY STUDENT, SHARES HER EXPERIENCE OF THE UNIVERSITY TENNIS CLUB…

Before starting this term, I decided that I would try out the Reading University Tennis Club. I used to play tennis a lot, and I enjoy watching it. With the opening of the indoor courts in the dome, I was motivated to get back into playing. So I turned up at the free taster session for beginners and intermediates during Freshers Week on Thursday evening at the courts on campus.

The session was very popular and consisted of different tennis games such as round the world and champions. The session was social and friendly as everyone chatted to each other. This session wasn’t judged on ability so was perfect for me to build up my confidence on the court again.

At the end of the session the committee did a wrap up talk and explained how the sessions will run in the future and how much membership is. If you’re a member of SportsPark, being a member of the tennis club is only £8 more a month which can be added to your direct debit gym membership. The membership allows you to book and go to any tennis session for free, book outside courts for free, book inside courts at a discounted rate and book tennis lessons at a discount too! So you definitely get your money’s worth!

The tennis club run sessions for all abilities from never played before to highly advanced.

The sessions are:

Student beginners Thursday 6-7pm

Student advanced Thursday 7-8pm

Open to all Saturday 10-12

Open to all Sunday 7-9pm

You book into the sessions online or at SportsPark to secure a place and registers are taken.

The club also run regular socials, such as themed events or bar crawls.

 

The committee for this year is:

President: Vicky Wild
Vice President: Rob Ventin
Treasurer: Frank Zhao
Secretary: Chrissi Ayre
Men’s 1st team captain: Sam Kingston
Men’s 2nd team captain: Tom Sage
Women’s captain: Holly Cottingham
Social Secs: Alex Taggart and Charlie Van Ders
Welfare: Emily Bunton

 

For more information, check out The Facebook group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/100901283308695/

Or message one of the committee and they will be happy to help!

 

Interview with my Liaison Librarian

3RD YEAR THEATRE ARTS, EDUCATION AND DEAF STUDIES STUDENT, ALEXANDER, GIVES US AN INSIGHT INTO WHO LIAISON LIBRARIANS ARE AND HOW THEY CAN HELP YOU

I caught up with the Liaison Librarian for my school, to find out more about her role and how Library staff can support you during your time at Reading.

Please introduce yourself and your role at the University Library.
 I’m Rachel Redrup, a Liaison Librarian supporting students and staff at the University of Reading’s Institute of Education.

There is a Liaison Librarian for every University of Reading department whose students can always rely on to help them to make sense of any library queries throughout their course, especially at dissertation research time. As I have built up specialist knowledge of information in my department’s area, I can point my students to relevant academic databases; help them plan effective search strategies (strong search terms, truncation, limiting to certain fields); then reference correctly in the department’s style.

Liaison librarians also produce online subject guides and videos. We also spend a lot of time assisting teaching staff to produce online reading lists, checking links work, and that material is bought and made available in print or online.

 

How long have you worked at the Library? What do you love about working here?
I became an Education Liaison Librarian 17 years ago when Education was at Bulmershe Campus, moving to the library at Whiteknights in 2011. Like most information professionals, I enjoy helping people find the information they need. I have loved meeting so many friendly people at Reading and seeing students develop and flourish as they go through their courses. And I love our beautiful campuses!

 

What services does the library offer?
Have a look at our website. We provide:

  • online access to vast amounts of e-books, e-journals and other media through our website – resources that can only be accessed by University members
  • print books in the Library building (and an effective loan system for students)
  • study space in the URS building
  • Inter-Library Loans
  • Study Advisers, a Maths Support team and liaison librarians to give personal academic support and training, plus further instruction on our website.

 

What are your 5 top tips on effective use of the library?

  1. Never be afraid to ask your liaison librarian for help – if they can’t fix your problem right away, they will refer your query to the right person.
  2. Try the ‘Virtual Enquiry Service’ on our Library website to chat with professional library staff online when library buildings are staffed at a lower service level, or closed.
  3. Learn to ‘Make a booking’ on Course Collection books (normally 6-hours), so you can be sure to borrow overnight or over the weekend.
  4. If a book you borrowed is needed for another reader, do return it on time – that’s fair and you won’t owe fines – but remember you can then place a hold yourself to have another turn.
  5. Find out what is happening in the Library by following us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Besides, you’ll see librarians, and Hodor the Library duck, in a whole new light!

