Well, clearly, the greatest moment of my degree and probably any other QMUL student right now, would be Bill Gates visiting our university yesterday! Yep, the 25th of Jan 2019. Mark that date because he certainly wo't be coming back (because it's QMUL + he's already old right).
I actually managed to nab a ticket so got to see him with my own eyes. Regretfully, being one of the lucky few who got a ticket meant people in my course got annoyed and kicked me from the course group chat, lol. Nevertheless, that was something temporary, and it's all been fixed.
Anyway, seeing Bill Gates irl, I suppose it just made me realise the power to achieve greatness is within all of us. He didn't seem particularly physically impressive or act or sound like a genius like you'd imagine Dr Enigma from Gotham would act.
So yeah, I think the message from Gates is to work hard, work smart, and achieve greatness. You have to be working hard to get promotions / stand out / actually develop something worthy, and the work smart just means you have to be doing that work in the right sector or area. We live in a capitalist world, and people value what they value. A mobile phone technological advance is probably worth more than a chair technological advance for instance lol.
Do I blame the uni?
I can't speak for all courses, or, for a university experience as whole, but there are so many improvements that can be made to my course and the university. It's 2019 and I'm surprised really with how many faults there are. Lockers is one thing...study spaces another thing...
Anyway, for this small paragraph I actually wanted to focus on tutorials. The 1 hour / week class we have per module. So 4 hrs/week as 4 modules.
The way they go is you just turn up, load up a problem set, the class teacher solves the problem set, you copy the working out and ask questions, and, you leave.
Repeat for the whole term (10 classes I believe).
Go home, wait a day or something, module leader puts up solutions for the problem set.
Problems with this:
-> Class teacher can be crap and the department doesn't consider it an issue because a) you're supposed to do the work yourself anyway... and/or b) you get the solutions anyway
-> 1 hour is not enough. Forget what you pay per year in tuition fees. You get 1 hour a week per module to actually get the opportunity to solve questions with the help of an expert, and that's all. So 10 hours in total and then it's solo rolling till the final exam. It's tough work for students and the class teacher. I feel bad for class teachers as a lot of them do really great work and really try hard- it's not their fault!
-> There is no incentive to actually pre-do the class work. Otherwise, what are you going to be doing during the class? Making notes of... nothing? Listening to the class teacher go through the stuff you've already done?
->Attendence is trivial. You attend for attendence at the minimum because if you miss more than 3 classes a term (3/10) you get threatened with de-registration from the module, lol. But, no1 actually cares what you do during the class, if anything.
->People don't communicate in classes. Now, it's partially the students fault but surely, the School of Economics and Finance can find a way to solve this. Or, perhaps they don't care. I've seen lecturers be attended by other lecturers (to assess the quality of teaching), and, even poorly delievered lecturers pass. I don't think any lecturer can fail. They're pals so there isn't a reason to fail the other. Jobs are on the line... they just gotta fill the form for procedure, to have the paperwork in order, eh.
->You don't need to revise or do any actual preparation for the class. In-fact, you don't even need to bring your brain, or a pen, or a paper. You can borrow someone else's pen to sign the attendence sheet anyway!
->Class timings are stupid sometimes. Now, class teachers are Phd students and getting paid or not, who knows. But, imagine the poor sod who's allocated a 5pm-6pm Monday slot and can't swap it with any other student because no-one is crazy enough to want that slot, and just has to come in for that one class, every week? That student is going to be driven crazy and really not enjoy that class. Hell, we have a grand total of 12 hours of teaching time in a week. You could fit that in 2 days.
Before uni we were pulling 9-3 days every day. Sure, now, it's 9-6 potentially, but that just highlights how they could fit it all in 2 or 3 days. People work (despite being a full-time degree allegedly) because they need to and people have to travel in. But, of course, that's not the universities problem is it. That's the student's problem.
I'm impressed with how many points I managed in my rant. Maybe someone from SEF will read this. P.S. disclaimer: any similarity to a real life person including this online persona is purely coincidental... obviously
Anyway, for some good news.
I would like module leaders to take a leaf out of the Micro II lecturer's book.
The lady is a really great lecturer... here's why:
-> She is very friendly
->She encourages students to ask questions
->She seems to actually remember people from lectures
->She seems to enjoy teaching and conveys that in positive lecture teaching
->Nice powerpoint slides
-> Uses pen/paper to add notes / extra explanations where relevant
->Actually has the lecture recorded
-> Doesn't look or seem bored by teaching the content
->Doesn't have a boring voice
-> Used a fun poll in the lecture to actually bring some diversity to the monotonicity
-> Encourages students to discuss and work with eachother
->Sets actually "useful" assessments-> a fortnightly quiz which she recommends working with your friends/coursemates to do and encourages revision of content
10/10 lecturer (for now). To bring some balance to this sea of positivity, I do find attending the lecture mostly a waste of time because the stuff we are covering is basic as heck. Then again, that is not her fault, but whichever SEF person who approved AS-Level Economics content to be in Micro II (a second year module, a pre-requisite being Micro I from 1st year).
Till next week. Keep dreaming people- set goals and complete those goals. The more goals you complete the closer you get to making the dream a reality