The week beginning 12 July marked the official beginning of the trimester here in New Zealand. The school system here is a bit different, so I thought I would include a summary of what a typical schoolweek is like for me.

I have tutorial monday, art history and punishment & modern society on tuesday, and art history and crime & popular culture on thursday plus two more tutorials. Classes here are called “papers” and each paper meets twice weekly for 50 minutes or once weekly for 2 hours. Papers are very large, lecture-style (my smallest is 50 people), and thus we also have a once-weekly required tutorial for each class, which is a smaller group discussion of the material discussed in class. It’s pretty different, but I do enjoy the lecture style, which I hadn’t really had at all at AU. I like my art history course- it pretty much covers Napoleon to present day, so it’s interesting, although every time my prof butchers the pronunciation of the Louvre I cringe. My popular culture class is okay- I don’t have strong feelings on that. I don’t like the punishment class at all though! I ended up in it because I had taken the rest of the lower-level classes back at AU and the upper-levels were year longs, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it!

Another thing that I got back into was a workout routine, although the hills here are quite a workout in and of themselves! Unlike at AU, where my gym fee is already included in my tuition payment, here I had to pay to join the gym, so I bought a dual class/ gym membership. I go to yoga, and sometimes pilates or step at the gym in addition to doing cardio on the machines. I’ve gone to step for three weeks, but it looks like I am just not equipped for step- being a born & bred dancer, I’m trained to count in eights, and the teacher does not, which completely throws me off, resulting in me having a hard time keeping up. For all my AU friends who use the gym and don’t like the sign up board– appreciate it! At the Jacobs Fitness Center we have to sign up for a cardio time, but then we are guaranteed that time for 30 minutes. Here, it’s a free-for-all, and I sometimes have to wait for a machine for a bit before I can work out. Worst of all, in peak hours, you have a twenty-minute time limit- how is that good for you? I almost laughed out loud on my first day using a treadmill, because I got so confused- all the measurements are in kilometers, so I had no idea how fast I was running or how far I had run until I finally discovered the small conversion chart on the machine. This happens often- for example, my weather site automatically converts everything to Celsius- a lot of good that does me! Why, oh, why did we have to come up with our own system that we doggedly follow in the States? Oh, dear.

Other than small things, though, it’s pretty similar here to going to school back at AU. I’m off to continue work on a book report- one of the bad things about this being a trimester system is that it’s shorter, so I have assignments due earlier than I was expecting. But I am getting caught up on my blog entries, so that’s exciting! Remember that I love you all, and will see (some) of you in a few short months!

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