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literally lauren

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Re: Subject Review Requests
« Reply #165 on: November 14, 2015, 02:05:06 pm »
+4
Thanks so much, Lauren! :) To be honest, it sounds pretty interesting! I've always been interested in learning languages and after finishing Italian last year I feel like there's been a bit of a void in my studies. However, I like the different focus linguistics brings to the whole subject area. The fact that it isn't as problem-based actually doesn't bother me that much - like perhaps many Science/Biomedicine students, I'm just not keen on essay writing (which eliminates a tonne of subjects). :P Most seem to opt for Commerce subjects, but personally I find that area boring as. =_= And I'm not up for those rather creative intensives that many flock to.

My biggest concern is the disadvantage in not having done LING10001 beforehand. One thing that caught my attention is the lack of "recommended background knowledge" in the handbook. Honestly, would it be at all jarring or difficult to take LING20011 without LING10001? If not, I think I may lock it in for next year! :)
Having done both Secret Life and GofE I'd say doing the former isn't a necessity since that course has a much wider scope. Secret Life takes you through a whole bunch of different fields: Morphology (word-internal structure, eg. affixes, why 'run' changes to 'ran' in past tense etc.) Syntax (sentence structure) Phonetics/Phonology (speech sounds) [+reviews pending for all these 2nd year subjects too!] It's actually a really well-designed first year course for those planning on doing a Linguistics major/minor because it's got a great depth/breadth balance for all the subjects offered at a higher level.

GofE is just about syntax and grammar, and whilst there's a teensy bit of sociolinguistics and historical linguistics, it's definitely much more focused, and goes into more depth than Secret Life without assuming prior knowledge. It's kind of like Secret Life is a subject about all the different kinds of fruits and vegetables in the world, and Grammar of English is like an in depth study of green apples - technically those who did Secret Life know some things about green apples, but their study was much more disparate, and GofE goes into so much more depth with all the different parts of the apple that everyone's basically on equal footing by that stage.

From memory, when we were asked in the first tute if anyone had done other Linguistics subjects or English Language in VCE, there was a bout a 50/50 split, and after a few weeks, there was no discernible division in the class other than those who 'got it' because they were on top of the work, and those who relied on native intuitions rather than learning the actual theory. Honestly, the fact that you've had experience learning Italian will more than make up for not having done the first year subject. You might be like me and have a few 'OMG THAT'S WHY THE VERB CONJUGATES THIS WAY' moments when you learn the rationale behind why your first and/or second language behaves the way it does, but speaking with the bias of someone who is totally smitten by linguistics, that just made the subject more enjoyable for me :)

Also, Grammar of English is, unsurprisingly, just about English, which makes it waaaaaay easier than subjects like Syntax that throw Scots Gaelic and Basque and obscure Indigenous languages at you every single week  ::)

I don't think it'd be jarring at all, and there's absolutely no essay writing - it's all short answer questions and a few problem solving exercises. Also, the staff are incredibly approachable and always up for a nerdy chat about language-y things, so if you feel a bit perplexed by something then you can always let them know after a lecture or see them during office hours.

Btw, don't buy the textbook - it's about $80 from the co-op and the library has two or three copies in the high-use section anyway. I managed to find a couple of versions online + sneaky pdf link so that can be a good reference point too :)

Has anyone done ENGL30046 Romancing the Medieval, or anything else similar?

Thanks so much :)
I haven't done this specific subject, but I don't think there are many other English students floating around, let alone ones who have done 3rd year subjects, so I might be able to help.

I've done the two first year English subjects, plus Shakespeare and Performance, Modernism and the Avant Garde, American Classics, and Gothic Fictions. According to the handbook Romancing the Medieval is run by Stephanie Trigg who I've had as a lecturer occasionally and seems quite good. The texts also seem pretty decent, and I believe David McInnis might take a few (incl. Canterbury Tales) and having had him in Lit & Performance as well as the Shakespeare subject, he's brilliant.

In general, the 3rd year English subjects are much better run than the 2nd year ones since they're a bit more specific and tend to be handled by just one or two people who take all the lectures and tutes. Compare this to the way 2nd year subjects are run (or at least, Mod&AV and American Classics) where you're getting a different lecturer almost every week and the tutes are totally out of step with them anyway :/

If you've never done an English subject or are looking for a breadth, I can't recommend picking up a 3rd year one. They tend to have a bizarre standard of marking where people very rarely score above a 70, and (quote from a tutor: 'we don't give you anything higher than 85 unless it's good enough to be published.') That said, I've seen such vastly different expectations in each subject to the point where my marks would fluctuate drastically with little explanation. Some of the content has been fairly interesting across the different subjects, but the rather poor way things are run kind of undermines that.

