Updates from UC Berkeley
My first lecture (EE40) was interesting. The class setup was different from that in NTU. It was like circular in shape with the board at the front. Yes they use chalk and blackboard. The table was long and joint in a circular fashion. There are power sockets at the tables to allow students to charge and use their laptops while in lecture.
So I sat beside this guy. He was on my left and on his left was an empty seat. Halfway during the lecture, he lifted his legs and placed them on the chair beside him...lol. Very interesting. Maybe I should lift my legs and place them on my table. Then there were students who were just surfing the web without paying attention to the lecture. I guess NTU and UC Berkeley students share something in common here...lol.
Anyway, it was an interesting class. I got to know new friends. For example, I got to know this great guy who blogs! His blog is pretty interesting too! His name is Steph! (Did you see that coming?)
After the class, I went to ask the lecturer some questions. He was kind and helpful in answering my questions. After that I rushed to my next lecture. Yeah, my first and second lecture ends and start one after the other. Thankfully, the lecture location was like within 5 minutes walking distance. However one bad thing is that I can't stay back after the first lecture to ask questions as it would eat into my second lecture time.
My next lecture was EE100. When I entered the lecture room, the room was packed! Oh man...I've never seen a room so packed before. Apparently, I think EE100 is some core subject for the students there. It was so packed that some students had to sit on the floor. I had no choice but to sit on the floor also.
Thankfully, the lecturer was funny and engaging. I think it's important to have a good lecturer especially if the subject is difficult and technical. I am fortunate I got a good lecturer for both EE40 and EE100.
Halfway through, we had a 5 minutes break (the whole lecture was 2 hours). During the break, some students left the room with their bags. I assumed that they would not be coming back anymore. So I sat on one of the seats.
Now let's talk about the seats...lol. It was pretty small. There was a fixable table on the right (I wonder how those who are left-handed cope). I fixed my table and lo and behold...I saw some form of creative expressions on it. It was a wooden mini-table, so there were writings, declarations and comments. Okay...let's not get distracted by it. Pay attention to the lecture...
After lecture was over, I walked out of the building and walked back to my room.
I am glad that my 2 room mates are nice and understanding. I stay in a triple-sharing room...yeah...I know it's not popular in NTU...but here...lol...I am in one. Actually it's not bad if you asked me. I am used to it already now. Of course the idea may appear weird initially but I guess after awhile it's okay.
Let's talk about hall life now.
This is interesting as there was one thing that struck me. Guys and girls share the same toilet! Can you believe that? Normally in shopping centers (like Plaza Singapura) there would be the Gents (with a picture of a man) and the Ladies (with a picture of a woman). Here the toilet just shows a man standing beside a woman...lol.
Anyway, there was once I was brushing my teeth early in the morning and in came this girl and she entered one of the cubicle. I won't elaborate on what happened next but it was just...weird. I don't know whether I should continue brushing my teeth or just walk out.
Nevertheless, it's an experience. Thankfully, the shower cubicle has doors. I can't imagine if it doesn't have doors, like the army. Sheesh...
Then there was once I went to one of the shower cubicle to take a bath and saw something. I won't elaborate what it is but it does give an indication of what some of the students do here.
But it gets pretty noisy at night. Why? It's because there's a group of students outside my room talking and laughing. It's good that they are having fun and enjoying themselves but I wished that they wouldn't do it from midnight to 2am! I need to sleep and go to lecture the next day!! Haiz...I guess it's hall life huh?
We have a place to eat called Crossroads. This concept is pretty interesting which I think Singapore can try to learn from.
This is how it works. Every student has a card. They call it the "Cal 1 Card". I'll just call it CC. Each student has a certain amount of points in their CC. Every time you enter Crossroads, they'll swipe your card near the entrance before you can go to where the food is. A swipe would mean that points have been deducted from your card. You may think that it's bad but wait until you see this...
Oh yeah, you can't see as I didn't upload nay photos. Anyway, what happens after you swipe your card is...(are you ready?)...a buffet! All you can eat! And the food comes from different cuisines! Cool huh? They have american, mexican, italian, asian...etc. After you go in, you can eat all you want! They don't care even if you eat everything! So long as you can eat that is.
So what I ate was...
As you can see I eat a lot. It's all you can eat! Can you believe that? Of course I didn't eat all of those in the pictures in one go...lol. They are just a sample of what I ate here. Also the pictures just showed what I ate on the first round...lol. I didn't take the subsequent rounds...haha. Actually the subsequent rounds consisted of only fruits lah...nothing much really. I need the fruits as the food can be pretty heaty and I need something to cool down.
So after you eat, you throw away the food that you can't finish. Yes...there are some who can't finish the food they took. I try to only take enough so that I won't waste any and I am happy to say that so far my estimation on how much I could eat is pretty accurate...haha.
Anyway, you throw away the food which you can't finish and then place the tray on this interesting equipment.
What it does is it collects the dirty trays and stuff and it rotates and moves them into the back part. I guess there are people behind who would take down the dirty plates and wash them. Nevertheless, it was something cool that I've never seen before.
There are other more interesting stuff that happened but I guess I'll stop here for now :D