Musings on My Modules

Hi America- ‘modules’ means “classes.” I think they call them classes here too, but you choose “modules,” officially, not “classes.”  Here, your “course” is your major.
“Hey we’re in the Cultures of Human Rights module together.  What course are you on?”
“Gender, Sexuality, and Society, MSc. You?”

I only have two modules per term- kind of crazy.  It doesn’t sound like a lot but it is a lot of reading and thinking outside class, definitely a lot more than undergrad.  Both of my modules ended up on Wednesday evening because of scheduling muck-ups. The downside of my course being super interdisciplinary- Gender and Sexuality Studies doesn’t have control over the scheduling of other departments or schools.  Originally, Cultures of Human Rights (CHR) was scheduled for Monday and Theorising Gender (TG), my core module, was scheduled for Wednesday. In the first week of classes, CHR got switched for some reason. They overlap by a half hour now.  My professors/main lecturers/conveners  (they don’t seem to call them professors here…) said they would be accommodating and let me leave a half hour early from TG and get to CHR a few minutes late.  I miss the last half hour of seminar in TG, which is 1 hour lecture, 1 hour seminar.  It’s not an ideal situation, but I’m glad I’ve kept it.  Everyone is assigned a peer mentor in TG- a classmate to be a contact point if you want to discuss the reading or miss a class or something, so my peer mentor can catch me up.  I wasn’t that interested in any other module this term, and ohmygod I had my first CHR class today and it is so fucking (sorry Mom) interesting.  Ohmygodddddd.  The class is seminar based, basically based on having debates.  We ask questions like: What are human rights? Who gives them, and who receives them? When do you have them, and in what circumstances are they not granted? What role does culture play in producing human rights as well as claiming them? Are they enforceable?  What does this say about their universality, or lack thereof? Ugh so cool.

I get so excited about classes.  During induction day for the course, where they described the overall schedule and the core module, I was jumping up and down and clapping with glee inside.  I swear there was a moonbounce in my chest.  I try to contain my excitement- I just smile exuberantly- because if I actually acted how I felt people would think I was either a three year old trapped in a 22 year old’s body, or had a few loose screws.  It would be very disruptive, so I guess that’s mostly why I don’t do it.  That’s how I felt in CHR today, except in a more engaged, grounded, these-are-such-important,-interesting,-and-complex-questions kind of way.  So glad I stayed in it.

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