For instance, this is a screencap of the American Classics LMS page from this semester:

Maybe this emptiness is typical in other diciplines, but every single other unit I've done (incl. Linguistics, Art History, Genetics, Philosophy, Botany, Ancient World Studies, Education, Classics, and even a Sign Language breadth) were all far better with communication and providing necessary information.
The 'Subject Home' tab just had links to the other tabs; the 'Subject Information' took you to another site that just reworded what was in the handbook and gave you links to the lecture notes (no recordings >:() 'Announcements,' as you can see, was blank for the entire semester, and the 'Assessment' portal took you to a dodgy thing that wasn't the normal Turnitin and gave you no confirmation that you'd submitted your essays... not that it mattered much because you had to hand in a hardcopy anyway for no adequately explained reason.

This is definitely an extreme example since even the other English subjects I've done weren't this bad, but it's still symptomatic of some serious problems within the discipline that a couple of subjects in particular seem to fall victim to. I don't know whether Romancing the Medieval is one of these, and again, my experience with 3rd year subjects is that they are much more organised, but you may have to have quite a bit of patience to get through it.

On the plus side, based on its handbook details, the subject it seems most like is Gothic Fictions, which was excellent; and it looks like you'd be studying a few texts over a few weeks, rather than the one-per-week system in most of the other subjects. Plus, the fact that you only have two essays plus some class participation means you'll have a fairly light workload excluding the amount of reading (which can all be done over the Summer, or Winter since it's a Sem. 2 subject.) If you really wanted to, you could try doing what I've done a couple of times at the beginning of Semester and get a feel for the lectures and tutes in the first two weeks. If it seems like it's worth sticking around for, then keep it, but plan to have another option or two up your sleeve, and do a little bit of reading up on each one before it starts just in case you want to switch.

I'm a tad disillusioned with the English department though, save for two or three good subjects, so I've tried to keep this objective but you may still have a totally different experience. If you're familiar with the English department so far then let that inform your decision :)

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Re: Subject Review Requests
« Reply #166 on: November 14, 2015, 02:08:19 pm »
0
Having done both Secret Life and GofE I'd say doing the former isn't a necessity since that course has a much wider scope. Secret Life takes you through a whole bunch of different fields: Morphology (word-internal structure, eg. affixes, why 'run' changes to 'ran' in past tense etc.) Syntax (sentence structure) Phonetics/Phonology (speech sounds) [+reviews pending for all these 2nd year subjects too!] It's actually a really well-designed first year course for those planning on doing a Linguistics major/minor because it's got a great depth/breadth balance for all the subjects offered at a higher level.

GofE is just about syntax and grammar, and whilst there's a teensy bit of sociolinguistics and historical linguistics, it's definitely much more focused, and goes into more depth than Secret Life without assuming prior knowledge. It's kind of like Secret Life is a subject about all the different kinds of fruits and vegetables in the world, and Grammar of English is like an in depth study of green apples - technically those who did Secret Life know some things about green apples, but their study was much more disparate, and GofE goes into so much more depth with all the different parts of the apple that everyone's basically on equal footing by that stage.

From memory, when we were asked in the first tute if anyone had done other Linguistics subjects or English Language in VCE, there was a bout a 50/50 split, and after a few weeks, there was no discernible division in the class other than those who 'got it' because they were on top of the work, and those who relied on native intuitions rather than learning the actual theory. Honestly, the fact that you've had experience learning Italian will more than make up for not having done the first year subject. You might be like me and have a few 'OMG THAT'S WHY THE VERB CONJUGATES THIS WAY' moments when you learn the rationale behind why your first and/or second language behaves the way it does, but speaking with the bias of someone who is totally smitten by linguistics, that just made the subject more enjoyable for me :)

Also, Grammar of English is, unsurprisingly, just about English, which makes it waaaaaay easier than subjects like Syntax that throw Scots Gaelic and Basque and obscure Indigenous languages at you every single week  ::)

I don't think it'd be jarring at all, and there's absolutely no essay writing - it's all short answer questions and a few problem solving exercises. Also, the staff are incredibly approachable and always up for a nerdy chat about language-y things, so if you feel a bit perplexed by something then you can always let them know after a lecture or see them during office hours.

Btw, don't buy the textbook - it's about $80 from the co-op and the library has two or three copies in the high-use section anyway. I managed to find a couple of versions online + sneaky pdf link so that can be a good reference point too :)

I'm sold. Thanks so much for the help, Lauren! :D
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Re: Subject Review Requests
« Reply #167 on: November 14, 2015, 02:29:46 pm »
0

I haven't done this specific subject, but I don't think there are many other English students floating around, let alone ones who have done 3rd year subjects, so I might be able to help.

