Saturday, 22 September 2012

And I'm a Student Again...

This first week of classes has gone pretty well! I’m a bit of a unique case as far as students because I am taking 2 independent study courses. Other than that I'm taking a sound recording class and a course on British heritage & culture. I was lucky enough to schedule my 2 classroom courses on Wednesday, so I currently have class 1 day a week. This will change as I get more depth with my independent studies.
I found these on a building in London.

My first independent study is through the Oxford Brookes psychology department. Together with a graduate student from California, I am working under two doctorate professors on a social/cognitive project investigating the effects of favorite songs. We’re still ironing out the specifics, but it looks like we’re going to look into the difference between the semantic and musical content of a favorite song, and the impact on mood and self-awareness. I’m really looking forward to learning how research is different or similar in this country, not to mention that this project blends my two passions of music and psychology!

My second study is private voice lessons with a professor here. I’ve yet to meet him, but I’ve been told that he’s very good at German. This should be very helpful considering I’m working on two pieces by Schubert. The learning style here at Oxford Brookes is very different from the U.S. My sound recording technologies class is once a week for 3 hours. A lot of the learning is done outside of the classroom, rather than during hours of lecture. Students have to actively and independently seek out educational growth, rather than passively being fed information. The process seems to involve a lot more critical thinking; time (and my grades) will prove whether or not I like it.
They obviously have good taste in Oxford.

I’ve managed to join the club swim team here as well. I’ve only had 2 practices, but it’s been fun so far. Considering that the gym costs an additional £25 a month, the swim team seemed like a good alternative. There are a lot of clubs, sports teams, and organizations at Oxford Brookes. There are even two student led productions, but both of the performances are in the 2nd semester, so I could not participate. The Opera Society, which I plan on joining, is putting on Henry Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas”, and a theatre club is putting on RENT. I’m still hoping to try out for the Chamber Choir. I’m not sure if it would be the same as the Chamber Choir back at HPU, but I am interested in trying it. The little differences between the U.S. and England have been entertaining to say the least.
Street scene in Bath.

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