As I finally sit down to write (actually type) this blog I am still not exactly sure what to write about and as I seriously give it some thought, my uncertainty increases. Maybe this is partly why I have not been able to get around to writing it all this while (lame excuse I know) but who knows? More importantly, considering the varied audience, what exactly is it that would be of interest to readers of this blog so as to make whatever I write relevant and not just a waste of space and their ‘valuable’ time as well?
You have to forgive me, but you see having travelled about 5,000km from the other side of the world and from a very different culture at that, I am still trying to adapt to the new way of doing things (like writing blogs) here. Now isn’t that something? This might sound trivial, but you see, when you come from a totally different culture like mine you need a re-orientation (one way or the other) to be able to understand the system here and this applies to most aspects like dietary issues, transportation (I still find it weird that a developed country chose to drive on the right of the road!), studies, night life (I have never before seen so many people being so ‘smashed’ so often) among others.
I still vividly remember how difficult it was for me to order a meal at the Piazza cafe on my first ever visit there; it wasn’t funny. Things like mashed potatoes, jacket potatoes (what a name), fish and chips (for some strange reason, fish here is not ‘visibly’ fish), soup, steaks, toad in a hole (really?), curry et al didn’t really make much sense to me or were used or prepared differently back home. However, since one needs to eat to keep body and soul together, with time I gradually started getting familiar with the cuisine here; after all, a hungry man can’t study (or write blogs)!
Talking about studies, this semester I am taking six modules including electronic laboratories with the strangest of them being the maths module. Why is it strange? Well, because after coming all this way, to be fair, I even had to cross the Sahara and Mediterranean, all for the purpose of studying; you can imagine my initial surprise when told we had to ‘teach ourselves’ maths as the maths module was self-paced or self-taught! I still wonder why they didn’t just make it self-examined as well to complete the cycle (I wouldn’t really mind marking my own exam paper). All the same, it turns out I found the maths module quite interesting as it gave me considerable room and freedom to plan my own study.
Another aspect I have quite enjoyed has been the lab sessions. For me, there is nothing as good as having a hands-on application of taught theoretical principles. For almost every week of this term, we have had to make use of the facilities in the Zepler labs for our experiments and this has greatly assisted me in grasping many of the concepts taught in class.
My class is quite an ‘international’ one with a very wide representation. I have met people from the all over the world and we get along pretty well. It is always interesting when we discuss some course problems, lectures, topics, sports, parties to name just a few with everyone bringing his/her own perspective into the discussion. We know we have just begun a journey that would most likely keep us all together for the next 3/4 years. And so the journey continues… Oops! I still am not sure of what to write about. 🙁