Semester 2 Overview

Wow the semester is over again, and only for the second time. This year has flown by pretty quickly. It’s not over yet so I’ll save the complete reminiscing post for the end of the year. But anyway just thinking back over the last 4 months, a fair number of things have happened that should require time to ponder over.


Considering the “mechanical” portion of things, I don’t know what that means don’t worry, I’m still working out on a suitable routine in terms of my timetable. it was only this semester that I was able to have a 3-day week. My only mistake was making it extra tiring with only a 1 hour break each day for lunch. It was most tiring not having enough breaks; having to sit through 4 hours of classes in a row. The trade off was that I spent as little time as possible at university, giving me more free time outside. It’s been quite relaxing being able to spend two complete days away from uni doing other things and just relaxing. One thing I lost as a result was getting back from uni early before the end of the day. I found I couldn’t work for the rest of the night because I was so exhausted, meaning my time for study was limited to the weekend and those two spare days, which I suppose isn’t good.


Because of the lack of breaks during the days I was at uni, there wasn’t much extra stuff I could take on apart from classes. Things were so unfortunate for me that my timetable was forced so well as to prevent me from going CBS completely the entire semester. It was completely anti-CBS nearly. I luckily was able to use my Monday break for Bible study, but that was about it. I tried to skip classes to take up other things; I was going to CBS Commerce Core for a while, until I started falling behind in Calculus; if a more redundant course was in that time slot I wouldn’t have minded skipping it. I also thought it wise to skip my very first Actuarial subject for indoor soccer. Even though I value that course very highly I somehow thought more of taking up sport. But it was good that the Actuarial course was simple enough that you could skip the lectures and just read the textbook; it was the material that was hard, and there wasn’t much practice questions or homework to…practise with.


I guess I know better to allow for more breaks in my days next semester. I seriously would like some spare time during the week so I can go out and do non-uni stuff. Need to also make time for physical exercise. Gave up joining other clubs this semester; I already didn’t have enough time to partake in the clubs I had signed up to last semester. So I’ll probably end up going to the gym next year, not to use the equipment and such, no. But rather, I’ll take advantage of the pool, which is cheaper. But that’s all until next year.


Most disliked course this semester was Accounting. There was compulsory homework each week, sort of. They were to check three times out of the 12 weeks and of course the fear that kept us guessing each week persuaded us to do our homework each week. The most “fail” part of the course were the lectures themselves. Again we’re looking at those pathetic 30-40 page long lectures notes each week. The pathetic lecturers were really bad at exporting lecture slides from PDF files, resulting in only 3 slides per A4 page, when you could easily fit 6 or 8 of them on a page. They left half the page with lines to add notes to them, which sometimes were helpful, but ultimately there was no need to need that much white space. I say, let the students choose how to print their notes. Lecturers were fob, were rude and weren’t very knowledgeable. One had a severe anger management problem, she’d get distracted very easily but the most inconspicuous of students and so the lecture wouldn’t really go anywhere, even though we’d end half an hour early. They were the most boring 2 hours of the week, each week.


Macroeconomics wasn’t too bad, for once we had a lecturer we could understand, which was a huge relief. Our lecturer was fairly intelligent, in that he helped contribute to our textbook, which has to say something about his credentials as a lecturer. He had the habit of walking around the lecture room though as he gave the lecture. Usually he’d stand in the middle of the room, such that he was closer to the people sitting at the back, while the rest of us would have to turn around to see him if we weren’t looking at the lecture slides. It was an interesting technique; after all, the closer you are to certain people, the more they’ll focus and stuff, some psychological thing haha.


Our Actuarial Studies lecturer is pretty good. He had an awesome writing tablet so he could scribble notes on his slides for us to copy and such. He doubled as my tutor and was really helpful for this first semester of the course. There isn’t much to say about him. He’s really friendly and gave a lot of helpful advice on solving problems and studying for the exams. Looking forward to having him as lecturer for future courses.


Maths wasn’t bad. Although it was only this semester that I finally found that my Algebra lecturer, who was the same as my Discrete Maths one from last semester is relatively boring. His notes were the ones where you had to fill in things as you went along, which isn’t that great a technique. I mean, “fill in the blanks”, come on we’re not in kindergarten anymore. Our Calculus lecturer was a bit better, although his voice was scarily cheerful and sort of high-pitched (for a man); and he had a really bad throwing arm when it came to giving out lollies to reward people for answering in class. He warned us at the beginning of the semester that he was really bad at throwing. Seconds later the Minty he threw threatened to rocket through the ceiling of our lecture hall; yep that’s how bad his aim was. He’d stop the lecture halfway at 30 minutes to give us some maths “trivia”; so he’d go on about some mathematicians and some other random stuff, which most of the time was interesting to hear of, and gave us a chance to calm our minds down a bit, that was good.


All in all, there is a lot of improvements still to be made next year, in order to find a suitable timetable to fit everything in. Not sure what lies ahead next year but at the least I’ve already picked out my courses for next year, sort of. Still need to find out a few more things, but that can wait till next year haha!


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