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My first lecture

Date: 06/10/2003

My first taste of what university life was like

Today I had my first lecture, it was a maths lecture (calculus), and was at noon on today. I spent most of the time before the lecture worrying about whether it really was my first lecture or not. I still hadn't worked out my timetable for the full week and was worrying that I was missing bits. There was a slight chance I would turn up at this lecture and be told that I had already missed something I should have attended.

The lecturer was someone who I had already met before, Professor John Dowden, who was actually head of the maths department. This was slightly surprising, as in the economics introductory lecture I was told that I would hardly ever see the head of department because he would be busy with other things. Granted, the economics department was much larger than the maths department, but it was still a little surprising to see the head of department teaching first year undergrads.

Because there was only a small amount of people taking the Calculus course (around 30 but only 20 turned up to the first lecture), we were in a seminar room about the size of a normal classroom, rather than in a big lecture theatre, so it was pretty similar to being back at school. The first 15 minutes or so was admin stuff, where we were given a set of notes, told about the format of the course and when tests would take place and things like that.

After that the real work started, though it wasn't too hard. We started off wit almost basic GCSE stuff. The reason for this was to quickly get everyone up to the same level, before moving onto the harder stuff, I later found most of my courses started like this. The format of the lecture was similar to how it was in the sixth form, but with much lower audience participation. We were given a set of notes, but also copied down notes from the overhead projector in more detail.

That was it for my first lecture, the material seemed pretty easy and the teaching style good, so I wasn't too worried yet. My only problem would be if I stopped listening because I thought it was too easy and started missing the important stuff, but hopefully that wouldn't happen.