First Week of Papers

2/29/16–Monday

Papers, not classes. Remember that, it’s important for survival in uni (not college!). Anyway, first day of class and already a little confusion as to when are where said classes may be, especially since I left those details for the morning of. Ended up having Ecology and Conservation at 11, and it seems like it might be similar to the class I’ve already taken back at CWU, General Ecology. Genetic Analysis followed at 1 pm, and though I was a little nervous about the difficulty level of this paper, I think it will be manageable. Picked up my FREE lab manual for the class at the printing station (side note: you have to pay for lab manuals at CWU, and what’s up with having a specific building for printing everything?) and then booked it to Spanish Tutorial on the other side of campus. It’s been awhile since I’ve had to Espanol, and never with people who have a different accent than me. That was a bit of a new experience. Later that evening was our first hostel meeting, which was unfortunately mandatory and dragged on forever.

3/1/16–Tuesday

Second day of class, Ecology was some of the same, but started Greek Mythology. Not only is it an interesting subject, but it’s also a video linked class. It was my first video linked class, and it was very strange to see another class up on the screen as the professor lectures emphatically–and with his hands–in our classroom. Ended the second day with rock climbing with Nishant. The rock wall here is sub-par in comparison with Central’s, but here they do outdoor rock climbing trips, so that more than makes up for it.

3/2/16–Wednesday

Genetics is the only paper I have on Wednesday, but the other students in my distance Spanish class organized a study group, so I spent two hours in the library with them. Also played tennis for the first time in a long time, and it felt so good! My opponent, Erika, was a good match for me. Game night at the Centre followed dinner. I sucked so hard at Pictionary and ate a pancake that tasted like a crepe. Back at the hostel, found out that The Big Bang Theory was on the tv, so guess what I did for the next hour?

3/3/16–Thursday

Three lectures in a row this day. Ecology is in a different room every day, which is bizarre. Had my first lab for Ecology, which consisted of 1 hour of safety and lecture and 15 minutes of actual experiment. Here is a photo of campus to break up the monotony.

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3/4/16–Friday

For the first Friday, I only had Genetics lab from 9-12 pm since my Greek Mythology Tutorial doesn’t start till the second week. Finding the lab was in itself a test of my intellect. While trying to find it, accidentally went into a restricted area in the Science Tower. Hopefully they don’t come after me for that. Once I found the lab, I spent the next three hours working with yeast and gel plates.

3/5/16–Saturday

Even though, technically, Friday should have been the end to my first week of classes, I had a mandatory field trip on both Saturday and Sunday. Because of this, my first week actually extends two weeks long. I will stop this blog after I explain the weekend though, because this is starting to feel tedious. Alright. So, met the rest of the class in front of the Wool Building to get on the bus at 9 am. Then spent the day hauling scientific gear through the jungle *Kiwi exclaiming in the distance that “its a FOREST, not a JUNGLE”* and setting up various insect traps. To do this, one person has to dig a hole in the ground with a knife. A knife, not a shovel. Another sets up a flying insect trap, which is very intricate and I will be unable to describe it. The last person gets to identify plants with the prof! This had to be done three times in the forest, once on the boundary between forest and farmland, and three times in the farmland. All the tests had to be done on a straight line running East to West, meaning that we were unable to follow any paths in the forest. I felt a little bit like I was on a trek through a jungle, and all I was lacking was a machete. Despite this, I really had a fun time, and both the drive there and the site itself was extremely beautiful. After setting up traps, we spent the rest of the time doing experiments with epiphytes (plants that live on other plants, mainly on trees). Arrived back on campus at 5 pm. Long day.

3/6/16–Sunday

This section of the field trip was a bit more relaxed than the first day. Same start time as Saturday, but this time the profs brought us to a river to test for aquatic invertebrates. This entailed picking up a rock from the stream bed and putting it in a net and then “gently tickling” the ground under the rock to catch anything that might have fell off the rock. We had to identify and count the various species and measure the rock. The girls who went into the creek to catch the rocks ended up accidentally catching 4 fish total, and a toebiter, which was our biggest invertebrate. For my part, I supervised which rocks they selected, which was a very important job. We then did the next part of the field trip back at campus, and it only took about 10 minutes since all we did was count daisies. Finally done, but with not much weekend to spare.

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