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Classes Commence

My second week in Philly marked the beginning of classes. Going into this year I had some concerns about the academic rigor of the US college education system, especially that of Drexel. Not only was I going into a different examination system, that of continuous assessment, but I was also going into a different calendar system, the quarterly calendar. The US college education system is very different than back home. The Irish college school year consists of two twelve week semesters. All material that is covered is tested in one big exam at the end of each semester. For eleven of those twelve weeks you are taking notes, familiarising yourself with the material and preparing for the final exam. The final exam could take the form of an hours long written exam, long form essay or a combination of the two. Your entire grade hinges on your performance in each exam. There is no such thing as extra credit, weekly assignments or group projects. As such, the change in academic pace here at Drexel will very much take some time to get used to. Despite my worries I still managed just fine. Though I study Criminology back home, I am taking a mixture of classes during the Fall quarter here at Drexel. My Fall quarter schedule is made up of business, political science and philosophy classes. Classes here, at least mine, seem a lot smaller. Discussion is encouraged and participation is mandatory. Back home it would not be out of the ordinary to be in a lecture hall full of up to three hundred people with the lecturer being the only voice that would be heard. In addition to it being my first week of classes, it was also my first week of doing my own shopping (bananas here are huge!) and cooking my own meals. For my first week in Philly I was lucky enough to eat at the Summit dining hall all week for free as part of welcome week. Week two therefore was the first week where I was going to be doing the cooking for myself and as such was it marked by a severe drop in quality. However, I made sure to indulge myself with a lunch from a food truck every other day. In comparison to the lunches I had prepared for myself for the week the scran (Irish slang for food) from the food trucks was spectacular. Particularly the falafel on rice with white and red sauce from one of the halal carts. Between the price and the speed of service it’s going to take a lot of will power to limit myself to what one might consider a reasonable amount of halal. Luckily this week included two game days for the Eagles. One on Monday night against the Vikings and Sunday against the Commanders. With both of those being easy wins the Eagles are now three for three and flying high. GO BIRDS!

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