Post from July, 2003


Thursday, 31. July 2003 10:35

I’ve been slacking off on my work so badly. It’s already Thursday and I haven’t done anything. I need to do *a lot* of reading before this weekend, because I’m not going to be around. I’m going to an Australian farm. Should be interesting.

I love Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. I only have one class on each of those days. It’s really quite great. Especially because each class is only an hour long.

GRR to people who IM me when I don’t want to talk! There are certain people (none of who read this) who just really, really BUG me. Maybe I just don’t want to talk on AIM anymore. I’m almost over that stage in my life. It’s cool to catch up once in a while, but it gets tedious when you’re talking to the same person everytime you’re online. Plus, it’s especially weird because of the time difference. I’ll be on pretty much every 12 hours (well, I’m online 24/7, but I’m not always active), because that’s when AU and US time “overlap,” if that makes sense. I talk during my night and their morning, or their night and my morning. I’m just getting a tad sick of certain people.

But anyways.. let me stop complaining. Yesterday, Ryan and I finally made it to the mall!! We managed to find the right bus stop and the bus even stopped for us! *So* exciting, seriously. The mall is really huge. Maybe it just seems big because I’m not used to it. I feel like there are so many wings and hallways. It’s pretty neat. I want to buy clothes while I’m here, because they have some really interesting styles. Everything’s expensive though, so we’ll see.

I had three things on my list that I needed to buy. Photo albums, a Bible (for class), and a printer. I managed to get all three! Yay! Finding a photo album was so frustrating. I wanted the kind with the magnetic pages, so it kind of sticks. Well, it was not easy to find that kind at all. Most of them either had pockets or just drymount pages. I was getting so aggravated! I was pretty ecstatic when I finally found what I wanted.

The Bible had been causing me trouble too, but when I went into a real bookshop in the mall, they had them. I think it’s weird that we need a Bible for this religion class that I’m taking. The teacher expects us to bring it to class and stuff. Although, I guess I did that in high school too.

The printer was easy to get. We knew exactly which one Ryan and I were going to buy, a Canon S200. It was cheap, which is what we were going for. It’s actually pretty cute. A little slow, but not a bad printer. I’ve had bad experiences with Canon in the past, but we only need it for 5 months and their cartridges are the least expensive of other ones. It has a nice blue front, which matches Ryan’s laptop and mousepad (We’re keeping it in his room).

I don’t even know where I’m going with this entry. I’m very distracted by all these people IMing me, and I need to take a shower. All I want to do is finish my book though…

Category:Australia, Diaryland | Comment (0) | Author: Megan

Aussie Entry 9

Thursday, 31. July 2003 1:30

Since I don’t have classes to study for tomorrow, I thought I might give everyone a mid-week update, starting with Monday.  Monday, for me, started off just like any other day.  Hmm, that sounds like a bad beginning to a bad book, doesn’t it?  Anyway, although things were fine for me, Megan’s first hours of the day consisted of eating an un-toasted English muffin (her toaster was broken, go figure), emptying a very full bin of rubbish (her duty for the week), and running a little late.  Lucky her, huh?  Then, guess who she got to share her bad day with?  Me!  Whenever we have class at the same time, she stops by my room so we can walk to class together.  When she stopped by on Monday, I was just finishing up my usual breakfast of an English muffin with orange juice and cereal.  Since I was (surprisingly) running late, I asked her to put the juice back in the refrigerator while I brushed my teeth.  However, as I was handing her the container, it slipped out of our hands and crashed to the floor.  Orange juice went everywhere, including on her last pair of clean pants.  So, as she ran back to her room to pick a dry pair from the hamper, I spent the next five to ten minutes trying to sop up orange juice from my floor.  I ended up using a whole roll of paper towels on the mess, and there is still a large, circular stain, two days later.  It’s a little annoying that it’s right next to my bed, making it look like a vomit stain, but it’s not too noticeable.

After that whole morning fiasco, I made my way out to forensic science, which was held in a computer lab instead of our regular lecture hall.  Since the class makes “extensive use of the internet,” we were supposed to learn about some of the best sites available to find forensic science information.  As I was walking over there, though, I passed by a couple girls (Jess and Naomi, who are in my group project for the class), who were walking the other way.  Since I was a running late, I guess I didn’t even consider why they were walking in the wrong direction.  Even still, I got into the lab within about five minutes of the scheduled start time, but the professor hadn’t begun class yet.  He was still trying to get his computer to work, which was being displayed on an overhead.  Ten minutes later, he was still working on it.  Five minutes later, he apologized for it taking so long.  Another ten minutes later, he opened a web page.  Two minutes later, the computer crashed.  Five minutes later, the professor still couldn’t get anything to work.  Two minutes later, I just left.  It was a complete waste of time.  The next forensic class (Wednesday), he apologized for “the situation in the lab.”

