Monday, October 31, 2005

Marieke's school

So...This is my first entry. A combination of our lack of internet connection at home and the poorly maintained computers at RUC (and I use to complain about the Dupuis cluster computers!) have sort of made it difficult to find time to sit down and write blogs. Usually when I'm at a computer, I'm in a hurry and I only have time to check email.

Anyway, right...I don't think that we any entries about my program (Teksam - stands for Institut for Miljø, Teknologi og Samfund). Just to give you a bit of a background, my school, RUC (Roskilde Universitetscenter), was built in the early 70's. Oddly enough when the land was sold to build the university, it belonged to my neighbour's daughter's fiancé's family (and by neighbour I mean my neighbour of 15+ years back in Ancaster). Small world? RUC is a different kind of univerisity, in that it was founded by the free-spirited hippies of the era who were tired of traditional lecture-style learning.

The department supports bachelor, masters and doctoral levels and offeres programs in both English (through the International program) and Danish. For the most part the Danes and the international students takes classes separately but they've been attempting to integrate the groups in the elective courses. So...My program is so incredibly different than Queen's engineering. First off....I have NO written exam!!! As for the structure, the first two months I
pretty much had class 5 days a week. I had a main course (which unorginally enough is called Main Course I), an environmental social science course, a problem based learning course and an environmental management field course. These serve to give you the tools to be able to work on your year-long project, so three quarters of them are pass/fail. The biggest differences for me have been having to do readings, having classes where participation is expected and having classes where attendance is taken (I guess they need an incentive for people to attend the lectures since the evaluation for some of the courses is so wishy-washy). For the rest of the year I had to choose some electives. So next month I'm taking a weekly course on transportation planning and in January/February I'm taking a weekly course on globalization. The rest of my time is devoted for working on my project.

For my first year project we've chosen to look at the sustainability of computers in terms of life cycle assessment. I'm working with two other people, a girl from China who has a law degree and a guy from Iceland who has a sociology degree. It's going to be really interesting working on a project like this with group members who have completedly different perspectives.

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