I've done the two first year English subjects, plus Shakespeare and Performance, Modernism and the Avant Garde, American Classics, and Gothic Fictions. According to the handbook Romancing the Medieval is run by Stephanie Trigg who I've had as a lecturer occasionally and seems quite good. The texts also seem pretty decent, and I believe David McInnis might take a few (incl. Canterbury Tales) and having had him in Lit & Performance as well as the Shakespeare subject, he's brilliant.

In general, the 3rd year English subjects are much better run than the 2nd year ones since they're a bit more specific and tend to be handled by just one or two people who take all the lectures and tutes. Compare this to the way 2nd year subjects are run (or at least, Mod&AV and American Classics) where you're getting a different lecturer almost every week and the tutes are totally out of step with them anyway :/

If you've never done an English subject or are looking for a breadth, I can't recommend picking up a 3rd year one. They tend to have a bizarre standard of marking where people very rarely score above a 70, and (quote from a tutor: 'we don't give you anything higher than 85 unless it's good enough to be published.') That said, I've seen such vastly different expectations in each subject to the point where my marks would fluctuate drastically with little explanation. Some of the content has been fairly interesting across the different subjects, but the rather poor way things are run kind of undermines that.

For instance, this is a screencap of the American Classics LMS page from this semester:
(Image removed from quote.)
Maybe this emptiness is typical in other diciplines, but every single other unit I've done (incl. Linguistics, Art History, Genetics, Philosophy, Botany, Ancient World Studies, Education, Classics, and even a Sign Language breadth) were all far better with communication and providing necessary information.
The 'Subject Home' tab just had links to the other tabs; the 'Subject Information' took you to another site that just reworded what was in the handbook and gave you links to the lecture notes (no recordings >:() 'Announcements,' as you can see, was blank for the entire semester, and the 'Assessment' portal took you to a dodgy thing that wasn't the normal Turnitin and gave you no confirmation that you'd submitted your essays... not that it mattered much because you had to hand in a hardcopy anyway for no adequately explained reason.

This is definitely an extreme example since even the other English subjects I've done weren't this bad, but it's still symptomatic of some serious problems within the discipline that a couple of subjects in particular seem to fall victim to. I don't know whether Romancing the Medieval is one of these, and again, my experience with 3rd year subjects is that they are much more organised, but you may have to have quite a bit of patience to get through it.

On the plus side, based on its handbook details, the subject it seems most like is Gothic Fictions, which was excellent; and it looks like you'd be studying a few texts over a few weeks, rather than the one-per-week system in most of the other subjects. Plus, the fact that you only have two essays plus some class participation means you'll have a fairly light workload excluding the amount of reading (which can all be done over the Summer, or Winter since it's a Sem. 2 subject.) If you really wanted to, you could try doing what I've done a couple of times at the beginning of Semester and get a feel for the lectures and tutes in the first two weeks. If it seems like it's worth sticking around for, then keep it, but plan to have another option or two up your sleeve, and do a little bit of reading up on each one before it starts just in case you want to switch.

I'm a tad disillusioned with the English department though, save for two or three good subjects, so I've tried to keep this objective but you may still have a totally different experience. If you're familiar with the English department so far then let that inform your decision :)

Just wondering, which 1st and 2nd year English subjects are decent? I'm not going to be an English major (I'm planning to do Economics and probably Philosophy) but I'm may do a few English subjects if they are any good.
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literally lauren

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Re: Subject Review Requests
« Reply #168 on: November 14, 2015, 04:49:21 pm »
+2
Just wondering, which 1st and 2nd year English subjects are decent? I'm not going to be an English major (I'm planning to do Economics and probably Philosophy) but I'm may do a few English subjects if they are any good.

Out of the ones that are available at the moment (keeping in mind that these tend to change year by year, so some might be added/ditched depending on the numbers)

(ones I've done in red)
1st year:
Literature and Performance
Modernism and Contemporary Literature


2nd year:
Australian Imagery
Romanticism, Feminism, Revolution
Modernism and Avant Garde
Adaptation and Transgression
Theatre Experience
American Classics
Poetry, Love, and Death
Modern and Contemporary Drama
Reverberations of Terror: 1789-1900
Shakespeare in Performance

To address the 2nd year subjects first, you've got a pretty broad array of choices which is a good thing. Out of the ones I've done, Shakespeare in Performance would be the only one I'd recommend. I'm writing up Subject Reviews for the others at the moment, but suffice it to say that any interest I had in either Modernism or American Classics was quelled by the poor coordination and vague assessment outlines/ feedback.

I'd definitely recommend the first year subjects over the second year ones though. Lit and Performance is really well run with a broad range of texts (two Shakespeare plays, some poetry, three Victorian novels and two proto-Modernist plays) and very clear overview of what the three essays require of you. The Semester 2 subject was a little less impressive (full explanation here) but I'd still consider worthwhile.

However, having spoken to people in other English subjects too (Poetry, Love, and Death; Adaptations; & Reverberations of Terror) the 2nd year subjects don't make for very good breadth/elective options. Even in the second semester subject in first year, I lost track of the amount of times a lecturer or tutor would say something like '...which is something you will have covered in first semester,' so going into a 2nd year subject without having done the first might cause some disorientation when it comes to assessment, even if you're able to handle the content. If you're doing Philosophy then you should be alright with the essay side of things, but if you get a dodgy tutor - as has happened to me in the past - then it's a struggle to work out what you need to do to understand the assessment, let alone bolster your marks.

Unfortunately, although I'd love to recommend the third year subject Gothic Fictions, it looks like they're changing the lecturer and a bunch of the texts for next year, so I'm not too sure how that one will be in the future. I'll be doing Genre/Pop Fiction and Decadent Lit. next year which both look good, as well as the Capstone (Critical Debates) so I'll get around to reviewing those too.

I know absolutely nothing about the Economics Department because I have a mortal fear of commerce, but the Philosophy Department is really good! There's a tonne of really interesting lecturers who I could listen to for hours, and they're way clearer about essay requirements and general course information than most of the other faculties are. If I had my time over, I probably would've just done Linguistics and Philosophy with the odd English elective, but hindsight's 20/20 :/

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Re: Subject Review Requests
« Reply #169 on: November 15, 2015, 02:27:40 pm »
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Thanks so much for your help  :) :D :)

Do you know anything about 2nd and 3rd year Classics Subjects? And what about Ancient World Studies and History? Are subjects like "ANCW30004 Beyond Babylon" and "HIST30006 The Renaissance in Italy" interesting?

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Re: Subject Review Requests
« Reply #170 on: November 19, 2015, 04:34:24 pm »
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MKTG20004 Market and Business Research please!

Dunno whether I should do this or QM2 as the core math requirement. Planning to major in Finance & Marketing.

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Re: Subject Review Requests
« Reply #171 on: November 19, 2015, 05:34:56 pm »
0
Anyone know much about 2nd year english/history subjects?
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Re: Subject Review Requests
« Reply #172 on: November 19, 2015, 05:59:06 pm »
+1
ZOOL20004 Australian Wildlife Biology please :)

Gracias!  :D
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Re: Subject Review Requests
« Reply #173 on: November 19, 2015, 07:44:21 pm »
+1
Expand the subject reviews for major subjects (really need reviews for engineering majors, probably mechanical ones)

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Re: Subject Review Requests
« Reply #174 on: November 19, 2015, 10:33:38 pm »
+2
ZOOL20004 Australian Wildlife Biology please :)

Gracias!  :D

It's great, and not too hard. Do it!
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Subject and major reviews incoming :)

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Re: Subject Review Requests
« Reply #175 on: November 20, 2015, 04:38:23 pm »
+1
Anyone know much about 2nd year english/history subjects?

I did Rebels and Revolutionaries (2nd year history) as a breadth. It was really good. Subject was organised and well coordinated since they've been running it for years, content was interesting and only 2 assessments (+tute participation).

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Re: Subject Review Requests
« Reply #176 on: November 22, 2015, 02:04:38 pm »
0
Has anyone done any Ancient World Studies subjects? Thanks so much  :)

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Re: Subject Review Requests
« Reply #177 on: November 25, 2015, 11:01:11 am »
0
Hey guys I'm posting this in the unimelb chat board as well, but could anyone who has completed MAST30012 Discrete Mathematics please write a review (or message me your thoughts on the subject)? I can't find one and I'd like to know more about the structure and style of the subject, and stuff like whether lectures are recorded or not.

Thanks!
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Re: Subject Review Requests
« Reply #178 on: November 25, 2015, 01:47:51 pm »
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Hey guys I'm posting this in the unimelb chat board as well, but could anyone who has completed MAST30012 Discrete Mathematics please write a review (or message me your thoughts on the subject)? I can't find one and I'd like to know more about the structure and style of the subject, and stuff like whether lectures are recorded or not.

Thanks!

I just wrote one.

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Re: Subject Review Requests
« Reply #179 on: November 25, 2015, 02:03:17 pm »
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I just wrote one.

Thankyou!

Great review!
« Last Edit: November 25, 2015, 03:11:28 pm by silverpixeli »
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