First two exams on the first day: sussed. I decided to take a break till Sunday… but it’s Tuesday now… whoops.
Promised a semester course review so here it is. It will just be a short ramble about how I found the courses throughout the semester. You can find the generic info about the courses here for arts.
Law and Society
This is the intro course which introduces you to New Zealand history, concepts and theories of law, ideas around property, rights, government, our constitution and all that jazz. This is a very content heavy paper as you aren’t really using your knowledge throughout the semester for assignments and tests, you just have one test during the semester and everything is tested in the exam which can count as 100%. One of my favourite parts was on Law and Rights where we were introduced to cultural defences and intellectual property– you go through three topics a week so keeping up is key. I think most people don’t expect what they get from this law course. It is very focused on thinking about how content and issues arise and are link together rather than applying the law to cases– something which I think is closer to Legal Method in semester two. Overall, I definitely found the course very interesting but it is seen as hard due to the competitiveness and the fact that it’s a new area you didn’t have in high school.
Beginning Modern Chinese 1
Though I’m a Malaysian Chinese Kiwi (my parents make sure I know I’m all three), I would say my ability to speak Mandarin is really lacking and up until recently I didn’t care too much. It wasn’t until we were at a Chinese restaurant last year and the owner laughed at me for being the only one in my family for ordering in English, that I considered that a language, and more specifically, Chinese, was something that I might want to pick up.
The environment for learning Chinese at uni is very comparable to what you would have experienced at high school. For Chinese, you are in a small classroom at the same time every weekday. There were probably around 20 people in my 11am stream and makes it easier to make friends and be more comfortable with the same people. The course moved pretty quickly and we covered both spoken and written Chinese. I think doing Chinese at uni really motivated me to work harder as it was constant and I was gunning for those good grades. There is no doubt that I put the most time into Chinese over the semester but it was also my best course of the semester.
Issues in Contemporary Media
Media, Film and Television is my major– I absolutely loved media studies at high school, media concepts and theories, film analysis and looking at the aesthetics of film. This is a compulsory course to be able to continue with Media, Film and Television courses in the following years of your degree. I thought it was good for covering all the different areas of media but I didn’t find it particularly engaging. I think this was because it was packed with content and ideas but it was just all the basics in fancier uni language. A big part of this would have been that I already had such a keen interest in media studies. There were some awesome lectures, though, my favourites were television and Netflix and celebrity culture and the Kardashians. You don’t get to watch a compilation of Kim K ugly crying and call it learning very often!
Advertising and Society
I loved this course. I hadn’t really thought about the intricacies of advertising before. Being able to focus just on advertising and look at it from many different aspects drew me in. We looked at consumers, brands and also postmodernism and gender all in relation to advertising. There were a lot of funny and crazy ads throughout the lectures and tutorials to highlight our learning which kept it both entertaining and informative, like this one for Kim K fans. This course worked perfectly alongside the core media course as there were some overlaps and the structure of both courses were very similar. It has even got me considering marketing and advertising as something I could be interested in exploring further. I would definitely recommend this as a general education course.
If you have any questions at all about these courses or Law, Media or Chinese in general, chuck some questions through the comments and I’ll answer ‘em the best I can.