Today I submitted my final assessment of the semester. In less than a month, I will officially conclude the semester by taking the final exam for my “History of Norwich” module. It’s been an incredibly exciting last four months getting to fully immerse myself England’s university education system, to say the least. Witnessing the strike that took place for nearly a month allowed me to see educators across the country come together to defend their jobs, and it was encouraging to see the student body so ardently support them in their battle.
There are so many similarities between American and English universities, but the differences are quite interesting. A “summative assessment” is an assignment that counts towards your grade for the class. A “formative assessment,” on the other hand, isn’t graded, but is returned to you with feedback by the module leaders. I’m not so sure what the penalty is if you don’t submit a formative assessment, but there never seems to be any hesitation in doing them–they are essential in preparing you to do well on the summative assessments!
My “History of Norwich” module has also largely defined my perception of not only Norwich’s historical landscape, but the landscape all across England as well. There are many lessons and pieces of information that I’m able to take with me on my various travels around the country that have reaffirmed my love of history, and my love for this country! I’ve always enjoyed Shakespeare’s work, even when I didn’t 100% understand the language he used. It’s sort of an expectation that English majors have an intimate knowledge of his writing, and up until this semester, I didn’t think I could really say that of myself with confidence. Now, studying his plays here at UEA, 3 ½ hours away from Stratford-Upon-Avon where he was born, has made me 100% more confident about understanding and reading his works.
The most exciting and most memorable aspect will probably be those days sitting in my seminar meeting room and exchanging ideas with other classmates and our seminar leaders. In this respect, the module with the most impact on me has definitely been my “Writing Life” module. The title is self explanatory: centered entirely around reading the biographical and creative non-fiction works of some of England’s most renowned writers, its culminating project is for students to write their own life-inspired piece. I have always been intrigued by this sort of writing for its ability to turn reality into something spectacular.
Thankfully, I still have a few more weeks to enjoy the epic historical sites that this fine city has to offer!