Libraries aren’t the only place though to get work done. Sometimes one might prefer a little more background noise, sometimes one craves absolute solitude. Best places to work on Melbourne Uni campus that aren’t libraries:
Baretto and Bar Cemmercio – neither would make the cut for the café list, but certainly a good space to discuss ideas. Spacious tables and a more vibrant atmosphere than some of the more cosy alternatives you won’t have to feel guilty for speaking loudly or sipping on one coffee for an hour. Their proximity to Giblin Eunson library this place offers the opportunity to alternate between creative cross-fertilization over coffee breaks and quiet study periods.
Old Arts Hall – quiet room with comfy chairs to read in, or bar styled work stations for a more productive writing position. Some muffled chatter resonating from South Lawn outside and sunshine glooming through the thick leaves in front of the window. A lovely hall and never too busy to find a space.
Old Arts Postgraduate Seminar and Reading Rooms – slightly hidden, these two rooms next to each other are a real gem. The Seminar Room is only just about big enough for a large table surrounded by chairs, most of the time filled with the bottoms of postgraduates. It’s where people go who are seriously trying to get work done and the atmosphere is productive yet intimate. The Reading Room next door boasts Melbourne Uni’s most comfortable chairs, a mixture of a hairdresser recliner and a sci-fi pilot seat. The facilities are postgrad exclusive, but nobody will bother to enforce it.
Outdoor Study Area behind the Sidney Myer Asia Centre – These oversized benches with view of a little lawn and water installation are a blissful little shelter for an outdoor study session that is still productive. Only problem: no plugs.
Melbourne has no catering or canteen, as the two Unions and the Fraser building provide in Glasgow. Instead, Union House is stacked with a food court full of different providers. The variety is nice but food here isn’t always cheap. That’s why leaving the campus can sometimes be advantageous. If you are really on a budget though, better pack a lunch. If you do feel like treating yourself, here is my selection:
Pronto Pizza – it’s pizza. Nothing wrong with pizza. the place boasts two tricycles for campus-wide deliveries, so why not let them pedal it right to the library for you.
Food Co-op – really the best place for food. Huge portions of lentils, stews and curries, as well as pies and pasties. I personally usually choose one of the tofu burgers. Also a big fan of their dark chocolate covered coffee beans. Everything here is vegan and made with love. I am a volunteer there twice a week and volunteering with this lovely bunch of people really is a joy. You’ll also enjoy a 20% discount as a volunteer.
MOMO – a cheap sushi chain, one of them located just off University Square. Come at 3:30pm and get better deals as they get rid of the last bits.
Don Tojo – a few blocks away from Uni this place has a nice selection of curry and rice bowls. Everything costs less than a tenner, portion sizes are fair and it’s yummy. The only offset is the Top Pop 25 CD from 2008 that is playing on constant repeat. I wonder if James Blunt ever made any of their customers spit their sukiyaki udon ($6.30) right back in the bowl.
And finally, though probably not too interesting for anyone who isn’t a student of Theatre and/or Politics: my courses listed in order of preference.
ENGL30002 Critical Debates – Though my worst grades I definitely had most fun in this course. It was very challenging and had a high paste, going through a different segment of Critical Literary Theory every week, discussing and learning about different ways of reading. The reading for this subject was a lot and often difficult, the lectures and tutorials only able to clarify some of it. And yet it was incredibly inspiring and interesting stuff and I enjoyed progressing in thought and understanding.
THTR20021 Shakespeare in Performance – as a theatre student in Glasgow, hardly any of this rather basic module was new to me. Only the independent research for the essay allowed me to shape this into a challenging and interesting course that furthered my interests in and understandings of theatre. But as the course itself wasn’t challenging, it came easily to me and it was nice to be able to contribute extensively based on my deepened academic capabilities in the field.
JEWI20006 Israelis & Palestinians: Conflict, Peace – at a moment in time where the Middle Eastern conflict was close to a new escalation once more this course seemed particularly relevant. I was looking forward to be finally able to have a more established view on the situation and know its historical development as much as its current situation. Sadly however the subject wasn’t entirely successful in those goals. Hardly discussing current state and future outlook at all and being meticulously anxious not to step on anybodies toes the course turned out to be more of an extended history class. I would have liked to see a bit more moderated discussions and perhaps the space for some polarising guests or opinions from both sides. The course’s location within the department for Jewish Studies and the singularly Jewish background of all teaching staff further invested in me an endless suspicion of partiality.
POLS20031 Political Economy – this subjects tutorials were amazing. Our tutor was fun, they were well organised and enjoyable. And yet this course was probably the one I liked the least this semester. Out of all my courses this was the only one where I attended every lecture and yet I left almost all of them not remembering anything of what I had just heard. The ignorance of our lecturers in almost all of live’s aspects that aren’t political economy became shockingly clear when they drifted off into personal anecdotes or attempted chat. I am confident to postulate that the class could be divided in roughly two groups. Those who already had a great understanding of political economy and who learned nothing, and those that finished the course as clueless as they started and who learned nothing.
There is a lot more to discover at Australia’s top University, but I wouldn’t want to take all of the fun away.
Any questions about study spaces, food places or courses? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org Or check out my blog for more: oneyearmelbourne.wordpress.com