Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Classes have Started

Well, yesterday (3rd of March) was my first day of class! I am slightly proud of myself for being able to pick up on navigating through campus. It has taken me less time to get the layout of the land at Clayton Campus than my own campus at home. Then, this campus is less spread out than NCSU because there are less roads than run through the buildings. I can reach the end of campus in maybe 15 minutes.

I am a little less proud of myself, though, when it comes to trying to meet people in class. It is not 100% my fault. Since, Richardson is such a tight knit community, every class that there is at least one of the residence I have already met in the first two weeks in all of my classes. You in particular is in all of my CHE classes, and she has introduced me to friends she has met from Korea and China. What I am getting at is I have barely talked to a single Australian in any of my classes. I have begun some conversations with the locals that were cut short by class commencing once or twice, but overall I have ended up hanging out with other exchange students. Don't get me wrong, I am very happy to meet people from China, Korea, and a back packer from Canada named Chantal. I just think of it as this: "Why would you go to Australia just for you NOT interact with the local Australians?"

I have time. Tomorrow is only Wednesday, I just need to let my exchange friends know that I want to talk with some other people to can expand my network, for not only the class studies but for future endeavors in my life.

As for my classes, so far they have been basic review, just as it would be in the USA. Nothing new: introductions, outlines of the syllabus (or unit guide), the works and of course a review of previous courses, just to refresh everyone's memories. I am a little worried that these classes are going to be exactly the same as the ones I took last semester, though, instead of continuations (or part II) of the classes I took before I got here. The reason for my concern is because the books are exactly the same ones I used last year. I am hopeful that I won't fall behind. We never completed the book, so maybe it's just us focusing on the second half, or the book is written and looks exactly the same by the design of the cover, but it isn't the same. I think the latter is the case, because I started reading the online book and I don't remember reading these problems (even if it is just review). I am confident that my NCSU contact who took the same classes in the same stretch of time during her CHE major wouldn't lead me astray about which classes she took for the equivalent of our CHE major, class requirements.

Once again, I have bad luck with which professor I can tell I will like and which one I like but won't prefer as much. My Transport Processes and Separations Professor is approachable and tries very had to keep everyone engaged. My Thermodynamics II Professor is soft spoken and has a thick Chinese accent and terrible handwriting (yet instead of typed slides he writes as he goes), and I am fully aware that I struggle with thermodynamics. I have to give him props; my Chinese Professor is conscious of his accent, so he stated a reminder that all lectures are recorded for online perusal outside of lectures.

My nanoscience elective class has got me frustrated and not the material! The Professor initially cancelled classes for this week because they were going to absent. Then, there was a correction because another Professor had volunteered to sub for them. He never showed. Gissele, Caio, and I waited half an hour out of an hour lecture for him to show.

Finally, I am frustrated by the new, sensitive fire alarm system! It has gone of FOUR TIMES this semester, two of which went off today. They had warned us that there was a new system in place, and to be conscious of it by not hanging anything from the pipes, or boiling/toasting anything in our rooms. It must be a trial and error thing, because they are so sensitive that one of the instances was the result of my RA taking a shower this morning. The bathroom door is right next to the sensor, and the door doesn't go all the way up to the wall (there is a gap at the top). The have now sealed it up, but there is a small possibility that my RA will have to pay a $2000 fine to the fire department for the trouble it costs them to come out to a false alarm for TAKING A SHOWER! That's ridiculous! Best case scenario, MRS pays for it. That alarm woke me up 5 minutes before my alarm and almost made me late for class. The other one today happened while I was finally sitting down to read for my Contemporary Australia class in my room (because the common room is too distracting). I was pissed! The other incidences were over a game of BS, ironically, and 1am on White Night. Some people today, though were already hanging outside of my room because a possum was hanging out the stairway door on the pipes on the ceiling in the evening (unusual to see them before dark) when the alarm went off. I blame him for it even if this incident was from the conjoining Hall, Roberts. All you could see was his tale hanging down like a cat's white booted patterned paw (except for the curl at the end), and his face winking down at us from between the pipes. I am pretty sure he regretted his hang out choice, not only because of the human disturbances, but the loud BEEP BEEP BEEP followed by the WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP of the fire alarm!

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