Shhhh! It’s midterm season!
Don’t shout too loudly, everyone’s trying to revise. That dreaded word ‘midterm’ abounds around campus right now; whispered in hushed tones in the library, wailed out loud in student residences or in moans of anguish over a pile of revision notes.
As someone who is used to the epic struggle of huge summative essays on top of final year exams, the humble midterm (worth around 25 – 30%) of the winter term’s module could be seen as a doddle. Ah, but not so! It’s one concept which I’ve been struggling to adapt to, that’s for sure. Mounds of continual assessment means that the pressure is always on; little essays here, a surprise pop-quiz there, graded presentations and of course, the midterm. It all adds up to the final mark. Whilst I’ve never been one to slack until the deadline, the way that each module is structured here means that there is no let up whatever your work ethic. It’s certainly a challenge.
Despite all that, I have to say, I really like this way of grading because if you slip up once, it’s okay. The semester might be longer but at least it means there’s plenty more opportunities to prove you’ve got what it takes. Unlike at home where massively intense end-of-year assessments can be the maker or breaker of your final mark. It’s a terrifying idea which haunts every Durham students’ nightmares.
So that’s what I’ve been doing recently, revising. And I’m sure that’s one thing both UofC and Durham students could agree upon, “revision is the bane of our lives. When can we finish so we can go partying already..?” With that being said, I’ve still tried to find time to get out there and explore so that I have something more interesting to talk to you about than just plain ol’ exams!
Looking back through my diary, I realize how much has happened in the past month that I’m struggling to narrow down the best bits!… and come to think of it, I have still been celebrating quite a lot despite those pesky midterms! My highlights included:
- Raving out to artists like Branchez and LOUDPVCK – Calgary has a thriving EDM scene, if you’re into that.
- My first Toga Party – which involved an emergency transformation of a pillowcase into an oh-so stylish garment that the Romans would be proud of.
- Attending a Passion Party (which I’ll leave up to the inquisitive among you to learn more about) which was surprisingly informative and absolutely hilarious.
- Grabbing a chance to go on the Sky Luge at Canada Olympic Park before it shut for the season. This basically involved donning an attractive helmet, taking a ski lift and then hurtling down a 1.8km track in a tiny, rickety cart (or in my case, trying not to crash into little children whilst being overtaken by boy racers who evidently thought they were taking part in a Grand Prix). Super fun!
However the best thing about this month has without a doubt got to be Thanksgiving! I was extremely grateful to be invited to spend the weekend at my roommate’s home in Penticton, BC. A small town, surrounded by huge lakes, steep rolling hills of evergreen forest and yet with a disorientatingly Mediterranean vibe. Getting there may have involved a 13 hour coach journey each way but it was so worth it!
My unsophisticated appreciation of wine (i.e. which bottle is the cheapest) was re-educated as I was taken on a local wine-tasting tour of a select few award-winning wineries. I was also treated to two mouth-watering, home-cooked Thanksgiving feasts; pumpkin pie, apple tart, sweet potatoes, stuffing, lots of veggies and all the good stuff! Needless to say I was carrying a bit of extra weight when we traversed through the spectacular snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains on the way home.
….So I guess it hasn’t just been all work and no play…
Keep you updated soon,