 

Are there any sessions or workshops coming up?
Anytime of year, you can ask your liaison librarian for an individual session on improving search skills: book online or email them. In term-time, our Study Advice team offer regular, free, small group sessions on a variety of study practices, whilst our Maths Support team provide regular workshops in all the key mathematical topics. Students undertaking research might benefit from termly introductory EndNote referencing software training sessions or visit liaison librarians with more advanced questions.

 

What are the Library opening times at the moment?
Up-to-date Library opening hours are always shown on the Library website itself. In term-time, the Library building is open for books 09:00-22:00 daily; the URS building is open for study space and services 24-hours, except 21:00 Saturday to 08:30 Sunday.

 

Rachel Redrup

Thank you Rachel! To find out more about Liaison Librarians click here.

Balancing Week 6

THIRD YEAR ENGLISH LITERATURE STUDENT, NIA, REVEALS HER TOP TIPS ON HOW TO SPEND YOUR TIME SUCCESSFULLY IN WEEK 6…

Week 6 is fast approaching, and as much as it seems to be a blessing in disguise, many people struggle to decide what they are going to do with it and often end up having an unproductive week of Netflix and binge eating – I’m not here to judge. However, as I’m going into my third year I thought I’d suggest my top three tips on how to make your Week 6 as productive as possible.

 

  1. Catch Up

Being essentially a university week without lectures, Week 6 is a great time to catch up on work and get ahead on any deadlines you may have. Planning out work in a to-do list or timetable can be a useful way of clearing your head and will help you use your time more effectively. And there is no better buzz than telling your course-mates you’ve already finished that essay due in week 11 – Saturday Union anyone?

 

  1. Relax

As much as Week 6 is about having extra time to work, it is also a great opportunity to take a break and relax. You’ve had five whole weeks of university so far, and the hardship of walking from student accommodation to Agric is probably getting all too much. Therefore it’s ok to visit family and friends and spend a few hours a day vegetating on the sofa – just don’t start a new 24 season TV show and spend the whole week trying to complete it. It’s easily done.

 

  1. Go to talks

I know what you’re thinking, does anyone attend the optional lectures in Week 6? However, from first hand experience I believe they can often offer really valuable opportunities that most students miss out on (see above: Netflix and binge eating). They also usually include free goodies, and who doesn’t love free goodies? Professional Track is a scheme run for Literature and Languages students which offers talks during Week 6, on things such as placement and volunteering opportunities. On attending one of these in my second year, I learnt that previous students have managed to get placements in impressive companies such as Vogue! In Week 6 I am personally attending a workshop run by lecturers Shelley Harris and Mary Morrissey to “Supercharge [My] Essay Writing”. With the black cloud of dissertation looming over third year students, talks such as these run by the English Literature department can be invaluable in improving your writing style & planning and in gaining crucial marks, and it’s likely that your department has similar events on too.

 

So those are my three top tips for living your Week 6 experiencing to the max! Try your best to balance yourself between these three things. Definitely do not over-work yourself – if you find you need time off just trust your instincts (unless your instincts tell you to spend your student loan on a week long trip to Las Vegas, then you reevaluate your instincts).

Katherine’s Vegan Moroccan Tagine

KATHERINE, 2ND YEAR ACCOUNTING AND BUSINESS STUDENT, SHARES HER FAVOURITE RECIPE FOR VEGAN MOROCCAN TAGINE!

One of the joys of being at university is having to cook for yourself, unless of course you’re in catered halls. I find that being vegan often means I spend a lot of time cooking, though that doesn’t have to be the case! This delicious recipe will leave a couple of portions for another day when you don’t have so much time to spare cooking!

Ingredients

  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cans chickpeas (drained)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 courgette
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 teaspoon harissa paste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • However much couscous you want to serve it with!

Method

  • Chop the vegetables and garlic as you like and fry them in a pan along with the oil until they start to soften.
  • Add the can of chopped tomatoes, the chickpeas and the harissa paste. Leave this to simmer for about 10 minutes, you should notice the liquid from the chopped tomatoes begins to boil away.
  • Whilst the tagine is cooking, boil the kettle and put a little less couscous than you want for one portion in a bowl (when cooked the couscous increases in size massively!) Normally I add some vegan spread here as well as salt, then add just enough water to cover the couscous. Cover the bowl with a plate or tea towel to keep the steam in as the couscous cooks. Leave this for about 10 minutes.
  • When the tagine is cooked, fluff the couscous with a fork and place it on a plate and add however much tagine you want. Remember whatever is left can be put in Tupperware and then in the fridge or freezer for another day and you will only have to make the couscous!

