By Matt himself
Diary- Day 1, Monday 12th July 2010
After waking up to a wet and humid day and having to catch a bus and train to get to Reading, I walked about 10 minutes through the high street and I came to a road to where I thought the Royal Meteorological Society was. I walked right up to the end I eventually realized that I’d walked straight passed it. I managed to find my way to the right location and after ringing the doorbell I was greeted by Sue B. I was introduced to Rachael and then Emma, who was also on work experience along with Arianna. We started off the day with a little introduction to the society and its employees and a tour of the building. After our little talk on our itinerary for the week, we started off with today’s forecast, what it showed us and how the rest of the week has been predicted to be. Having not done a great deal of study on weather at school, Liz explained to us about the forecast graphs and all the different lines such as isobars and symbols used to represent weather fronts.
We then had a weather factsheet to do on different issues affecting the UK and I had a Heat and Health warnings. I started research on the links that Rachael had sent me and read through on some specific points on the websites. I then collected all the information I needed to do the article and found
out some interesting points about the levels of the warnings sent out about the met office in aid for the health services to be ready for an outbreak of prolonged hot weather. By this time lunch was upon us and so Emma, Arianna, Liz and I went on a small tour of reading where we sat down and had something to eat.
Image - Arianna, Matt and Emma
We came back, did a little more on our article and then went up to Sue B to do some work on Administration of the society, except it wasn’t so much about administration, more of a job putting badges together for next week, although it did help her out a lot
Day 2, Tuesday 13th July
Today was another wet morning and fairly cold one too, however this time I did get soaked before I arrived at the society. Our first task of the day was to research the place names related to meteorology in some of the major cities around the UK and to find some events so that Rachael and Liz will be able to promote the new weather club magazine that is being launched in September. Once we had done that, Ari and I spoke to Althea about membership at the society and got some interesting facts about how a member of the public can become a member.
We had a quick bite to eat and then I carried on with the article from yesterday. After we then went on to do a table about the different types of clouds. I really didn’t realize how many clouds there actually was! Ari and I did 6 each; I found some facts out about some of mine about their appearance and where in the atmosphere they were. 2 of each were from the highest altitude, above 6000 metres, 2 from the middle and 2 from the lowest altitude, which was below 2000 metres.
Day 3, Wednesday 14th July
If after 2 days of work I’m already tired, I don’t think I will be ever able to work fulltime, although I do have an excuse, I did have to commute 2 hours just to get here every day (I don’t think I will be doing that again). When I arrived, we were given a list of questions which we all started off the day by researching and answering them in an ask the expert questions and answers style. We did a few questions each and we also had time to do a few of our own too. I learnt why the sky was blue, why sunsets are red and also how thunder and lightning occurs. Most of which was new to me, as GCSE Physics has completely been forgotten! Afterwards it was time for lunch and so we headed down to the Cornish pasty shop and then walked around the shopping area for a while. Emma was really eager to go in the pasty shop but when we got there she didn’t even get anything.
In the afternoon we came back and had some work delegated to us from Sue B to research all the universities based in the UK to find out how many people their lecture theatres could hold with prices too. We each researched a few Universities and I put them into a spread sheet so that Sue could use them in the future.
Day 4, Thursday 15th July
Is it me or does working at the R Met S get stranger and stranger every day? For some reason (which I’ll explain shortly) we spent the day in a cemetery. We went there with good intensions but it is something I definitely wouldn’t have guessed doing while working in Meteorology. It was in fact the rededication of George James Symons who was buried at Kensal Green cemetery. He was the founder of the rainfall organisation and became president of the British Meteorological Society twice in his lifetime. We started off by welcoming everyone to the cemetery and then Ari and I guarded the medals and book with our lives that were given to Symons before he died. The plaques were unveiled by Tim Palmer (Elected president of the R Met S 2010) and Stephen Burt and then there were a few speeches by Tim Palmer, Stephen Burt and Reverend Canon Paul Williams. I had the great job of taking pictures of the day but I bet they’ve already been deleted.
One of the fine images that Matt took (that we didn't delete!)
It was a really enjoyable day and to top it all off, Kathy suggested we should walk along the canal back to Paddington Station. We did eventually meet up with Dr Brian Golding and followed him along the canal seeing as he was also going to Paddington himself to then travel all the way back to Exeter. Typically the sun decided to come out just as we left the cemetery, but it was a nice walk along the side of the canal, shouting at moor hens and taking pictures of graffiti!
Day 5, Friday 16th July
Waking up to the last day of my work experience was really sad. I was shattered after I played in my school’s summer serenade but fortunately it went really well which added to the excellent week I had in Reading. When I arrived I continued on my diary, but was desperately needed as a question host for Rachael’s and Kathy’s practice for next week’s big challenge against the Eggheads. Good luck guys!!!!
I really loved working at the Royal Meteorological society and it has given me a good idea of what I want to do in the future (something along the lines of meteorology but not in an office 24/7). Huge thanks to Rachael who gave me this opportunity and thank you to Sue, Althea and Kathy who I worked with and I hope we were of help to you and that we didn’t get your way too often.
Thanks once again