December 05, 2004

Prompt Response

Alright, as I have just finished my first term at Warwick, this is probably the right time to reflect on my performance so far. Here it goes then:

1) How well do you feel you have managed the transition from school to university?

I am quite pleased. I think that the transition is complete now. Of course they are big differences between the way of teaching at the university and my previous school, but I did not expect anything else. The biggest difference between the two is probably the obligation to find our study material ourselves. Nobody is ever going to give me a hand-out ready to be studied from at the university. It seems like we are condamned to endless walking around the library in search of the study materials. I got used to it by now and have no problems with it anymore. I welcome it as another step towards total self sufficiency.

2) How effective is your note-taking in lectures, in seminars, from books?

My note taking does not represent a significant problem. Of course there is still room for improvement. The mistake that I am aware of making is that very often I tend to note down more information than is necessary. Sometimes when I am researching a particular essay title I end up with a booklet of notes, from which only about 50% can be used to answer the essay question. It is because I like to take notes of things that seem interesting, rather than totally relevant. I will have to take notes more efficientlly in the future to save some time.

3) Are you making best use of the resources available to you (e.g. the Library, the internet, the Learning Grid)?

I am not sure I am making the best use of the resources available, however I am definitely making some use of them. I visit the library pretty much every day, have internet access in my room and use learning grid to study when my hall of residence is too noisy to work in.

4) Are you adequately prepared for seminars?

Yes, I think that 'adequately' is the right word to use. I cannnot claim that I have read every piece of reading I was advised to do (well, who can?); however I never come to seminars unprepared. I have always something to say about the topic discussed.

5) Assess your contribution to and participation in seminars.

Well, the extent of my contribution obviously depends on the topic discussed and the depth of research I have done on it. I try to restrict my comments to only those of big relevance. I am not too quiet nor too talkative in my seminars. I feel gradually more comfortable in my seminars every week.

6) In what ways could you improve your time-management skills?

As I said I have to stop wasting time reading and noting down the things that interest me, and have to start concentrating only on what is relevant.

7) Assess your strengths and weaknesses as a learner.

Weakness: noting down more than is necessary
Strengths: genuine interest in learning, determination to do well

8) What would make you a more effective student?

Doing only the necessary stuff. I feel that bigger availability of the books in the library would save me some time (especially availability of the books for the politics part of my course)

9) How do you propose to improve your learning skills during the course of this academic year?

I propose to keep on doing what I have been doing for the last term. I will remain consciencious and the improvement will eventually come. I already feel that I learned a lot in Warwick in the first 10 weeks.

10) What do you hope to get out of your time at university?

I hope to enjoy myself as well as to educate myself. I hope to leave Warwick intellectually enrichhed, but also I hope to improve my skills in my other hobbies such sports and music.

Ok, that is it.

Jan


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