Saturday, November 24, 2007

Winter Has Come

As evidenced by the picture below. It's cold. But not too windy, and, frankly, there really isn't that much snow. It hasn't even merited the use of my boots. The great concrete edifice visible behind the trees is the Math and Computer Science Building, colloquially referred to as "MC".

Actually, every single building at UW is referred to be its acronym: SLC, DC, RCH, ALL, CIF, and it goes on. You also often hear terms like "2B" or "3A" thrown around. Eventually I figured out that these refer to the class year and respective term (A for fall, B for winter, C for spring... I think - maybe it's just sequential without reference to the specific term.) I still haven't quite gotten used to the jargon.

In fact, I haven't gotten used to the city in general. It's maddeningly spread out and, lacking a car or (currently) a bike, I haven't been able to explore farther than Sobey's or the Valumart (Loblaws substitute) in what passes for a downtown here. (They call it "uptown Waterloo" so as not to give the impression that it's a particularly lively or interesting place.)

Fortunately, Toronto is but a short train/bus ride away...

1 comment:

afransen said...

Hi there,

WRT the naming convention of academic terms, it's just a sequence (1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, etc.) without reference to when the term takes place. The codes that the university uses to refer to particular academic terms goes like 1XXY where XX is the last two digits of the year, and Y is the first month of the term (1 for Jan, 5 for May, 9 for September). So the term coming up is 1081. It's a bit arcane.

I think the 2B-style naming convention arose from Waterloo's fairly unstreamed nature as a year-round university with occasionally bizarre co-op sequences. It's also somewhat less ambiguous than saying what year you're in. I've also heard of some faculties referring to the year you began your studies (I'm an '03 math frosh), while engineering refers to the year you graduate (since their programs are tightly streamed).

It hadn't occurred to me that Waterloo is particularly fond of alphabet soup (everything being referred to by its acronym or initialism); I assumed that was the case for any university. It only occasionally causes problems here. For instance, Off Campus Dons and Village (On-campus) Orientation recently had their names changed to Off-Campus Housing and On-Campus Housing. This lead to some frustration during orientation week when talking about 'OCH'.