NUS Module Review: Yr 4 Sem 1 (2016/17)

NUS Module Review: Yr 4 Sem 1 (2016/17)

I had quite some trouble finishing my assignments (essays) this semester. Maybe it’s because I gave my best-est to everything I did this sem, including the assignments, and kept on working on them until close to the deadline. I’d take more than a month to work on an essay…so the entire sem I was just working on essays all the time lolol.

It was also the start of my final year, which made me want to fill my time with all sorts of activities! I learnt bahasa indo as a module, started skateboarding, did a part-time internship at a cognitive development centre, took up driving, tuition and vocal lessons as usual! It was busy, but surprisingly not stifling. :O the previous sems I made myself busy, I crumbled here and there throughout the sem. Maybe it was positive thinking which helped me pull through the sem happily!

Also, my timetable was kind of crazy. I decided to squeeze my classes into just 2 days a week since I wanted to save money on staying in a hall/residence. Mondays were 7-hour-straight classes (12-7pm) and Fridays were 6 hours (9am-12pm, 1pm-4pm). Mondays were the craziest cause I could only eat a heavy meal in the morning (9+am) before taking the 1.5hour journey to school lol. I’d munch on unhealthy biscuits and bread in the afternoon while transiting between classes! And it was 4 hours of learning a language, followed by 3 hours of learning about the brain, which usually ended up with me having a literal headache by the end of Mondays. I kind of got used to it after a few weeks and it didn’t feel like much though…and I’d much rather have such a timetable than have to go to school multiple times a week just for a few hours! #worthit

It was also my first time not staying in school after 3 years. For the first time ever, the school felt like a foreign place because people from my batch only had a few school days as well and I rarely met anyone I knew well when I went to school. :'( lunching alone was a common thing, but I relished eating while watching skateboarding videos lolol.

 

GEK1900: Public Health in Action

I was worried about the intensity of this module at first (from reading reviews), but in the end I quite enjoyed it!

The mod was 100% CA, and consisted of:

  • Individual written assignment 1500 words (25%)
  • Group work (35%)
  • Peer evaluation (10%)
  • Individual take-home test 1000 words x 2 (30%)

Deadline for the individual written assignment was about week 5 or so into the sem. I had fun writing it (although I lamented it a lot) cause I chose to write about skateboarding. We were supposed to write about a lifestyle/behaviour in relation to the socio-economical model (which will be discussed in week 2/3). The model is emphasized throughout the course!

We’ll be randomly allocated into individual groups in Week 2 I think? There will be one peer evaluation halfway through the sem and another one at the end of it, so people who are marked down in it will probably be investigated, thus warding off slackers. My group was pretty great, except one of them didn’t do much work lol.

The 3-hour lesson format goes like this:

  1. Quiz at beginning of lecture (Simple, usually Ctrl-F-able 5 MCQ questions based on readings, using SMS) – don’t be late!
  2. 1 hour of lecture by a different lecturer each week. The topic changes each week, making class each week interesting. Examples: antibiotic resistance, maternal and child health, controlling dengue in singapore & singapore’s ageing society.
  3. Break into groups and work on the assigned question for 45mins to 1 hour. The report can be in point form which made things less tough. The report is quite alright as long as each person contributes!
  4. Final 30mins to gather back in our seats and fight for the mic to say out 1-2 points we wrote from the report. I think as long as you present for a few times you’ll be awarded the full participation marks (rewarded by group, so only one person from each group has to do it!). And there’s not much pressure because every one came up with points on the fly during the previous hour, so the quality isn’t expected to be that good.
  5. End!

Readings were really light, only about 5 pages each week (except sometimes there’s the monstrous 40+-page UN report or something). And you don’t even have to read it that thoroughly since there’s no finals, and the finals may not exactly be based on the readings!

I joined the mod not knowing anyone so I’m relieved that there was the random allocation into groups. I’m also thankful for my group! After 13 weeks of working on reports you’d have gained some sort of (possibly awkward) camaraderie lolol.

Rating – 1 being least and 5 being most. 

Difficulty in understanding: 2/5 

Workload: 2/5 

Self-study time required: 2/5

LAB1201: Bahasa Indonesia 1

I took this because I thought it’d be a useful, random skill to have. Also, I enjoy learning languages (on hindsight) and I went to indonesia recently and had an awesomeeee time which picqued my interest in wanting to communicate with the friendly people there.

A lot of people have mentioned that Indonesian is easy to learn, but the first time I sat for the class, I felt like I totally underestimated it lolol. I had zero background in it compared to Japanese, so Indonesian 1 felt wooorlds harder than Japanese 1 for me D’: the style of teaching also wasn’t as structured nor strict as Japanese, so you were kind of expected to slowly grasp the grammar of Indonesian on your own at the start (which I had lots of trouble with despite it being intuitive to many others T_ T /noob). I was shocked that there were no weekly tests (unlike Japanese) so we could actually put off studying the vocab until just before the major Test 1 and Test 2 *coughs*dontdothat…although many have done that*coughs*

Assessment:

  • Written homework: 15%
  • Test 1 (mid-sem) & Test 2 (around final week): 40%
  • Cultural project: 15%
  • Oral exam: 15%
  • Attendance & class participation: 15%

Written homework is quite manageable, sometimes it’s really short essays, sometimes it’s structured homework/listening. My first essay was horrible…but I eventually improved over time!

The format for the tests consists of completing dialogue, essay, particles/grammar, and specific vocab such as places in a house/food adjectives/time/numbers. Test 2 had listening, which ruined me because it was sooo quick, and they were spouting their million-dollars-big currency at the speed of a shinkansen.

Cultural project was quite fun. I signed up for costume, and we had just had to write an essay on it, prepare powerpoint slides and go for rehearsal and cultural night itself (usually on Fridays)! Even within the costume group, you could choose other roles like photographer, emcee, etc, instead of become the costume-wearer (I find that becoming the costume-wearer is the most slack tho and lol idk what such a person is called…OH MODEL?? #newcareerunlocked)!

Cooking was the most popular, so if you’re interested in that, you should camp on IVLE to sign up once the registration for the activities opens! We also got to eat the food that all the cooking groups made! There was quite a lot of food, but we could only eat at the end of the wholeeeeee presentation of the rest of the other activity groups. :'( (about 7-8+pm??) I really liked this fried tapioca one which was really chewy! (But basically everything was either fried or really diabetes-sweet tho. Need to prepare cooling tea after that no joke. I still love u indo food even tho u unhealthy #ayampenyet)

As for oral, my partner and I were totally super nervous and freaking out towards our turn lololol. You’re supposed to pair with a partner from tutorial class, and you’ll have about 2-3 lessons to practise before the oral week. First you 2 will assume fake roles from the situation you picked (eg a guest visiting someone’s house), and then create a dialogue and converse with each other. Then comes the scary individual part. One of the pair will randomly pick a card with a topic (can be something like ‘me’, ‘leisure activity’, ‘food’, ‘shopping’, ‘tourist places’, ‘sports’ etc) and start talking about it for I think 1-2mins? Then the other person does the same too. And you’re done!

The trick is to prepare a whole speech for each general topic. For eg I prepared separate speeches for shopping at bugis street (can be applied to leisure activity, tourist places, shopping),  favourite food, transport (bus/mrt) and my family. I got the topic ‘shopping’ in the end and recited my shopping speech lolol sooo lucky!

Anyway, there’s a wide variety of people learning indonesian (I met people from all sorts of majors and from year1-4!), and the teachers were really friendly and quite relaxed and non-stressful! They were also willing to share about their culture and experiences in Indonesia/Singapore, which was one of my favourite parts of classes!

 

Rating – 1 being least and 5 being most. 

Difficulty in understanding: 3/5 

Workload: 3/5 

Self-study time required: 3/5



PL4228: Criminal Forensic Psychology

Prof Kenji Gwee taught this mod! I think it’s because of him which made the mod really interesting and cool! He’s bright and friendly, makes an effort to remember the whole class’s names and tries to make classes fun and relevant by incorporating local crimes (even the international crimes were interesting too). We also had a fake court proceeding for the last lesson, which made me want to see the real one someday ;_ ; (hopefully not as a criminal defendant lol).

I took this mod because my thesis is related to the field, and I did learn a lot of useful things and background knowledge which I was previously unaware of! Some topics included: theories of crim behaviour, mental disorder and offending behaviour, malingering and deception, psychopathy etc.

Assessment:

  • Group presentation: 10%
  • Essay: 40%
  • Final exam: 40%
  • Attendance & class participation: 10%

Group presentations were during Week 4 lol. Really early, but it’s honestly better to get it out of the way quickly than struggle during Week 10 along with the pressure of other mods. +_+ We could choose any topic related to the field and present about it. It felt like the effort put into it wasn’t worth it for just 10% though ;_ ; but I guess if we did poorly it wouldn’t have affected us much, and we got to learn about various topics from other groups as well.

Essay was also quite free and easy, we had to write a topic relating to mental health and crim forensic psych. I had a lot of trouble choosing a topic and even more writing about something I knew nothing much about! But hard work paid off in the end :’)

Finals were MCQ (!!!!!) I was super happy to hear that lolol. It was the most difficult set of MCQ I experienced though. Basically many things managed to be tested even though there were only 40 questions. So be sure to remember the theories, concepts, names, etc (well basically almost everything lol).

Readings were kind of insane. Most of the weeks had about 4-5 readings per week, with 20+ pages in each reading. ;_ ; I struggled to finish them all…and only managed to complete them just before the day of the final paper lolol.

I didn’t really participate (cause me slow brained) so it’s good that participation was only 10% lol :’D Overall, it was an enjoyable mod, even though I was really really tough on myself for this mod…in doing readings, in (not) participating, in writing a good essay,…because I felt like doing well in it would help in doing well for thesis (????) lol.

Rating – 1 being least and 5 being most. 

Difficulty in understanding: 3/5 

Workload: 3/5 

Self-study time required: 5/5



PL4206: Cognitive Neuroscience

Oh. my…. I don’t know what to say for this module. I had to take it because I didn’t have enough bid points (and I thought I was done with neuroscience last sem with left right brain lolol). I have detested neuroscience from the beginning of times (even though I’m made out of it). I disliked going for classes at the beginning (sidetrack: my first time attending the class, me and my friend just got off a flight all the way from Guangzhou and went for the class a few hours right after that. *cries* needless to say I couldn’t stay awake the wholeeee time and kept falling asleep during the first class). I disliked being called randomly when I wasn’t sure what was going on lmao. I disliked sitting in a circle around the prof talking about cog neuro for 2.5hours!!!

That was only for the first few weeks though.

I slowly started to enjoy listening about the brain, and slowly started to talk about the brain. I spoke up in cog neuro class much much muchhh more than in other classes (lol). I struggled a lot for my term paper (and upon consultation my prof said that I embarked on an ambitious topic lol) and did averagely on it. My prof also told me that my ter m paper needed to have less of the *cognitive* and more of the *neuroscience*, and said that I’m bound to fare poorly if I continued to have so little neuro in cog neuro. I took awhile to swallow his advice down, and I struggled like jsfla;fjw;leifjwel;jarw during the 2 weeks of time I had before the final paper. I struggled to understand and memorize all the confusing papers, drew 34234124 mindmaps and wrote 12432 essays with difficult questions (that I came up with *coughs*).

And I’m so so so so sooo proud that it paid off and I did a lotttt better than I expected!!! :’D (considering that I never did well for neuroscience modules and that I hated bio and neuro stuff lol).

I came across a really cool neuroscience article a few weeks back, and I’m proud to say that I could understand, appreciate and critically think about it (cause it was related to this mod)!

Assessment:

  • Group presentation: 20%
  • Essay: 30%
  • Final exam: 50%

The mod is basically split into Attention (first half of sem) and Memory (second half), and the prof is Dr Nicholas Hon. He’s really friendly, casual and smart lolol. I think his style of seminar is sitting-in-a-circle-and-talk-about-the-two-assigned-readings-each-week-until-we-get-tired. Time kind of passes fairly quickly amidst our discussions though, and I appreciate this style rather than a lecture style, fact-bombarding class. It forced us to think and talk about the difficult brainy stuff and the links between other seemingly-different brainy stuff (???). Towards the end of the course you’re expected to make links between attention and memory and the various sub-topics within.

Finals were a choice of two essays out of 3 questions. I mainly prepared for attention but there were more memory than attention questions! It was still do-able though as there were overlaps between the two.

In conclusion, this mod was quite interesting in retrospect. I’m glad I survived and conquered it!!

 

Rating – 1 being least and 5 being most. 

Difficulty in understanding: 4/5 

Workload: 3/5 

Self-study time required: 5/5


Yr 1 Sem 1: x (pl1101e, js1101e, laj1201, sc1101e, el1101e)

Yr 1 Sem 2: x (el2201, pl2131, pl3232, pl3235, laj2201)

Yr 2 Sem 1: x (pl2132, pl3236, pl3240, gek1508, laj2202)

Yr 2 Sem 2: x (sss1207, pl3252, pl3234, pl3233, laj2203)

Yr 3 Sem 2: x (acc1002x, gek1049, pl3287, pl4207, pl4880j)

Yr 4 Sem 1: x (gek1900, lab1201, pl4228, pl4206)

Yr 4 Sem 2: x (pl4401, pl4480g)

Any and all comments are welcome!