The end is near: #3

It is week 12 this week and many of my classes are wrapping up. On Tuesday our lecture for Science, Technology and Social Change surprised us with the announcement that we have no class next week. The end really is near. I’ve really enjoyed the tutorials for this subject, and it has inspired me to create a list.

Alison’s top 5 tutorials and pracs:

5. Social Inequality in Australia
I took this class in 3rd year. I think I attended two of the lectures all semester – but mostly because I had a clash. This prac was so memorable because our lecturer was a bit of a loser. He was really really good at labeling people and then making people conform to these labels for the rest of semester. So, for example, he began with himself – identifying himself as homosexual, and then not pausing to ask the class if anyone else had any contribution on homosexuality and inequality. About halfway through semester, in the week on ethnicity and inequality a couple of second and third generation immigrants including myself, volunteered some stories about the experiences of our parents and grandparents. For the rest of semester I was referred to as “the Greek girl”. Kind of lame. The most hilarious thing was his representation of America as the ultimate evil in social inequality. Every tutorial included at least a short rant about the failings of American society to care for the marginalised. Unbeknownst to the tutor, this particular subject was very popular with American exchange students and we had four in our class. They were very quiet the first month or so, but after week 4 or 5, one of them decided to challenge one of his points. He seemed surprised to hear her accent, and his expression grew more hilarious as the other American students echoed the first girl. His rants lessened in intensity in following weeks.

4. Any GIS practical
What an amazing feeling to create maps! In second year, I met my friend Amelia and we mapped the IT industry in Sydney and produced a report that was 1.5 cm thick full of maps. Even though
I did the printing, the third group member decided she would take the report home for her portfolio. Boo! The other awesome GIS experience was mapping a marine reserve in 3rd year. Can you imagine the incredible feeling of creating a flowchart of commands to create different maps which weighted certain criteria differently? No, you probably can’t, and you probably don’t care.

3. Science, Technology and Social Change
One of my filler subjects for this semester, it was a really weird subject to sit through. There were only 15-20 people enrolled in the class. We sat hrough a 2 hour lecture and then walked across campus for a tutorial. There was only one because the enrollments were so small. Unless I brought my knitting to class I would, without fail, fall asleep during the lectures. Our lecturer was brilliant, but spoke very softly and slowly and repeated herself often. However the tutorials were like nothing else. She had wisely chosen not to make us present every week. Instead she facilitated really stimulating discussions and lots of people were prepared to put their two cents in (it was like no other tutorial I had ever been in). We argued over and waded through complex issues like Obama’s “Green New Deal”, whether a global environmental consciousness exists, the ethics of trading body parts, the ethics of paid clinical trials, the problems of biosecurity and threats of pandemics and the use of biotechnology as art. Wow. I have never thought so hard in a tutorial before.

2. Cities and Citizenship
Pretty much the best subject ever. I found myself in a tutorial full of wonderful friends that I had made on our Condobolin field trip the semester before, and it was the first time that I felt at home in the Geography community. It was such a fun class. Most weeks, our tutor Kurt
would bring a pot of tea for anyone who wanted some. Marita brought wine, cheese and homemade sausage for her presentation on Rome. Bill wore his giant fake moustache during the week on colonial cities. I brought cake on my birthday. We conducted our tutorial on children and citizenship siting on the floor in a circle, because it seemed appropriate for the subject. It was definitely the most friendly and comfortable tutorial I have ever been in.

1. Any subject with Vras
You name it: Modern Greek (both language and culture), new testament Greek or Medieval studies – all of it was like nothing I have ever studied. I don’t even know how to begin explaining the Vras experience. I think I will save this for it’s own special entry.


5 thoughts on “The end is near: #3

  1. tibbycat

    I love the first story about the America hating teacher who discovered that he had Americans in his class. That’s brilliant! 😀

    Did your maps look anything like the following map?

    Because, they should.

    Kurt the tutor sounds cool. I wish my tutors had brought tea to class, and wine and cheese. That sounds fun. One teacher brought a cake to class for us once, but the Muslim students couldn’t eat it cause it was baked with alcohol. She felt bad.

    Lunch was luncherific yesterday 🙂


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