Rebeca Bird-Lima: getting involved
Rebeca grew up fascinated by Greek myths such as Hades and Persephone, and linked her school subjects to the classical world wherever she could. After taking time out to work and travel through the modern-day countries of the ancient world, Rebeca came to the University of Reading to follow her passion and has thrown herself into university life with enthusiasm.
"I'd always had an interest in the classics - as a child I loved the Greek myths, and I would take out library books on the ancient world. My heritage is a mixture of Brazilian and British and so culturally I was intrigued - in my grandmother and father's generations they were taught Latin at school in Brazil and many Brazilians have Roman names. I love studying BA Ancient History at Reading and getting involved in the many activities the Classics Department offers."
VALUABLE WORK EXPERIENCE
Rebeca has taken advantage of the work experience opportunities offered at Reading, including the Academic Placement and the Ancient Schoolroom:
"I did the Academic Placement over the summer, between my first and second year of study. I worked closely with an academic who was piecing together classical images that were used during the suffragette movement, culminating in an exhibition. We looked at both positive and negative imagery, analysing what was relevant, seeking to understand the context, and separating the reality from the myth. I went to the British Library and accessed microfilms I wouldn't normally have been able to, and I learned a lot about women's rights."
"This placement helped me develop my research and presentation skills, and expand my experience in archives."
"I also took part in the ancient schoolroom - this is a project which enables modern students to find out first-hand what an ancient school was like. We replicate an ancient classroom within the Classics Department, dress in Roman costumes and use replica ancient writing materials such as wax tablets and styluses. This was a really fun and interesting experience, learning how education has changed over time, and engaging children with the ancient world."
A THRIVING COMMUNITY
Rebeca enjoys the welcoming atmosphere within the Department and is the Classics Society President for 2017-2018:
"The Classics Society is a diverse community of people who share a common interest in the classical world. It's a great way to get to know other students."
"We host a variety of events including: movie and cocktail nights at Ice House (popular films include Disney's Hercules and The Mummy!), quiz nights, pizza parties, our annual formal and Christmas Saturnalia. Lecturers also come to some of our events, enabling students to mix with them in a more relaxed setting.
The Classics resource room is another great way to get to know your fellow students, or to find support. It has a great selection of books and I'm always in there writing my essays. This room offers peace and quiet to knuckle down and work, or the opportunity for group revision; there's always someone to ask for help or to go for a coffee break with. Because the resource room is situated in the same corridor as the academics' offices, you're also only a few steps away if you need help from any of your lecturers."
Rebeca got involved with the Peer Assisted Learning scheme, to help first-year students:
"I did the PAL scheme during my second year of study. The purpose of this scheme is to help first-year students consolidate their learning from lectures, in a smaller more informal classroom setting. Lecturers would tell us what the students had already learned, and we created a lesson plan around that. We kept our lesson plans flexible to suit the needs of each student, and we did activities such as creating a massive timeline of ancient events."
"I really enjoyed this scheme: I got to know students in other years and it gave me an insight into teaching."
Rebeca is keen to utilise all of the experiences she's had so far at Reading:
"I would like to build on my experiences at university and go into a career in the museum sector. I've learned that I like the idea of educating and helping people, whilst being creative: museums are free interactive education, which enable you to cater to different interests, and allows for creativity through exhibitions or role-play."
"I'm loving my time at Reading so far, and I'm excited to see what other opportunities and challenges are waiting for me in my third year."