Saturday, January 20, 2007

things about my university that you probably don't need to know

Like a crazy person, I signed myself up for summer school at the university I attend, Canterbury University. This is because I will miss one semester at uni this year and have to catch up papers in time to do Honours in 2008. This basically means I have been wallowing in university stuff since February last year, and will have no substantial break until July this year. A wise decision? I'm unsure. But since I have been so immersed in university lately (and basically nothing else interesting is happening), I thought I would write a blog entry on Things About My University.

Firstly, I really like (most of) the lecturers at my university. If you will cast your eyes above and below, you will see Michael Palin, Bono and Adam Clayton. No, they are not my lecturers. However, in first year I had the good fortune to have Prof Geoff Rice (above) for Medieval European history. He is now the HOD of History, a great lecturer, and a Michael Palin lookalike. It is very scary. He even laughs the same way, and has similar mannerisms. I chose this photo of Michael Palin because it looked like something Prof Rice might do. Perhaps the photo doesn't quite have the same kick as seeing the man in person, but I assure you, the likeness is striking.
Likewise, I am convinced that my lecturer in second year for History of the English Language, Tony Deverson, has a genetic link somewhere to Adam Clayton, the bassist of U2. I apologise for the size of the photo, but it was all I could find. Again, in real life the likeness is quite striking. (Yes, this is how I spend precious lecture time; agonising over who it is my lecturers look like.)

Secondly, my university has lots of cafés. This is mostly a good thing but not great for my bank account. However, I allow myself to buy a coffee or something to the same value every day I'm at uni, and my FAVOURITE café is Café 101, in the Commerce building. They are just the best café ever. They make fantastic food that is healthy and not too expensive, they make the best caramel slices I've ever tasted, their coffee is great, and I have a friend who works there and sometimes sneaks me a discount. I have also found a way to cheat the system. You get 20 or 30 cents off your hot drink if you bring your own mug. So, I bought a thermos-type mug that is about double or almost triple the size of the ordinary cardboard cup they give you. So in the end I pay less than normal and get a drink that is triple the size, because they fill it right up!!

Thirdly, my university has nice grounds. A river runs through them, there's lots of big trees and grassy bits where you can lie in the sun or make daisy chains when you should be studying. In spring, there are ducklings wandering round, and cherry tree blossoms. On the other hand, most of the buildings were built in about the sixties when the university shifted from the city centre, and they are ugly, square and concrete.

Fourthly, the people who run the university seem to be all about the money, and they are chopping jobs off the Arts department. Not so nice as the rest. Because the uni gets a lot of international students coming to departments like Commerce, they spend the money on sensible degrees like that, and try to make the Arts continually lower their budget, even though Arts is the biggest department in the university and has a great reputation. I'm not going to rant about this for too long but I think it's stupid. Apparently it's happening all over New Zealand at the moment.

Fifthly, there is a great book shop at uni. Obviously it has all the textbooks and so on, but it also has heaps of great fiction with some of the more obscure stuff you wouldn't find at a mainstream store, and non-fiction too. The Humour section is cool, and there is a great selection of Tintin merchandise, randomly enough. There's also lots of choice of stationary. When you are a student, it is great to be able to spend heaps of time pondering which red pens to buy, end up being unable to decide and getting them all, and being out of pocket by no more than $2.

That's about all I can think of right now!

1 comment:

slskenyon said...

Just today, I received a rather extensive "donation" package in the mail for my former college, Holy Cross. Now, the tuition to go there was astronomical, and that certainly created a fairly "elitist" population there. They've been on this campain to raise money primarily from former students since I was a freshman there, and I am sure, without reading the package, that they must be fairly successful thus far. The largest part of this mailing was a huge booklet listing all the names of people who had donated by class year--so, a subtle nudge "look who donated from your class; wouldn't you like your name here, too?" My reponse: no, I think I "donated" about 120 thousand American dollars to attend your school and without a full time job yet, so my "donation" has been successfully made.