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On the upside, after next Tuesday I have 6 weeks off school - Tactical Ninja

May. 28th, 2012

09:30 am - On the upside, after next Tuesday I have 6 weeks off school

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Last night I dreamed that I attended a lecture on pasture management at Cambridge University. Being an old university, they had some traditions that must be kept up:

* holding lectures in an old stone churchlike building and requiring students to stand when the lecturer entered, then holding the actual lecture outside because the building was too small.
* having a large bronze statue of an ostrich wheeled onto the platform for the duration of the lecture.
* taking photographs of myself and the lecturer doing ducklips for Facebook.

I found this last bit quite disturbing. I don't have a Facebook, wtf?




It was in that little dairy that's sort of opposite Fidels. Y'know, personally I think sometimes they take that whole Cuba Quarter thing too far. Especially when we only have three Quarters.. *cough* On the back it extolled the benefits of taurine for 'drivers, students and revolutionaries' and said that you could revolutionise your energy levels by drinking it. Since my energy levels don't really need revolutionising, after having a sip (it tasted like all the other energy drinks) I gave it to the YoT and observed closely.

So far he has not taken over any small island nations that I've noticed. He may have got a new hat in Team Fortress - does that count? The verdict: The Revolution will probably not be fuelled by Seize Power Energy Drink.

Meanwhile on Saturday I went to one of those combined tai chi, yoga and pilates classes that they run at the gym. I did it because of my body being all 'grotty'* as OsteoDude put it, and because of finally deciding to do something about my shearing-and-horse-riding-truncated hamstrings not being as stretchy as the rest of me. I found it challenging without being actually painful, but had that usual thing where I have no clue how to do the moves and my attempts to copy the person in front of me were, um.. cartooney at best. However, afterwards I felt quite nice and nobody actually laughed at me. I'll probably try to make a habit of doing one of these classes a week - they come free with my membership so I might as well, eh?

* I think he means that my neck and back muscles feel something like My First Macrame Project.


I continue to be unimpressed with the assessment style of this course I'm doing. We now have a 'take-home test' that was originally supposed to be a 2-hour in-class exam, but because the lecturer is a new expat and not familiar with the holidays, he didn't realise next Monday (test day) is Queen's Birthday and the university would be closed. They've changed it to a take-home test and now all the answers require references. This means the expected standard just went up. There are even word counts attached to each question. We have to write a total of 3000 referenced words on a variety of prescribed topics related to the handling of drugs in contemporary society. In a week. It's worth 50% of the course mark.

This is the hardest lot of assessments I've ever had to do for a 200 level course and seriously? I think they've missed the mark with their expectations. Either that or this course is set at the level the lecturer is used to from England, and the usual NZ assessment level is internationally quite low. I am supposed to get my essay back today so I guess that'll give me some indication of where I stand..

Maybe that's why I dreamed of doing ducklips with Cambridge lecturers. Because it's more fun than dreaming about trying to do well in this course. ;-/

Comments:

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From:pombagira
Date:May 27th, 2012 09:47 pm (UTC)
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ohh i remeber when one of the Reli studies lectures did that, he was new as well.. *coughs* i might of made an appointment with him for the day the course ended and had words with him about that, and the course content to boot.. *coughs*... and weridly he was never again able to meet my eye ever again..

*doing ducklips all the way*

do be do...
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From:tatjna
Date:May 27th, 2012 09:52 pm (UTC)
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I am debating with myself whether to do that or to just do it in course feedback. This course has the two people I would be considering as supervisors for my PhD running it, so I'm wary of making myself unpopular. On the other hand, I'm really feeling that there's something a bit off with the way the assessment has been done.
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From:pombagira
Date:May 27th, 2012 09:58 pm (UTC)
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i figure the more diplomatic you are the better.. aprently i can scare lectures from america more then britian or australia.. mind you i was kind pissy..

so i would say you approach it in a calm and considerate mannor, becaues they probaby actually want to know, and most students don't say anything.. and if you do it in a meeting kinda way then 1 you are serious about what you think, 2 concerned enought to request a meeting ... maybe if you wrote stuff down in your course evluation and then took that with you to said meeting.. could be well helpful for future course attendees.. maybe it should really be a 3rd level paper..


