Considerations about my master degree

July 25, 2014

by — Posted in About Me

(info – here and here – only in portuguese, sorry)

This month ended my first year of my master degree about Patrimony and Cultural Tourism. The most aware of Portuguese followers would know that the name of this blog was already related with the adventure of studying and working at the same time. My idea at that time was to use this blog as a way to write frequently about that.

The truth is that the adventure of studying and working at the same time was so exhausting that I didn’t have the time or the mood to write regularly about what I was doing for my master degree. Later I’ll talk about the assignments I made this year.
(working)

 

I’ve chosen to study this master degree on Patrimony and Cultural Tourism because I love History, Archeology, patrimony, museums and I’d love to be a touristic guide or a museum guide one day. And I also would love to make touristic and educational videos! I wanted to make the degree on Tourism, but this mater degree was also about the historical part of tourism and so I decided to make the degree on Communication Sciences (to learn how to make movies, first of all, and to have an Erasmus experience in Santiago de Compostela also) and after that make this master degree.
A good thing about this master degree is the post-work schedule. However, having two classes per day was really tiresome. Often the concentration disappeared on the second class. It’s good to have only two days with classes, but if you want to do this master degree you have to prepare some tricks to get trough the second class alive (and wide awake!).

(me and some of my colleagues)

 

One thing I found weird, as also my colleagues did, was the importance given to the group assignments. Almost all subjects required one. Since a master degree is made most of all by people who also work (and teachers know it), it looks like it’s counterproductive to require group assignments. Besides that, the students were all from different places, what made even more complicated to settle meetings. I had to do a lot of things through Facebook, but I also made videos for some assignments, so I had to go to some locations (I’ll talk about that later).
It was a relief when we had individual assignments. It’s easier to work that way, we organize better. And we had assignments in all subjects. On the second semester we also had a subject that required a test (besides the assignment). It was really awkward, I wasn’t used to study anymore.
And studying became difficult because there were no teacher who taught all the subject’s contents in an organized way. The classes we attended to didn’t have a straight line of discourse and sometimes the subjects’ contents were the same in two of them. I don’t feel I’ve learned as much as I was expecting to. We didn’t learn by the classes we attended to, we learn more if we search for each others. That fact really disappointed me and by the conversations I had with other people, it looks like it’s kinda “normal” to have teachers who don’t care if they are giving you all the subject’s contents. Well, students do care. We pay to learn.
The variety of areas that are discussed in the master degree is a positive thing, I enjoyed it, even though I spent a semester earing stuff I already knew from my degree (things related to marketing and new technologies).
Something that really disappointed me was the lack of support we students were offered by the teachers regarding the theses. There were a lot of students who were at the beginning of the year thinking if they were going to write a thesis or not and because of this lack of support they already gave up. I’ve noticed that teachers don’t really care if we decide to write a thesis or not. I think this is given to the huge amount of work teachers in Portugal have nowadays.
I was sad with that fact, specially with the choice that was made for the Seminary subject (Seminário). It was created originally to help students to begin their work with the thesis. This year that was changed: we had classes about different themes related to patrimony and tourism and we made an assignment about one of those themes. I thought this was a really bad choice, since those who didn’t want to write a thesis could do the assignment to and it help a lot for us to know what to do until September.
 
Well, the worst part is about to come, since I’m going to write a thesis. I’m going to talk about it on my next post, which will be about the assignments I made for this master degree.
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