Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Digital Diary

Who Stole my Milk? Exploring Student Homes in London comes to an end. The concourse exhibition is now open, the Global Homes event went off without a hitch, and it’s now time for us to say goodbye. It’s been a fantastic journey and we’re thrilled you chose to come along for the ride.
But before we go, let us leave you with something to remember us by: our digital diary. Let the photos tell the story of how MA students from UCL Institute of Archaeology took you on a journey of self-discovery and reflection.

Documenting Student Homes Team members, Hannah and Riccardo, prepare the audio- recording equipment before an interview.

Documenting Student Homes Team members, Chao-Chieh, conducts an individual interview inside Sophie’s room in the Tower Hamlets flat.

The Project Manager is seen answering questions from Geffrye Museum staff during an all- important panel meeting.

During the third panel meeting, Web Resource Team members, Charmaine and Urška, present the outline of their Digital Story to the project members, UCL coordinators, and Geffrye Museum staff.


Audience Advocacy Team member, Jeni, listens to feedback from Geffrye Museum staff, Vanessa, during the third panel meeting.

Learning and Interpretation Team members, Min Young and Namyoung, show children how to properly hold chopsticks during the Family Days World of Chopsticks activity.

Public Information Team members, Javier and Kate, mans a stall alongside Geffrye Youth Panel members, promoting the Student Homes Project as a whole, inviting Geffrye Museum visitors to the Family Days, to Global Homes opening evening, and the concourse exhibition.

Audience Research Team members, Katy and Tz-Ling, spend a day at the Geffrye Museum inserting promotional material into envelopes and distributing them around Hackney.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Bright Side of Student Living: Contest Winner Announced!

Two days ago we published three interesting stories about your pleasant memories of living in student homes. We asked you to vote for your favourites and you did. This week’s winner of two free tickets for today’s Special Evening Opening at the Geffrye museum is Charmaine with her ‘Pizza Time’ story! Congratulations!

The "Who Stole my Milk?" Exhibit launched yesterday and will run until September. Even if you can’t make it to today’s opening event, come and see our fabulous exhibition! In the meantime, take a look at the digital story ‘London Living: A Student’s Tale’ that we’ve created for you. 

We’ve also got a short video showing you some of our behind-the-scenes footage!

Stay tuned for our report from the Special Evening Opening!

Monday, 14 May 2012

The Bright Side of Student Living – Feedback

Student life can be the most memorable and impactful time in someone’s life.  There are challenges, yes, but there are also some great times.  Last week we asked you to share your stories about your favourite student-living memories. You replied with the following stories:

“Burning Television” or “How Sharing a Flat Can Prevent Catastrophe”
My flatmate, Nicola, is really nice person but sometimes she lives with her head in the clouds. She’s absent-minded. One evening when I was lying in my bed and surfing the internet, I heard a strange crackling noise. I thought that one of my flatmates was playing video games or something which was producing the sounds. As the sound seemed a bit suspicious to me, I decided to check to see what was happening. I loudly called Nicola from my room. She didn’t reply and I immediately knew something was terribly wrong. I ran to her room where I saw her television was on fire. The room was filled with smoke, the flames quite high and the soot everywhere. I immediately ran into the hallway screaming: “Nicola’s room is on fire”. My screams woke up the other flatmates. We all ran like mad – from the kitchen to the bathroom to Nicola’s room, filling bowls and buckets with water to extinguish the fire. Luckily, the television was switched off and we were able to extinguish the flames. The results of the accident were a completely damaged television, walls covered with soot and the smell of smoke which we could not get rid of for a long while. Luckily, due to my intervention, the damage was not as severe as it could have been.

You’re probably wondering what had happened? My flat-mate went to take a shower and she left her candle burning on the top of the television without a candle mat. The Small tee-candle obviously heated up very fast, burned the plastic and fell inside the television. The television caught fire. What happened next, you already know.
It was horrible experience for all of us, but luckily the story has a happy ending. If I didn’t hear the crackling, we wouldn’t have worked together to extinguish the fire quickly enough, her giant poster would have caught on fire and the fire would have spread. . I don’t want even think about what could have happened if Nicola had lived alone. She is happy to have us, to take care of her air-headedness. Therefore my story is proof that sharing a flat with other people sometimes can be good as it can prevent catastrophes.

