Friday, 22 February 2013

Day 79: New kids on the block

Day 79 (22 Feb) Early start today, not because I had the usual long drive ahead but rather, today is the day my university, USC, begins its venture at South Bank Institute of Technology, in Brisbane. Back on familiar city territory. 

So today is the orientation: for the staff from USC teaching on the new campus, and the students who will, from next Monday, be USC students on a South Bank campus. It's nice to leave a bit later, catch the bus to work, spend time in the city. I confess, I do miss it. 

I'll be teaching an Introduction to Australian Politics to students taking a Justice and Legal Studies degree. It's a required course. Sometimes, teaching a subject that people don't particularly like, when they have no choice but to take it, is quite a challenge. Yet, getting people, especially students, interested in our political system, how and why they should care about it, is for me really very important. If the interest and engagement start early then hopefully our polity will be healthier. It matters. 

Getting them interested,
at 6.12am
At 6.12am I was packing my bag with a copy of the textbook and, my trusty constitution (now available as an app). As a Japanese politics specialist, I came to teach Australian politics a little bit by accident.  When I went to study in Japan first time around, I found I had to keep answering questions about the Australian political system. I actually didn't know that much. We studied a Japanese translation of an Australian text by David Solomon. I decided when I returned that I would broaden my political interests. 

I've since worked in the Australian Senate for a Senator and I've worked in DFAT. I'm involved with my union and I sit on committees at work. Everyday is politics. One of my research projects is comparing the political cultures of Japan and Australia.

I live and breathe politics, love it. 

Too early at 3.12pm,
for beer o'clock. 
We had our orientation just prior to meeting the students. We too, were the 'new kids on the block' after all. We needed to look at the rooms, orient ourselves on campus find the coffee shops and so on. The students were great. I'm looking forward to to it. 

After the intro and meeting I took the opportunity with some colleagues to go and visit a new 'learning space' (as they are now called), over at the QUT Gardens Point campus. It was a total technological advance. Fabulous. On the way over, we took shelter from the rain. I had the change to *imagine* what a beer from this deck might look like:--> 

Tea, at 6.12pm
We continued over to the campus thereafter, and then on to a major city department store. This weekend is where my mother joins the eyepad world. 

By the evening, and the 6.12pm shot, I was seated with a colleague enjoying a cup of tea. There is a specialist tea shop in Brisbane and it is as important for tea drinkers as it is for coffee drinkers and their habits. 

It will be a lot of fun next week. I'll be dropping in on my other blog for the course 'Psephy's ~ologies'. 

See you there...

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