*ponders this*

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From:tieke
Date:May 28th, 2012 08:50 am (UTC)
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I also had an experience with a new lecturer being overambitious about what the students could handle. I think it might be a bit of a new-lecturer-thing.
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From:tatjna
Date:May 27th, 2012 10:09 pm (UTC)
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My dream had more paved courtyards. Also, multimedia presentations, which I imagine are considered somewhat vulgar but necessary in this day and age.

Maybe this is why they were hidden away in a paved courtyard.
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From:tatjna
Date:May 27th, 2012 10:59 pm (UTC)
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Needs moar bougainvillea.
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From:t_c_da
Date:May 27th, 2012 10:44 pm (UTC)
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2) Paddocks should be rolled, spiked, mowed and swept for three generations before they are considered presentable.


I once worked (in Scotland) at a place like that, but unfortunately the current generation had let the standard slip quite badly, especially by breaking rule 1) above...
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From:richdrich
Date:May 27th, 2012 10:11 pm (UTC)
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I'm fairly convinced that you're conflating Oxford, where they have the ostrich, with Durham, where they do the standing up and going outside.

I have the prejudice that English degrees are harder for a given course level, not because the students are smarter, but because they (mostly) study three relevant subjects at 16-18 rather than five (?), and are thus better, if more narrowly, prepared.
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From:tatjna
Date:May 27th, 2012 10:15 pm (UTC)
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I don't recall being offered any subjects at 16-17 that I'd consider relevant to what I'm learning now tbh. They were all really broad overviews of a really broad topic.

Maybe English was useful because I learned how to structure an argument?
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From:wildilocks
Date:May 27th, 2012 11:20 pm (UTC)
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I found SEIZE POWER at the Reject Shop in Melbourne a few weeks back. I also did not manage to take over any small island nations - but I did manage not to fall asleep at work. I think that counts as a win, and I would purchase again :)

also - I got a GrabOne voucher for Koko Pilates, a tiny!pilatesstudio on Ghuznee St just off Cuba Mall. I did my first class last Wednesday and I quite liked their setup - small, friendly, no reformers but they had other equipment which was good fun which I hadn't used before. Really good beginner level ie didn't feel too strenous in class, but which I felt for days afterward in all the good places :)

I mention this because a) it's very close to your abode and b) the voucher includes a "bring a friend for free" option for one of the 5 included classes, so if you're at all keen on trying a local pilates place for free, let me know - obviously you already have free classes with your gym but it's nice to try out different places I reckon!

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From:tatjna
Date:May 28th, 2012 02:22 am (UTC)
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I would happily take up the offer of friendly pilates! Although thanks to the abovementioned take home test I'm not able to do evening stuff till next week.

Also, I know nothing of equipment. Are you supposed to have a mat thing? They don't need one at the gym but apparently other places like you to have them.
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From:wildilocks
Date:May 28th, 2012 03:36 am (UTC)
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That's actually not an issue as I'm away from Wed-Sun in Melbourne - so my next class booked is Tues 5 June at 6.30pm (and the week after) if either of those dates are good I can book you in as well? :)

You don't need to bring anything, all mats provided, and they have chairs and leg thingies on the walls.

:D
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From:tatjna
Date:May 28th, 2012 03:40 am (UTC)
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Ah crap. Tuesday nights are circus ones for me. ;-(
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From:wildilocks
Date:May 28th, 2012 04:20 am (UTC)
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Ah dang :( I'm waitlisted on a Monday 5.30 one too, but chances of getting that +1 are probably slim :/ Otherwise I am probably going to do 1 or 2 11am classes on Wed but I assume that's completely out for you :P
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From:tatjna
Date:May 28th, 2012 04:24 am (UTC)
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Ah well. I reckon Polly might be up for it though! :-)
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From:rivet
Date:May 28th, 2012 07:51 am (UTC)
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Most of my university exams after first year were take home exams. They require more effort (though less than a full-fledged paper), but give a much more equal footing to those who don't test as well under time pressure. They're also WAAAAY easier to read and mark, because they're not handwritten!
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From:adam_0oo
Date:May 28th, 2012 08:31 pm (UTC)
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I am a fan of energy drinks, especially wacky ones. Please send, very thirsty!
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