Tanzina Khatun

Tanzina Khatun
2nd Year, BA Geography
Hello! My name is Tanzina Khatun and I am a 2nd Year BA Geography student here at Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL). I love my subject and have been looking forward particularly to examining global inequalities and connections at a more advanced level. I love reading (mostly crime and mostly James Patterson's books though I have a leaf through books of other genres too) and writing (both poems and stories!) and hope that my studies will inspire my writing! Hopefully, my blog posts will do my course justice and provide you with an insightful vision of the BA Geography course at QMUL as well as other aspects of university life such as living at home or volunteering for different causes.

London Marathon 2016- Time to Marshal!

Hi all, I hope revision is going well for you. I thought I’d share my experience of volunteering with QMSU Volunteering at the amazing London Marathon last week- one of my favourite annual events to volunteer or spectate at.

The London Marathon is 26.2 miles and runners pass sights including the National Maritime Museum and One Canada Square, finishing at Buckingham Palace. This year’s was the 36th London Marathon and the millionth participant ran the route too!

Sunday 24th April 2016- the runners’ big day!

It is barely 4°C at 9am when we set off along Mile 19 to choose our places to be stationed at!

It is barely 4°C at 9am when we set off along Mile 19 to choose our places to be stationed at!

 

At around 7:45am, we had a rundown of the event (pardon the pun) as we’d been briefed on our role as marshals at uni on Friday. At 9am, we walked around to Mile 19 and I chose to be at a crossing point with three other volunteers. With a pair of us on opposite sides of the road, in charge of the crossing, we started cheering on the elite women, followed by the Paralympic athletes and then the elite men. We were directing spectators when they needed assistance. Soon, the masses started approaching us and hundreds of spectators on our road alone, us marshals included, began encouraging thousands of runners!

 

One of the elite runners approaches our section

One of the elite runners approaches our section on The North Colonnade

 

The whole day was brilliant. Though my hands were hurting from continuous clapping, icy wind and occasional freezing sheets of rain, I continued applauding the runners- the reactions of some runners when they saw everyone, even if it was just you clapping and calling their name at times, was my fuel!! My voice was going too and the responses of some concerned spectators saying “oh no, you’re going to lose your voice” was heart-warming. Some spectators were even cheering me on for cheering, aha!!!

 

A marshal portrays just how cold it can be during the London Marathon!

Tried to portray just how cold it was! This expression unfortunately doesn’t look like one of a cold me but a cautious me, aha- it was very cold indeed!!! I used my backpack straps to hold onto my useful event guide and free my hands, ready to applaud.

 

The great majority of runners were strangers (I did cheer on a colleague, a YouTuber and a former teacher, though) but I still genuinely believe they are ALL CHAMPIONS for running the marathon! Mile 19 can be one of the most gruelling miles. One of my favourite received reactions was people actually speeding up or starting to run when we cheered for them. And my reaction to that? Well, I was thrilled each time and jumped up and down cheering even more excitedly for them as they sprinted past me yelling a “thank you” or smiling from ear to ear at me while I mirrored the smile or laughed!

 

A wonderful event to marshal- substantiated by my sore and freezing hands at the end of the day and my now-croaky voice in need of a rest!

A wonderful event to marshal- substantiated by my sore and freezing hands at the end of the day and my now-croaky voice in need of a rest!

 

Well done, one and all, what an accomplishment, what a feat (that one was intentional)!

Be proud of yourselves for completing the London Marathon! A huge congratulations to Eliud Kipchoge who smashed his 2015 course record and Wilson Kipsang’s 2014 course record, setting a new course record for the elite men and to Jemima Sumgong who overcame some horrible falls and even an inconsiderate intruder on the course to win the women’s elite race!

 

Fact: The first event I can ever remember volunteering at was the 2011 London Marathon. Yes, eesh, half a decade ago!! Thus, volunteering at this year’s marathon marked half a decade of volunteering for me (not at every Marathon event but volunteering in general- 5 years ago is when it all started in volunteering for me)!

Fact: The first event I can remember volunteering at was the 2011 London Marathon. Volunteering at this year’s marathon marked half a decade of volunteering for me (generally, not at every Marathon).

Durham and beyond: geographers head North East!

Hi everyone! Below is a glimpse into my recent field trip to the North East as part of the first year of my BA Geography course – enjoy!

Sunday 29th March 2015, Day 1:

Here comes a Queen Mary Geography cohort! A six-hour journey leads us to the North East. This evening, we have a lecture from economic geographer Dr Stuart Dawley, from the University of Newcastle. Dr Dawley provides us with a historical view on the North East’s development challenges. The opportunity to questions is taken and concludes the day.

The street of our student accommodation at St Chad's College, North Bailey

The street of our student accommodation at St Chad’s College, North Bailey

 

Monday 30th March 2015, Day 2: 

Economics and society. We experience stories of the North East at Beamish Open Air Museum, situated in years 1825 and 1913, by talking to actors and touring the area. Our class then splits into smaller groups and my group travels to Newcastle to explore science-led regeneration in Newcastle Science City and the Centre for Life.

Many groups from the community are brought together for science in Newcastle's Centre for Life

Many community groups are brought together for science in Newcastle’s Centre for Life

 

Tuesday 31st March 2015, Day 3:

Politics and austerity. My group attends a talk from Simon Magorian (Newcastle Unites) regarding austerity’s effects on racism in Newcastle. We then carry out street surveys, establishing local thoughts on Newcastle. Our class also gets to question Councillor Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council on city-wide political issues. Before returning to Durham, we visit to the magnificent Angel of The North.

The Angel of the North

The Angel of the North

Sculpture of swans taking flight at the Civic Centre, where offices of Newcastle City Council are located

Sculpture of swans taking flight at the Civic Centre, where offices of Newcastle City Council are located

 

Wednesday 1st April 2015, Day 4:

Health and austerity. We attend a lecture on regional health inequalities by Professor Clare Bambra, an academic at the University of Durham. After this, the class fragments into groups again and my group meet Elouise Robinson (Sunderland City Council). Elouise shares various health schemes introduced by the city. In the evening, we perform role-plays, testing our knowledge of health inequalities in the region!

One of the buildings on Durham University's campus where Professor Bambra's lecture was held

A building on the Durham University campus where Professor Bambra’s lecture was held

 

Thursday 2nd April 2015, Day 5:

Saying goodbye! We have breakfast and return our room keys; the end of the trip is here. I feel grateful for this extremely beneficial field trip and I recommend it to every first year human geographer. If you join QMUL Geography, I hope you thoroughly enjoy your academic experience in the North East!

The historic Durham Cathedral overlooks the River Wear, basking in the afternoon sun

The historic Durham Cathedral overlooks the River Wear, basking in the afternoon sun

 

Some more photos:

Beamish Open Air Museum-

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Newcastle City Centre-

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