Monday, August 24, 2009
I’m now into my 3rd week of classes. Back into study mode!
Prior to my arrival I had experienced some enrolment dramas which continued when I got here. After getting a massive number of subjects pre-approved there still wasn’t enough running and willing to accept me. I ended up having to pick and start new subjects hoping that they would be alright. Thankfully I did eventually get approval for those from my home university. I’m just glad I didn’t have to go through the enrolment process local students do. They get assigned a certain number of points which they use to bid against each other for places in subjects. I’m told that since leftover points can be carried from one semester to the next that it gets insanely competitive for some subjects.
So far I’ve done pretty well at finding my way around the campus. Might have a bit more trouble with finding tutorial rooms when tutorials start. There are shuttle-buses that go around the campus, leaving every few minutes. That really appeals to my lazy side and it is really nice to not have to walk far in the heat. The food on campus is mostly really cheap although some of the available interpretations of western food are “interesting”.
One of the major differences here is how the assessment is structured. Back home, assessment in many arts units is heavily based on essays. Here, for the subjects that have them they aren’t worth nearly as much. Some subjects don’t even require me to submit an essay. Instead, the assessment is heavily weighted towards exams (usually 2 a semester.) I have mixed feelings about this. On the negative side if it is mainly exams you have to really know your stuff because once you get the question you have very little time to think about it. On the positive side, exams don’t require footnoting. Even with good citation management software footnoting can be one of the really frustrating parts of doing an essay.