Without a hint of sarcasm: I haven’t set foot in snow at all in the last year, not a millimetre! I’ve passed through it on the way to London, and seen it snow, yet in Manchester it never sticks. All my friends from home are posting pictures of snow drifts, snowmen, and submerged cars but bizarrely, until you leave the city limits, snow just doesn’t happen here. In fact, at the moment it’s very sunny, (albeit absolutely freezing) outside! Although admittedly everyone at home is sick of the snow and being stranded etc, it’s kind of depressing being without it for over a year 😦
Regarding my oral presentation on “The Invasive Nature of the Hottentot Fig Carpobrotus edulis” the other week, it was a success! I haven’t got the marks back yet, but I didn’t capitulate or fluff up on answering questions. Luckily I had practice with performing it both in front of my project supervisor and housemates before the big day so I was relatively well prepared. I got some of the usual nerves right before it was my turn, but in all fairness since sixth form I’ve performed so many presentations that they don’t really bother me anymore. The main tip is to make sure you’re confident with what you’ve put on the slides, and know it inside out; pretending you’ve got flair makes you so much more confident!
Tip of the week
Make sure you’re completely happy and know what a particular module is about before the course unit change deadline. Sometimes the titles of the units can be misleading and can make them sound more fun than you think. In Manchester you’re given two weeks at the start of a semester where you can attend lectures and see the blackboard page (UoM’s kind of study intranet) so you can get a feel of how the course will go. It’s important to go to as many different lectures as possible so you’re certain which ones you’d like to take. Also, in the course handbook (you get a new one every year) it will detail how the unit will be assessed e.g. 70% exam, 25% essay, 5% online seminar.
I made the mistake this semester of picking Madness & Society, which has weekly seminars with a lot of historical reading, and a history style exam at the end. Also, the course content isn’t as interesting as I’d hoped. Unfortunately however I forgot there was a semester two course unit change period and just let it sit; now I’m stuck with it!