Well, I had my first actual class today. It’s broken up into 1 hour of lecture, an hour break, then two hours of what they call workshop, which basically means more lecture with class participation. This is something very new for some of the students, as they are used to listening to lecture, copying down exactly what the professor says, then repeating that verbatim on end of term exams. There is much encouragment on critical thinking and class participation/giving one’s opinion here.
For the first few weeks, we have what is called Action Learning, a 2 hour session Monday afternoons with our course leader. For next week, our assignment is to list our strengths and weaknesses in the areas of our academic, personal and professional life, and come up with some ways to improve the weaknesses. The action part, which is to improve the weaknesses, will take part over the rest of the term, partially in our group of nine and then individually with the course leader. If I can come away from this degree with my serious fear of public speaking down, or at least minimized, I’ll be happy. Wish they had had this at the undergraduate level. I am quick becoming of the mind that British education is far superior to that in the states.
My landlady is quickly “getting on my tits”, as they would say here. Very nice, helpful lady…good cook…BUT absolutely talks me to death, and she’s having man troubles (which means the man she had for an entire week sacked her…means dumped her…and she’s obsessing over it). Called me twice during the day today, while I was at uni. The first time I called her back, thinking it might be something important; the second time, I didn’t even check the message. A closed door means “me time”, which I need plenty of, and when I’m at uni, don’t call;) I shall get the message across or be looking for new accomodations if it all becomes too much:) I don’t have much tolerance for a 40 year old woman looking for a man as her vehicle to babies and happiness.
Anyhoo, back to the fun stuff. My class this morning was International Tourism & Globalization, and the instuctor actually managed to hold my attention for the entire 3 hours. Very interesting stuff. Things I thought I knew a lot about I really don’t. I have to do a project on tourism trends in an international destination and I’ve chosen Belfast, Northern Ireland as it’s 1) a place i’ve been to and have a passion for, 2) it’s a changing and growing destination and 3) a place most people don’t consider going, but should! I’ve been starting to research tourism statistics—who goes there, why, how long do they stay, what is tourism’s impact on the destination, both negative and positive….environmentally, socio-culturally, and economic. I do think it will be a busy semester, but hopefully all new and interesting things to learn. (Remind me of this when I am stressed out and crying on everyone’s shoulders.)
Now that you are entirely bored of hearing about my studies, I’ll be off. Hopefully some more interesting non-school news to follow.