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Journals from Spring Univ. of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

2013-03-31 End of term 1!

After Avalanche Peak the final weeks of the term began. The 18th-28th were finals time and I suddenly had a lot to do. I had two class tests, which were basically just essays. I think they both went pretty well, though, so that’s good. They are very strict about time limits here, which is different than Linfield. I had wanted to write a lot more for one of my essays but found that I only had five minutes left so I quickly added my points and had to turn it in. Besides that I also had three essays due, each about 5 pages. It was a serious struggle trying to do all those essays. During the school year I write a lab report or two every week but that’s a lot more formulaic than essay writing. They are also more strict about their essays as well. You don’t turn them in to the professors; instead you put them in “drop boxes” in their department building. You also have to sign and attach a cover sheet that basically states all your work is your own. It was definitely a different experience. When asking for help with the essays it seemed like the professors weren’t super helpful, which was frustrating. I feel that the Linfield professors are really helpful and will take a lot of time with you, though I could be biased. Overall at the end of Thursday afternoon (28th) I had done a grand total of 5 essays for my classes, which, I might add, is probably more than I do in an entire year at Linfield. I was pretty happy to be done with finals, to say the least. We still haven’t received any scores and I’m not sure if they put them online or give our tests back or what. Guess we’ll find out!

On Friday the 22nd Jess had organized a pizza night through the community garden. They made the dough, we brought toppings, and we made homemade wood fired pizza right there in the garden. Mine was topped with red pepper, artichoke hearts, and feta cheese. It turned out delicious and we had a good evening hanging out in the uni gardens (which are beautiful and huge, by the way). I actually spent Saturday working on essays and being a good student. On Sunday it was a beautiful day, so I decided to go to New Brighton beach to do some homework. Amazingly enough, I actually got quite a bit done! I tried to go into the library there (oh yeah, they have a library on the beach--how cool is that?) but they closed at 4! It does get rather annoying how early everything here closes. But--oh, well--I tried to work a little longer but gave up and headed back home. When I got back I found out one of my flatmates and a couple other friends had been at the beach that day too. Go figure--haha.

                After finals were done it seemed like Christchurch knew it was break because it’s been beautiful weather ever since (28th-31st)! I have been sleeping a lot but definitely also getting out and enjoying the sunshine. On Friday Kylie, Danial, and Veronika and I went back to New Brighton for a chill day of pleasure reading and hanging out on the beach. On Saturday I planned on going to Cave Stream, but Kylie got busy, so we’re going to try tomorrow. Instead I spent the day around campus reading in various grassy areas and trying to figure out Easter plans. Today (Sunday) I spent the day in the botanical gardens downtown and had a lovely time. I have been pretty stressed about planning for Easter and coordinating hostels and transport but after I left the gardens I felt centered, rejuvenated, and at peace again. It was lovely to just lie in the grass and watch some trees in such a beautiful area.

                Kylie and I are going to try to go to Cave Stream/Castle Hill tomorrow, so hopefully that works out. Then on Tuesday (2nd) we’re off on our big adventure! She, Ben, Marius, and I are headed over to the Pancake Rocks, down to Hokitika, down to the glaciers (where I’m going to do a walk on Fox glacier), then down through Wanaka to Queenstown. We’ll spend a few days there, and then Kylie and I are off to Milford for another couple of days. We’ll come back out through Te Anau, Ivencargill, Dunedin, and (hopefully) Mt. Cook. We’re aiming to be back on the 20th so it’s going to be quite an adventure! Until then!

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