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It begins...

Posted 11-05-2007 at 05:29 AM by fragment

I finally decided to take the plunge.

For the last few ideas I've been toying with the idea of returning to University, 15 years after I quit part-way through a philosophy degree. Now I've decided the time is right, and, starting next February, I'll be relocating to Dunedin and beginning the University of Otago's ecology programme.

The registration pack arrived in the mail today. I'm both excited and daunted. It's been quite some time since I was in tertiary education, and while I started well last time, I lost enthusiasm - hence the unfinished degree. Still, now I'm more committed to the subject, and the subsequent career options, and I'm also going to be part-time, which will allow me to put a decent amount of effort into each paper without melting down from stress. At least not too badly.

In theory I should be able to cross-credit a number of papers I've taken earlier, which means I basicallly have to meet the major subject requirements for the ecology programme to get a bachelor degree, but nothing else. That will give me a slightly unusual subject mix - I'll be able to get a Bachelor of Science in Ecology with a minor in Philosophy. Still, I've never been one to do things in the most usual, or obvious, manner, so it's fitting.

Course selection for next year is reasonably straightforward - the plethora of different choices doesn't begin until the second year. This is what I'll be taking:

First semester:
  • ECOL 111 Ecology & Conservation of Diversity
  • GEOG 101 Physical Geography
  • STAT 110 Statistical Methods

Second semester:
  • BIOL 112 Biology of Animals
  • BIOL 113 Biology of Plants

That's actually only one paper less than full-time. I considered pushing one of these over to 2009, but that risks not meeting the pre-requisites for some stage two papers I might want to take. I expect to breeze through the stats, so it should be OK. I can always drop something if I'm not quite making it. The other benefit is that this makes me eligible for a student allowance in the first semester. It's a fairly lousy stipend, but would ease a bit of pressure off the part-time work I'll also have to do.

There's an option to take Earth & Ocean Science instead of Physical Geography, which sounds fairly interesting, but the geography paper is a prerequisite for climatology papers I'm quite keen on. There's also several other first year papers I could take which would allow me to head towards things like evolution, palaeoecology, or information systems ecology later on, but I think I should resist the temptation to make my plate too full. The bachelor degree is the initial prize at this point, and I can always fill up on other topics later.

So, the next step is form-filling and bureaucracy navigation. My favourite.
Posted in Ecology, Study
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Total Comments 6


  1. Old Comment
    Crumb's Avatar
    Cool fragment! That looks like an interesting course load. Were you studying the same subject matter the first time through?
    Posted 11-06-2007 at 02:28 AM by Crumb Crumb is offline
  2. Old Comment
    fragment's Avatar
    Nah, first time round I sorta drifted into a Bachelor of Arts majoring in philosophy. I enjoyed some of it, but never had much commitment to the subject or what I could do with it, and one particular required paper was the kiss of death.
    Posted 11-06-2007 at 04:35 AM by fragment fragment is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Deadlokd's Avatar
    Go fragment! There is something so very satisfying about studying again. Expanding your brain and horizons.
    Posted 11-14-2007 at 11:46 AM by Deadlokd Deadlokd is offline
  4. Old Comment
    FYI: Prerequisites don't mean shit here. I've done two of the three third year climatology papers, and I never did Geog 101. I just bowled up on course approval day, cornered the lecturer, and explained why I wanted to do his course. Both times, with two different lecturers, there was no problem.

    Don't take this as gospel - they may get uptight in future and not do the same thing, but I can't see why. I passed, dammit!

    And I wanted to do the EAOS paper, but it's bloody hard to do in 2nd/3rd year if you're doing botany papers. (Heads up: botany clashed with everything. Always. But after talking to the HOD, he tweaked my major requirements so I could swap papers for botany major requirements in order to take the interesting papers in other departments.)
    Posted 11-19-2007 at 05:31 AM by Octavia Octavia is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Oh, and paleo-ecology? EAOS is a useful paper for that, apparently. Don't worry - they'll tell you that in 2nd year Plant Ecology, when the palaeobotanists come to talk to you. Of course, if you're a botany major, by then it's too damn late, and EAOS is off the schedule. Naturally!

    But it's not required, it's apparently just a useful paper.
    Posted 11-19-2007 at 05:33 AM by Octavia Octavia is offline
  6. Old Comment
    fragment's Avatar
    Sweet. I thought EAOS looked more interesting, so maybe I will take it instead. Need to talk to some people during course approval.
    Posted 11-20-2007 at 12:31 AM by fragment fragment is offline

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