Who else is starting university? (or a new academic year)

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Who else is starting university? (or a new academic year)

Postby Hiking Fox » Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:31 pm

Just curious. I've finished a HNC at one university and have now enrolled on a part time degree at Salford, with lectures beginning next week.
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Postby Travelgal08 » Thu Sep 24, 2009 7:32 pm

Nope just trying to finish many years of study and once it's finally done I'm hoping not to do any more study for a VERY LONG time :D But best of luck with yours and Kali and Baldy and whoever else is back in academic-mode.
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Postby baldy » Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:53 pm

I have started this year at Edinburgh and my lectures have already started. The homework is piling on.
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Postby helmut » Fri Sep 25, 2009 2:55 am

I am going to apply to do my Masters next year.. I'm going to do a Master of Arts in Writing... I'm really excited about going back to uni! Since I finished last year I have been floating around listlessly, begging for scraps of work :P
*take me to the mediocrity dungeon*
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Postby puppydog » Fri Sep 25, 2009 2:47 pm

Going back in January after 9 years away !
Arf! Arf! Grrrr! Arf!
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Postby theblackcat » Sat Sep 26, 2009 8:07 am

Just finished my second master's. This year will be my first without classes in a while :D I will apply for a PhD but not just yet, I need some time off. Good luck to the ones who are studying though!
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Postby sosso » Sat Sep 26, 2009 8:21 am

I'm half way through my degree. Right now we're on a mid-semester break, but I have work placement in the orthopaedic rehab ward at a local hospital so I won't have much time off. Looking forward to it though.
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Postby Gelert » Sat Sep 26, 2009 10:48 am

Ahh, fresh blood.

I only realised today that it's seven years to the day since I arrived at Uni and that I have four whole days left.

I envy all the well-scrubbed kids who are stuck in the traffic jam outside my building trying to get in, even if their parents are honking their horns literally and metaphorically. Most will probably graduate without discovering the deeply sordid underbelly of academia, the lucky sods.


Good luck to you all.
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Postby virago » Sat Sep 26, 2009 11:19 am

Not only have I begun a new academic year of teaching (still getting to know the little darlings :D ) but I start the second half of a year-long specialism in literacy teaching next week.

It's lovely to be a student again and I find it really informs my teaching, not just from the new theories and approaches I'm discovering but simply the feeling of being a student - the workload, the worry, being on the other side of the teacher-student relationship reminds me of what it's like!

(Remember new students, teachers are human too!)

Saying that it's an OFSTED year, I've got a million lesson plans and schemes of work to write not to mention tutorials, admin, assignment deadlines for my course...not to forget teaching the little gits as well... :shock: :shock:

I might be criminally insane by Easter :twisted:
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Postby V VII Hero » Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:29 pm

I wish I was doing college right now!
I plan to return to university in about a year or year and half.

Gonna major in Brasilian Portuguese Language and Literature.
Wish to be a translator for a career. So I can work over the computer and live where ever I want and be free to travel.
language fascinates me.

I got interested in Portuguese language through practicing Capoeira.

trying to figure out my school options right now.
From Texas to Alaska, exploring the world.
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Postby Hiking Fox » Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:05 pm

Gelert wrote:Most will probably graduate without discovering the deeply sordid underbelly of academia, the lucky sods.


I've just been told by one of my lecturers that I need to commit 400 hours in total to studying for the first semester (ie to the end of January).

Together with working 8-10 hours a day 4 days a week, this won't leave much time for being sordid or having pleasurable experiences under somebody's belly. Or posting on VF. Damn.
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Postby Gelert » Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:53 pm

Hiking Fox wrote:
Gelert wrote:Most will probably graduate without discovering the deeply sordid underbelly of academia, the lucky sods.


I've just been told by one of my lecturers that I need to commit 400 hours in total to studying for the first semester (ie to the end of January).

Together with working 8-10 hours a day 4 days a week, this won't leave much time for being sordid or having pleasurable experiences under somebody's belly. Or posting on VF. Damn.


Shite. Make sure to have SOME free time. But:

Urban legend: Lecturer at Wankstainbridge University introduces a guest speaker as follows.

Good morning, everyone. Today, we welcome Dr. Jones. For the top quartile of the class, Dr. Jones needs no introduction at all. For the second quartile, of course you will probably have encountered Dr. Jones' seminal work on the evolution of quorum sensing in Gram negative bacteria in your reading. For the third quartile of the class, you will need to know something about quorum sensing in the exam. The rest of you, try not to worry about any of this, it's chips for lunch in the refrectory.

Lecturers periodically make statements of the kind "you need to commit to *** hours a week", it's usually a very crude tool designed to nudge those lower quartiles out of thinking about lunch and into investing more time studying. It's the best we can do, as nudging them out of higher education altogether would not be viable, commercially or politically. It's also unlikely to be as accurate for mature students who are generally more experienced at multi-tasking, managing time, prioritising and generally have experience in learning before.

I used to tell my second year students that I spent on average 100h per week studying in my third year trying to keep head above water, just to try and spark them up beforehand. Which was true, because I was a sad little geek with no other aims in life (plus ca change...).

But I never seriously expected any of them to do more than say, sixty or seventy hours per week which would have been ample. Until several of them came to thank me at graduation for the advice and apologise for not believing me at first. Oops.

The key word in this is "average" hours per week, certainly in the earlier years of a degree; chances are the bulk will land over Xmas in preparation for your semester 1 exams, and comparatively little over the semester itself beyond attending structured study (letchers) and sorting out continually assessed work.
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Postby Hiking Fox » Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:03 pm

phew!
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Postby KaliBaby » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:06 pm

lectures officially started this week and the reading lists are along as heck! I'm interested in most of the material although some of the readings have been repetitive. by this time next year, I will have completed a masters in conflict, governance and international development. after that, off to save the world :D

good luck to all those living and breathing academics at the present!!!
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Postby Gelert » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:53 pm

KaliBaby wrote:By this time next year, I will have completed a masters in conflict, governance and international development. after that, off to save the world :D


That's the spirit! Just you remember that when your spirits sink lower than the the pile of books on your desk and you'll get through!

{tale of woe}
My career as an academic officially came to an end with all the ceremony of a soiled nappy. My staff contract ended yesterday, but I'm yet to make it home from the office; it doesn't appear that they've paid me for the last month yet or given as much as a "thanks now feck off the campus", but that's a SNAFU.

In the meantime, in the final hours before my PhD submission deadline, the admin type dudes were fretting because they think I should be subject to a different set of regulations; ones designed for members of staff doing part time PhDs.

The upshot of it being that I should have two external examiners for my thesis defence, to make sure that I've not improperly influenced the internal examiner chosen (who I've met once and had far less to do with than any of the other viable externals) and have to pay £300 for the privilege of being fucked over. The added delay it will likely incur will probably seriously affect my chances of making the grade in time for appointment on the next contract, particularly as there are grounds for appeal which sours both sides - other PhD students who have ended up with staff contracts, even ones which have been running at the time of examination have not had to undergo this drama, so as these people don't work in my building I can't skiff their mugs to get payback.

And best of all, the PhD submission deadline, which has been set in stone, for four years from day one, magically grows to seven years.

Shame they decided all of this on year 3 plus day 364.5.

moral of the story: Academia: Do a taught degree like a BSc or a MA or something and GTFO. Once you cross the divide from student = customer to student = apprentice researcher, it causes all kinds of problems.

{tale of woe ends}
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