I’m beginning to feel more at home at UEA. Slowly, my time here is becoming more of a college experience and less like a vacation. (It’s certainly still amazing though!)
My classes, also known as modules, only began in full last week. Compared to what I am used to with Temple, this is such a late start! Some of my Temple friends are starting to have midterms, whereas I have only had a single graded assignment so far. Starting later is just the first way in which studying here is very different.
I only have three classes this semester, compared to my usual course load at Temple where I would take five or six per semester. My classes for the fall include: America in the World: The History of U.S. Foreign Relations, English Legal Process, and Introduction to Anthropology. Each of these classes are equivalent to five credits. In total, for all three classes, I have a mere five assignments which count towards my final grades. For English Legal Process I have one assignment…worth 100 percent of my grade! Not like that’s any pressure or anything! The past two years at Temple University has made me more accustomed to smaller assignments, projects, quizzes and exams being assigned with greater frequency. I have been cautious of my seemingly greater amount of free-time. The amount of reading assigned weekly is intimidating; therefore, I have been using this more flexible schedule to stay on top of it and keep the large final assignments in mind.
Another discrepancy is the types of assignments included in the syllabus. Summative and formative assignments are listed in each of my classes. The summative assignments are the few which are graded and count as the final grade. On the other hand, the formative assignments count for zero points towards my final grade, yet they are still rather large tasks such as a paper or a presentation. My first reaction to this was confusion and I was a little upset. Why do I have to work so hard on an assignment that was not going to affect my final grade at all? With closer inspection, I realized that the formative assignments were similar to that of the summative assignments. The formative assignments are purely for the instructor to give you feedback in order to score as best as possible for when it counts.
Apart from learning about English academic cultural practices, every day I am still learning about popular culture. The most interesting tidbit I learned this week was that there is a British equivalent to the ‘reality show’ Jersey Shore! It is called The Only Way is Essex, abbreviated as TOWIE. Just like Jersey shore, the cast of TOWIE are represented as fake tanned, party-loving, and not the most intellectual people. I never expected something like this, but I found it hilarious! Pictured below is the cast of TOWIE.
No matter if its from the classroom or the “telly,” all experiences here are filling me with fresh and exciting knowledge. More awaits me in the upcoming week. Thank you for reading about my third week in Norwich, UK!