First day(s) of class
Today was my first day of class; most people had theirs yesterday, but my schedule is empty Tuesdays, and since Monday was Labour Day here in Canada, this is how the first week plays out.
A good thing to remember about Ryerson is that they do allow for a small window of time before each class begins for you to get your things in order and find the right place. What this means, a bit more specifically, is that unless otherwise noted, classes that are set to begin at a full hour actually begin ten minutes past. This is not a way for you to get another ten minutes of sleep; this is to allow time for stragglers, and for you to get into your seats and get yourself ready to begin class. Being late can (and often will) take marks off of your final grade, so that’s not a ten-minute period you want to waste on anything but settling down in a good spot in the classroom.
So how was my first day, you ask? Well, as far as such things go, it went well. I started my first two classes today, in blocks of one hour and three hours. Class size sits at about a hundred people, give or take a few, for both classes; a size which seems to be pretty normal for Ryerson. I know for a fact that students attending any form of Business programme can expect classes to, at times, be three times that size.
Coming from Sweden (and Europe in general, as far as I know), the Canadian school system seems rather strange. There’s no chance of re-taking tests without re-taking a class, and you have to score well on your tests to get credit for the course; passing and getting credit are not necessarily the same. If you’re going to study in Canada, be sure to inform yourself as to the differences.
That said, don’t let these things frighten you. Most of the time, you are not required to pass every test; your marks are cumulative, and (mostly) you need a total percentage of marks over your exams to pass (and get credit). While it may sound daunting, don’t worry; at least my experience thus far with Ryerson speaks of very little but a desire to help students pass their courses, enjoy their stay and benefit from the exchange with both faculty and other students during their stay. My first day of class did nothing to contradict this; in fact, it went so far as to affirm that while every lecturer may have very varying personalities and ways of teaching, they are committed to their subject, and invested in their field of study.
While this may be a ringing endorsement of the Ryerson faculty, I’m only in my first few days here, so expect both the good and the bad to show up over the coming weeks and months. Some days are going to be great, others very much not so, but either way, I am committed to making the most of my time here at Ryerson, and in Canada, and I hope that you will find the mix of information and personal experiences to be a satisfying and enriching read.
Expect more Maple Time soon. Until then, take care, and enjoy life to the fullest.