The most recent hindrance has been that I've fallen rather ill, and for the last few days I've been kept pretty quiet by a nasty strain of the flu. It has meant, however, that I've become addicted to the Olympics - whenever I'm sick, I find I can't stand music, but a TV on low volume is very welcome, and the Olympics is the only thing worth watching at the moment. Channel 7's coverage has been obsessed with the swimming and embarrassing to the point of hilarity, loaded with idiotic remarks from their commentary team, while SBS's has been pretty good but a bit too heavily focused on soccer for my liking (but it's SBS, so what do you expect?). I personally would've loved to see more of the synchronised diving, weightlifting, archery, and equestrian, but not much to be done about that. It also seems that I'm one of only about five people on earth who found the Opening Ceremony to be simply dreadful and nothing at all impressive. Now that I'm close to healthy, I wonder if I'll keep watching so much, or if I'll gravitate back towards my natural preference of music. Right now, with soccer on SBS and basketball on 7, it's music for me.
Other than an illness that I think I've now mostly shaken, not a whole lot has happened in my life. The second semester of the university year has now begun, and I am pretty happy with my subject selection. The first semester ended up going very pleasingly. I suppose I'll share my results, and what's more, to contextualise them for my North American friends, I have this link, which provides a Word document containing a rough comparison between Melbourne's marks and those given in North America; I think the two big points of interest are that everything 80% and above (i.e. an H1, honours first class) equates to at least an A in North America, while the lower passing marks in North America (from C- to D-) equate to failing marks here. Make of that what you will. Anyhow, for me:
Holocaust & Genocide: H1, 92%
History In The Field (the Royal Historical Society placement): H1, 84%
Terrorism: Shifting Paradigms: H1, 93%
Democracy, Terrorism, & Violence: H1, 90%
I'm most proud of the History In The Field mark, actually. That was not an easy gig and I feel like I worked for that mark. I wasn't even confident I'd get within H1 range, the least confident I've ever been of getting an H1, so I'm quite impressed that I came away with one, even a relatively low one. I'm pretty surprised I somehow pulled off a 90% in Democracy & Violence, as I pretty much bludged through that class, put in no effort, and spent most of its exam staring out the window thinking about how tedious the whole affair was and how I wanted to be anywhere other than half-arsing through a lacklustre examination. Apparently it just goes to show you really can put in minimal effort and still come away with one of the highest marks in the class. I hope to not half-arse things so much this semester, though, as my subject selection seems to have worked out well on the basis of the early weeks. International Relations And Its Others and Global Environmental Politics are my two Political Science subjects taken solely to have enough points to get my PolSci major, but they seem promising enough. As for History, where my passion lies and in which I now wish I were double majoring (but it's too late for that), I'm doing Historical Theory And Research and Aboriginal And Pacific Islander Histories, both of which will permit me to do work on New Zealand. I'm fucking thrilled about that.
Ideally, I'll be back with more tomorrow ...