Edit 1: Friday, 4th March 5:53pm
I said I’d post again after a week of uni, so here it is again. But before I get into my uni routine for this semester, I’d like to spend a bit of time looking at this:
Everyone should recognise this to be the chain that hangs off my phone. Most of you will remember that I once had a “gold” one, the one on the left; and now I have a new “silver” one. What was wrong with the “gold” one? Well those of you who have seen my gold one will have most likely FONDLED with it MULTIPLE times. And as a result, the one of the left is now the way you see it is. Before, it used to look just like the one on the RIGHT. Yes, that’s right, my “gold” chain used to be silver; which obviously implies that all your acidic sweaty fingers have fondled my chain such that all the silver colour has rusted away. I guess that can’t be helped. But I would hope that those who find my phone chain interesting, would admire it from a distance, rather than up close with your fingers; I don’t think I’ll be able to get a replacement one any time soon.
Okay, so onto uni now. 5 days a week is going to prove to be quite challenging, especially since my weekend is booked with activities and commitments as well. Doesn’t seem to be too bad, as long as I commit to doing my readings and my homework I should pull through this semester alright. There were a few notable things that happened this week, which should make for an interesting, yet annoying, semester. For starters, all my lecturers are foreign to the point where understanding their English becomes a challenge of its own. Both my Actuarial Studies lecturers have really appalling English and I find myself wondering how these people were even selected by the uni to be lecturers. Even if they are intelligent and such, if you can’t communicate what you know to your students, you’re worthless.
Our first Actuarial Studies lecture ended an hour early. The lecture was meant to last a full 3 hours (yes, 3 hours, no breaks, except for about 10 mins every hour or so). The lecturer just packed up his stuff and left, even though there was a whole hour left AND he hadn’t finished teaching the first week’s stuff. That was pretty bad. The second lecturer just couldn’t speak English full stop. At the moment one course requires a huge Actuarial Mathematics textbook, which was quite big and heavy, but only worth $120. The other course requires special course notes from the Institute of Actuarial Studies Australia, which go on sale for $150 for just the notes only, and $230 including a questions and answers booklet. Quite an outrageous price to pay for simple pieces of paper, it’s not even a textbook and they’re making us buy that sort of crap. Luckily our students have our ways to counteract that…
As for my two math courses, again both are foreign but their English is much more understandable than my Actuarial Studies ones. One of them was French with a fairly heavy French accent. In the first lecture he put up his contact number on the screen and told us to “call [him] if you want to hear [his] voice…” very nice! Although he seemed like a funny man, I was mistaken today when he sent one of my friends out halfway through a two-hour lecture for resting his head on the table. My friend tried to talk his way into staying, at the same time not realising that our lecturer was asking him to leave, due to his poor choice of English words. The lecturer later explained to us that he sent him out because he was not shown respect, and then mumbled some other stuff. Honestly, we’ve shown respect to all our lecturers by PAYING for them to teach us something we supposedly need in the future. And not only so, we’ve paid our respects by actually SHOWING up to the lecture; paying for our cost is a “sunk cost” already.
And the last math lecturer? He’s the crazy scientist-like guy who was my tutor was one of my courses two semesters ago. His accent is quick thick though so it’s a bit hard to understand him but he is quite intelligent. I call him crazy scientist-like because that’s what he looks like, not to mention the way he “wields” a piece of chalk and crazily writes a bunch of math equations of the blackboard quickly, and messily. I don’t hate him, he’s just really enthusiastic about teaching maths, which I guess is a good thing for us students who want to learn. Neither of my math courses require a textbook – well for one I do, but it was the same as a textbook I already have for an Actuarial course I did last semester; what a coincidence!
So all in all university doesn’t seem too big a thing this semester; although I speak pre-maturely about that since I haven’t even considered the homework, some of which I already have, which I haven’t done yet haha. The five days is going to hurt me I reckon, but I’ve done it before already so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
Moving on, I am once again leading a Bible Study group this semester for CBS. Instead of leading with MC Ding this semester, my co-leader will be super tall Ms Chung (code names will have to do, sorry people). My group so far is quite big, at least 9 other people apart from the leaders. But the thing that’s a bit daunting is the fact that they’re all 3rd years and older; I haven’t met most of the older students. My group only have 2 people that are younger than me and Ms Chung, so hopefully we’ll be able to cater well for them and look after them this semester. Other than that Bible Study leading should be alright. We’re having leaders’ meetings on Monday afternoons, though I suspect each week there is going to be problems with trying to finish on time; you can only do so many things in a 1-hour meeting, so having a long agenda really isn’t helpful. We will have to see how this organising structure goes.
I guess the last thing I might mention is youth group. Things picked up over the last few weeks, because my co-leader went off to do her own things so I was left to follow people up and get admin stuff done by myself. But now most of it has been taken care of for this school term. Hopefully I’ll be able to see some fruit from this term that will let me know that I’m doing the right thing; most of that will probably be seen through our Bring a Friend Day evangelistic thing; have a talk to prepare for that day too. It feels awkward now, doing talks, because I haven’t done a proper one since Soul Purpose back in year 12. As such it is probably up to me (and God) to become more articulate in the coming days and weeks.
Until next time, I guess I’m going to get back into studying or procrastinating.
Knew I forgot something. Wanted to also talk about how this week reminded me just how horrible our public transport system is. Not having used it during the summer break has eased a lot of stress from me. It really has been frustrating nearly every day this week just having to put up with the annoyances of public transport. As usual, trains run late but it hasn’t been that bad this week. It’s the buses that have been the most annoying this week. Simply put, the buses DON’T COME, AT ALL. On a few of my days this week, I got to the bus stop in time for 11am and 12pm and there were more than a hundred students waiting in line for the bus. Rarely anyone starts uni this late, and rarely do that many number of students wait for the bus, ever.
So I really have to hand it to the bus company, for knowing how to be inefficient. During peak hours, around the 9am to 10am mark, there are heaps more buses, which is good. The problem is that none of them are full; and this is when most students want to get to uni. The buses simply don’t wait and leave once the bus is half full, even though there are students waiting. I’ve even come across an EMPTY bus, that’s right; a bus that didn’t pick a SINGLE student up. I don’t why it was empty, but if it was going to the university (to take students back from uni), it could’ve at least picked up some students (even 1 would’ve been good) rather than be a complete waste of space on the road – seriously, a giant vehicle carrying only 1 person, the driver.
Buses from uni are just as bad; they also don’t come, leaving hundreds of students waiting, and missing their desired train. Not only so, but during O-Week, the express buses weren’t even stopping at the right place. They were stopping before the traffic lights, which isn’t where they stop, and they totally missed the normal bus stop, which is right after the traffic lights. And to add insult to injury (for those who were waiting at the right place), those buses were only half full as well. How’s that for complete *face palm*?
Today on the train back home, a man with a Middle-Eastern accent was shouting over the intercom; yes, shouting. It was hard to make out what he said, and all I really heard was “Attention passengers”. But what he said after that sounded along the lines of: “We have hijacked this train and will kill one hostage every 10 minutes until our demands are met. Do not try to resist.” Don’t you just LOVE this city?