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Josi

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Join date : 2011-05-06
Location : Kitchener

PostSubject: Dislikes?   Mon May 09, 2011 11:13 pm

Obviously iSci is a fantastic program and those who are accepted enjoy it because it suits them well...but is there anything you disliked? Wished was a little different? Weren't expecting? Found really hard?
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Victoria Tweedie



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PostSubject: Re: Dislikes?   Tue May 10, 2011 6:36 pm

Hey Josi! I just wanted to mention that I adore your Neopets avatar.
It seems as though you have a very difficult decision choosing between Isci and HS.
I was also accepted to honours science at waterloo! While both programs seems similar as they provide you with a strong scientific foundation I feel as though Isci has much more to offer and has a more realistic approach as it it seems less knowledge based but however encourages more critical thinking.
I hope you do join us in the fall!
Best of luck with your decision (:
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Prateek Gupta
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PostSubject: Re: Dislikes?   Tue May 10, 2011 7:26 pm

Hmm, Josi, that's a tough question. I can imagine why not many students have stepped up to answer it!

In terms of "less knowledge based," I'm not sure if I necessarily agree. I agree in the fact that our program is less "learning from the textbook," but especially in first year, there are many online problem sets in Physics and Chemistry, assignments in math and earth science, and labs for all subjects including biology that make sure that the foundational material is present -- and the exams in this program are meant to be completely equivalent to their "antirequisite" courses. However, in 2nd and 3rd years, I agree it is much more based on independent-learning, and carving your own path within science.

In terms of some downsides, for me the biggest one is the class hours and the scheduling. The scheduling is very complicated because there are so many professors in the program, and because every student is pursuing a different "concentration" the schedules are built to allow students to be able to take their non-iSci classes as well. End result: scattered classes, some 8:30am classes some 5:30pm classes, and this sometimes means you are on campus for most of the day. I would have wished there were less class hours, but based on how much we cover, I can't see any way around it.

Also, I felt there were lots of exams (which in addition to the projects adds to the stress level). But I think this is only a First Year problem, in 2nd year, we had an average number of exams, and 3rd year there are no iSci exams!!

Lastly group work: I think the biggest pros and cons of the program are centred here. I've made some of my best friends by working with them in groups, and I've also had some of my toughest times here. In all, it's important to take these as learning experiences. Really, if you are willing to learn through group work, this will be a great program, but if you get frustrated easily by others, then I can imagine this being a greater problem. I will say that patience is an important quality to have or to develop as an iSci student!
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Prateek Gupta
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PostSubject: Re: Dislikes?   Tue May 10, 2011 7:30 pm

Also, I want to add. Every professor's teaching/marking/exam style is a little bit different. Adjusting to each of them, and knowing that something that one professor loves is something that another professor dislikes is something that takes getting used to.

For example, in 2nd year, some professors want a greater emphasis on the core concept in the projects, while others greatly encourage 'integration' of the concept to other sciences. It's a bit of a balancing act to determine how to frame a project for each professor -- and requires asking them questions after class and going to their office hours.

At the same time, I see this as an equal problem for any program.
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Adam Pantaleo



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PostSubject: Re: Dislikes?   Tue May 10, 2011 8:34 pm

Hmm... this is a tough question to answer. While I do have several "dislikes," I feel it may not be best to use the word "dislike." Although these things have caused me stress and frustration, they have ultimately helped me to grow as a student and as an individual.

One thing is time, and how it is often so limited. The iSci program is very demanding in my opinion, if you want to learn lots and do well. Sometimes, especially during second year, I felt that there was too little time for me to learn properly or to perform at my best. I did "dislike" this, and I hope that this concern will be lessened as the iSci program evolves. But ultimately, this "dislike" has taught me more than ever how to manage my time and deal with the very real situation of having to adapt to the time and resources available. I didn't realize this until almost the end of second year, and although it caused me to struggle, it also caused me to grow.

My second "dislike" arises simply because iSci is a brand new program. I sometimes became frustrated with the organization, administration, and development of the program, which at times was not perfect. But then again, iSci is brand new, and it's unrealistic to expect it to be perfect at this point. At the same time, I know iTeach is working hard to make the program even better, and I know they're making progress. And this is the way it should be.

I've found that "dislikes," which are often equivalent to challenges, struggles, or obstacles, often help you in the end. This isn't an excuse to ignore them or to pretend that everything's okay... it's a way to deal with them.

That's my opinion, anyways. I hope it helps...!
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Nicholas Pun



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PostSubject: Re: Dislikes?   Tue May 10, 2011 11:57 pm

Those are all really good points, but I don't think exams for 1st years will be a problem anymore at least not in our (2013s) eyes since we had double the midterms as they did. My dislikes about iSci's are virtually covered in what Adam and Prateek said, but I personally feel like there is even more room for independent/creative thought in projects for 1st and 2nd year that could be used.
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Josi

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PostSubject: Re: Dislikes?   Thu May 12, 2011 8:24 pm

Thanks everybody, those were really helpful answers. Smile
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