weather

It was raining a lot this morning when I woke up so I decided to actually check the weather:

I like the descriptions: “tons of rain” “showery”. Tons of rain explains the weather today accurately. The covered walkways and the rain reminds me a lot of Vancouver, d’aww.

I’ve finalized my plans for spring break (next week!). From Friday to Sunday, I am taking an introductory hobie sailing course with the Fiji Hobie 252 fleet. I am really, really looking forward to that! Sunday evening will involve a quick hop over to Nadi and then from Monday to Sunday I am going to three islands in the Yasawas. The plan is to snorkel, visit caves, see manta rays and hike. I can’t wait!

But before I go on break I have to work a bit. I had my first midterm last week for my public policy class which went well. I also had my managerial accounting earlier this week and it was very long. The room I was in had about 200 people and no one left when they said we had sat the minimum amount of time. I have not had it happen where no one leaves! I couldn’t finish it on time but I still think I did well (probably still an A!) and definitely better than average. My last midterm before the break is tomorrow (Earth Science).

My classes here vary greatly in quality. Two of my classes are better than classes I would get back home; either they are better set up or have smaller class sizes. One class is average/pretty normal for a first year class. My last class though is terrible. The professor has been teaching the class for ages but it’s like he’s reading his PowerPoint slides for the first time ever. The main thing that I have learned in that class is that “you can read about these points at home” (because he doesn’t know what they mean either!). I’m wondering if there are less teaching evaluations here than back home. In what I’ve seen so far there is a big difference between my local professors and my visiting professors (all my visiting professors definitely know what they are talking about! and more!). Visiting professors are usually here on two to three year contracts, and there are a lot of them.

school

I talked to my dad today and he said that it seems like I am not going to school.. but I am! This week I:

– learned about cost-volume-profit analysis

– identified volcanic rocks (mainly from the South Pacific)

– worked on my Human Resources case presentation about corporate social responsibility

– worked on my public policy group project (how the Solomon Islands should approach their problem with squatters differently)

– read papers about the challenges of budgeting in developing countries

– learned about volcanoes

– learned about job analysis procedures and policies

university of the south pacific

Here are some pictures of where I am studying/living! Now you can have a small glimpse of it.

The campus is really large and spread out, definitely bigger than Burnaby campus at SFU (despite SFU having way more people). USP has about 11000 students.

As soon as you enter the campus

The fancy new ICT building

The areas between the buildings with classes in them look something like this

10th hall, where I am staying. It is less than a year old. There are two rows of three halls each, and each hall has 24 people.

I am almost done my second week of classes! So far so good. After an (expectedly) slow registration process, I ended up with Human Resource Management, Earth Science, Managing Change in the Public Sector (but I think the course should be called Climate Change Government Policy) and Intro to Accounting & Management II. Next semester courses will be a lot different.

Classes are almost always one hour per day and spread our really randomly throughout the week. Most of my classes are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Tutorials helped to meet more people, I am happy about that. I have met new people in all of my classes now. Most of them have at least one group project. Exams and tests are worth more marks than at home – at home we would usually have more marked assignments. I am the oldest person in my accounting class! At home the class equivalent is a second year course and I am already taking it late. That is the first time that this has happened! I have a feeling I am the oldest in Earth Science as well.

One thing I noticed in my tutorials is that when my classmates introduce each other to the class they always say “My friend here Rosemarie” or something like that instead of “This is Rosemarie” or “That is Rosemarie”. It seems more genuine. I like it.

I am just about to head off to my second outrigger canoe team practise. I went on Monday and it was a lot of fun! I got to chat and mingle with a lot of other students who range from paddling their whole life to just starting like me. It reminds me a lot of dragon boating.