^ Got stuck in a tiny bit of traffic getting out of Auckland on Good Friday… (it went all the way down to the SH2 turn-off – and then some)

Hurrah! Five weeks of classes down and now its Mid-Semester Break – two weeks of absolutely nothing.

Oh wait.

I have two exams during my first week back, so maybe not quite nothing.

Before the break, I submitted assignments for each of my classes and sat a French test as well. Assessment is quite varied and frequent compared to the just one or max two pieces I had in high school each term.

For Accounting I had a short assignment on the work we’ve covered so far, worth 5%. Then after the break, I have a test worth 25% of my mark! Back in high school, all my assessments were worth the same, so it’s interesting having things worth different amounts and making sure you put in an appropriate amount of effort, without overdoing it. Also, studying over the holidays – that’s going to be bucket loads of fun…

On the last day before the holidays, I had a 1000 word Business 101 essay due, which will make up 20% of my grade. I’m a bit nervous to see how I go on this one, as there were a lot of concepts to cover in not a lot of words. Either way, it will give me a better idea of the expectations expected. Which I think is quite an important thing with these first assessments – no one is entirely sure what the expected standard is, so you’ve just got to do your best and see what happens.

Here’s a quick side-by-side comparison of the weights of different tasks across my classes, to give you an idea of how it all works:

Oral Class-Work – 20% 😱

The criteria for ‘Oral Class-Work’ – it’s not just speaking!

French 269 is the only class I’ve had marks back from already, and I was actually pleasantly surprised with them! In the course outline, it says the course is at a level appropriate for those who did French studies in their final year of high school. And while this is true, the class is not purely filled by first years, and there are lots of people who have spent extensive periods in France. This got me a bit worried when 20% of the grade comes from speaking in class. However, when you look at the grading criteria, a lot of the potential marks are actually from preparing and even just listening. It definitely helps that the class has less than 30 people anyway and my tutorial only has six, so it’s not too threatening to speak up and participate.

Back by the beach

Since it’s the first holidays, I decided to come home for the two weeks, and just about everyone else did the same. I left Auckland in the dark on Friday, and it took an extra hour and a half to get down to Tauranga thanks to the Easter exodus of people from the city.

A friend still at the Halls says it’s like a ghost town – there are four people left on the floor of thirty. For those who are still at Huia, the RAs are organising events to keep you busy – such as movie nights, visits to some of Auckland’s sights and they even did an Easter egg hunt too. So while it may be quiet, you won’t be left with nothing to do. If you get totally desperate, I’m sure you’d find some study to do 😉

For me though, I’m going to enjoy catching up with my family and doing some touristy stuff in Tauranga – while I’ve now been in New Zealand for 4 months, there’s still plenty to explore around my family’s place.

Sunset with the Mount in the background

I’ve definitely missed the sunsets down here

I’ll be back in two weeks to give you another holiday update, until then – feel free to ask any questions below 😊

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Rory Tait

Hi! I'm Rory, I'm originally from the UK but I grew up in Australia and now I'm studying a Bachelor of Commerce and Diploma of Language in French at the University of Auckland!

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