14 August 2006

First Day, Mad Rush

Hey, guess what? For some amazingly unknown reason, the lecture for three of the four level 2000 physics core modules (the fourth has no lecture) are lined up back to back, spanning from 0800 in the morning to 1400 in the afternoon, every Monday and Thursday. Since I'm taking them all this semester (which is not necessary, though I find it desirable if not for the mad schedule), this means that I have a stupendous stretch of lectures with negligible break in between.

On top of that, I had a political science module which just sits in neatly behind this chain of lectures on Monday, which essentially means a lecture marathon of eight hours straight. And it seems that my physics professors do not obey the general rule of ending lectures half an hour before the official ending time (the rational being that students can travel to their next lesson), it means my lunch essentially has to be bought and consumed in five minutes.

However, other than the rushed timing and the accursed sardine buses, I do find it quite manageable... at least for now. The first lecture, Electricity and Magnetism I by Dagomir, was rather mundane, but that's partly because he's going through what I've already known. Nonetheless, he has the tendency to add some jokes unexpectedly into his lectures, which sort of liven up the horribly chilling LT (made worse by the morning rain). At least I learnt that Spinelli is the Italian word for marijuana.

The second lecture is more of the standard NUS lecture that I've come to know of. It was Mathematical Methods in Physics I by Lim Hock Siah. It appears to be more on the difficult side, but given its importance, this means that the extra effort I may have to put in is worth it.

Following that comes Quantum Mechanics I by Oh Choo Hiap, who was also the Head of Department until he stepped down two months ago. One of the queer descriptions I've heard about him is that he is cute. And my, sure that word couldn't be more apt! How comical it was of him to stride into the LT and ask if school has started (and in case you're thinking that he's cracking a joke, I'm certainly getting the impression that he was serious). And since he's prepared almost nothing yet, he went on to give a brief description of the history of physics, quoting from memory the important dates like the year Newton's Principia was published. And of course, he has a couple of jokes up his sleeves that he weaves into his lecture to spice things up.

After a mad rush to Arts, I arrived at the Government and Politics in Singapore lecture slightly late, but missed nothing important. And I must say I really love this module, since it raises thought-provoking questions that I've never even pondered upon in my life. Never mind that the reading material is thick as Young & Freedman's University Physics, I sincerely believe the time I spent is damn worth it!

Well, that's a lot for the first day of school. There's still another mathematics module tomorrow, but I do not expect much to report on it.


The Negative Man said...

Erm in Engine, it is considered quite good if the lecturer ends the lecture 15 minutes early.

Of course, in Science the policy may be different, because I suppose you need the extra time to shuttle to the "Main" part of NUS.

Pandemonium said...

Yup I'm aware of that. I dunno who came up with the half hour policy, but it is a good policy but poorly enforced.

Of course the lecture hours don't just get lost like that. For example, I understand from MA1505 that typical lectures in Engineering span three hours a week (one hour + two hour) where by Science has four hours a week (two + two).

The Negative Man said...

Hmm thats interesting to learn.

Does that mean that your timetable tends to be longer, although practically there are many short intervals in between ?

Pandemonium said...

Quite frankly I'm not sure, but something I learnt from the MA1505 lecturer (the few times I attended his lectures anyway).

Nakazawa said...

Sometimes, I just find science modules a bit too good to be true... At least for CM1101, this week at least, the lecturer lets us off 30 min before time. I kinda don't mind trading 1 extra hour of lecture for that 30 minutes. It also allows the syllabus to be less cramped.

I really can't imagine how I will teleport from LT6 to S5 block for my chem tutorial, since the "average" release time for Engine tutorial is about 3 to 5 minutes before end of time slot. Haiz, they must also give me time to shuttle to the "ulu" part of NUS mah.

Arts still ok... I think I get 15 minutes buffer quite regularly.

Pandemonium said...

I too like that 30 min of "travelling time", but only if it was better enforced. To be frank, I have a feeling that most lecturers are not aware of this policy.

However, tutorials usually end 5 to 10 minutes before the hour (official end time is 10 min before the hour), which means that it is rather bad if one has lessons elsewhere after tutorials.