I’ve almost got the first half of semester two underway, and now seems like as good a time as any to come back to you and check in on how this semester is going. It’ll be a tiny little almost-mid-way course review, if you like!
LAW 131 (Legal Method): I’ll lead with this: 131 is very different from 121 (Law and Society). You’ll either completely vibe with it or find it painful and tedious (this pair of extremes seems to be the general consensus – I don’t really know anyone who feels lukewarm or middling), but that depends on you. A warning, though: if you’re of the latter variety, this is what Law school will be like. There’s a reason people compare 121 to an Arts paper. I’ve loved our first lecturer – she’s funny and encouraging and sharp, and definitely one of the best I’ve had overall. 131 is much more procedural than anything else, but it’s a bedrock of your legal education and practice, so maybe have a think if you loved 121 and then get to 131 and feel the opposite. Personally, I really enjoy 131 – the nitty gritty of it all, learning exactly how everything works. It’s fascinating, even if you don’t end up using it in a legal profession.
ENGLISH 102 (Great Books: Seduction and Betrayal): I have absolutely no words to describe how much I enjoy this course. Possibly my favourite of the year. It’s English at its best – exactly the kind of learning that I wanted to come to university for. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t get to take any English classes last semester, but, good heavens, I love these lectures. They’re the highlights of the week. The lecturers are passionate and knowledgeable, the content is engaging – sure, it’s not some people’s cup of tea, but it’s certainly mine, and I want a whole pot. Lots of reading, a couple of assignments, and a tutorial quiz every week, but nothing you can’t handle. (Also I believe it’s available as a GenEd? So check that out even if you’re not an Arts student!)
ENGLISH 109 (Drama on Stage and Screen): Like 102, there’s a lot to consume for this course – both in terms of scripts and films. However, the range of content covered makes what you’re learning interesting, and functions as a good mix of conventional, well-known plays and films (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, A Streetcar Named Desire) and pieces a bit further off the beaten track (Mr. Burns, Adaptation, The World of Extreme Happiness). For those taking NCEA, this paper feels a little like the film studies you do in English, or some of the more theoretical elements of Drama – though this comes as no surprise given the course’s name or which subject it falls under. Still, if you’ve got a bit tired of those kinds of activities, give this one a miss (but it’s not a bad course to take if you’ve got to fulfil that two-paper pair requirement for an English major).
CLASSICS 285 (Classical Tragedy): Joined with Classics 385, this class only requires 15 points in Classics at Stage I as a prereq. So if you took Classics 110 and loved it, and aced it – don’t want to toot my own horn, but I did ace it – and you want to fast track your degree even the tiniest bit, go for it! I’ve got the same lecturer as I had for 110, and I adore her, and am used to her style of teaching now, so it’s been a very easy transition for me into the second semester. The essay you’re required to write is definitely longer than the 110 one, but that’s fine – it’s understandable when moving up into Stage II. If you love classical tragedy as much as I do (or even if you just like it), then definitely consider taking this paper at some point throughout your degree!
Note: you’ll notice I’m not taking a GenEd, and that I didn’t last semester. If you’re a BA/LLB conjoint whose choice of GenEd doesn’t fit into your timetable in first year, don’t stress! You can easily defer it until second year, or you could follow the path I’m taking and get a GenEd exemption due to going on exchange! (Which means you don’t have to take a GenEd on the UoA-prescribed list!) That’s right, folks – Tate Fountain is in the process of filling out mountains of paperwork and legging it to Trinity College Dublin for Semester 1 next year, if all goes to plan! (I’m also looking into potentially heading to Edinburgh for the second semester, but it’s all up in the air at the moment and with the 360 Auckland Exchange, you can’t always guarantee your first choice.) There’s a blog with huge amounts of info about UoA exchanges, so check that out to see how you could be eligible to go overseas as early as second year.
Catch ya on the flip side, pals!