Thursday, February 24, 2011

Post Twelve: First Week

Ok Macquarie, it has been a difficult ride, but now I think perhaps things are finally sorted out between us.

First week of classes was pretty much ok, I had one major problem on Wednesday when a prof surprised us in class by saying that the 2 hour lecture was going to be only an hour each week with a mandatory discussion class on Tuesdays...problem was I had previously scheduled classes on for all of the times the mentioned Tuesday!!! ERG! I was able to switch some stuff around so it was all taken care of, but the principle of the matter remains the same...and this Prof STILL has not even given us a syllabus so we really have no idea what the heck is going on in this course.

Other than this hiccup, I am thinking that I will like my classes alot. They have interesting material combined with stuff that I really couldn't learn anywhere else (e.g. Aboriginal Studies). My Philosophy of the mind/body(brain) problem class is perhaps the most intriguing class I have ever taken, I cannot wait until we get into the meat of the course. It is all about the idea of the consciousness vs the brain, are they separate, what is consciousness, etc.
Today we discussed Descartes theory of Dualism which proposes that the mind MUST be separate/different from the body because one cannot fragment the mind into pieces, whereas one can certainly cut up the body/brain.

Also, another nice aspect of classes is that (with the exception of this one problematic class), all of the class lectures are recorded online so one can listen to them later if one needs to. So the frantic note taking is a little less frantic.

In other news, I am going to try to join the Water Polo team. It sounds like if I have never played before that doesn't really matter (sort of like Womens Hockey at LU), so I am looking forward to seeing whether this is the case!

Other things I have discovered

1.) Aussies NEVER walk on the proper side of anything, if you are walking on the Left side of the sidewalk, they are on the right (coming at you), likewise if you switch to the right, inevitably farther down you are going to have people on the left side! There is no rhyme or reason to it and NO ONE will move for you, they WILL run into you first. I may try the technique of just stopping (instead of stepping to one side) and see what happens...

2.) Cars will stop nicely for you at the crosswalks ONLY at Uni. downtown Sydney they will come within an inch of hitting you. e.g. if you are crossing and they are turning left they will stop, wait, then go when you are an inch farther than their bumper. However, at Uni they will always stop, which is very very nice when one needs to get to class.

3.) I do not know if this is an Aussie thing, or just MQ. But there is absolutely nowhere to sit and study except the Library, or ones own room. The class buildings are just classrooms that are locked if they are not hosting class. Also, of these buildings, most of them only have classrooms that open out to the open air, so there isn't even the possibility of sitting on the floor. It makes getting to class early a waste of time, because once one gets to the classroom vicinity one has nowhere to be...

4.) Kms are alot harder to run than miles when one is used to miles. Because one gets to 3.0 Km alot faster than 3.0 miles, but of course it takes almost 5 km to be 3 miles and when one sees the 3 on the screen it is difficult not to be done...also when one has not run consistently since...January...that might have an effect too...

Lastly, there was a double rainbow over my dorm the other day. Double rainbow song anyone?

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