December was definitely a tale of two halves! The first being that of the dreaded final exams. Admittedly the extent of these exams did come as a little bit of a shock having spent the year convincing myself that the Canadian style of continual weekly assessment would result in little more than a pub quiz at the end of term. In the end however, the exams were not too bad, and the fact that I had been forced to review content throughout the term meant that revision for the final exams was not as traumatic as usual.
So I’m now 5 weeks into term, and to say the last month has been fairly busy would be a serious understatement! There is so much going on around campus, not to mention in and around the city itself, that the last couple of weeks have been fairly non stop. Classes are now in full swing, and one of the biggest adjustments since arriving here has been adapting to the teaching / assessment methods. Unlike in Durham where all the exams are generally in the final term, here you are assessed constantly with class ‘quizzes’ every other week ( they’re not as fun as they sound ), assignments and lab reports to be handed in each week, and midterm exams dotted throughout the term. The work load is fairly constant however, because the ‘summative’ parts of the course are spread fairly evenly throughout the term, there is much less of a build up to the usual intense last term and final exams back in Durham. At least that’s what I have been assured….