Birthday party
My flat-mate and I are really close. I can say we are best friends. We always celebrate our birthdays together. This year, some friends and I threw him party and bought him a cake. He was extremely happy, even letting us take a picture of him blowing the out the candles.

Pizza Time
During undergrad, my flatmate and I had a ritual of getting pizza from this dirty, seedy pizza place near where we lived every Sunday.  We would always get 1 extra-large pizza each.  And then we would go home and stuff our faces with pizza that night – and for the next 2 days.  Kind of gross, I know…But it wasn’t just about the pizza – yes it was delicious (and disgusting at the same time), but those Sunday nights were reserved for us.  We rarely ate together because of our conflicting schedules, and there would be days where we didn’t even get to see each other, but every Sunday night was pizza night – we would chat or watch a movie, and just make time for each other.  It was always my favourite part of the week.  That year, I gained 11 pounds.  It was totally worth it. 
- Charmaine

Again, we’re asking YOU, our dear audience, to vote for your favourite story. The winner will receive two free tickets to the Special Evening Opening: Global Homes at the Geffrye Museum this Wednesday! Vote for your favourite by leaving your comments!

Monday, 7 May 2012

The Bright Side of Student Living + New Contest!

Happy Monday, everyone!  There are only 8 days left until the Who Stole my Milk? Exhibition opens!  We have had a great time reading all your stories and seeing all your pictures.  It has been a wonderful experience, so thank you for all your contributions thus far! 
As our blog will be coming to an end soon, we would like to end off on a positive note.  We’ve covered many topics over these last few months, from food to cleanliness, and from favourite objects to conflict.  The time spent as a student is a very unique stage in one’s life.  Although there are often challenges that arise when students live together, more often than not, living together can also be an enriching experience.  It’s during this time that people make some of the best memories of their lives.  So this week, these are the stories that we want to hear about!  Send us your stories about your favourite student-living memories, your accounts of wild (but child-friendly) experiences, or anything else that makes you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside!  As always, contributions can be directed to whostolemymilk@gmail.com.  We look forward to hearing from you! Like last week, we will reward the best story or photo with two free tickets to Special Evening Opening: Global Homes!

Friday, 4 May 2012

The Dark Side of Student Living: Conflict Contest Winner Announced!

On Monday we published a bunch of interesting stories about the conflict in student homes. We asked you to vote for your favorites and you did. It is now time to announce the winner of two free tickets to the Special Evening Opening: Global Homes at the Geffrye Museum. The winner is…(drum-role please)… Iris, with her story about Dani - the early bird who did not share her food.  Congratulations!

Your stories of conflict evoked memories, inspiring even more of our readers to share their stories and photos. Since these later entries are really interesting, we could not resist publishing them.

- Jill

We also had a great story from Lucy:

I simply can't resist telling you my story of the charming girl I lived with last year. She quite frankly destroyed my year.

Me and "Jess" had been good friends in our first year of university, so it seemed a natural progression for us to share a house in our second year, what could go wrong? She started out as a lovely and fun friend, but it soon all started to get a bit odd, and not so friendly. We rented our house in June and I had to go away for a month or so with university on a project in Italy. I asked all of our housemates including her to ask me if they wanted to let a friend use my room for a night or two while I was gone, but other than that 'please don't just use my room, I pay a lot for it' (or something along those lines).
Anyway, when I returned, similar to the other story you posted, my room wasn't in quite the same way as when I left. Lo and behold, not only had "Jess" let someone stay in my room for the whole duration of my trip (without asking), but she had charged rent. Wonderful. So, as any sane person would, I confronted her about this issue. After making a 500 pound profit from the room I pay for, she refused to give a penny of it to me, unsurprisingly. Arguments of epic proportions followed and I eventually gave up, and came to the conclusion that "Jess" was not a very nice person at all.
I thought that would be the end of it. I could not be more wrong. I (and my 4 other suffering housemates) soon learned that "Jess"'s arts degree was far more important and difficult than anyone else's in the house (including those studying medicine and vet. science, of course). She insisted that we all listen to her daily rantings about essays, exams, lectures and so on while our work was not as important. During exam season or when an essay was due, we would all quietly knuckle down. She would not. She would go absolutely nuts. There would be tears, drama, demands that other people make her cups of tea and often meals, and insist that we drop all of our own work commitments to read and help edit and re-write her essays (and for some reason we sometimes did...). When she did not have an exam or essay due (while the rest of us did), she would blast her stereo and sub-woofer and insist on 24/7 noise and 'fun' with her pseudo-hipster strange friends. She would also be revoltingly dirty, refusing to do any dishes or cleaning during her period of 'undue stress'(funnily enough she is the one who created the authoritarian cleaning roster). Bad enough? Yes. But not the end of it. We all also learned that "Jess" was very possessive over people.
She did not like her friends becoming friends with one another, and when I got together with my current boyfriend, I actually received a 'warning' that nothing could 'ever happen' because he was 'her friend' and not mine. Needless to say we both deemed this a little crazy and hilarious and did in fact end up together, very happily. As if the warning wasn't enough, whenever James would be feeling down, "Jess" would audibly insist that it was because of me, and push him to break up with me (in our house, in the room next door to me), and then act sweet and lovely when she saw me five minutes later. She would also talk daily about how 'tough' it is that everyone fancied her. They did not. She became obsessed with the idea that all of her male friends, and anyone else's, wanted "Jess" more than anyone could comprehend. This isn't nearly the end of the story, much worse things have been done by "Jess" since we all moved out, but they are of such an extreme nature that they deserve a memoir at the very least. That's my story of the charming young lady who attained the apt title of 'the Führer' amongst our housemates.

