Perspectives of a 1st year chappo guy

When I was accepted to college, I couldn’t find much in the way of perspectives online about how things go at Moore or Chappo in particular, so I’m writing this for anyone out there who might have googled their way into this page doing what I was doing a year ago. Unlike many of my other posts, I’m not going to aim to be deliberately vague :)

Your typical day starts off waking up and going through whatever your normal morning ritual is. For some, that’s walking down the corridor to the showers and trundling into breakfast across the road in the main dining hall. If it’s Tuesday or Saturday, there will be bacon and eggs waiting for you. On Thursdays, it’s pancakes.

In first year, you tend to get 8:00 lectures, so for the less disciplined, it’s usually grab food and go. Otherwise, you can enjoy a little time to chat or read a bit of news. 9:00 is the start of chapel hour – Tuesdays and Fridays is all-in chapel, Wednesdays and Thursdays are either First Year Group or split chapel. The idea with first year groups is that you are grouped with about 7 or 8 other people, and you get to know each other, look after each other, talk some stuff over, and then combine with a chaplaincy group (mixed bag of 2nd-4th years) to become a mission team for College mission. Each mission team is part of one of 4 congregations. These congregations meet during one of the split chapel slots. If you’re female, you have women’s chapel instead being in split chapel.

Morning tea comes next. Just a warning, it’s very easy to overdose on food and gain several kilos by the end, if not the middle, of the year. People tend to have tea, coffee (there are coffee machines here), some cake or biscuit or whatever, play ping pong, play cricket, check their mailtray in the mail room (official college correspondence goes in here, as well as anything with your name addressed to 1 King St Newtown). Then it’s off to more lectures, or whatever you want to do if you have an hour or two off. Popular locations include studying in the library, hanging in a coffee shop on King St, or playing on the Xbox at Chappo. Or Wii. Or something.

There are 2 lunches, because the college population is too big for the dining hall. 1st and 4th years have lunch at 1pm, 2nd and 3rd at noon. Lunch is buffet style – there’ll be a hot option, and then some salad, fruit and cold meat options, plus bread. Just remember that food overdose warning …

You don’t normally get lectures after lunch, though you might. Non-Newtown residents tend to use the time to study. Chappo guys tend to retreat to their rooms or to the Xbox room.

Sport happens on some days of the week. Touch or Oztag routinely starts at 3pm on Wednesdays, and Soccer (Mondays) and Ultimate (Thursdays) at 4pm. This is a pretty good time to burn off all those excess calories you’ve been building up all day …

For Chappo and House-formerly-known-as-MAC (it doesn’t have an official name yet … sigh) residents, dinner is on at 6. On Thursday nights at 9 there is Cafe Moore in the Chappo common room. Essentially, this is just an officialish hang time that always happens. Usually people hang, chat, play pool, stuff.

On weekends, there is no lunch provided, but then again, there’s always King St if you’re not doing anything else. Dinner is provided on Saturday nights.

In terms of study, let me start by saying that you won’t be able to do all the readings they ask you to do. Priority readings would be ones that have reading diaries attached as an assessment item, and stuff that would really help for writing essays. For the average student, most study time is spent on Greek, and more on Hebrew if you’re doing that as well. If, however, you are an absolute genius at dead languages, you might find the time to do the other readings also.

One of the things about the courses in 1st year is that the non-language subjects are fairly broad or general. This means that for the Christian who has made it through several MYC’s or equivalent, NTE’s, KYLC’s or whatever it’s called now, who has read Packer, Piper, Goldsworthy or Carson, or has done 2 or 3 of the Moore PTC course, you’ve probably got the information to be able to wing it in first year.

Stuff you should NOT buy before college:
Mounce’s Basics of Biblical Greek
A Greek and Hebrew Bible (you will be given a Greek New Testament, and if you are enrolled for Hebrew, you will also receive a Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, as a gift from the Bible Society)

Stuff that is not recommended but if you’ve got a heap of cash:
Any set texts – use the library, borrow off people, esp. if you’re tight on the money
Bibleworks (save your money until 2nd year) or some other Bible software

Stuff that is highly recommended you have:
Knowledge of English Grammar – Mounce’s Greek for the Rest of Us helps in this regard.
Good Bible reading discipline
Cat5 cable

Stuff the average Christian who has been through a few MYC’s/AnCon’s/NTE’s is likely to already have which would turn it really useful at college:
Packer’s Concise Theology
New Bible Dictionary
Goldsworthy’s According to Plan

Stuff to read before College if you have time to read things:
Calvin’s Institutes
An introductory text on philosophy and philosophers – Sophie’s World is generally recommended.
Something on church history – you’ll be doing early church in 1st year. Church History in Plain Language will start you off if you have no idea.

In terms of living space at Chappo, it’s probably best if you find me on Facebook, and look through my Images from Chappo album. The rooms vary in size – if you’re lucky, you have one of the spacious 3mx4m rooms that don’t boil in summer. If you’re not, you might be in Sherwood Forest (you’ll understand when you get here) where the rooms are smaller and its hot even with two fans on. All rooms come with wardrobe, desk, bookshelf, bed, basin and chair. The rest varies depending on whatever the last guy didn’t want to keep.

Rent next year is $230 p/w. Check with Centrelink on Austudy + Rent Assistance rates. Most people get by on that alone, and paid student minister positions help a bit. If you can, have money saved up, but note that above a certain amount will delay Centrelink paying you Austudy.

There’s not a lot of places to park a car in Newtown. If you don’t need to drive often, it’s probably safer and easier to leave it at your parent’s or some other relative’s place and then visit over the weekend if you need to drive.

That’s all I’m going to brain dump – you’ll get a fair whack of information from the Orientation materials you’ll get given. Hope to see you soon!

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