mythbusting: AGri1003919 February 2015
AGRI10039, aka Australia in the Wine World, is the infamous breadth that everyone during their time at Melbourne Uni thinks about doing. With so many misconceptions about the subject, it’s high time to clarify these myths, using my own experience from the week-long intensive course.
1. You have to apply for an overload
BUSTED! This subject runs in the June or July timetable slot. It counts as a Semester 2 subject technically, but due to it being run in the winter holidays, you can put it as your Semester 1 breadth, meaning you still have space for a Semester 2 breadth (or vice versa). When applying for Semester 2 subjects, the online program often thinks you will be overloading, because it doesn’t know what to do with those points. This is a common problem encountered by students, but is easily resolved – just fill out the Subject Variation Form. This is different to overloading; it simply means that the university enrolls you into your subjects manually rather than you pressing the buttons. It only takes a few days for them to complete and it is a problem they are working on fixing.
2. Everyone gets drunk
BUSTED! You are supposed to spit out your wine into a ‘spitting’ cup, similar to coffee cupping classes, so in actual fact, you do not get drunk at all. You stay so sober that you are able to drive home after the tasting exam! They reiterate the fact that professional judges can taste up to 80 glasses of wine a day and stay sober throughout – we only do about eight in one class per day! But hey, that’s not to say that you’re not allowed to drink the wine… Three hours of in-class pre’s with great wines is perfect before an evening of vodka and five-star goon drinking games with your new friends…
3. It’s the most failed subject
BUSTED! Just like any other subject at the University, the subject requires an even spread between H1s and fails. If you don’t pay attention or purposely skip the lectures, of course you’re not going to do well. But this leads me to my next point…
4. It’s a super easy subject
BUSTED! This is an intensive subject, so not surprisingly, the days are long and the content is heavy. Be prepared to be overwhelmed on the first day. With only a couple of hours of spare time each day you will barely have energy left to study! Paying attention in the lectures and asking questions and being involved in the practicals (tasting classes) means that you are actively learning everything. Try to keep good notes so that the night before the exam you’re not frantically trying to look things up! This is not to say that the subject isn’t fun; this has been one of my favourite subjects so far. Not only do you learn actual information that you can impress your friends or family with at dinner, but you meet a range of other aspiring wine-tossers.
• Pack for the weather! I brought an electric heater with me and I was so glad I did!
• If you drive yourself, don’t go through Violet Town like the mysterious JWay suggests, just follow Google Maps to the address of the Dookie campus – Nalinga Road, Dookie. Avoiding Violet Town means you can travel at up to 110km p/h and you actually go a shorter, more direct route.
• If you can’t live without your daily coffee and despise the instant stuff, consider bringing up a pod coffee machine. Waking up to creamy coffee will make the chilly mornings a bit more enjoyable.
• In one of the thousands of emails you get from the mysterious JWay leading up to the week, he/she mentions the loudness of the dorms. Do not dismiss this email as I did. The dorms are noisy. Bring ear plugs, and maybe an eye mask because they doesn’t get very dark at night.
• Bring snacks.
• Try to choose a room in the middle of the floor, away from the noisy toilets!
• Organise to go with a friend, or else be prepared to make friends! There will be a really wide mix of different students from all degrees and year levels!
• There’s not much to do in your spare time so you really have to make your own fun! With 20,000 acres to explore, take a walk around the campus and admire the scenery. There’s also a gym and a squash court with all the necessary equipment available for you to borrow for free. Or, bring a deck of cards or a bottle of vodka, or both, and you’re on your way to instant friends and a good time!
Overall, I would highly recommend this subject! Don’t listen to people that haven’t actually done the subject themselves. I would rate it a 10/10 and I know that the people I did it with only have good things to say about it too.