After the “forensic science” class, I stopped by the student support centre to sign up for the Northwest trip.  It is a specialized trip, exclusively for international students, which takes them up the coast of Western Australia, and then back down through the outback.  It was over $500, but it is a week-long trip, with almost everything provided, so I guess that’s a good deal.

Next, I headed off to my final class of the day: introduction to cultural studies with the scarily awesome teacher.  It was more of a lecture this time around, but she still made it enjoyable.  Straight after, I had to go to a tutorial for it.  Tutorials are compulsory for all classes at Murdoch (with few exceptions).  Basically, it splits up a class of about a hundred to a more manageable size so that students can get a more intimate knowledge of the subject.  Usually tutorials (tuts) are headed by a graduate student, but in the case of cultural studies, it’s headed by the lecturer.  Considering who our professor is, that’s a pretty cool thing, especially since she brought piss with her to the tut!  I was quite surprised.  There’s always a first for everything, and that was the first time that I’ve drunk wine during class.  I hope that will become a habitual thing!

When I got back to my room, I received an e-mail from my Aunt Theresa, reminding me of a little surprise that we were planning.  My parents were heading down to her place to spend their summer vacation near the beach, which includes Ocean City, Cape May, Assateague, and so forth.  So, my aunt and I worked out a plan, which would include her calling me from the States early in the morning (my evening), so that we could surprise my parents with a phone call from yours truly.  Although we were originally going to do something around 10:00, we tried a test call earlier to make sure we had the numbers correct.  Since we were already connected, though, my aunt decided to make the connection a little earlier.  I talked to my mom first, who was obviously just waking up from a deep sleep.  The conversation started with her saying, “Hello?”  “G’Day, Mom!”  “….”  “Umm.. g’day?  Hello?”  “Hi—who?”  “Hello there…”  “This is?  Is this Ryan?”  “Yes!  This is Ryan.  Your son.”  “Ryan!  Hi!”  I found it quite hilarious that they were just waking up – after all, I had already been awake for over 12 hours.  I talked to everyone else that was there, too, about five times over, for almost an hour.  It was indeed a thrill, though, and I’m glad that I had the chance to talk to them.  After all, I hadn’t since I got to
Murdoch a couple weeks ago.

After the conversation, though, it was time to clean.  In each flat, there is a schedule of chores that need to be done, which alternates each week.  This time, I had the opportunity to clean the kitchen floors and refrigerators.  I knew that I had to be especially careful of taking care of my duties because there was to be a scheduled inspection the next day.  So, I get out a mop and bucket to start cleaning out the kitchen around 9pm, after everyone had finished cooking.  However, one of my flatmates came up to me and asked why I was being so tedious.  He explained that this is just a cursory check of the flats, and I did not have to do much more than sweep the floor.  Since he lived here a few semesters longer than me, I decided to take his words to heart, and I just did a quick mopping with water.  Satisfied, I went to bed straight after.

On Tuesday afternoon, we had our inspection.  Our R.A. (Jen) and the housekeeper went through our flat, checking to make sure everyone’s jobs were completed.  I didn’t hear anything back from them, so I just assumed that all was good.  On Wednesday, though, I got a knock on my bedroom door from our other R.A., who told me that I “hadn’t done my cleaning chore for the week.”  Apparently, after the inspection, Jen posted a report card of how our flat handled the inspection.  Throughout the entire flat, which included the halls, bathrooms, kitchen, and lounge, there was only one part the failed – the kitchen floors.  I was quite a bit embarrassed when I had to grab the mop again while everyone was watching TV, and clean up the kitchen a little better.  I never heard back from the R.A., so I hope that I did better the second time around.  Whoops.

Anyway, reversing back to Tuesday, I had three classes to sit through, with the first being environmental issues.  I got to the lecture hall (which has no windows, whatsoever) about 3 minutes before the class was scheduled to start, and there were still about 7 people waiting outside.  So, of course, I wait with them.  As time ticks by, more and more people show up so that there are about 25 people waiting.  A couple times we would crack the doors, but there was still a lecture going on.  Some people were getting annoyed, and argued that teachers shouldn’t teach over their allotted time because it makes people like us wait.  The lecturer was some old, balding guy that none of us had seen before.  So, we continued to wait.  About ten minutes later, some girl runs up through the crowd and just walks into the lecture hall.  Everyone waiting just sort of snickers to themselves, thinking, “She’s going to feel really dumb when she realizes that she walked into the wrong lecture.”  About a minute goes by, though, and she doesn’t come back out.  We opened the doors again, and this time we saw our teacher sitting in the audience.  It was a guest lecturer teaching our class!  So, all 25 of us make our way though the doors about 15 minutes late.  Once we all get settled, our teacher yelled at us, saying “All of you have just interrupted our guest lecturer – Incredibly rude.”  But come on, how should we have known?  I still found it a little funny, though.

