Well, the first week of classes are finished which included 4 class periods ( a total of 7 hours) and one of my excursions. Although I am only doing a summer program I already have gotten a taste of what is it like to study in the UK. There is definitely less class room time and much more outside reading expected. I have a huge reading list that consists of core texts and supplementary texts that I need to read and will be encouraged to use in my assignments.
Other than the mass amounts of reading, both of my modules are very interesting and thought provoking. One thing that is really wonderful about Stirling is the library! It is extremely organized and highly efficient. Most of the shelves are on tracks so they move back and forth to make more room. There are 4 levels and each level is a different section. They also have a self check out method where you scan your ID card and the books yourself to rent them!
At Stirling, the modules also include excursions which really help add to the lessons and give students a real world reference to draw from. This week my Psychology of Evil class went to the William Wallace Monument which is a short 15 minute walk from campus. You might be more familiar with who this hero is if I say Mel Gibson in Braveheart but as I have learned, this movie is far from historically accurate! Anyway, Wallace is seen as a hero to the Scots and thus a monument was built to honor him. It is a beautiful tower constructed in 1869 that has a very imposing look about it. Climbing up the very narrow spiral staircase of 246 steps is well worth the breathtaking view you get standing in the open air at the top. You can see out in all directions to view the town, fields, river, and mountains. After learning a bit of history (or what is most probable because no one really knows what the truth is) we were assigned to write an essay supporting our opinion on whether Wallace was a war hero or war criminal.
My Issues in Moral Philosophy course has an excursion next week which I will blog about when the time comes but for now we are reading and discussing Animal Rights. This topic is one I had not given as in depth thought to but the readings for this section have caused me to look at the topic in a new light; however, I am afraid I am finding it difficult to determine where I personally stand on the issue. For this class there is a critical report on one of the readings which I will be working on this weekend (wish me good luck).
That is about it for the first week of classes, pretty interesting and definitely a new approach to learning than semester long classes in the states. Another blog about my day trip to St. Andrew’s is on the way which will hopefully be a bit more interesting than reading about my classes!