Remember when there used to be three terms a year punctuated by Christmas, Easter and the Summer? The world doesn’t work like that at Erasmus University. Here there are four terms in the year. Christmas and Easter are just inconvenient holidays that get in the way. All this means that half way through November I finished term one with two exams and an essay deadline. In term one I’d taken three courses. Introduction to Social Science Research, Introduction to Economic Theory and Creative Economy and Creative Organisations. I’m sure that you’ll be as relieved as I am that I managed to pass all three, including the exams, (which were ‘orrible).
But what have I learned that I can pass on? I thought I should try and sum up each course, that’s eight weeks, into one sentence. Here we go.
Social science research is about how we know about things, how we find information, how we ask questions and how we look at the world objectively.
Economic theory is about prices, supply, demand and a rather unrealistic assumption that we are all capable of making rational decisions and that we spend based on our rationalising.
The creative economy is driven by creative people and organisations who create, communicate, organise themselves and others, collaborate and socialise.
I found each course useful and interesting in their own ways. I better understand the principles of scientific research when it comes to society. I know that I want to further question the standard economists and challenge their view of how things work. I have also had chance to think about creativity, how it works and what it needs to have impact.
I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that my best marks came in Creative Economy and Creative Organisations. One, I’ve been helping run a creative organisation for a few years and two, there wasn’t an exam, (did I say that the exams were ‘orrible?). I particularly enjoyed writing an essay on Country House Opera, an area that I knew nothing about. It’s another world and it was fascinating applying the literature to it. (If anyone would like to read it, I’ll send you a link). I think my enjoyment must have shone through as I got a very good grade.
The grades here are not out of 100 but out of ten. Why does 78% sound better than 7.8? Is it just because of what we’re used to?
|Introduction to Social Science Research||8.1|
|Introduction to Economic Theory||6.6|
|Creative Economy and Creative Organisations||8.9|
I’ve put these books to one side and am almost half way term two. We have a lovely course entitled an Introduction to Statistical Analysis*, another on the Values of Culture and a third on the Economic Geography of Creativity and Urban Development. So hard sums, values not costs and creative cities. All is going well.
*My German friends tell me that sarcasm is a very British trait.