All my other classes since have pretty much been normal.  Nothing too different from the States – just boring people standing at the front of the room going “Blah, blah, blah, blah…”  Or, in the case of my forensic science teacher, “Blah-bl…Umm..B-B-Bl-Blah… Umm… Umm… Blah.”  I’m horrible.

On Tuesday night, I was browsing around on, and I found out that you can upload pictures there, and have people rate them.  I decided that I didn’t have anything to lose, so I went ahead and did that.  I also posted my home web site along with them, in case people were so inclined to find out more about me.  I uploaded about 15 pictures, and in about an hour, about four of them ended up being “editor’s picks.”  I was really amazed, so I uploaded about 10 more, of which one or two became editor’s picks.  It made me feel pretty good, even though the “editor’s picks” rating only lasts for a day or two.  I really wanted to upload some my pictures so that I could get an unbiased opinion of what people think about them.  Family and friends tell me “Ohh!  Ryan!  You’re pictures are amazing!” – not to be too vain.  But, I thought that now I can figure out if they are actually worth anything.  On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, most of my pictures scored between a 7 and 8 during the first two days of being posted.  So, with just that point system, I guess that the pictures I take are decent, but of course, I posted some of what I considered to be my better ones.  It was most definitely the individual comments that people left me that had the greatest impact.  So far, over 100 people have clicked the link to my home page, and some of them were even kind enough to leave me messages in my guestbook.  You can visit it to read for yourself, but just as an example, a woman named Pam said, “FANTASTIC photos, Ryan! I happened across your page from the Wunderground photos page. I’ve bookmarked your page to come back and see more of your photos. You’re a very talented photographer. Clever with words, too. Enjoy Oz, my favorite country, and one I hope to visit someday.”  Then, another girl named Stephanie said, “This website is hilarious. I’m looking at this at work and keep laughing out loud. I love the captions under the photos. This is the first website I’ve been to that was actually entertaining! Thanks.”  Plus, in my mailbox, I got three more messages!  Now, I don’t mean to sound too self-righteous by posting those comments, but things like that mean a lot to me.  I mean, these are people that don’t know me worth a hill of beans, and they still took time to write comments to me.  It’s really amazing.  So, without a doubt, that made my night.

Today I went to Garden City – finally Megan and I were able to get on the right bus!  We had to walk all the way to Kardinya to catch it, but we made it alright.  There were a couple things that we wanted to buy.  Megan needed a photo album, and I needed some clothes.  It seems like those should be reversed, doesn’t it?  Nonetheless, after searching through many stores, she finally found the album she wanted – one that did not have individual picture mounts, and one that was not dry-mount.  As for me, I went through a couple clothes stores to find some shirts.  I only brought three T-shirts with me, which tend to get old after a while.  However, I obviously don’t do much shopping, because all of the T-shirts I saw were almost fifty bucks!  Granted, that’s in Aussie dollars, but that’s still around $40 US.  I had no idea that they were so expensive!  I ended up getting some much cheaper ones at Kmart, but even still, my bill was a bit higher than I would have expected.  After running all through the mall (with my camera around my wrist – pictures to come later), Megan and I stopped in Dick Smith’s electronics.  Earlier in the week, my Aunt Theresa offered to pay for the printer that I mentioned in a previous journal entry.  That was very generous of her, and being the tightwad that I am, I took her up on the offer.  I can’t thank her enough!  The printer is already set up and overworked, as Megan and I printed out lecture notes and Power Point slides galore!  It is so much easier to take notes on them while listening to the lecture, rather then trying to feverously copy every slide that the teacher presents.  You really don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, and a printer is just one of those essential things that a college student needs.  So, hooray!  Thanks Aunt Terry!

Wow, I’ve written too much, and I need to get off to bed.  I guess I’ll mention some recent international news to finish off this entry.  Of course, when you talk about news, it’s never good stuff, but oh, well.  The United States Government released a statement the other night, concerning future possible terrorist attacks.  They said that the intelligence that they have received is the most specific since the 9-11 attacks, and deal with the idea that hijackers will take over flights in groups of five during either takeoff or landing.  The attacks could occur by the end of the northern hemisphere’s summer.  To continue, and quote the report, “Attack venues may include the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, or the East Coast of the United States due to the relatively high concentration of government, military and economic targets.”  Isn’t that great?  Just as I am about to plan to visit all the major cities of Australia later in August, there is a warning issued about hijackers.  Then, there are some good and bad points to continue this news story.  Australia’s government is now critiquing the report, saying that there is no evidence to suggest that Australia is a target of the hijackers.  According to an Australian news report on Aussie airlines, “Virgin Blue said it would not be increasing its threat level on advice from the Australian Government. Qantas said there was ‘no increased threat to Qantas operations in Australia or elsewhere.’”  That’s a little uncomforting to me, though, because I would be happier if those two major airlines would increase their threat levels, just to make sure everyone is safe.  Anyway, now the United States and Australia are at odds about the intelligence behind the report, as described in this Aussie news report.  Ah, I can’t do anything about it, though.  Let’s just hope and pray that nothing happens at all.  Take care, everyone!

