Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Holidays

Well, I've finished the semester and survived! No small task, let me tell ya. I worked harder this semester than I ever imagined I would have to. Certainly I knew grad school would be tough (though Brian's brother Keith in Cleveland says his masters program is easier than his undergrad...grrr) but I wasn't prepared for just how much work there would be. I loved it, but my four courses were very demanding. I wrote about 20,000 words total.

I do expect next semester to be slightly easier as I won't have that period of adapting to a new country, home, and university! That should help!

So I now have four whole weeks to myself. I'm got them booked up with naps, relaxing, reading(for pleasure), and baking cookies. We also have a trip to Sydney and a ski trip planned but I'm honestly most excited about doing nothing at all. Also planning some Rotary speaking with local clubs.

Next semester I'll do two courses and a major research essay of 15,000 words, looking like it will be a case study of implementing the concepts of sustainability across the campus. Not sure if I'll be able to look at operations and management and curriculum as that may be a bit too broad, but I'll most likely start with a look at how well the uni is getting the concepts of sustainability into the curriculum and how it could do it better. By that I mean, is the university preparing future leaders to understand that we operate within the limits of a finite biosphere. Ultimately, nothing will really matter that much if we don't have a functioning life supporting environment. So my argument is that universities have a responsibility to prepare students to make environmentally friendly decisions both now and in the future and in order to do that they need to be modeling sustainability themselves.

ANU is hands down the number one university in Australia for sustainability, ie. energy efficiency, recycling, composting organic waste, and using greywater to irrigate lawns. There is also an undergrad degree in sustainability and 70+ courses with sustainability as a core theme. Pretty exciting stuff and should be good fodder for my case study.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful pictures. Gald the debate went well. Sounds like a LOT of time off between semesters. Still ultra busy here. See my email to Brian about Brecksville flood today (water in our basement at the TOP of the hill and Del's apt with about 2 inches of water everywhere).
    Dad

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