It was tough returning to Auckland for a week of class after such an amazing weekend getaway, but it managed to be a good week and gave me the opportunity to do more exploring in the city.
As for class, I'm pretty happy with my schedule and the courses are all interesting so far.
Intro to New Zealand Popular Culture
This is a communication class that meets twice a week. On Mondays it is an hour-long lecture with about 2oo students and Thursday a smaller group of about 25 meet for a three-hour tutorial. It generally analyzes the cultural development of New Zealand's society. Although it hasn't been too exciting thus far, I'm hoping it will liven up once we finish covering the basics and start looking at modern culture.
Te Ara Poutama (Maori Leadership)
I have a feeling that this course will turn out to be my favorite. It meets on Tuesday's for three hours and there are a little less than 20 students enrolled -- half of them international. So far, we took personality tests to identify certain characteristics to learn about our tendencies and how we interact with one another. I'm not quite sure what comes next in the course, but I have a feeling it will be worthwhile.
Professional Wine Studies
I needed another elective and I wasn't too disappointed when I learned that a wine tasting class was the one that worked with my schedule. It's a bit ironic, but I think this will be my hardest class. It meets on Tuesday evenings and I missed the first day because I enrolled late. When I arrived for class in Week 2 I was extremely overwhelmed. They had already covered the basics (like how to hold, swirl, sniff and sip your wine) and the professor had to continuously correct me. After listening to our guest speaker, the owner of West Brook Winery, explain the wine-making process, we sampled four different wines: three rieslings and one chardonnay. But we didn't just gulp the wine, we had to smell it, taste it and spit it out multiple times before taking a sip. In Week 6 we get to have a four-course meal and I'm hoping we don't have to spit that out too! Our big project during the semester is to create an extensive menu pairing foods with a wine which will be somewhat difficult. It may be a very time-consuming course, but in the long run I think it will be good knowledge to have so I can pretend to be sophisticated.
New Media Journalism
On Fridays, I meet with a small group of students and we run Te Wahu Nui, the university's online publication. We've split up into three groups: editors, audio visual and text and images. I joined the text and image team so I can get more writing experience. I'm the only international student in this class and I think I may struggle to find story ideas, but I'm glad that I have the opportunity to get published.
Fun Fact: The professor, Myrddin Gwynedd, was voted the #1 blogger in New Zealand! Check him out at the New Zealand Herald.
Other than class, I have been discovering the city and experimenting with Auckland's impressive nightlife. I have also been attempting to meet more international students and got the opportunity to go out for drinks on Wednesday with some new Swedish friends. They taught me a few Swedish swear words and how to say cheers. They even promised to teach me Swedish drinking songs soon.
On Friday, my flatmates and I went to a toga/foam party at the on-campus bar (yes, we have a bar on campus!). It was unlike any party I have ever been to and the walk home in a soaking wet toga was not too fun, but overall we had a good time.
Hopefully this coming week will be just as good as the last.
My flatmates Samantha (New York), Lynnelle (NZ) and Jess (NZ)
dressed in our togas before the party
A few friends enjoying the foam
Covered in foam and smiling!
Out on the town with Emily, Roberta and Annie
Audrey, Roberta, Mads, Me
In the flat with a few friends