Thank you to all for your contributions and congrats, again, to Iris, the winner of our contest!  Our exhibition is fast approaching, and we are preparing another contest for more free tickets, so stay tuned!

Monday, 30 April 2012

Dark Side of Student Living - Feedback

Thank you to everyone who shared their stories this week about conflict in student homes.  We know it can be a touchy subject! Here are some of your stories about the conflict in your homes:

Living with Dani – the early bird who did not share her food

Previously I had shared an apartment with three roommates and I thought I handled living with other people quite well, we agreed about almost everything and did most things together. So I was quite confident walking into the dorm and very excited to meet my new roommates. But nothing could have prepared me for the one roommate I had to share my room with – her name was Dani. She was a few years my senior, near the end of her study who already had a part-time job. As she had been living alone for quite some time before my arrival, she treated me like an intruder from the very beginning. I was aware of the fact that we were not exactly a match made in heaven but was also determined to make things work. Unfortunately this turned out to be much more difficult than I had imagined.

Very soon it became clear that we could not have been more different. She was an early bird and I was a night hawk. This was my second year as a student and I dedicated a lot of my time partying and returning back home in the middle of the night. Of course I did my best not to wake Dani up which meant tiptoeing around the room and trying to be as silent as possible. However, when she got up in the morning she ignored me completely. She simply turned on the lights and walked in and out of the room as if I had not been sleeping there. If she was especially in a good mood she whistled or murmured a tune. Moreover, once she even opened the window at 7 o’clock in the morning, saw her friend outside, started yelling her name and spoke to her for five minutes.

Dani had an unusual idea about sharing, it went like this: she used all of my things like they belonged to her but heaven forbid I took something that was hers. Her motto was: what is mine is only mine, and what is yours is mine as well. She made sure I knew which things were hers as she wrote her name on every milk cartoon and tuna can that belonged to her. Once my friends and I were cooking lunch and were one can of tuna short so I used hers, with the intention of returning it, of course. When she came home I told her immediately that we had eaten one of her tuna cans and she instructed me to go to the shop as soon as possible and get her a new one. The idea seemed quite reasonable at the time because I believed she wanted to make pasta and could really use that can of tuna so I put on my sneakers and ran to the store. When I returned she took the tuna can, wrote her name on it and put in the fridge. She ate it a few days later.

Spending three years living with Dani is now a distant memory and despite all the things that she put me through, sharing a room with her certainly was a valuable experience. I am still surprised by the fact how different she was from me and how she was not prepared to compromise. I think it comes as no surprise if I say that we do not stay in touch and I have not seen her since she moved out and we celebrated for 3 days and nights.  
- Iris

The building where Iris &Dani used to co-exist.

