Thursday, 23 December 2010

End of Term.

I made it through my first term. It's been a pretty steep learning curve over the last 13 weeks, some classes have been easier than others, some teachers have been better than others. All in all it's been a good experience and I'm looking forward to the next term.

So far I think I'm looking at distinctions all around. One of the classes is a little iffy and another hasn't been graded yet but I'm moderately confident in both cases.

It's incredible how much we've all learned in just 13 weeks. Some of the lecturers have tried to point this out but I think largely it was lost on most the students. On one occasion around about week 5 we were shown a game engine that a student from another school had built, after class we all sat around in the SU for lunch and discussed (in depth) how each of us would go about building something similar, or how we thought certain effects had been implemented. Just 5 weeks before none of us would have even had the vocabulary for such a conversation let alone the know how. Similar discussions etc have taken place several times since then, it really is incredible how much we've learned already.

Generally I like most of my teachers, one in particular has really inspired me, sadly I have no classes with him next term. Most of the teachers got to know me pretty quickly, probably due to the lip ring, American accent and the fact I ask a lot of questions. I've found them all to be very helpful, however not always entirely knowledgeable on many of the subjects that I inquire about, and very approachable.

When it comes to my fellow students I'm generally at a loss. Being a student is great because you get loads of discounts and freebies. But going to school with them is a trial, I think in general they just puzzle me. Most of them are hungover at least twice a week. They don't sleep, some of them don't eat, many of them stink. The teachers use the term 'The Great Unwashed' when referring to the student body. I guess I just have a hard time remembering that they're just kids, still figuring it all out, I wasn't any different.

What gets me is all the students that don't take any of this seriously. Now this I get, I really disliked school and everything that came with it until... well... September this year. But lots of these kids are the same kids that miss two of three lectures, leave their work until the last minute and drink their student loans but then head out to London to protest the rise in tuition... I sat in a class test on the last day of term and looked around at the 80ish students, easily 50 of whom I'd never seen before and couldn't help but think that maybe there was more to the reason behind the change to a 9k limit and budget slash. I suppose it's just their level of maturity and experience when compared to mine... yup.

Things I've learned, outside of the curriculum.
  • There's great potential for ecological research in a University setting. Several of my teachers caught 'freshers flue' and catch it every year. Apparently this years was particularly bad.
  • The same strategy I use to relax before a gig works just as well when applied to presentation assignments and demos. Why mess with some superstitions?
  • When going to extra effort when creating a 3d animation, make sure that you have access to a PC that can actually render it when you're done.
  • Video games are surprisingly easy to make when you borrow a working framework.
  • The majority of academics, are nuts.
  • Always ask about student discounts, you'd be surprised what you can get. Free cheeseburgers for instance.
  • Universities should consider the resulting gender imbalance before moving all of their technical classes to their other site... or perhaps the did.
  • Always hand in your assignments the day before they're due. But have the finished long before that.

1 down, 5 (or 8 I'm not sure) to go.

1 comment:

  1. good job. you're learning and not just what's taught in your classes. I noticed the same thing when I went back to college. All of these kids blew things off that somebody was paying good money for!
    Makes difference when it's your hard-earned money, huh?