Category:Australia | Comment (0) | Author: Ryan

it’s cloudy

Tuesday, 29. July 2003 13:24

This entry isn’t going to be as long as the last one, because I’ve hardly done anything today. There are just a few things that I want to say.

First, writing postcards is so annoying! I’ve finally started to, and it’s bugging me. There isn’t enough room to write anything substantial, so you have to think of little things to say. I just never know what to write in such a small space! If I was smart, I’d just write the same thing on every single one. I could never do that though. I would feel guilty, for some reason.

Second, where do you buy a Bible? I know that’s a stupid question that I should know the answer to. I need one for my religion class, and I can’t find one! I’ve been in a couple bookshops around the city and didn’t come across any. I figured that my university’s bookshop would have one. I looked today and they don’t! Hopefully when Ryan and I go to the mall (if we can find the bus to take us there) tomorrow, I’ll be able to get one there.

I am starting to hate my computer class. I’m definitely in the wrong field of study. It’s so boring. The teacher just talks from his powerpoint slides, which are located online so I don’t even have to pay attention. I ended up responding to Rachael’s letter this morning, instead of listening to him.

I’m planning on just printing the slides out, so I can take notes on them. Ryan and I *should* be buying a printer tomorrow, which his aunt graciously offered to pay for! :)

We’re going to have a flat inspection any minute now, to see if it’s clean enough. This week, I only had to empty the garbage, so it was fairly easy. For the next inspection, I’m on bathroom duty. :(

Category:Australia, Diaryland | Comment (0) | Author: Megan


Monday, 28. July 2003 18:10

Today started out so, so horribly. I woke up tired, because I went to bed too late last night. I needed to get up though, because I had a lot of work to do for my classes today. However, by the time I got off the computer and took a shower, it was pretty much time to leave. Ryan and I were meeting at 9am to sign up for a trip that the university is offering.

I wanted to have an English muffin for breakfast, because that’s really the only breakfast food that I have. Of course, when I put it in the toaster, it wasn’t working. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t get it to stay down or even heat up. Soo.. I ended up putting peanut butter on a cold, untoasted English muffin. It wasn’t very good.

While I was struggling with breakfast, I noticed that the garbage can was overflowing. My chore this week is to do garbages, so I figured that I should probably empty it into the bin outside. Okay, ew. It was so disgusting. The bag was way too full, so I couldn’t tie it. I ended up just dumping it into the bin, with loose garbage everywhere. Whatever, I don’t even care. It was too nasty for me to deal with.

By that time, I was running slightly late, so I left to meet Ryan in his flat. (And by “running late,” I mean by 2 minutes, but I have a thing with needing to be early). He wasn’t ready yet, so he asked me to put his milk and orange juice back into the refridgerator while he brushed his teeth. As he was handing me the orange juice, he was fooling around and we both accidentally happened to let go of it at the same time. The carton went crashing to the floor, spraying orange juice all over my pants and on his rug. Maybe if I wasn’t already feeling like the day was starting out bad, it would have been okay. But I wasn’t pleased at all. Not to mention the fact that they were khakis, so the orange juice will probably stain. Oh, and to top it off, those were the only pants that I had left to wear. I did laundry yesterday, and all of my jeans were still wet (because I air dry them).

I came back to my room to change and clean up, and I put on a pair of my wet jeans. There was no way that I would be able to get through the day with them on though; they were too gross. So, I am now wearing the black pants that I wore yesterday. I always wear jeans for several days, but I don’t like to wear something obvious two days in a row. I felt like everyone knew I wore black pants yesterday, so I felt weird.

Once that was taken care of, the day started to get a little better. I hate when my mornings are bad though, because it throws off my mood for a long time. Ryan and I were able to sign up for the Northwest trip and I was able to get through my classes even though I didn’t read at all.

It’s odd. At home, I never read for my classes. However, reading is very important for classes here. If you don’t read, you can’t participate. If you can’t participate, there is no reason to bother coming to class. It’s quite a change for me, because I’m not used to doing any work for class. I think that it’s a good change though. I’m looking forward to actually doing work and enjoying the classes at the same time. But we shall see.

