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I’m a Survivor…

…For finishing the first week of uni unscathed! That’s not really saying much though it was only the first week. That being said my schedule is not consistent day to day or even week to week which is why I have manually placed it all into my iPad calendar and get reminded of everything I’m doing every day. Thank goodness for technology. Anyway here’s what I’m taking this semester!

ANTH104-Indigenous peoples, development and anthropology

CLAS104- Greek Mythologies

ENCH293-Fluid Mechanics 1

MATH302-Partial Differential Equations

Four classes alright! The smallest course load I have taken ever in my life. Also it is already quite a lot of work but most of it is reading and all of it is done outside of class. There are just a few differences between the American college system and uni life here in New Zealand, let’s review some of them ( I am not complaining about any of these, it is merely a comparison!)

1) You get maybe four or five assignments per semester. So you know how your math or other classes are constantly having you turn in problems weekly? Yeah that doesn’t happen here or at least not very often. My math class is actually on assessed on tests so whew the pressure is on to do well on the THREE tests I have this semester in that class including the final.

2) The assignment due dates will probably all be the same day no matter what discipline. For example the day before our glorious three week mid semester break occurs I have an essay due, and fluid mechanics assignment due and a fluid mechanics test, yikes. Then the last day of classes before finals I have a mythology assignment due, and take home test due and another fluid mechanics assignment due. Side note the due dates are also spread out fairly well for each individual class but this also has to do with the fact that you turn in 4 to 5 things a semester.

3) Classes can be whenever they want. At least in my experience at home uni, when I have a class it is at a set time MWF or T/TH. Not here. My mechanics class meets MWF but at three different times over those days. At first I thought this was weird, now I just embrace it because its normal here.

4) Lectures are videotaped and then put online for you! This has never happened to me although I do attend a very small school where classes are fairly small and thus videotaping lectures is not necessary I guess. In any case its nice to know that if I happened to miss something the first time in my lecture I can always go back and watch it again.

5) Tutorials. Ok so these are usually required in every class although some set them up differently, but they aren’t necessarily just for getting help. At least in ANTH and CLAS they’re for talking about ideas we have and also for helping us with our essays and assignments. Some are also mandatory as in part of your final grade comes from whether or not you participated in these. They are also not run by the person who gives the lectures but by tutors which are typically grad students in the respective field.

Those are the main differences I can think of at the moment. Now thoughts on my classes!

ANTH104 is going to be really cool because I love studying people and their perceptions of the world around them. I’m hoping that we delve into a lot of good Maori history because they are a HUGE part of New Zealand history. CLAS104 is right now my favorite class for several reasons. The first being that the professor (Lecturer as they are called here) is absolutely hilarious. He’s smart, funny and sarcastic so basically I think he’s the best. Also the way we’re approaching the study of myths is interesting and not boring like it was in 8th grade. ENCH293 so far is a bit slow but its also technically a sophomore class so we’re learning things that I learned as a sophomore like how to write a report. There are some key differences between the way we do it back and home and here so it was interesting to see those, and I’m sure we’ll pick up the pace soon. MATH302 is terrifying. There is no other way to put it. I knew that it was going to be scary though and I’m fully committed to going to office hours and the weekly tutorials because I will pass this class but its going to be my hard one for the semester.

So yeah, so far so good. Clubs day was Wednesday and Thursday and I’m interested to see how the clubs I joined turn out and what I learn and who I meet and such. Things will keep on rolling and I’ll keep you updated! Cheers!



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