First impressions of Royal Roads University

More aptly, this post might be called, “What I crammed into my first day and a half.” Seriously, though, it’s been a bit busy and this post will not do it justice. This is not to suggest that I’ll be posting recaps of everything I do because there is more MA focused blogging to come. I’m not sure if that will be at a WordPress hosted blog or this one.

The surroundings

It’s quite a beautiful campus and location, on a hill sloping down to the water in Colwood, a suburb of Victoria. Situated amongst old growth forest on former First Nations land, the campus is pretty breathtaking. Hatley Castle, and Nelson and Grant buildings, in particular, really show off the military college history of the place.

Plus, there’s a big focus on sustainability and recycling and that’s a pretty big plus for me.Unfortunately, since I broke the 18-55 lens on my Nikon D40 a couple weeks ago, I’ll be using my lower resolution Fuji S602Z for the next two weeks. Oh well, they look fine for smaller, online pics. On that note, I’m looking for a good deal on one of the Nikon compatible super zooms. I’m thinking one of the 18-200’s, but I digress.

The accommodations

This is not a negative, per se, but they are spartan. Had I decided to apply earlier and booked an ensuite room, I’d have my own washroom, but that’s another story. The upside is that it will be easy to focus on the work at hand, with nary a sofa or TV in my room to distract me. There is plenty of opportunity outside to clear one’s head every so often, there are great hiking trails and I’ve already given the gym a spin tonight, prior to doing the reading from today. It’s all good.

The food

While I’ve only had a veggie burger with salad, I must say that the Habitat Cafe food is actually a pleasant surprise, particularly when one compares it to what’s available at BCIT. The food here is reasonably priced, healthy and appealing and there seems to be a reasonable selection. As a meat-free guy, I’ll always want more good veggie options, but they are apparently open to requests and this won’t be the only place I’ll eat, so I think things are in pretty good shape.

Day one

Truth be told, the first day was a fairly relaxing intro to what’s coming. We had a good orientation this morning, giving us an overview of the amount of work ahead and then took care of student cards and a short campus tour. I’d already had a look around, both this morning and a few weeks ago.

Good lectures on research methodology and article critique rounded out the afternoon, with a little more detail emerging surrounding the coming days’ activities. One of the things that will work very well for me is the focus on analytical thinking and critical analysis. I may actually go two weeks without being told I’m being too analytical …

In closing

There’s plenty more to come – in the next two weeks and two years. I’m hoping to get a few more peacock shots (which should not be a problem) and go a little further afoot to see some of the trails and natural surroundings.