I’m just glad that the day is pretty much over and I can relax for the rest of the evening. I need to go to the store to get toilet paper for my flat though. That’s not a big deal though. My khakis are being washed right now.. I hope that the orange juice comes out. :-\

— Yesterday —

Last night, I went out to dinner with all the people from Butler. I applied through Butler (along with 40 other Americans) and that’s who took us camping during the first week. The dinner last night was a welcome type deal. Free food is always good with me!

We took a shuttle to get there, because it was pretty far away. There are two universities that are in the area. Only 13 of the Butler students go to my university and all the rest go to the other one. Since the majority are at that one, the restaurant was closer to them.

It wasn’t a restaurant exactly. It was actually a bar called Steve’s at the Nedlands Hotel (I think). It was so weird seeing all the people again. It was like a big reunion. It felt like the camping week was sooo long ago, even though it was only two weeks ago. I was a little surprised though. Carrie and I were really close during that week, but we didn’t even speak at the dinner. She didn’t even make eye contact with me or say hi. My shuttle arrived later than the other people, so she was already sitting and talking with people when I got there. I didn’t want to interrupt, because it’s not like I had anything to say really. I just expected something, I suppose. I guess that my initial judgement of her in the airport was right — she’s kind of snobby. But whatever, it doesn’t matter.

I had a good time. I ordered linguine with salmon, which was decent. It was supposed to be alcohol-free, but the bar provided us with pitchers of beer. I had a glass only because I was thristy. I don’t like beer, but I can deal with it. I didn’t want to pay for a soda, since I don’t drink water. Yes, I know that’s weird. The taste makes me gag. :-P

After it was over and everyone started leaving, the people from my school realized that we didn’t have transportation back. We were talking with Mike (the guy in charge) and he told us to call the bus company. He let us use his mobile phone, which was nice. It turned out that the buses weren’t running anymore, because it was too late. It just figures. Stupid buses.

So, instead we took a cab to the nearby train station and then took a train to Fremantle. It would have been way expensive to take a cab all the way to our university, since the restaurant was a good 45 minutes away. After the train brought us to Fremantle, we took a cab to our university because it’s only about $15 from there. This was my first time riding the train here. It reminded me of a subway, because the station is sort of underground. Since it was night time, I couldn’t see very well. I’d like to take it in the day sometime.

In order to get on, you buy a ticket for the train ahead of time. One of the girls with us, Megan, didn’t get a ticket because the last time she took the train, they didn’t ask to see it. Personally, I think that was a pretty rotten thing to do. It’s only AU$1.30 (which is like US$0.75). Is she really that cheap? The train isn’t free; people *need* to pay so that it will be able to continue running. It’s just not cool.

But anyways, a couple minutes after the train started, they came around to check tickets. lol. Somehow, Megan got away with it though. She had her old ticket from last time, and they didn’t notice that it wasn’t valid. She’s an attractive blonde, so I think that’s why, but whatever. However, Emily and Tara both got fined AU$50 because they didn’t have their student IDs with them and they had purchased student tickets (for a cheaper rate than full fare). Isn’t that crazy? They were obviously with the rest of us who had our student IDs, so I didn’t think that was very fair. I’m glad it wasn’t me!

We made it back to campus safe and sound. I got kind of freaked out though, because I discovered that some girl was attacked and sexually assaulted on Thursday night. The security on campus has always been really strict and they continue to warn us about walking alone at night. We can call security at any time if we need an escort, which is nice of them. I kind of thought that they just wanted to scare us, so that nothing bad will happen. But I guess bad stuff really *does* happen! Yikes.

Alright, I should probably go buy some toilet paper now. :-P

Category:Australia, Diaryland | Comment (0) | Author: Megan

Aussie Entry 8

Sunday, 27. July 2003 22:30

Can you believe it?  I’m actually doing another entry one day later!  I guess that means that I’m either really bored, or I have so much to do that I am just putting it off.  It’s probably the latter.  You know, I’m not sure if I mentioned this before or not, so I’ll just go ahead and do it now.  There are no such things as pennies in Australia; the lowest denomination of coins is five cents.  Isn’t that odd?  You would think that a currency system requires those little copper pieces to make up for slight changes in price, usually due to sales tax, or something like that.  I never really noticed it until the other day at Kmart, though.  Usually, I just purchase everything with a credit card so that I don’t have to carry around wads of cash wherever I go.  However, last week, I just needed to buy a small oven tray, so I decided to pay with some of the cash I had.  When the 10% sales tax was added on, the total came out to be $5.11.  However, the cashier just rounded it down to $5.10, since I can’t possibly pay the extra penny.  It’s really weird.  It reminds me of a West Wing episode I saw once, where the main characters (sorry, I don’t usually watch the show) were discussing the relevancy of the penny.  The show is fairly accurate to real life, and they talked about how it would be cheaper to eliminate the penny from our currency, as many of the pennies in the United States just end up being tossed along roadsides or are wasted in some similar fashion.  It makes sense, doesn’t it?  But it’s just a dumb idea.  How can you live without pennies?  It’s crazy.

