Overview: I wrapped up the first week of the semester, some ideas of which have also been in the previous podcast. I also gave some reflective thoughts about what learning means, and what it takes to be a university student: perseverance, patience and curiosity. The message is therefore not just useful for my students, but for you who strives to be better learners.
Wrapping up the week, we have understood the objectives and outcomes of our advanced writing course, what it means to be “advanced”, and the two approaches to look at “grammar”.
I do admit, starting our first week this way is a little bit overwhelming. As many of you hold similar fears about this familiar yet estranged language, we’re still feeding the course with new ideas, structure and methods.
And I always have a lot of things I want to share with you, perhaps as a way to encourage you to try out new ways of thinking about academic language and grammar, to move your fingers more, and of course to interact more — I expect that you will ask questions, and I’m always ready for that.
Our school has done a lot to make sure we teachers can teach our courses in more interesting ways with different tools. While I hope you are aware of this, I also want you to know that, learning isn’t always fun; nor is it always up to me — it’s your turn to find out what you want to learn in your subjects.
Learning isn’t always fun not just because it involves assignments and exams, but also because the journey to success is always bumpy: there are things you don’t understand. There are tasks that are always enormous and challenging. And yeah, there are uncertainties as to how to make sure the skills and knowledge you’ve learnt can be transferable. And learning at our level is always in the forms of games, watching videos or chit-chatting like learning in informal settings. You’ve got to accept and embrace this. Boring it may sound, we want to give you a structure for breaking down big stuff, an important problem-solving skill when you handle big projects here or in the workplace.
So the rest is up to you. You may not like the content I provide, the style I adopt, the objectives of the course, or even the whole undergrad learning style. But my duty is provide as many resources as I can, so that you can proactively choose those you find most suitable for your learning style.
So if learning isn’t fun, embrace it and find your own fun in it. If you have your ways understanding this world, take action. Don’t wait. Ask questions. Challenge us.
Don’t be afraid to ask any kind of questions, from the class assignments to your learning in general. Yes, the (not so) random questions you asked in the survey will be answered. Do look forward to this.
University education is about having and hearing different voices, and your voices are important, because you don’t just represent the future; the present is yours. You are the present and the future.
Take care, and have a fantastic and peaceful weekend. (Note: I remember what happened on this day.)