Just got back from school. It was a long day today. My first lecture started at 2pm (and the last would end at 6pm), so I woke up, went for my swim, had some fruits at home before I took 147 to school. I figured I’d go there earlier and explore the school a little, and also to buy my course packs. And since I had so much time prior to my lectures, I decided to try the bus and see how long it would take. My estimation wasn’t far off: the 147 journey took an hour, while the 95 one took about 20 minutes. Of course, the bus journey takes longer than the train one.

So, moving on from dry topics such as journeys, I got off at the Central Library and visited the bookstore. There was some kind of event going on, and leaflets were thrust at me. I finally emerged from the mire and slipped into the bookstore. They sell textbooks – of course – and (gasp!) chick-lit fiction novels, NUS paraphernalia such as the stuffed teddy bear (some kind of mascot, I suppose), notepads, sweatshirts, t-shirts, files, keychains, notebooks, etc, all emblazoned with the letters NUS in the school colours (orange and blue), and even car decals.

Later, I got my course-packs at the booth right outside the bookstore, and I must say, for how big the school is, it’s very well-run, no chaos like at SA, where the queues were always long and there was general confusion in getting the reading packages. I got my NM1101E (Communications, New Media and Society) and SC2210 (Sociology of Pop Culture) packages, the latter twice as thick as the former, probably because it’s level-2000 and therefore heavier.

So, that done, I tried to take the shortcut from the library to FASS, as I’d drawn out on my copy of the school map. But I guess I’m a walking stereotype of females. My map-reading skills are sorely lacking, and I couldn’t make any sense of where I was going. Plus, I didn’t have the sense to look up at the signposts for help. So I ended up walking to the Business Faculty (it’s next to FASS, but along the road), and ended up at Kent Ridge Residences (one of the student dormitories). I could see the main road, for crying out loud. So I figured it would be best if I asked for directions. Thankfully, a senior pointed me in the right direction. Thank you, seniors, for aiding us freshies in our navigation around the vast and overwhelming world of varsity campus.

It was a looooooooooong trek up a slope to FASS, where I had to first pass by AlumNUS. By the time I reached The Deck (the foodcourt of FASS), I was sweating galleons and panting like I had just scaled one of those Himalayan mountains. (It certainly felt like it.) My hair was a mess, sticking to my neck due to my perspiration, and sticking out as well. Compounding that to a very flushed face, I must have looked a fright. Which is really too bad, because some of the guys who looked at me (and promptly turned away to shudder in fright, I’m sure) were cute. NUS is full of cute guys – guys just fresh out of NS and therefore still have The Body – and that’s a fact.

Okay, so as for the lectures, my first lecture of the day, GEM1004 (Reason & Persuasion), was taught by Professor John Holbo, and he’s an interesting orator, which made the lecture endurable, considering the fact that it was on Philosophy. He’s sort of humorous, and was able to distill/condense the ideas and theories in a simpler manner. That said, Philosophy still seems rather meaningless to me, since all it does is ask questions in circles and not coming up with a concrete answer. Despite how good a lecturer Prof Holbo is, this is one lecture that I’m not quite looking forward to next week. Maybe it’ll be better after I’ve read the textbook, which – get this – was written by Prof Holbo himself. How cool is that. Also, on a sidenote, I managed to talk to two girls in the lecture today, which took the boredom off slightly.

My second and last lecture of the day was Sociology of Pop Culture. Sounds fun, right? But it’s level-2000, which makes it tougher for a freshie like me to handle. The good thing, though, is that there are no group projects and presentations (“No point having those when no-one listens to them anyway, right?” Dr Liew said, to which many of us sniggered). Instead, we have to submit 2 essays (one 500-800 word piece, which takes up 10% of our final grade, and another 2000-2500 word one, which takes up 20% – the remaining 60% comes from exams and the final 10% comes from class participation). Which is fine by me. Group projects are often a chore, anyway, unless, of course, I have a cute group-mate (although I wouldn’t mind if that were in the plural form).

Thus ends my first week in NUS. Here’s to fun lectures and not getting lost anymore.

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