Anyway, speaking of money issues, Megan and I heard some bad news when we went to church today.  Apparently yesterday afternoon, some people broke into St. Thomas More and stole thousands of dollars worth of music equipment, including mixers, microphones, and keyboards.  The burglars also took some expensive chalices and other ministry items.  Come on, now.  How desperate for money do you have to be to rob a church?  That’s sinking pretty low.  Thankfully the place wasn’t vandalised, and some parishioners were able to lend some personal music equipment to the church in the meantime.  Services were able to continue without a hitch.

A couple other interesting things happened during church, as well.  The first thing was that we sat for the gospel.  We had a priest who spoke broken English, and after the Alleluia, he told us to sit for the gospel, close our eyes, and imagine what is happening.  Everyone gave nervous glances around the church before we sat down, and you could hear a quick rush of whispers move through the congregation.  It was kind of different, for sure.  The second interesting thing was related to the songs we sang.  I’m not sure if it’s just me, but it’s somewhat difficult to follow along to some of them because they are sung to a completely different tune from what I am used to.  It’s probably just one of those things that take getting used to, though.  Even still, we sang a catchy song called “Christ Be Our Light.”  You can click on the link to hear it (don’t worry, it’s an incredibly small MIDI file).  The lyrics are here:  There was something about the song that sounded familiar, though, and then I realized that the non-chorus part of the music was the chorus for a completely different song called “Gather Us In.”  Again, you can click the link to hear it.  That has to violate some kind of copyright, doesn’t it?  Or is church music not included in that?  It beats me.

After church, Megan and I came back to my flat to make some breakfast.  Earlier in the week we bought some eggs from Coles, but they were brown – something I had never seen before.  Megan told me that they were healthier, and even her mom left me a note in my guestbook saying the same thing.  With all that support, I decided that I might as well give them a go.  So, we made them, and I took a couple pictures (which have been posted to Webshots, in my Murdoch University album).  They actually weren’t half bad, so long as you ignore the brown outside.  It just reminds you of where they come from – a chicken’s butt.  Yeah, I could have just left that last part out, but what’s the fun in that?

I should probably get back to my class work now.  I’m sure I have lots of research left to do.

Category:Australia | Comment (0) | Author: Ryan

Aussie Entry 7

Saturday, 26. July 2003 23:30

G’day once again.  Yes, I am still alive.  It’s been a while since I’ve updated this little journal – a practice that might continue into the future as the reality of school and classes begins to take priority.  Nonetheless, I’ll try to remember some of what’s been going on this past week, so brace yourself, as this could be a long entry.

Tuesday was my second day of classes, and I only had two – Australian Environmental Issues and Multimedia and the Internet.  The Issues class is taught by a guy in his 30’s who seems to be very much into the environment (go figure), which will hopefully help to make the class more interesting.  However, it could also make him become a little harsher when it comes to grading assignments.

After the class, I had a long break before the programming class, so I decided that I might as well do some laundry, since I had been putting it off since I came here.  Earlier, I had bought some laundry detergent called Fab, but then I realized that I had forgotten to get dryer sheets.  You know, those things you put in the dryer to prevent static cling while giving your clothes that fresh, soft feeling.  So, Megan and I decided to take another trip to Kardinya (the mall with Kmart and Coles).  Our first stop was at Kmart, but they had no dryer sheets whatsoever – just a couple things of detergent.  Megan said that she usually buys her laundry supplies at grocery stores, which I found a little odd, since you would think that they would specialize in food – at least I thought they would just sell food.  Sure enough, though, when we headed to Coles, they had about triple the amount of detergent that Kmart had, which goes to show how much I know about shopping.  However, there were still no dryer sheets.  They had an entire aisle devoted to powder and liquid detergent and softener, but they had no dryer sheets.  Come to think about it, I didn’t see anyone using dryer sheets in the laundry room anyway – it’s like they don’t exist here. 

With no laundry success, Megan and I decided to move on to bigger and better things.  For the past week, we have been discussing whether or not it would be worth it to invest in a printer.  In just one week of orientation and two days of classes, I’ve realized just how essential a printer is.  Even simple things like my class schedule had to be handwritten, as opposed to being typed up neatly in an Excel document.  Plus, some classes, like Forensic Science, expect us to bring in a variety of internet research each week.  Now, I could go down to a computer lab with the web sites on disk and print them out there (with my own supplied paper), but over time, the costs become enormous because you have to pay for each page that you print on your own paper.  With group projects, typed reports, and internet research (all of which are doubled when you count in Megan), it almost seems necessary to have a printer.  The downfalls are pretty important to consider, though, too.  What happens at the end of the semester?  The unit would not fit in either of our luggage bags, so it would have to be shipped back home separately at additional costs.  However, then you have the problem with the differences in voltage.  The power supply would not be compatible with American plugs, necessitating a $50 adapter, which can only be used for short periods at a time.  Thus, you end up paying more than what the printer is worth to begin with.  There could be a slight chance that someone would buy it from us, but that’s a pretty slim chance, since December marks the beginning of summer vacation, and the end of school.  So, you end up throwing away a perfectly fine piece of equipment.

Even still, Megan and I realized just how important it is to have a personal printer, so we took a look around a local computer place, which was selling them as low as $150.  Not wanting to just throw that money down on the table, we decided to shop around a little, and see how long we could deal without having a printer.  Maybe we will check out the printers at Garden City (another, bigger mall), because they sell a decent printer for $79 Australian bucks.  Not a bad deal.

Once we got back to school, it was time to do laundry.  Now, I may have been “living on my own” for three years now, but since I was only a 30-minute drive from home, it was hardly the case.  This was the first time that I would actually pay to have my laundry done.  It’s $2 for each small load, plus $1 if you want to dry it.  I managed to squeeze all my clothes into two loads, equalling six bucks with the dryer.  Like I said, I’ve never really paid for laundry before, but that seemed a little expensive.  Especially since the clothes were still wet coming out of the dryer.  After all, the wash cycle is 20 minutes and the dry cycle is 30 minutes.  Not nearly enough time to dry a full load of laundry.  I was just glad once it was over and I could actually wear some clean clothes again.

As soon as my laundry finished, I had to head off to the internet programming class.  Holy yuck.  The teacher’s words to us were: “At the end of the semester, I want each of you to be able to say ‘I did this all by myself, without any help.’  Thus, you will be learning this course completely on your own.”  Then what the heck is the point of the teacher?  Although, I’ve noticed that’s the case with quite a few teachers out here.  They really stress independent work.  In fact, in all of my classes, the teachers informed us that the exam would cover material that is neither discussed in the textbook, nor in class.  We have to go out and research the topic for ourselves to understand it completely.  I think that’s a little unfair, but I’m glad that I only have to pass the classes.  Speaking of which, for those who care, the grading system here is completely different from the A-B-C-D-F grades in the United States.  Instead, it is as follows: HD (High Distinction): 100%-80%, D (Distinction): 79%-70%, C (Credit): 69%-60%, P (Pass): 59%-50%, N (Fail): Below 50%.  So, it seems a little strange to tell people that I am hoping for a D in a class.  I still need to contact UMBC to see what score I need to get to achieve a pass according to them.  My guess is at least a 60% for Credit.  We’ll see.

After class, I picked up what is referred to as the “Alternative Handbook,” which is a guide to some classes at Murdoch, as put together by the students.  Although none of Megan’s classes were listed, all of mine were.  Unfortunately, every single unit that I am taking this semester was given a bad rating, less cultural studies, which was given rave remarks.  Take for instance my Multimedia course.  At first I thought it was an easy course that wouldn’t require much effort.  Then I saw that almost 35% of the class failed last semester, with 17% just skimming by with a pass.  Forensic Science people, not surprisingly, hated the teacher, especially the way that he talked.  The Environment class had warnings about making sure that you are devoted to the environment, else you risked being bored to tears.  I’m going to just put all that in the back of my head and try not to think about it, and then make my own judgements of the classes later this year.  It just wasn’t exactly the news I wanted to hear about the units, though.

On Wednesday (yes, we have only progressed one day, but don’t worry, the rest of the week went by pretty quickly), I continued with my Forensic Science class, in which I continued to work with a group of two girls.  They seem to be best friends, but one seems to be an overachiever, and the other seems to be just the opposite.  They both seemed a little intimidating at first, through their whole attitude, but they seem to be lightening up now, which is a good thing.  After class, I picked up a few books I needed for my classes from the bookshop, and then Megan and I took a hike – almost.

Since Megan and I are getting tired of making our own stuff or eating from TV dinners, we decided to take a walk to more familiar territory – McDonalds!  After looking up the closest location online, we decided to start our trip, which would take us about triple the distance of the Kardinya shopping centre.  The walk took a little while (about 45 minutes), but it was worth it.  It was almost like we had walked back to America, as we were greeted with Subway, Baskin Robbins, Hungry Jacks (basically the exact same as Burger King, only with a different name), and, of course, McDonalds.  Interestingly, they didn’t have any set meals (I’m so used to just getting the number two meal).  Instead, you ordered each item separately.  I got two cheeseburgers, fries (yes, they were called fries instead of chips for some reason), and a medium Coke.  However, the medium size ended up being about equal in size to a small in America, with a small being a cup about the size of your fist.  The food tasted the same, except the tomato sauce (ketchup) was a little different tasting.  Aussies are not into the whole ketchup thing.  In fact, if you want it for your fries, you have to order each packet separately for about fifty cents each.  Good thing I don’t care for it anyway.  I’ll have to bring home a fry container later, because the side panel read “Australia’s favourite fries.”  I thought that was neat.  By the time we got back to school, it was about 6:00, and already dark.  I just spent the rest of the night doing more work for classes.

