It’s study week! A whole week available to study before our last two weeks of final examinations. This concept it a whole new experience for me because back home we usually just the weekend and one extra day to study for finals. While really nice, I know that I will really need this extra week because final examinations are on a whole new level here. We had a final tutorial for one of my classes where we discussed the final exam and here’s how it’s going to go down.
Three sections. Two questions for each section. You get to pick one question out of the two for each section. Every question in essay format. Each question will address a question that will pull from pretty much all the information from each lecturers material (we had three lecturers teach three sections). Every essay should flow and be in the format of introduction, discussion, and conclusion. Each essay should flow in a way that is logical and answers the question. You have three hours to complete the test so basically one hour per question.
I’m a bit nervous about this final exam format because I am not used to writing for so long. Especially not handwriting. I’m just a bit afraid of my hand cramping up after writing for so long because, in finals back home that have involved a lot of handwriting, I’ve had issues with my hand cramping up and hurting after not too long. I am thankful that the lecturers put on some example questions that we can attempt to answer so I can at least have some practice.
This past weekend I took a trip back to Auckland with a bunch of friends of mine. Honestly, most of our time was spent hanging out in our Airbnb because it was raining quite a bit, but when the weather was bearable, we walked around the city, ate a bunch of good food, and went dancing as well.
On the last day, a friend and I went to this adorable small theatre below the Auckland library and watched “Merata: How Mum Decolonized the Screen”. The movie was a documentary about a pioneering Māori filmmaker by the name of Merata Mita who focused on indigenous film. The movie was narrated by her son and told the story about a single mother who struggled with raising six kids in a time where Māori people were struggling for their independence, freedom, and rights to land. She made landmark documentaries about many key events that highlighted the violation of Māori rights.
I learned a lot about what it was like being an indigenous Māori person in Aotearoa in the 70’s and 80’s. There were a lot of injustices that went on involving the destruction of indigenous land and blatant racism. Meratas films even tied New Zealands records to apartheid in South Africa. It was inspiring learning about this single mother who came from poverty who still fought with all of her skills to fight back against injustice. I really enjoyed this film and recommend it to anyone who’s interested in learning a little bit about Aotearoa’s history in a very fun way.
And since we’re talking about Māori culture and history, I also got to see two of my friends do a performance for their kapa haka class! Kapa haka is a traditional Māori performing arts. The show was so beautiful and the songs had an enchanting quality to them. One of them is from Japan so she performed a traditional Japanese Haiku in both Japanese and in te reo Māori (Māori language). The other one is from Hawai’i like me so she performed an oli (traditional Hawaiian chant). My friends danced and sang and it was really cool to see what they had learned throughout the entire semester. I was such a proud friend.
Being back home now, I’m just trying to finish all of the rest of my schoolwork I have left, and study for my final exams. Only two more weeks of school left to go, and I’ve got to make everything count and come out on top!