 

You can add whatever other ingredients to this recipe that you may like, such as fruit, lentils, other vegetables or even meat!

 

Widening Participation: My Story of Overcoming Disabling Barriers

THIRD YEAR STUDENT, ALEXANDER, SHARES HIS PERSONAL EXPERIENCES ABOUT OVERCOMING DISABLING BARRIERS WHILST AT UNIVERSITY

I have various physical and learning difficulties, and I was very behind at school. It looked like I probably wouldn’t make it to university, however with a lot of hard work, determination and support I’m now in my third year, here at Reading University and getting good grades! Things are still really tough, but nowhere near as tough as they used to be, and I’m noticing a lot of improvements in my work and in my confidence. The uni’s Disability Advisory Service (DAS) and RUSU have been amazing in getting support setup for me and checking how I’m getting on. I also have some really good tutors that are willing to give me the time and the patience I need to be successful in my degree. My course is very focused on studying accessibility and inclusion, therefore people in my department know how to be supportive. The uni is an inclusive place, and our campuses have such a good atmosphere to study and socialise!

My friends and family have been incredible in supporting me through every step of the way and I’ve made some great friends at uni and through other things I’ve attended in the Reading area. So if you’re feeling worried about getting the support you need, or like you’re not getting the right kind of support, don’t be afraid to speak to your department, to the DAS or RUSU. Also speak your friends and family, there is always somebody out there who is willing to help and listen. If you have a deadline looming and are struggling with your health condition or disability, or have any other reason that may cause a delay with getting your work in on time, you can apply for Extenuating Circumstances. With this you may be able to get an extension on your work. I’ve had to do this and it was a difficult process, but it was worth it, because I was able to do a better job on my work with the extra time.

Don’t forget you can also contact Gabs, the Part-time Disabled Students Officer, at RUSU. You can find all the information about accessibility and support you need by clicking here.

Fruit & Veg Thursdays

SECOND YEAR ACCOUNTING & BUSINESS STUDENT, REBECCA, TELLS US MORE ABOUT THE WEEKLY FRUIT & VEG THURSDAYS…

Every Thursday, as the amazing scents of international foods sweep across campus, it is easy to become distracted by the queues of people lining the path from the Palmer building to RUSU and forget to go into 3Sixty for the fruit and vegetable market. Despite the excitement of the new and exciting Co-op, the fruit and veg availability on camps is definitely lacking, making the Thursday market the perfect place to pick up your fresh produce.

The market sells a whole host of different products, from root vegetables, to bunches of salad leaves to exotic fruits. Although some products are definitely cheaper, for example a bag of 4 (good sized) avocados for £1.50, some are undoubtedly more expensive than shopping elsewhere, such as two large bell peppers for £1.50. Therefore, I would 100% recommend looking around and having an idea of how much an item would cost you normally before buying all your groceries here.

Like most places on foodie Thursdays, the market only takes cash. To make the whole experience more enjoyable, you should definitely get cash out in advance (maybe before your morning lecture, or even the day before), as we all know the ATM queues can be an absolute joke!

You can pop by the market between 11-4 every Thursday in RUSU to pick up your five a day, and if you’re stuck for ideas on how to use all your new veg, check out our student recipes on the blog for lots of healthy inspiration.

 

 

Rebecca’s Egg Fried Rice

Rebecca, 2nd year Accounting and Business student

Rebecca shares with us her easy and delicious recipe for veg packed egg fried rice.

This meal became a real staple in diet during my first year at uni. I cooked this about once a fortnight and would eat it three/four days in a row without getting bored.

I absolutely love the philosophy ‘cook once, eat twice’ – by cooking two portions at once, you have an extremely convenient lunch for the following day and it’s often a lot cheaper. This recipe serves two, but you can easily double it and make four meals.