How my flat-mate transformed my room into a hotel

It all began when I announced that I wouldbe leaving for 10 days trip to Northern Europe. My flat-mate – let’s call her Olivia - with whom I only share the flat but not the room, happily announced that in the time of my absence her friend – let’s call her Tia- would stay with her. I answered that I was ok with that, as long Tia did not sleep in my bed. Surprisingly, Olivia looked at me and responded sarcastically: “She won’t sleep on the floor.” I explained to her that I didn’t feel comfortable with people I didn’t know sleeping in my bed. My room is my private space where the objects I am attached to are, and I don’t allow strangers in. According to Olivia, I overreacted. She accused me of being drama queen. Again, I specifically stated that I didn’t allow anyone to sleep in my bed as my room was not a hotel room for her to rent out for a week. Olivia agreed Tia wouldn’t sleep in my bed, but she added that she wouldn’t tell me anything about their sleepover. You can imagine my surprise. Although she promised, I knew Tia would sleep in my bed, but Olivia planned not to tell me! Because I really didn’t want someone use my bed in my absence, I asked other three flat-mates for cooperation. They suggested that I lock the room, but unfortunately my room doesn’t have a key. As I didn’t want to upset our landlady my room remained unlocked when I left. When I returned back from the North, I found some of my objects and bed sheets were not in the same position as they were when I left. Other flat-mates confirmed my suspicions. Tia stayed in my room for all ten days of my absence. What did I do? For the sake of peace in the flat, I haven’t spoken about the problem with Olivia. If I would, I’m sure we would have a serious fight which could ruin the good atmosphere of the flat. I changed my sheets and moved on.

My noisy flat-mate

My boyfriend and I used to share the apartment with other couple. They were really nice, but that changed soon after we become overly familiar with us. They had crossed the limits of our privacy when she kept asking unpleasant questions about our relationship. When we told her that we didn’t feel comfortable speaking about our personal things with her, she was offended. From that moment on she drastically changed her attitude towards us. She was in constant conflict with us. For instance, she started to provoke us by making noise. Slamming doors late in the evening and talking loudly in right outside of our room early in the morning are just two examples of her testing our nerves. Before our talk she was completely satisfied about the level of cleanliness of our flat after we cleaned it but, afterwards, she started complainingabout how dirty it was. Once after we cleaned the shared spaces in the apartment, she even “cleaned” the already clean apartment, pointing out we hadn’t done our job properly. She also developed the annoying habit of washing whatever she could wash 3 to 4 times per week. She even cleaned the carpets once per week, just to occupy washing machine and accused us of being dirty.  I felt sorry for her boyfriend who was caught in the unenviable position between his girlfriend and us. I’m sure he was relieved, when they moved out. I know we were.
- Anonymous

Flat-mate from hell

So I've lived with some pretty horrible people (I called my last flat 'the crack den'...it was really that bad). But the worst people I probably lived with was this guy in my 3rd year of my undergrad. I lived in this really nice terraced house in Camden with 3 really good friends and we needed another person, so we advertised (first mistake) on the UCL housing website and this guy came and seemed really nice, until he moved in.

He was disgustingly dirty, didn't do any washing up, didn't do any cleaning throughout the house, used to be in the bathroom for over an hour having a shower (hot water costs money people!), although he didn't shower that often, which was also pretty grimy. He was argumentative, he used to refuse to pay the bills until we forced his too, he was unsociable, I remember this one time having lots of friends round and he sat in the middle of the living room and played on his Play station and just ignored everyone. He used to fill the freezer up and he never cleaned his out of date food out the fridge (we used to do it with a long wooden spoon as usually you couldn't even tell what the food used to be). He was absolute hell to live with.  It got to the point where we didn't even speak, he only really communicated with one of my flatmates in the end. I was so relieved when he said he was moving out 2 months before the end of the contract. So glad it’s over. Even the memories make me shudder!

Conflict also results in angry messages left in the common space. What do you think caused the anger of authors of the following two notes?


- Anonymous

As you can see, we received some really interesting contributions this week. We couldn’t decide which story or picture should win two free tickets to the Special Evening Opening: Global Homes at the Geffrye Museum. Therefore, we are asking YOU, our dear audience, to vote on who will enjoy live music, wine and lots of great activities on the 16th May for free. Will it be Iris with her story about Dani? Anonymous whose room was converted into a hotel? What about Anonymous contributor number 2 with an overly curious, washing-obsessed, flatmate? Hannah’s flatmate from hell? Leslie’s photo of an angry note? Or, will it be the photo of the note about cleanliness from our final anonymous contributor? It’s up to you! Vote for your favourite by leaving your comments!