GEK1520/PC1322

GEK1520/PC1322

( I FORGOT I TOOK THIS MODULE OOPS. )

GEK1520/PC1322: Understanding the Universe
Lecturer: Ng Wei Khim
Tutor: Lim Yen Kheng
Year/Sem: Y3ST2 (AY2016-2017)

Readings: 9/10
No readings, everything in the lecture slides. Not gonna give this a 10/10 because there was a lot of stuff left out that you’d know only if you attended the lectures, and the exam questions tested on those ._. I took this mod during special term 2 so it was 4 lectures a week for 6 weeks, 12-2 and 4-6 on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Manageability: 4/10
Personally it was a struggle but I kinda expected it??? The prof said that it wasn’t going to be “very technical” but it was a LIE!!! He lied okay!! Every other week there was a graded IVLE assignment and that was the most stressful part of the whole module for me because there were math questions everywhere and I had to use a calculator. But that was not stated on IVLE. I’m guessing the prof expected everyone to have a calculator and know how to use it. I literally searched my whole damn room for a calculator until I found my old GC and I had to ask Julian to give me a crash course on physics and even then for the math questions I still got half of them wrong. Thankfully I got the non-math questions right bc that probably saved my grade. I took this mod alone thinking it was a GEM so I was gonna be okay but lmao I was wrong. I mean, I did better than expected, but I think it’d have been easier if I had friends? Or some background in physics. The last time I did physics was uhhhhhhh sec 2?  So that’s 9 years ago. I don’t even remember the books I read when I was 14 how can I remember formulae?? I remember there was a question I couldn’t solve until I asked Julian and he said I had to use the ‘toa cah soh’ rule and I was like ??wat?? Also I had to re-learn how to find arc length ._. Would not recommend this mod to physics noobs like me. Also it seemed like everyone else was either from science or engin.

The tutorial questions were also mostly math questions. I learnt that tutorials in science are very different from the ones in fass. There were 4 tutorials and each was 1%. You literally go in, sit down, then listen to the tutor explain how to go about solving the math questions for 50 minutes. That’s it. There’s no class part. I was like ?????? that’s it????? The solutions would be uploaded into the workbin anyway so tutorials felt like a colossal waste of time. When I told my science friends they were like, “Ya, science is liddat.”

There were 2 exams, which were both MCQs + short answer questions. We took them in a computer lab, and it was completely open book. There was also a group project that had zero guidelines, and you had to find your own group mates. Thankfully someone from my JC asked me to join her group. Basically you had to write a group essay, in any format you want, about any topic related to the course, and each person had to write 1000 words. So if there were 3 people in your group your essay had to be 3000-words long. My group decided to analyse and compare the films Alien and Prometheus. It wasn’t too hard but doing that while studying for the final exam was q stressful. I think we did well for the group project bc my engineering group mate did very well in the end and I did better than expected.

All in all, for a level 1k mod it was very content-heavy. Or maybe it’s just me. Maybe if I did physics at O levels I’d have found it much easier. Idk man this really isn’t my element at all. But I’m still q proud of myself :>

Fun levels: 7/10
Despite everything I had fun and I think the mod’s p cool. You get to learn about how stars are formed/ how stars die/ ~tides~/ sidereal period vs synodic period/ the different calendars/ celestial coordinates/ star and sun movements/ how to determine your latitude using stars/ how telescopes work/ the atmosphere and geology of planets/ the big bang/ dark matter/ etc. I think the prof said that he wanted to remove some of the more physics-related stuff so he can expand the section on the different calendar systems.

Experience points: 7/10
I learnt a lot!! But at this moment hardly any of it is applicable. Maybe I’ll find it useful someday  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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JS3230 (guest review by Sheena)

JS3230 (guest review by Sheena)

Amy has kindly allowed me contribute a guest post to her blog! I’ll be writing an updated module review of JS3230: Men and Women in Modern Japanese Literature. Fun fact: I decided to take the module because I read Amy’s reviews before the semester started ^w^

JS3230: Men and Women in Modern Japanese Literature
Tutor: Shamoon
Year/Sem: Y3S2 (AY2016-2017)

Readings: 1/10 -> 8/10
– W1: Love Suicides at Amijima (extract/Workbin)
– W2: What The Seasons Brought The Almanac Maker (short story/Workbin)
– W2: Spring-Colour Plum Calendar (short story/Workbin)
– W3: Ukigumo (novel/Workbin)
– W4: Warbler in the Grove (short story/Workbin)
– W5: Child’s Play (short story/Workbin)
– W6: Kokoro (novel/Workbin)
– W7: School of Freedom (novel/Buy)
– W8: Confessions of a Mask (novel/Buy)
– W9: Masks (novel/Buy)
– W10/11: Norwegian Wood (novel) Out (novel/Buy)
– W12/13 The Apprenticeship of Big Toe P (novel/Workbin)
– Secondary readings

I’m gonna go ahead and give these readings 8/10 because I enjoyed them so much! Like Amy said in her review, it’s the equivalent of reading one book a week. But the texts aren’t very long, and if you concentrate, you can finish most of these texts in a few hours (YMMV, though – if you’re not a frequent reader, or just happen to find that week’s assigned text excruciatingly boring, then it’s going to take a lot longer than a few hours). Secondary readings were very very short; they were never more than 3 or 4 pages at most. These readings provide you with the theoretical backbones for the texts.

Don’t skip your readings! You need them for your in-class writing, the format of which remains unchanged from when Amy described it. Also, you need them to be able to participate in class discussions, which I’ll get to in a bit.

Manageability: 5/10 -> 6/10
“Some lit mods aren’t even as heavy as this mod. There were 2 essay assignments, and for finals it was closed-book, which means you had to memorise the title, author AND DATE OF PUBLICATION for ELEVEN different stories. Along with the characters’ names (some had 10’000 NPCs), their relationships, and what the assigned secondary reading was talking about. Having to memorise dates was the hardest part for me. The module as a whole definitely wasn’t easy, but I think the in-class writing component forces you to stay on track and do the readings every week so you won’t end up drowning at the end of the semester.”

Amy’s comments still hold true. Closed book literature exams are really a downer, but some of my classmates and I compiled a huge document (it’s like 30 pages long or something…) full of summary notes, analyses, important themes and dates etc. and also got together to discuss past year papers. That was super useful ^w^

I enjoyed writing both my essays because it was a nice change of pace from my literature assignments. Word of caution though: if you haven’t taken any other literature modules yet because you’re from a different faculty or major, I suggest that you read up on how literary analysis essays are structured before the midterm paper is due. Although Prof. Shamoon does not require her students to possess a background in literature for this module, she won’t let a shoddily-constructed argument slip past her either.

For the final essay, you’ll have to send in a draft consisting of a thesis statement and a secondary source you’d like to use by Week 8. You’re expected to stick to this topic, and will need to submit a new draft if you want to switch topics. So if you want to write on texts beyond Week 8, make sure that you have time to read ahead!

Fun levels: 9/10
I looked forward to every lesson because it was a welcome break from my other literature modules. It sounds strange, but I felt freer to express my thoughts in this class. I think it’s because of the small class size (12 people, out of which, and how people are more forgiving here as well. Also, like Amy, I’m biased because it’s Japanese!! Lit!! Two things that I’m interested in, in one! On this note lemme just digress a bit and finish my incomplete thought about class discussion. I attribute a large part of my enjoyment of the module to being able to participate in class and discuss the texts with Prof. Shamoon and my classmates. I also believe you can learn a lot this way, because you get instant feedback on your thoughts and analyses. So come prepared (i.e. READ YER TEXTS)! If not to speak, then to follow whatever discussion there might be. Also because the class is so small and if nobody answers Prof Shamoon’s questions time is wasted and class cannot progress. Aaaand it’s kinda awkward.
Experience points: 9/10
Academics-wise, “the secondary readings alone expose you to theories you can use in other modules. Also you probably won’t get to read such a range pre-meiji/early-meiji japanese lit if left to your own devices.” Also, this module may be a level 3k, but it’s less daunting than it looks. Prof. Shamoon is a very encouraging and forgiving Prof. 🙂

Lastly, I also got some Japanese reading practice in this class, which was totally unexpected. Sometimes Prof. Shamoon gives us handouts of a paragraph or two of the original text in Japanese, and it’s always fun to see if I can get through the paragraph without stumbling (I can’t). That being said, knowing Japanese is not a necessity for this module! But it helps when it comes to remembering names and spotting important puns and wordplay.

As always, YMMV but JS3230 was what reaaaaally got me into Japanese literature beyond what little I had read (Murakami lor) prior to this module. As a result, I’ve been reading more Japanese literature in this summer break. I also made some new friends here even though I mostly stuck with the other literature majors, and our favourite phrase is “STEALING BACK THE PHALLUS” ❤

Take this module if you want to treat yourself to something pure and beautiful after 3 years of pain and suffering in NUS :’)

 

 

 

 

JS2228

JS2228

JS2228: Gender and Sexuality in Japan

Prof/ Lecturer/ Tutor: Shamoon
Year/Sem: Y3S2 (AY2016-2017)

Readings: 7/10
– Ōoku The Inner Chambers Volume 2 (manga)
– Puella Magi Madoko Magica 2 (film)
– Crazed Fruit (film)
– Kamikaze Girls (film)
– The Great Happiness Space (documentary)
And a lot of readings, about 2-3 per week, medium-length. Don’t let them snowball!! Each week in lecture she will go through ALL the readings, and she uses a programme called Archipelago. She will ask questions about the readings, and everyone submits anonymous replies through the programme. She discusses the answers, then at the end of the day the answers are compiled and sent out in an email. Very collaborative.

Manageability: 8/10
I thought it’d be okay but when reading week came I was SWAMPED with revision because I didn’t revise/ make notes past the 5th week LOL why don’t I ever learn. Tutorials were a day after the lecture so we covered lecture material and had more discussion questions. For the group project we were supposed to get into groups of 3 but my class had 3 pairs and 2 groups of 3 instead because we were unwilling to do topics we had no interest in. We had to submit a proposal, a recorded presentation, a presentation outline, and then a peer review, over a reasonable time period. We could download a programme called Ink2Go that allows you to record your screen and voice, so you can choose to record your parts separately instead of meeting up irl to do it. That’s what my group (pair) did. It’s like making your own mini webcast. We had to upload everything onto IVLE, so for the peer review we just downloaded another group’s presentation and outline from the list.

The topic for the group presentation was completely up to us. My partner and I chose Kill La Kill, the anime series, another pair chose Aoi Hana, and a group chose sex workers in the Edo period. You can choose a film, a community, a manga, a phenomenon, anything. Just make sure you choose something that already has some research done on it because you’ll need to reference secondary sources in your presentation.

The final exam was surprising, but I kind of expected something like that to happen because this was the first time Prof Shamoon was teaching the mod. My friend took this mod a couple of years ago and it was taught by a different prof. I tried looking at the past year papers but the content was very different. There weren’t any manga or cool films. Must have been boring.

Fun levels: 7/10
The mod’s pretty content heavy for a level 2k mod but I’ve learnt to expect this from JS mods. There are a lot of new concepts, but it was really fun and eye-opening. The film Crazed Fruit was ?????????? and it pissed me off, but I really, really loved Kamikaze Girls and Puella Magi Madoka Magica. I watched the 1st and 3rd films also because I wanted to know how it ended. As a result I ended up crying a lot. Same for the manga Ooku. I read a few other volumes until I hit a block and couldn’t find any of the newer ones. I might just go and buy the entire manga series. I’m glad I took this mod because the prof somehow makes learning fun. It’s not just about getting through the primary/secondary texts every week and then answering questions in an awkwardly quiet tutorial. There’s always something to talk about or discuss, and so much to learn. And once you get it, it’s immediately applicable to your present reality and the way you perceive the world. G&S lectures truly were the highlight of my week.

Experience points: 7/10
This mod also doubles as an interesting history lesson that focuses on how perceptions of gender and sexuality have changed over time. I can see how it’d be useful if you want to take JS3230 because of the emphasis on how things have changed (or not changed) since the Edo period. The mod also focuses on how women are oppressed, how masculinity is a construct, how gender is performative (think Takarazuka Revue and female impersonators in Kabuki theatre), and how the same structures can be found in places like host/hostess clubs. There was a really interesting reading on the portrayal of the wakashu in erotic woodblock prints, and the author even argued that there were 4 genders. There were readings on the family registry, salarymen, lolita subculture, magical girl anime, cross-dressers, porn magazines, etc you get the idea. It’s all super interesting and I learnt so much.

EN3222

EN3222

EN3222: The Eighteenth Century
Prof/ Lecturer/ Tutor: Thell
Year/Sem: Y3S2 (AY2016-2017)

Readings: 3/10
– Oroonoko (novella)
– Robinson Crusoe (300+ pages but feels like 500)
– Pamela (500 PAGES)
– Shamela (novella, parody of Pamela)
– A Sentimental Journey
– Emma (ANOTHER 500)
– Evelina (ANOTHER 500!!)
– Clueless (film)
The secondary readings were optional, but we were assigned to present a secondary reading in pairs/ groups of three during one of the tutorials. The reading doesn’t have to be the recommended one. I was assigned to the week we covered Shamela, which was lucky for me because I didn’t finish Pamela (500 pages and infuriating so I stopped at page 300) but I read the wiki summary of it and that was enough.

Manageability: 8/10
Except for the 500-paged novels, the module was on the whole very manageable. You kinda have to read everything because there are pop quizzes that may test you on minute details (like the name of a servant, or how the book ended), and the MCQ options are all very plausible so you can’t really figure it out either. It’s those ‘you either know or you don’t’ kind of quizzes. I guess you can sparknotes it, I know people who have. We also had a number of small assignments along the way, mostly practice for close-reading, so we had to choose around 5-11 lines to analyse and write a maximum of 1 page. The stuff you write can be used in your final essay, no self-plagiarism, because it’s all for practice.

The final mini assignment was a draft thesis, for example, the first 3 lines of a potential opening paragraph. A lot of people chose to write on A Sentimental Journey because the assignment deadline was the week we covered that novel, but from what I heard she’s pretty strict for ASJ. My friend submitted a draft arguing that ASJ was metafiction, and the prof replied saying that it was already established as metafiction so she couldn’t use that as her thesis. I really liked Evelina although I had only read 350/500 pages, but I followed my gut and submitted a draft arguing that Evelina provides a new model for female desire. The prof replied saying that my argument went against what the critics say but that it could work. I didn’t want to reread the other books so I just stuck with it and I did quite well in the end. I wrote it in two nights with no secondary sources so I thought it’d be a disaster, but maybe that was exactly what I needed to do. I’m guessing that Prof Thell prefers originality over simply parroting what others have already said.

For tutorials, if you’re not presenting, you just show up and listen to the presenters then discuss questions about the novel in relation to the reading they presented.  Lectures don’t have webcasts, the prof talks quite fast, and she often brings in other theories (post-colonial, psychoanalytical) so if you feel insecure, bring a laptop and type everything out. I used pen and paper because there wasn’t a final exam so I didn’t really see the need to make copious notes. The prof also seemed like the sort who valued close-reading/ originality, so I didn’t want to take too many notes and end up repeating what she said in my final essay. IT WAS THE RIGHT CHOICE what a relief. One week I overslept and missed a lecture on Evelina, which was the book I decided to write on, but it turned out okay ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  BUT I am not encouraging truancy okay.

Fun levels: 8/10
This was such an enjoyable and painless mod to take. Lectures were fun, the pop quizzes were fun, tutorials were fun, even writing the final essay was fun. No final exams, only 1 group presentation (more like pair presentation) and a super understanding prof. The texts were hard to get at first but I’m glad I took this mod because I really, really liked Evelina.

Experience points: 7/10
Personally I found this module quite applicable to other lit mods. The most recent example I can think of is Pamela being mentioned in EN4261 (Metafictions and the Novel). This mod also covers the historical context in which the novel form emerged. It’s also good if you like Austen because the prof does too 🙂 If you were thinking of doing Austen for your HT this mod would be a good start.

JS2101

JS2101

JS2101: Approaches to Japanese Studies 1
Prof: Hendrik
Year/Sem: Y3S2 (AY2016-2017)

Before I start I’d just like to say that this was a compulsory module for JS majors/ 2nd majors, so if you have to take it at some point of your uni life, do not take it when it’s being taught by this particular prof. All of this is my own opinion, so take it with a pinch of salt if you must. I have never been so displeased with a module before so I won’t mince my words. Prior to taking his class I heard nothing but bad things, but foolishly went ahead with it thinking, ‘it can’t be that bad I mean I survived a biography-writing module and JS1101e’ BUT I WAS WRONG OK. I should have listened to my friend and waited to take it next sem instead. WHY DIDN’T I LISTEN ALSDJASJFDJ. In hindsight (which is always 20/20), JS1101e was a great mod for freshies or for anyone in general. I mean, at least it was informative and useful and interesting. A friend of mine graduated without having taken any of his mods, so it’s possible to avoid him entirely. Plan carefully ya. He’s like the JS dept’s JWB (lit kids you know what I mean).

(Because of the way this module was taught it’s hard to review it in my usual readings/manageability/fun/experience format, so I’ll leave that for last.)

I don’t usually go into teaching styles because I think a module’s content is more important than the coordinator, but from what I’ve heard, a person’s JS2101/3101 experience can vary vastly depending on who’s teaching it. Of course profs are people too so they can change their methods, but my friend who took his class the previous time went through practically the same thing, so I don’t think there will be much variation. There are lots of things I wish I knew but no one told me, so I’ll just type it all out and hopefully it’ll give you a clear idea of what to expect if you die-die want to take his class.

I’ll give you a breakdown of what exactly happened in our 2hr35min seminars. We arranged our desks in an oval, and because it was so awkward we did the primary school thing where we went clockwise and everyone took turns to respond to a question. For the first few weeks we had a couple of readings per week, that we went through PARAGRAPH BY PARAGRAPH from introduction to conclusion, and people were expected to speak up on what they thought was interesting/ good about the writing. I kid you not we literally wasted hours doing this. I remember sitting there thinking that I could be using the time reading my texts for Metafictions. My other y3 friend who sat next to me was usually busy writing other stuff/ using FB. A girl who sat opposite me every week literally fell asleep while sitting upright, not just once but several weeks. It was so boring, and the readings were USELESS, because you most likely won’t use them in your essay, and after using them in class you just throw them aside. Waste of time. I think I’d prefer reading papers on the cultural significance of marathons or something.

Then there was the brainstorming, and we all had to get on some mindmap website/app called mindomo and plot a mindmap that was accessible only to the prof. He wanted to track the development of our ideas using mindomo. We also had to present our mindmap to the class. Idk why. Maybe he was trying to help us make friends. But please lah the JS dept is so small everyone will know everyone else within a year. Some weeks we had to bring possible sources that we found and explain to the class why we chose them. Once again we went in a circle, and it was boring.

Later into the sem we had to write a draft of our introduction and then peer review it via email AND THEN go through each other’s introduction in person again, while in class. It was a complete time waster. I just don’t get it. The peer review is graded (10%), so naturally everyone will do their best and type out all their comments on the other person’s document, correct? Everyone wants to do a good, detailed job of it, which then leaves practically nothing to talk about when in person. IDGI.

Towards the end of the semester, we met up for like 1hr only to talk about our papers (another time waster), and everyone had to do a short presentation on one section of their paper (just, why??). Everything felt very 無意味 and I honestly don’t think that what was taught sufficiently prepares JS majors for other, higher level modules.

I’ll save the worst for last, but the second worst part of this mod was how there was a ‘note-taking’ component worth 15%. What does it even mean? It means we have to compile in a word document/ on evernote a list of the excerpts from sources that we will use when writing our research paper. The prof kept talking about the days when people used typewriters. And he also said that it was not a waste of paper to print out the excerpts and organise them by hand. I’m just like ????? YES it is a waste of paper?? given that our essay is supposed to be 5k words long???? (other profs ask for 3k-word essays) and should not contain any original ideas at all????? (will be addressed later) Also, maybe excerpting helps some people, but why is it compulsory??? Shouldn’t it be an optional thing??? I’ve written countless essays and not once have I needed to use this method. Doing this excerpting thing wasted precious time that could have been used writing the actual essay itself. Also, if you disagree with/ question his methods his facial expression will harden and he will lecture you so don’t try it. This is not a prof you can negotiate with. If you’re stuck in this situation you’d be better off nodding and complying.

As mentioned earlier, the absolute worst part of it all was that we weren’t supposed to write anything original. It’s funny, y’know, because even in JC when we had PW we were expected to have some kind of thesis/hypothesis that we wanted to prove, and then in JS1101e for the group essay we also had to have a thesis, but here in JS2101 we weren’t supposed to continue from what we learnt in JS1101e. Some people shared their original ideas, and the prof literally told them that they should save it for JS3101 because this mod was for learning how to do research. We were supposed to write a review-style essay of what’s already out there. Once again in my head I was just like ???? because in 1101 we were already expected to know how to do research and write a normal paper, but suddenly in 2101 we weren’t….? Wat to heck. We had to write a 5000-word essay, but everything had to be citable. The most original thing we could do was choose how to organise the information and how to evaluate them, but we weren’t supposed to have an actual argument that we had to prove along the way. Which just goes against everything I’ve learnt so far. Exactly how this useless writing exercise was supposed to help a JS major excel, I have no clue. The Y3 JS major sitting next to me was also taking 2101 belatedly, and he had no problems excelling in JS because he just picked up the skills along the way. So far I also had no problems writing JS essays because in FASS you just kinda learn how to. Honestly instead of taking JS2101 under this prof, just take it the next semester, and in the meantime, go take EN1101e or GEH1014. Your essay-writing skills will level up a lot faster and you can clear a cross-listed GEM while you’re at it.

Our essays were graded according to this rubric:
Abstract, Introduction, Main Part, Conclusion, Guiding the reader, Definitions, Framing, Theories, Discourse – Different Opinions, Variety of sources, Language, Referencing.
1= needs to be improved, and 5=excellent.
The only thing I got excellent for was Language LOL but I guess that was to be expected. I read the comments at the end, rolled my eyes, and didn’t read the comments in the paper itself. I’ll never write anything like that again so what’s the point anyway. I highly doubt reading the comments will help me write my 3101 paper anyway. 無意味。In hindsight I think JS3213 taught me how to do research better than this prof did.

For this last part please note that I’m not talking about the mod on its own, but the mod taught by this particular prof. I have friends who had a really enjoyable 2101 experience. If you’re not in a rush to graduate, a good prof to wait for would be McMorran, I guess? Hopefully 3101 will be meaningful. Third time’s the charm, right?

Readings: 1/10
He expected at least FIFTEEN (15) SOURCES for your research paper. If you’re going by actual books that’s like 2 lit mods’ worth of books, except it’s all academic writing and non-fiction and not particularly enjoyable.

Manageability: 5/10
Manageable if you’re a carefree Y1 with S/Us to spare, I guess. Not very manageable if you’re a struggling Y3 weighed down with level 4k mods/ midterms/ other essays to write.

Fun levels: 1/10
Please read the above. The only fun I had was when making friends with the person next to me. He was the one redeeming factor.

Experience points: 1/10
I LEARNT NOTHING THAT I DIDN’T TEACH MYSELF AND IT WAS A WASTE OF $800. Learn from my mistakes, don’t take his mods. My friend got an A for this mod, not because of anything he learnt here, and he also says that this prof really cannot teach. 2101 is compulsory for JS majors/ 2nd majors so you have to plan carefully.

EN4261

EN4261

EN4261: Metafictions and the Novel
Prof/ Lecturer/ Tutor: Ang
Year/Sem: Y3S2 (AY2016-2017)

Readings: 3/10
– If on a Winter’s Night, a Traveller
– French Lieutenant’s Woman
– Flaubert’s Parrot
– Some short stories by Borges
– Irma Vep (film)
– Hero (film)
– Possession
– The Draughtsman’s Contract (film)
– Adaptation (film)
Ten thousand optional readings in the Dropbox 🙃 Actually you have to read at least a few because you have to use ~4 readings in your final essay.

Except for Flaubert’s Parrot I hadn’t read or even heard of any of these texts before this module. Hashtag uncultured. I really liked Hero though, because it had 张曼玉 (Maggie Cheung) and 梁朝伟 (Tony Leung). For the rest I was just ?????? the whole time.

Manageability: 2/10
I’m giving this a low rating because it’s manageable but challenging. The first half of the sem was much heavier than the second half, but then again there was a midterm exam in week 11 (open book) and a final essay due in week 13. We had a choice between submitting two short final essays (one after recess week and the other in week 13) or submitting one long final essay at the end. Most of us couldn’t find the time to write two essays so almost everybody pushed it to the end of the sem. I chose to compare two films (idk why I always do this to myself when I haven’t taken any of the level 2k film mods), and I did surprisingly well. Lucky for me because I opened the email in public. I’m quite glad there’s no bellcurve for level 4k mods because my class was filled to the brim with brilliant people and during seminars I constantly felt out of place.

For the group project, we made groups of 3-4 and wrote a group essay (~3000 words) that we had to read out in class. That’s the “presentation”. Each text had only one group presenting, so right at the start we had to sign up for a group. All presentations had to be uploaded to the dropbox the night before class. Most groups used one or two readings from the dropbox and applied it to the text. My group did Hero and it was hella fun. There weren’t any readings for Hero in the dropbox so we had to find our own. Most of our presentation was original analysis because there weren’t that many readings on Hero either. The night before we made memes out of our screencaps so our presentation would be less boring. The prof was not amused but nvm lah what matters is that everyone else was 🙂

Preparing for seminars was the most stressful part of this module, because the texts are so frickin thick. Idk how the HT students managed it. Reading the texts for class took up most of my free time and I barely had any time left to do my assignments (which explains why I did badly for LAJ lmao). The midterm was open book so carrying all the texts to school was a chore. In the end I only used Possession lol why did I even bother. Additionally, the prof usually uploads a 30-PAGED ESSAY (lecture notes) that you need to read before attending seminar. If you go into seminar without reading the lecture notes you will most likely have nothing to say (unless you’re very good at bullshitting, but she’s very adept at spotting bullshit) and then your class participation will go down. You’ll be extra busy when it’s your turn to present because you’ll have to (A) read/watch the text in advance (B) find time to discuss the group essay with your group mates (C) write a thousand words (D) make powerpoint slides (E) read the 30-paged lecture notes, all likely within a week because the week before you’d be too busy reading that week’s text and lecture notes. My group presented on week 10 which left us with 6 days to prepare for the midterm. It was an endless rush from deadline to deadline. Prepare yourself, and if you love yourself READ THE DROPBOX READINGS EARLY ON.

Fun levels: 3/10
I’d like to say I had tons of fun bc this was a great mod, but most of the time I didn’t. I suffered. 10am seminars sound okay but you have to be Super Awake and Super Present for 2hr45min, and after the first half an hour I can usually feel the energy draining away from my body. The group project was fun though. And the midterm exam was just about as fun as exams can be. We had it in an LT (mcm saying we had a baby lol) instead of a scarily quiet exam hall. Anyway, the group project was really, really fun. This is coming from a person who usually loathes the idea of group work. I was, once again, blessed with a great group. Everyone was hardworking, everyone was in sync, we encouraged each other, and it was just good vibes all around and memes in our telegram chat.

Experience points: 8/10
Overall, I’m glad I took this module because it made me read texts I wouldn’t have read on my own. I quite liked the readings, actually. I learnt that everything I knew about metafiction was wrong. After you take this mod, the next time you see people throw the word ‘meta’ around to make themselves seem smarter, you can correct them 🙂 jk, I’ve just been feeling very salty lately.