  1. Prep: Thinly slice 5 spring onions, dice 1 bell pepper into small cubes, finely cut one head of broccoli, & chop a handful of spinach into small strips. Cook rice of your choice (pre-packaged also works well).
  2. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a large frying pan/wok. Add the spring onions and pepper, and lightly fry for 2 minutes. Add the broccoli for 1 minute before adding a splash of water (cooking the vegetables in steam rather than more oil is healthier and quicker) and let soften for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the rice, and heat until piping hot.
  4. Add 175g peas & 175g sweetcorn, fry until frozen peas are defrosted.
  5. Whisk 3 eggs (I sometimes add more as I like it super eggy!) & 1 tsp soy sauce. Pushing the rice/veg to one side of the pan, add the egg mixture and stir continuously. After 1 minute, as the egg starts to cook, bring everything together, allowing the egg to coat the rice and veg.
  6. Add the spinach and allow to wilt for a further 2 minutes.
  7. Season with salt, pepper and further soy sauce to taste.

 

Options to add protein:

  1. Chop a chicken breast into small chunks, and fry with spring onions and pepper in step 1.
  2. Add 100g minced pork/turkey, and fry with spring onions and pepper in step 1.
  3. Cook a handful of raw prawns and fry with peas and sweetcorn in step 4.

 

 

 

Lucy’s Salted caramel brownies

LUCY,  2nd YEAR ITALIAN STUDIES STUDENT, TELLS US ABOUT HER FAVOURITE CHOCOLATE RECIPE FOR SALTED CARAMEL BROWNIES…

Everyone loves a chocolate brownie, so why not impress your friends that little bit more by adding in some salted caramel? These brownies are delicious yet easy to make and are guaranteed to give you a fantastic chocolate fix – something well deserved after a tough week of lectures!

 

Ingredients

200g of unsalted butter

100g of dark chocolate

100g of milk chocolate

Carnation caramel

Sea salt or normal salt

200g golden caster sugar

4 medium eggs

130g plain flour

50g cocoa powder

Baking tray lined with greaseproof paper

 

Step one: Preheat your oven to 160 degrees or gas mark 4.

Step two: Melt the chocolate with the butter. You can do this in the microwave but it works better if you boil some water in a pan and then put a heatproof bowl over the top with the chocolate in, ensuring the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Just remember to keep stirring it.

Step three: Mix half of the caramel with a spoon of salt. Then mix the remainder of the caramel with the eggs and sugar.

Step four: Mix in the melted chocolate to the eggs and caster sugar. Sift the flour and cocoa on top and mix well.

Step five: Pour half of the chocolate mixture into the tin, then pour half of the caramel mixture on top.

Step six: Pour the remainder of the chocolate on top and finally pour the last of the caramel over it.

Step seven: Bake for 25-30 minutes.

 

Bon appetit!

Making your money last

Third year student Kate shares her tips on making money go that little bit further!

So, as students we are always complaining about how little money we have even when the student loan has just come in. Making our student loans last the year and still being able to enjoy university is important, we don’t want to end up in those dreaded overdrafts! Here are some of my top tips to help you along your way with how to save money and not lose out.

  1. Budget: This seems obvious but work out how much student loan or income you get for a term, and divide this by the number of weeks (11) and you will get a rough division. From this you have to then work out how you spend your money i.e if you go out every week to Saturday Union, and whether you buy food every 2 weeks needs to be taken into consideration. Once you started doing this for a few weeks you will work out what you do and don’t spend money on.
  2. Cook Smart: This includes buying smart. Try to plan your meals, this will not only help you be healthy but save you a lot of money in the long run if your bulk buying food, cooking meals on mass and then freezing them.
  3. Travel: If you’re going home via public transport try and book far enough in advance as you will get better deals.
    – Additionally, try to travel off peak and avoid Friday and Sunday Evenings. Also, I think the best thing in existence is 16-25 rail card. It gets you 1/3 off and is great for getting home or even day trips to local areas and London.
    – Lastly if you use the Local Bus System a lot, invest in a yearly pass. If you use it less regularly, its always great to get the app to pay!
    Make sure you get the Boost Pass as you are a student!
  4. Discounts: I’d suggest signing up for UNIDAYS which can be accessed as an App on your phone which gives you deals on all the essentials you’d need.
    An NUS card does the same, but costs £12. This also give you great discounts, including 10% discount at COOP which will be great to use at the new one on campus and a cheaper entry to UNION. If in doubt about if somewhere does discount, just ask, there is not harm in asking if it means you save money.
  5. Don’t buy all the text books on Day 1: Quite simply, you won’t read half of them and if you do you’ll read them once and then they will just stare at you for the rest of the year making you feel bad about the amount of money you spend. Go through your reading list for the modules and work out text books you need on multiple occasions. Try buying them second hand from Amazon as well or even sharing them with friends.

Lastly you can also get great money advice from a range of websites and services: