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Hannaa Kotb, Cheryl Kam, Shreelata Datta

Medicine 2007, Healthcare Management 2004, Medicine 2003
tell tales of pub crawls and library gossips

Listen to the interview here

Hannaa Kotb When you tell people you've gone to Imperial it goes, like, oh, you go to Imperial. So, I guess it's just people know who you are.

Cheryl Kam Prestige, I think.

Interviewer: Where did you meet?

CK We all work in the same hospital right now.

HA So, we never knew each other here. We all studied at different years or different things, at different times.

Shreelata Datta Same place. Just different times and we've all come together today but we know of each other because we've all worked in the same place.

CK Because of this reunion we're back here, I guess, which is cool.

Interviewer: How was life here in Imperial? I mean, you said you're not taking this seriously. I would like to know what was the most stupid thing you did when you were here.

SD It was probably too many.

CK So many.

SD It's probably not for cameras.

CK What else is going on? Internet, TV?

HA I guess, for me, obviously I've just graduated so, I suppose the best, the most prominent memory is our graduation and we have our summer ball on the day you get your results. Everyone's just graduated and I see all my close friends pass their exams and we're all happy and then we all went to the ball, which this year was held at the Stamford Bridge. And it was just such an amazing experience to be there having all just qualified and it just turned into oysters with our champagne, just drinking and just being really, really stupid. And you're in amongst all these doctors and consultants who've taught you over the years and you just don't care, you're just drinking with them and they just drink as much as you do. And you're like, oh my God, the entire time you're seeing them throughout university they seem so sensible and then you see them drinking and getting drunk and you are just like, oh my God, these are registrars who, like I would never ever say anything in front of, but they're exactly like you. It was just really nice.

Interviewer: Do you feel the same thing?

SD I think, actually you can divide it into two camps. You can go for the formal side of things and in that case my best memory would be the graduation and that would be in the Royal Albert Hall. So, I've been to other people's graduations since but nothing compares. So, it was fantastic to be able to have that opportunity and I had the opportunity to do it twice having done a BSc here, as well. So, that was really good and again, the parties after that are fantastic. But informally, there's a lot of charity work that gets done by the college and also by our medical school and so, things like the circle line pub crawl and the balls that are organised through here, you've got some really good unique memories of doing some mad stuff, going round on all the cheap lines and along all the pubs on a central line just to collect money and, that kind of thing you just cannot buy. That's very unique memories that are very special and associated with this college.

Interviewer: What is this circle line pub-crawls?

HA Basically it's for RAG week. Every university has a RAG week, it's just where they've got different events on different days, and it's all to collect money for a charity. One of the events is a circle line pub-crawl and you're supposed to stop off at every station and basically have a drink at each stop on the circle line and then go back to, now it's Hammersmith, like Charing Cross Hospital. And you go back there afterwards for a party and the state people are in when they have arrived, having drunk the whole day. To start at 11 o'clock in the morning and you're supposed to at Charing Cross Hospital at seven for the bop, which is the party afterwards and because you drank the whole day trying to collect money at the same time and everyone's just so drunk. It, it's just the memories that this year we'd go round and it just descended from us nicely asking the Chief, could you give some money, it turned into us screaming, money for charity, money for charity. Then we stopped off at Gloucester Road, I remember, that we went into the Nat west there, just opposite the station. We went into the bank and we said, come on, open the safe, give us your money, give us your money and cos we started taking photos and stuff, they said you're not allowed to take photos in here, cos obviously because of security. But they were just so nice about it, unfortunately we can't open the safe, you know, if I could, I would. Those were just the stupid kinds of things you do. But it's all obviously for charity.

SD So, it's a fantastic week and you literally do go crazy from that point of view because you can get away with so much more, just on the power of that.

CK In the name of charity.

SD Yes, of that, it's for the aid of charity. And you all dress up and it's just a good thing to do, it's a nice thing to be able to do for a whole week and the whole of the University of London to get together and do that.

CK How much did you collect in your year, do you remember?

SD Oh my God, no.

CK You also want to compete against other universities to see how much you collect.

HA To see who makes the most, for sure.

SD But I'm sure we had no competition.

HA This one actually did her medical degree.

CK I did my medical degree at Kings and Kings are our rivals.

Library booksHA I'm sure we raised more money than you.

CK Oh yes.

HA That's the other thing I probably remember the most, just the endless rivalry between Kings and Imperial.

SD Oh my gosh, yes.

CK Was there rivalry?

HA There is, it's just well, I don't know why.

HA For everything, isn't it.

SD The biggest rivalry, it's rowing, cricket, everything, just name it.

HA Yes, all the sports.

SD The boys get very, very territorial, I have to say.

CK When I came here it was the first year I think, that they opened the library for 24 hours so, obviously deadlines and everything, we were cornered into having to go to library at four o'clock. So, we thought, yes, let's do that, let's go work on this project at four o'clock, it will be peace and quiet. Not really, because there were so many people there at four o'clock in the morning and we were really shocked how keen everyone were. So, that was quite eye opening.

HA It's like, I think, the first time I came to the library was towards the end of my second year just before my exams. I'd never made it into the library before that because I was like, oh, whatever and then I came and I just went, there's so many people, why is there so many people in the library. There's five floors and the fourth floor is where the medics are basically because of the medic books and everything and everyone would know the fourth floor is like the social floor because you go up there and there's the group study area and basically everyone's talking and you go to the quiet floors and like, it's just way too quiet. So, you go back to the medic floor where everyone just talks. I don't know if it's just our reputation.

SD It is our floor, yes.

HA It was just our floor that was known as the group study, which wasn't a group study it was just the social area.

SD Gossips, yes, a.k.a. gossip. But no, that library is actually very well stocked. I remember running down when we had our book list to check out the library, and they usually had three or four copies of the same book, which is unheard of, and it would be the latest editions. So, it was quite good from that point of view but I was fortunate enough to be in the first year of using the Sir Alexander Fleming Building. So it was all brand new and you felt very important being part of that building and going up those glass stairs etc so, that was quite a nice feeling as well and having to go there every day, it was hard but we made it.

HA That building was great though, I loved that building. They come back today, I mean she said she hadn't been here for a while, but I came obviously for affirmation a couple of months ago but it's still all so emotional. I go, oh, there's our building.

SD I know, you've just got to get over, you cannot get over that you actually spend so long here; it's really funny to think back. You used to take it for granted when you were actually here but now that you're actually away from the campus, you actually appreciate it in a different way completely.

Filming by Barbara Axt Portella.

  © 2007 Imperial College London

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