Foam Finger Fun
Since the second semester ended sometime ago, the Headingley campus (my preferred Leeds Met campus) has been relatively quiet. That’s made being on campus – perhaps more importantly, studying in the library enjoyable. However, a nice time on campus shouldn’t only be the result of silence.
And it wasn’t recently. For two days this week, the UCAS Fair came to Leeds Met (UCAS is the admission service for students applying to universities in this country. When students apply to uni, they actually do so through UCAS). Every June, Leeds Met hosts the fair, where representatives from universities from all over the country set up tables to woo a bunch of teenagers.
Along with several other student ambassadors, I was given an assignment and mine was… stand on the top of steps and direct attendees to the Carnegie Sports Centre, the site of the fair. All the tables were actually set up on the its tennis court. In addition to directing attendees to the Carnegie Sports Centre, I also answered their questions about how to reach a certain building or two.
But the most noteworthy aspect of the two days (June 18 and 19) was not that I directed attendees to the Carnegie Sports Centre. It’s how I directed them to site. By foam finger.
The foam finger was necessary (I guess) to direct folks to the exact site as it had changed from the previous year. Regardless, it became the centre of attention. Over the two days (More so the 18th), I was badgered with requests for my foam finger. As evidenced by the picture posted above, it’s a pretty unremarkable object. However, that didn’t stop so many students from asking for it – even some playfully offering money for it.
Maybe, they weren’t playing. But it seemed like so many students had never seen a foam finger before. The funniest thing was that one student (or maybe, he was a representative) told he craved my foam finger because he was in the running for winning the prize of bringing back the most unusual item. Or something to that extent.
I really wish I could have given away my foam finger to a student or two. I had gotten the impression that we were running thin on such items so we needed to keep the ones we had. And besides, if you want a foam finger, wouldn’t you want something with more caché than UCAS? However, it was hilarious to see the students getting so excited about a foam finger – I even briefly let students put it on their hand so they could pose for a picture. I do hope they remember what I told them: If they love foam fingers so much, they should tell the staff at whatever university they attend to make them.
Another interesting part of the two days was the people watching. More so the youngsters’ fashion senses. I’m not super into fashion, but I have noticed some differences in fashion between the U.S. and the U.K. (One big difference is jeans. People in this county wear ridiculously tight jeans). Most of the students were dressed casually and some of them (well, mostly the young ladies) looked like they were dressed for clubbing.
As for the events in Brazil, there was another opportunity for the Three Lions to rise to the occasion and surprise many of their pessimistic supporters two nights ago against Uruguay. And Leeds marked the occasion by throwing a big party – in fact, a huge public viewing in Millennium Square. There was no such occasion for the Italy match because it started so late (11 p.m. British Standard Time) but since the match against Uruguay started at 8 p.m., it was the perfect opportunity for a huge gathering…
So perfect that several members of my running club organized a World Cup social gathering for the match. Finding fellow Hyde Park Harriers in the crowd of who-the-hell knows how many was a bit difficult – finding a spot with a relatively close to the screen was impossible. That said, I felt like I had a clear view of the screen at all times and I had enough space to comfortably jump up and down when Wayne Rooney scored the equalizer in the 75th minute 🙂
But with the Three Lions, seemingly all good things must come to a crashing halt. Shortly after Rooney’s goal, Luis Suarez scored for Uruguay and that was all she wrote. When the referee blew the final whistle, the thousands at Millennium Square departed with barely a whimper. It would have been interesting to see the crowd reaction if (a) England had won and (b) England had lost had entered the tournament with high expectations. But the sense I got from the quiet reaction to the loss was “It sucks we lost. But what did you expect?”