30 January 2011

Let's get down to business...to defeat the HUNS!

...Okay, not really. Sorry.

But it is the first day of school tomorrow!
I can’t believe I’ve already been here for over a week. But here it is, Sunday night, and I have class in the morning. (Well. Not exactly the morning.) The new schedule will be going thusly:

Monday: Technical Elements at noon – 2pm, then an hour break before Commedia at 3 – 5pm. This class actually has two parts, first lecture for an hour and then something that might be more hands-on, or a small-groups discussion period or something … my class schedule is vague on the details. We’ll see. Tomorrow will be my introduction to Kingston's theatre department! It'll be interesting to see how much they've got in common with the gang back home.

Tuesday: Nothing! Which is to say, I’ll probably use this day for homework, small outings, blog posting, etc.

Wednesday: British Life and Culture class from 2 – 5pm, same setup, with lecture for the first hour and then something that might be more interactive for the rest.

Thursday: Nothing!

Friday: Stage Directions from 11 – 1pm. Am slightly intimidated by this one, because Lord knows I have neither the experience nor the temperament to feel anything like prepared for it. Nevertheless, if they don’t eat me, maybe it’ll be fun.

The school structure is a little different here, as you can see; classes meet just once a week, but for larger blocks of time. Also, the textbook lists that your lecturers provide beforehand (you don’t call them ‘professors’ here; that’s actually the highest title a university teacher can get, so most of the people one would ordinarily call ‘professor’ aren’t really. My academic advisor suggested starting with Doctor so-and-so if you don’t know what the lecturer wants to be called, and if they haven’t got their doctorate yet, they’ll just be flattered. Otherwise, they’re lecturers or tutors. ) are basically a joke. “Don’t buy them until you see the whites of your tutors’ eyes,” my advisor said, which was a relief, since my texts list for four classes was about 26 books long. Yeah. Really. They don’t like to tell you which ones are required (as opposed to casually suggested) until the first day of class.

Also, final exams schedules here are another mystery. It’s apparently quite common, even expected, not to know when your exams will be until April-ish. Now, for me, it looks like I won’t have any proper finals: the grades for my classes will be based entirely on working log, portfolio, coursework and performance essay, respectively. But still. Due dates? People are so mystified when I tell them that I don’t know specifically when I’m coming home, whelp, this is why.

That’s pretty much what to expect for the upcoming week. I do intend to post pictures + commentary from this week’s events, though, don’t worry; I just have to get those tons of pictures together and sorted out. In future, I think postings will be more of a thematic nature – I’ll write on a specific aspect of my experience, rather than trying to recount all the details of a particular day. There’ll probably be exceptions to this, of course, but what do you think? Any preferences/requests? Speak now or hold your peace for awhile …

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