This week, I have worked in animation festival 2013 – Animation13. The annual animation festival runs in its 6th year since inception. It is a UK wide festival organized by our School of Computer Science and open to UK school students aged 7 to 19. This year entries are received from 1,583 students (154 schools). From all these entries, 41 students from 24 schools are honored on the award day – Friday 12th July. You can browse the details here.

The day went really well, with greeting of guests at morning, managing key activities at afternoon, helping guests throughout the day etc. Funny thing though, the graduation for the undergrads were going on just a building away – Whitworth Hall. Now, some of student helpers came to street with animation day posters to guide the guests to the venue entrance. Note the venue – Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama! Honestly, it is not that easy to find the building. Although, I admit it is a superb venue considering the auditorium and large theaters. Moreover, parking lot is also not far away.

Anyway, the shirt we were wearing that day are the purple shirt that is used across university and is almost the official student helper signature. We faced all kinds of queries – related to graduation, how to reach to Whitworth Hall, Manchester Museum, restaurants and other university buildings. We even never heard of some of those building names before. I guess, the signboard of animation day didn’t help much to avoid these queries. People just looked at our purple shirt and thought to use us as local google! 🙂

The hot day made the street jobs even worse, specially at the entrance of Oxford Road, due to direct sunlight to your face. Luckily before the start of the day, we had a nice informal group chat, got to know other student helpers well. That came handy to make few adjustments. Keeping our health in mind, we switched our routines after each half an hour to get the street job going.

Let me tell you, managing kids is one of toughest jobs in the world. But, there were enough student helpers around. Few student helpers from the Music and Drama department were also present to set up the presentation systems. Kudos to those folks who presented hands-on activities at the afternoon. Those activities were the real crowd-puller. Even we got fascinated by those activities. There was also an amazing keynote talk by Dr. Gavin Brown. And all of these would not be possible without the superb administration of event committee, under leadership of Toby Howard.

Speaking of presentation systems, Amar Bose, the founder of Bose Corporation, recently passed away. He created the iconic Bose sound systems, which we all dream of owning one. The presentation systems at Matin Harris Centre were also excellent. All kids had a great time. I sincerely believe, childhood is the best period of life. Events like animation festival help kids to dream further. You can check out the winner entries from the official website. Most of these entries are really cool!