Back to University: Week 1 Review

After a year out of university due to illness, I finally returned this week to start second year afresh.

With most of my lecturers (and old friends)  out in California and New York on a field trip, my first week back was decidedly bereft of lectures themselves, with only 3 actually taking place! All the modules were new though, and I’m suprisingly satisifed with my module choices. I had assumed that I would change one of my modules to a politics equivalent, however having tried my two likely drop-options, this is now unlikely to happen. Evolution of Human Societies looks like a brilliant module, and I am so glad that I have taken it. To me, it seems like we are being taught the essence of Jared Diamond’s brilliant, seminal, Guns Germs and Steel, but with the latest developments that have occurred in the intervening years included. Assuming my fellow peers are also aiming to help tackle some of the global issues facing the world today, this module should provide an excellent grounding in a fascinating, vital part of human development.

The Politics of Climate Change and Energy is another good module it seems, and whilst it was my most likely module to drop, I’ve really taken to the style of teaching employed by the lecturer. It is a big class, with around 70-odd students it seems, and thus it might be a bit harder to make my work stand-out. The assessment methods for this module are great though; 3 blogs combined to make 2000 words, a concept map and some Policy Analysis. I’ve done some policy analysis before, thankfully, the blogs should be my ‘bankable’ marks (I hope at least), and the concept map is something completely new. I’m more excited about the concept map than the others though because it looks like a really good way of detangling complex issues, such as Perhentian Islands Development or some defence analysis on Central Africa. Ideal.

The work will kick off in earnest next week, however this week has been a really nice induction back in to the swing of university life. I had a meeting with a departmental figure to officially say hello and plan for any future illness, which was lovely, and have spent most of the week in the library reading about Islands Biogeography. I’ve honestly learnt so much in such a short space of time, it really must be something about the university atmosphere and experience. Being back at university does feel like a great big safety net has been thrown over me again, and I think this is perhaps part of the undergraduate experience. Having spent time out of university, I learnt life skills that my course simply wouldn’t have taught me, and I guess I have sympathies with the people I have spoken to recently who have said that the graduates they have employed in the past have been hopeless – not because they don’t know how to do their jobs, but because they lack basic life skills to get them through the week.

I ended the week on Gylly Beach late at night, watching the supermoon and the stars glisten over a calm sea, as a fire crackled in front of me and some of my closest friends.

A lovely, calm start to the semester, but to be honest I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in properly. I’ve done my reading, I’ve planned a couple of my climate change blog posts, I’ve got loads of Malaysia plans in the works, and I’ve nearly finished the Perhentian Ecology website.

Roll on week 2! P1150243

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