Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Amazing First Two Days of School

I am writing this entry in the main library branch of UC Berkeley. So here we go.

Lessons been very fun and interesting down here in Berkeley. Getting to experience more culture shock with each passing day in school, though I love what I am seeing and experiencing everyday. Went for 2 awesome lectures earlier. So now I have been formally introduced to all my lecturers for this semester. 2 of my lecturers here are very cool and funky, something you will never find in NUS. The rest are just more formal and old school style. Generally, lecturers here make more effort to know everybody on individual level and students ask questions during lecture itself, not after lecture. There was once, the two students adjacent to my left and right keep asking questions a couple of times I felt intimidated for the first time, cos back in Singapore in seminar classes or tutorials, I am like the only person asking questions but here there's much more people who are outspoken. Different culture.

This afternoon when I went for my legal module, I saw a white man in casual wear bringing a little girl around the Haas school compound. I thought he was just a tourist bringing his kid around the famous business school of America. Little did I expect the white man that I saw is going to be my lecturer for my legal module and he even brought his kid into the class. Imagine a lecturer wearing plain polo t-shirt, shorts, not even berms and slippers teaching you in class, you will never find this in NUS. Worse still, he's babysitting his kid in the class at the same time. Oh gosh. But when words start coming out of his glib tongue, your perception of him change right away. He has such a an attitude, confidence and coolness, you just simply love and respect him for who he is. And he look handsome and decent mind you, not those kind of bad boy image. I remember a student wearing an Ambrecombie shirt and cap and he scolded him, "You showing some kind of fashion statement?" "I dun know why students pay crazy money for such shirts, they are obsencely overpriced." I absolutely agree with his opinion, never understand why fashion is so important to young adults and teenagers. Other strong statements he made, " Those who watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S and love it shouldn't be in this class, I watch 5 minutes of it and the jokes are bad." Throughout his first lecture as he's giving out the house rules and syllabus for the course, he has been playing around with his daughter. Very comical but he's still professional in his delivery. There's one time he left his seat and his daughter jumped onto it. To get his seat back, here's what he say to his daughter. " You see the big brother there? He has a candy in his hand. Go get it!" Immediately, she jumped off her seat and my lecturer get his seat. Haha. Realising she got cheated by his dad, she tried hard to push her dad off the seat but to no avail before jumping onto her daddy's lap. So my lecturer remarked, " Aren't you guys jealous I am her daddy?" The whole class just burst into a loud roar. In another incident, as he was taking class attendance, he asked me where am I from. I told him I was from Singapore and he asked me if gum is allowed in Singapore now. I told him it's still banned and guess what he did next. He turned to his daughter, " They give you a ticket for chewing in Singapore? Aren't you glad you are born in America?" The class just laugh again. Absolutely glad there's so much laughter in the class and I am going to be taught by a mean but cool lecturer. As a student sum it all up when he was questioned about the lecturer's jokes, "Mean but cool". Damn look forward to his other classes.

Then the next lecture after my legal module is taught by a black man. Initially, I have my reservation how well a black can teach since black is known to be poor academically as shown by studies over the years. He was wearing big dangling earrings on both ears and I wonder if he's making a fashion statement or here to teach. But oh man, when he talk about his background and how he made it to Harvard, my jaws almost drop. It's not always right to make too much presumptions or form prejudice of other people. So next time, dun judge a person by its cover. Another humorous and funky guy who strike the right balance between teaching and entertaining the class. Throughout the class, he strike to me as a rapper giving a lecture with his big dangling earrings capturing my attention most of the time. Haha. Whenever students ask a question, he would firstly reply, "Wassup, what's your name?" Wow, so funky ya. When he teach, he's like rapping to some tune, quite stylish. Then the stunning part comes when he announced his assessment, he's throwing 10 extra points for every CA tests for telling him why he sucks. Very Funny lecturer. So excited to be taught by such cool lecturers.

Well, there's a saying there's 2 sides to a coin, and it's no different in UCB. Only 2 of my modules have an accademic website, which is equivalent to IVLE in NUS, and are taught using power point slides and they are pictures mainly. The rest you guess how they are taught. You won't believe it even if I tell you though I have been forewarned by a friend. The old school method. Yes, just chalk and blackboard, no notes. Not even white board though only my business module uses white board. Notes are what you see on the black board and what you hear from the lecturer. WHAT THE HELL!!!! I am so spoon fed in NUS man. The lecturers here are pretty pro to speak and write so fast on the blackboard they just keep erasing the blackboard. Guess that's how top schools do things to achieve results and produce Nobel laureates. Better adapt fast or I will cry back in NUS. You are expected to read the textbooks here but I got no money to buy textbooks. Textbooks here are over 80 dollars minimum even for used textbooks sold in campus bookstores. Originals are more than 100 over dollars easily. My legal module is 130 for used textbook. WTF!!!!!! Where to find money to buy? Those of you kind souls who's reading this entry right now and pity my plight, please generously donate to support my education or I have to fly back to Singapore soon.

The above statement is just a joke. I will find a way to support myself.

No comments: