Monthly Archives: February 2012

The Student Portal

The student portal at UoM is known for it’s reliability and consistency. It really is an exhibition of how the University has strongly utilised the technological advances of this modern era.

As many subjects require assignment submission via online means, never hesitate to leave submission of assignments to the very last minute as the student portal and LMS will always be functioning adequately.

Maintenence rarely occurs so do not worry about the downtime which could arise in those infrequent instances of maintenece being undertaken.

You could be be seeing these messages, very rarely:

These act as a great opportunity to justify why your assignment was submitted late, in the rare event of a problem occuring.

Generally speaking, clearing your browsers cache works wonders in solving most of the problems.

Your study plan, which you will use to manage your subjects is also an amazing insight into the fantastic utilisation of technology by UoM. It is never ever wrong, follow it religiously and you will prosper. For whatever reason that you may think that there’s a mistake in your study plan, you should go an speak to the student centre after waiting 23403 minutes in the waiting line.

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Joke Breadth Subjects!

A lot of students will have or are in the process of finalising their subjects for this upcoming semester. Under the Melbourne Model, all undergraduate courses have breadth subject requirements, which if you don’t already know, are basically forced elective outside of your faculty.

Many students are encouraged to be picking breadth subjects which they have an interest in, whereas in reality, students are usually picking the easiest, most retarded subjects to bolster their averages.

Here’s a bit of a guide in picking breadth subjects.

If you really want to do something you have an interest in, then sure, go right ahead, you’ll probably end up doing well if you enjoy the content.

But, if you’re after an absolute joke of a breadth subject which you really don’t aim to put much effort into and get a decent mark in, then focus on subjects offered by the following faculties.

Music – All the lower level subjects here are entertainingly easy. The patterns for most of the subjects under the music faculty are as follows: You basically rock up, mess around with instruments, get marks for participation, write up one, two or three trash essays and submit.

Also, if you can actually play an instrument, then pretend that you can’t actually play that instrument at all and that you’re an absolute beginner at the beginning of the semester.  This way, you can “Wow!” the tutor at the end of the semester by showing how much you’ve improved and that easy H1 will be confirmed.

University-wide breadth – Being university-wide breadth just means that it’s a breadth subject regardless of what course you do. Most of these are pretty easy, but I’ve heard a few people whinge about some poorly taught and harshly marked subjects within this category, but more likely than not, it’ll be a joke.

The most legendary joke breadth subject, Australia in the Wine World falls under University-wide breadth category. That should give you an indication of the level of seriousness the subjects under this category should be treated with.

Education – No surprises here, the education faculty is a well-known joke amongst all students, and naturally, so are their subjects. Subjects such as Sports Coaching: Theory and Practice really do just ask to get destroyed.

Mathematics – This won’t apply to everyone, but it’s common to see some non-science students who are quite strong at Maths do very easy maths subjects for breadth like Calculus 1. Obviously they will get at least 90 in that subject since its rather straight forward, but if you’re not good at maths or numbers in general, then avoid it.

Languages – If you know another language aside from English at a pretty decent level, then you should try to find the most beginner variation of that language to do as breadth. For FOBs, this usually means doing Chinese 1A and getting a huge mark in it to make up for their sub-standard marks in their core subjects.

Lastly, intensive subjects which you can do over a week or two during mid-semester break or winter break are a great way to minimise your workload for a difficult upcoming semester. In order to find them just use the Breadth Search page on the University’s website.

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Tips for returning students!

I decided to continue with the theme of posts revolving around the impending return to university.

This post is perfect for all the students entering another year of UoM, essentially, all the students that are not entering university for the first time.

Now that you’ve been at the university for more than a semester, you must have a sense of entitlement and importance. You know more than the new students, you have an idea of how to approach your studies and you have an idea of what to expect for this upcoming year. Make this be known to every new student. You will become highly respected and valued. Freshers will look up to you as their idols. Your value as a human being will increase exponentially.

Being a later year student, your paramount goal is to look down on every new student. You should whinge and rant about how annoying the freshers are, or how they stole your usual spot on South Lawn, or how their jokes suck. Just try to find any small potential flaw that new students may present and repeatedly exploit it to increase your perceived worth. The more you rant and whinge, the cooler you will appear.

Also, absolutely ignore the fact that not so long ago, you too were a fresher, this never needs to be brought up, because right now, you’re that much better than what they ever will be.

If, for whatever reason, a question arises about your initial days at the university, here is a powerful strategy to combat it.

Always mention how things were better back when you started, as for example:

New Student: “How was Orientation when you were a jaffy?”

2nd Year Student: “Yeah things were awesome back then, so much better than now”

New Student: “Oh, how so?”

2nd Year Student: “You know, stuff was just better, it just was”

You could also throw in something like “You’ll realise what I mean when you’ve been here a while like me”

You never need to really elaborate why things were “better” but just be adamant in the fact that your first days at university were undoubtedly better.
Even though someone has picked up and pointed out that you were once a fresher, you have mitigated the potential hazard by maintaining your superiority, whilst also repeating the fact that you’ve been a student at the university for a while.

For students getting questions relating to specific subjects, you must scare the freshers by mentioning things such as the following:

“University is so much harder than High School”

“[Subject name] is so hard, a lot of kids failed when I did it, but I got H1”

“Most new students find that subject very difficult, but I managed to do well”

Regardless of how difficult the subject really is or what grade you actually got, you must make it seem to the new student that everything is very difficult, but you still creamed it and did very well. You will sound like an absolute genius and further maintain your dominance over them.

 

 

Above is an example of how you should assert dominance over first year students, metaphorically of course!

 

These tips will definitely assist you greatly in becoming the coolest person you can be. Remember though; only tell your close friends where you got these cool ideas from, you don’t want everyone trying to copy your new found style!


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Settling in – The first few weeks covered!

Since a lot of new freshers will be slowly coming to terms with life at the university over the coming weeks, I thought this entry was appropriate.

Here are some useful tips for all new students starting at The University of Melbourne this year. I’ve taken the opportunity to have them broken down so it’s easier to remember than large slabs of text.

Lecture etiquette

Lectures are for talking. Why else would the seats be so closely positioned? Utilise this convenience and talk as freely as you want.  Also, try to ignore the distracting speaker at the front; you will get better at this with experience.

Navigating around the campus

So, Orientation week has concluded and classes have begun.

You’re obviously lost, and have been forced to use the map from your diary constantly to find the right buildings for your classes. This is grand, now all the latter year students will know that you’re a fresher, but don’t worry, you’re still cool! You too will be one of them next year!

Coolness

In order to be cool, you must wear your rugby top or hoodie from your high school; it’s a form of “peacocking”, so you can attract peers from your high school, and also stand out amongst a crowd. This is a perfect chance to show off the fact that you went to top school such as PLC, or MGS, or MHS, and maybe, just maybe, an opportunity to drop your ATAR score.

Another method of letting people know what school you went to is as follows.

Instead of saying:

“Back in high school…”

You say, for example:

“Back at Scotch...”

This regulates the dominance in your favour when speaking to new people. Remember, you don’t have to wait around for someone to ask what school you went to, bring it up as much as you can without anyone asking!

Note: Do not attempt any of the above if you attended a terrible school.

ATAR/ENTER

The ATAR/ENTER score is the perfect means to demonstrate your value. It is a number that defines you, a means to gain respect, a humble conversation starter. Drop it as many times as you can, but only do this if you got 99+ or else you’re just average, and nobody respects average people.

Friends

So you’ve met someone in your first tutorial; you should definitely refer them as your “friend”, because maybe if you do, they will become your friend. This is a successfully proven method.

Students from shitty suburbs

You’ve met someone that came from a school in a dodgy suburb. This is an example of how a conversation should be held.

Them: Oh, so what school did you go to?

You: MLC, you?

Them: Ringwood Secondary College

You: (In a derogatory tone) Ringwood…

Basically you must repeat the suburb name in a deprecating manner in order to gain their respect. This will win you many friends. You will get further than them in life.

Ice-breakers in first tutorial

Your tutor will most likely go around the room and ask everyone to introduce themselves. You’ll more than likely be asked your name, your potential majors, and one thing you did last summer.

For that last question, you should always respond with someone like “I pre-read all my textbooks over summer” or when you’re in second or third years respond like this “I did an internship at ____ and I’m only just starting practice exams for this subject!” There are two key parts to this, you MUST brag about your internship to your fellow peers to gain their respect, but to be humble you must lie and tell them that you’re only just starting practice exams for the subject, when in fact you’ve already started writing your own practice exams, after completing all the available ones.

Also, you may be asked to talk a little about yourself. This is how you should approach this question

“My name is ___, and I want to be a [Dream job title/profession]”

This will show how determined you are and people will respect you and want to be your friend. Nobody really cares that you like long walks by the beach or eating Italian food, they only want to know what you aim to be in the future, this will be a means to infer your worth.

Gaining respect within your tutorial

Put your hand up for every question, even if you don’t know the answer, this shows everyone you have initiative, people will think you’re an absolute king/queen if you do. Your peers will think “Wow, this person must know it all” even when you blurt out wrong answers, because as mentioned before, it’s all in the appearance!

If you want to take this a step further and show that you really are the master, then you must attempt to correct your tutor. Do this even if you’re not sure if he or she is incorrect. Just trying to, is a show of how knowledgeable you are, regardless of how legitimate your replacement answer is. Remember, it’s not what you say that counts; it’s how you say it. Yelling out a wrong answer confidently is cooler than responding with a correct answer quietly. Respect from all the students in the tutorial will ensue.

Also, one final tip: Give your opinion on everything; you have a higher sense of self-entitlement than everyone in your tutorial. Your input really matters to everyone in the tutorial; they will gleam in enlightenment from your views.

These aforementioned tips should get you through your first few weeks at The University of Melbourne without any dramas.

This can act as a foundation of you attaining long-term coolness, such as what we see below.

In other news, check out the blog’s very own Twitter:

https://twitter.com/MelbUniBlog/

Next Post: I haven’t actually decided yet.. so maybe it’s time for a surprise!

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O-Week!

So after getting some awesome feedback from the FOB series of posts and also stirring up a few people (Which was hilarious to say the least), I decided that I’ll mix things up a bit and attempt to be  helpful and assist the new starters at UoM by giving a bit of a break down about O-Week. The FOB series will continue in the future however, so don’t worry too much! The responses were just priceless!

Now, about O-Week!

Orientation week is a big event for all the freshers, it’s the opportunity to get yourself acquainted with the university atmosphere which you’ll be exposed to for the next few years, and a prime opportunity to meet some people that you could form lasting friendships with.

The week starts off with all the new students being placed in groups with other new students in the same course, and a host leading this group. After completing the usual introductions and ice-breakers you’ll be walking around for a university tour with your group. This is when you can get to know everyone your group on a more personal level. One thing I’d say is that, of course, you’ll be aiming to meet as many people then and there, but don’t feel compelled to be friends with everyone in your host group, the first few weeks of tutorials and lectures are a prime opportunity to make friends. In my case, I can’t remember too many people from O-week anyway, I met most of my university friends in classes, but this is obviously different for everyone.

If you’re one of those students that came from a school where a large number of students attend UoM then you’ll be sweet, you can just hang with your high school group initially, if not, then you can try to put yourself out there and try to join clubs and societies and find like-minded people. I joined a ton of random clubs but never ended up being involved with them too regularly aside from randomly rocking up to their Barbeques on South Lawn sometimes.

There’s a day later in the week, where you can attend barbeques and leech a ton of freebies. This is probably the most useful and fun day during O-week, as you get freebies and obviously get the opportunity to meet some interesting people.  There are also pub crawls and a ton of other social activities around, which you can participate in, if it’s something you’re interested in.

Now, if I remember correctly, during one of the days during O-week, there are subject orientation sessions and also course orientation sessions. These were so useless, I honestly can’t see what you could get out of them since everything said during these sessions are readily available from the subject page on LMS or by just Googling the subject code and finding the subject overview page. If you decide not to attend this you won’t be missing anything. The first lecture of the subject will probably repeat what was said in the orientation anyway.

Next Post: Settling in – The first few weeks!

P.S. – I love the one hilarious person/FOB that attacks my FOB posts over and over again in the comments which I disapprove. This person tries using different names and emails, to get his or her point across, but one thing you might not realise is that I can see IPs and I do know it’s just one bored, and obviously offended person. I honestly can’t help but to smile as I’m making such an impact on one’s life. I feel fulfilled.

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FOBs (Part II) – Hangout Areas

So in the second instalment of the FOB series, I’ll be writing about the different areas around the university where I noticed international students regularly spending time.

It’s funny, FOBs are usually rather cliquey, and usually only hang with their own kind, so it’s not too uncommon to see them bundled up in a few distinct areas of the university.

Below are a few that I’ve noticed.

Union House – Underground
I’m not sure why but the Underground level of Union house is rather popular with FOBs, maybe it’s the availability of a variety of Asian foods or the absence of daylight, whatever the reason is, there’s an abundance of FOBs here during the peak times throughout the day.

The Spot – Lounges
Almost every floor of The Spot building has an area at the end of it which contains a sink, microwave, tables and chairs. This is has become very popular with FOBs. I think maybe it’s because of the microwave allowing them to re-heat food from home.

Sidney Myer Asia Centre – Ground Floor
The times I’ve walked through here around lunch times there was a large FOB presence, and also a FOB group practicing breakdancing. I really can’t find much reasoning behind it but maybe since a lot of FOBs undertake their native tongue as a breadth subject for some easy marks they end up spending a lot of time here? I’m not sure..


Aside from that there aren’t really any other areas where I noticed a high FOB contingent so I’ll leave this post short and sweet.

P.S. – and the people trying to find out who I am.. (There’s a few unpublished comments crying for this) I’m basically trolling FOBs in my first couple of posts; do you really think I’m going reveal my identity?

P.P.S – and the comments about making a spelling mistake or getting a fact wrong, all I have to say is… I really could not care less. This is a bit of fun, and I don’t feel like exerting that much effort into getting everything perfect.

Next Post: I’ll take a break from the FOB series, and write about O-Week since it is that time of the year.

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FOBs (Part I) – Fashion

So today I begin the first official post of the blog, and the first post will be into the prominent group of international students referred to as “FOBs”. I’m sure most people know what this means, but if for whatever reason you aren’t familiar with the term, a quick Google or Urban Dictionary search should get you well acquainted with the meaning.

The University of Melbourne (UoM) is quite well known for its large contingent of international students. I’d estimate without the help of any official statistics that the overall cohort in my course (Bachelor of Commerce) was anywhere from 40-55% FOBs. This also varies with each major, with Accounting, Finance, Actuarial Studies and Economics taking the crown for having the highest FOB ratios. Marketing and Management, which everyone considers a joke, has a much lower FOB ratio. So, if you want people to talk to, then subjects which fall under these majors would be the prime choice.

Most of the FOBs at UoM, are from Asia, with the main countries being China, Singapore and Malaysia. I guess proximity with Australia has a bit to do with that. I wouldn’t imagine many Europeans travelling all the way to Australia to study when there’s a myriad of tertiary choices throughout Europe.

In my FOB series of posts I’ll cover a number of sub-topics. The first one is Fashion.

FOBs come in all different shapes and sizes, and also differing levels of fashion awareness. Here are a few sub-categories for the different levels of fashion awareness. This list doesn’t just apply to FOBs, I guess a fair amount of local students could fall under these categories too, but I’ll get to that in future posts.

Dressed to impress
A fair amount of FOB girls, seem to dress quite well, some wearing dresses you would expect to see in nightclubs to classes. Often, this is accompanied with make-up overkill, neat hair, and zero preparation for class, which clearly reflects what the majority of their time is spent on.

These girls are often the club rats hitting up Asian night at every prominent nightclub around the inner-city with their fellow FOBs and are somewhat social.. Only in their mother tongue of course!

Fake Louis Vuitton bags are also huge within this crowd, considering most of the FOBs are from China, I’d expect a large proportion of these bags are fakes, but it’s all about appearances right?

I have a friend that falls under this category, she’s Asian but not FOB. Anyway, she lives on-campus and admits that she spends a solid one hour daily getting dressed for university. Whenever I don’t make a comment on her clothes/hair/nails/shoes she’ll bring it up with an open question like..
“What do you think of my hair?”
If a dull response is given, get ready for hell.

If it isn’t already obvious, most of the girls in this category just crave attention. I guess, in my opinion this group is alright, I mean at least they make an effort to look nice, even though most FOB girls aren’t exactly model material in the first place.

For the FOB guys in this category, they will often wear decent collared shirts, sometimes with casual ties and dark slim jeans or other fashionable pants. In winter, expect a coat, sweater or jacket over the top. Some wear will wear dress shoes too, which I think is a bit of an overkill when you’ll probably be walking around a lot between classes, but most will just wear Chucks or other more comfortable alternatives. Recently, I saw a FOB with khaki’s, boat shoes and a cardigan, first thing that popped into my mind was how “White” that FOB had dressed, but yes, there are some FOBs that will try imitating non-FOB fashion, maybe to stand out and confuse you?

The prominent brands in this category of dressers are things like Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, FCUK, Tommy Hilfiger and so on. Many will often wear clothing that openly shows off the brand logo, because appearances are everything.

Mid-tier dressers
These FOBs don’t put as much time or effort into dressing up as the aforementioned sub-category. There’s a strong emergence of American brands like A&F and Hollister amongst the mid-tier dressers.

A lot of them will wear rugby tops or hoodies with jeans. Hair may be a bit messier and generally clothes won’t be as well fitted. Common clothing choices within the mid-tier dressers will be almost the same for both males and females. A lot of FOBs fall within this category.

There are also hipster’s which fall within mid-tier and edge towards the dressed to impress crowd. Generally speaking, the hipster look for FOBs will contain the Hipster glasses, skinny black jeans, and maybe a checked shirt.

Scrub dressers.
These are the worst. Basically, they wear trackies and fleecies with runners. The FOBs that fall within this category are often too nerdy to have fashion sense or social skills and are also overly dedicated to their studies, which is cool, right?

Many of them will wear no brand clothes, or sports brands like Adidas, Nike, Puma and so on. There are also a lot of fake designer brands on their clothes with terrible fonts making the level of authenticity very obvious.

Basically, if you’re a dweeb-FOB then you will more than likely fall within this category. Also, many students doing Engineering or Science seem to dress this way.

For females, wearing leggings by themselves is such a trashy look, definitely a scrub look.

My advice, dress in whatever you’re comfortable in, but avoid dressing like a tramp regardless of comfort.

Of course, this post was a generalisation, so let’s not get all worked up over it, but most people that attend UoM will undoubtedly be able to relate to what I’ve written here.

Next Post: Fob Hangout Areas!

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It begins.

The University of Melbourne is a public university located in Melbourne, Victoria. Founded in 1853, it is the second oldest university in Australia and the oldest in Victoria. The main campus is located in Parkville, an inner suburb just north of the Melbourne CBD. The university also has several other campuses located across Victoria

..and that’s what Wikipedia says.

But seriously, you would’ve gone there if you wanted that type of information. But on the Melbourne Uni Blog, you’ll find out the student perspective, things that aren’t published in the mainstream forms of media, the things that really happen.

Continue reading

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