I’ve just hit the point in the semester where everything seems to be due at once, and trust me, it is not fun. Four essays in two weeks has definitely not been a highlight of the semester for me. But with these four essays, I’ve found it to be a perfect time to reflect on the papers and how I feel about them. Remember these are just my opinions and what I have found personally, but I hope they will give you an insight into these papers!
Law 141 – Legal Foundations
Lecturers– Rob Batty, Natalie Coates, and Vincent Cogliati-Bantz
Classes– Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10am and 1pm, one tutorial a fortnight
Assessments – 5% Online Test + 15% 1000w Essay + 15% 750w Essay + 65% Exam, this course offers plussage so the 5% online test may or may not count.
Review – I’ve been finding it pretty hard to follow along and understand what is relevant and what I need to know. A lot of the information seems to be repeated throughout the lectures which I personally find confusing. The first essay was known as “the law essay” throughout my hall. Normally I don’t mind essays thaaaat much, but this essay really took it out of me, I barely knew what I was writing about and if I was doing it right. On a positive note, the lecturers in this course so far (Rob and Vincent) are understanding. This is a new course and so they are very open to questions and explaining things in a new way so we can get the concepts which I very much appreciate. Rob is also really good at doing recaps at the beginning of each lecture. Plus, everyone else seems to be in the same boat, so that is comforting.
Law 131- Legal Method
Lecturers– Treasa Dunworth and Vincent Cogliati-Bantz
Classes– Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9am and 2pm, one tutorial a fortnight and an optional clinic once a fortnight
Assessments – 20% Test + 80% Exam, plussage is also offered so the exam may count for 100%
Review – This course is a very practical course so it isn’t about retaining lots of information but knowing how to apply it instead. It is a refreshing change to be able to actually apply things that we have learnt instead of just writing a long essay on it. It can take some time to understand how to use the things we have learnt, however with practice it becomes a lot easier. The lectures, tutorials and clinics all work together is ensuring you understand how to apply what you have learnt which means you get that practice. We had Treasa for the first 6 weeks of the semester and I really enjoyed having her as a lecturer, she was very knowledgeable, approachable and had a good sense of humour which made lectures a tad more chill, a lot of people have commented on how good of a lecturer she is!
Politics 107 – New Zealand Politics
Lecturer– Timothy Fadgen
Classes– Thursday and Friday 12pm, one tutorial a week
Assessments – 15% Test + 5% essay proposal + 20% 1200w essay + 10% tutorial participation + 50% Exam
Review – I have always been interested in politics, hence why I took this course. I was told out of the two politics papers offered in semester two, 106 and 107, to definitely take this one. The ideas and topics covered go hand in hand with what I am learning in law and sociology which allows for a greater understanding of everything. It also covers a lot of things that you would likely already know, but just more in depth which makes the coursework a lot easier. I find Tim to be a really good lecturer, he knows his stuff, his power-points have all the main points that he is speaking about which means you get a good overview to what he is speaking about and he is chill and approachable.
Sociology 101 – Understanding Aotearoa New Zealand
Lecturer– Moeata Keil
Classes– Monday and Tuesday 12pm, one tutorial a week
Assessments –20% test + 30% 2000w Essay + 50% exam
Review – I am still undecided how I feel about this paper, like I don’t dread going to the lectures but I’m not fascinated by it. It does cover a good range of topics from all perspectives and is helpful in understanding New Zealand society and how it has changed (which is good because that’s the topic obviously). It is clear what you are supposed to be learning which makes it easy to understand what is expected of you. Once again, like politics 107, the ideas and topics are ones that are covered in my other papers making it easier to understand. Moeata is also really passionate about this paper which makes me get into it more, some of the topics could be seen as prioritizing one point of view ahead of others however, Moeata is really good at ensuring everyone is being respected and both sides are covered.
Choosing the papers can sometimes be difficult as you don’t want to chose something you will hate but just remember that you have that first two weeks to go along and see if it interests you, if not you can change without any repercussions.
I suggest you start looking through the course list now and requirements so you can get an idea about what you want to do!