Thursday is my day off, and I pretty much treated it as such.  Since it was my first real free day, I did absolutely nothing.  Heck, I didn’t even get a shower.  I can’t really remember how I spent my day because I woke up late and went to bed early.  Wait… my parents are reading this… I remember what I did!  I spent the whole day in the library, continuously researching school-related things.  Then I came back to my room and said the rosary a couple times before cooking Megan and my flatmates a huge dinner.  Geeze, how could I forget such a wonderful day?

On Friday, classes continued with Forensic Science and Environmental Issues.  Each of my classes is taught in a large lecture theatre that seats about a hundred students.  Because of the class size, each unit (except Forensic) requires that I take a tutorial class along with it.  The tutorials are a couple hours long each week, and basically is a small fraction (about 15 students) of the entire class.  I haven’t been to any yet, but so far it seems like it’s just going to be another thing to eat into my schedule.  I have a feeling that I grossly underrated the units here.  When I first read the descriptions of the units, I thought to myself “wow, I can’t believe that I’m actually getting credit for taking these things.”  Now, I’m starting to realize that this is really a university with hard classes.  No wonder students are only allowed to take a maximum of 12 credits.  I don’t really have all that many assignments to turn in for my classes, but rather, most of my time is spent gathering information.  Each class is requiring me to give a 15-minute presentation (some with groups).  Plus, there is generally only one test or exam, and that is the final, which is worth about half of your total grade.  It’s almost scary, but I think I’ll be able to deal.  Okay, let’s move on now.

Saturday was a day that was basically completely planned and completely unplanned at the same time.  Megan and I are still contemplating getting a printer, so we planned to take a 10:55am bus to Garden City mall to do that sort of shopping.  We thought that everything would work out perfectly, because we got up early and we *thought* we knew which bus to catch.  However, buses in Australia take quite a bit of getting used to – especially the buses that are run by TransPerth.  Megan was convinced that we had to take bus 116 to Booragoon (where Garden City is), but when I checked the website, the bus was listed as 194.  That’s where the initial confusion took place, as we both had a different bus in mind to catch.  I wasn’t even sure where 194 would pick us up, as the site listed “Murdoch University,” which happens to have about 6 bus stops surrounding it.  So, as we were leaving (10:40am), I just followed Megan, who, of course, took me to the stop for bus 116.  Whoops.  She was a little dismayed to see that the bus wouldn’t come by until 12:47pm for Booragoon.  I explained the whole situation about bus 194, so we decided to walk the perimeter of campus to find a station that listed 194.  Unfortunately, they were all unmarked, and as we were walking down Murdoch Drive, bus 194 whizzed past us.  Great.  We contemplated walking there, since the next bus wouldn’t come until about 1pm, two hours later.  However, it would also take about that long just to walk to Garden City.  Instead, Megan and I walked around the campus for the next two hours, as we waited for 116.  We got to the original bus stop at about 12:15pm (more than a half hour before its scheduled arrival).  About 20 minutes later, some of Megan’s friends came by (they were from the States as well), who also happened to be going to Garden City.  Awesome.  So, the six of us waited the ten more minutes for bus 116 to pull up, and at 12:46pm, we could see it on the horizon, making its way for our stop.  We all got up from the bench, just to see bus 116 whiz past us.  Argh!  It was supposed to stop, right?  There were some Aussies waiting at the stop for another bus, who told us that we are supposed to hail the bus in order to get it to stop.  The next 116 bus would be around at about 5pm.  Of course, by this time, Megan and I were pretty frustrated, so we walked over to another bus stop to see if any more buses would be heading to Garden City, but there were none.  However, there were still more headed in the opposite direction (West) to Fremantle.  As a last-minute decision, we decided to catch the next bus there.

Fremantle is a nifty little town, which is basically all-encompassing.  It is located about 15 minutes (by bus) from Murdoch, and is right on the Indian Ocean.  It has everything from little gift shops to restaurants to a huge array of taverns and pubs.  Megan and I spent the rest of the day just wandering about the town.  To get the most out of our Australian visit, we decided to stop into an… Italian restaurant.  Oh, well.  I got an awesome chicken parmesan, and Megan got some topping-filled pizza, which she really enjoyed.  Once our bellies were filled, we walked over to the Indian Ocean, which was a real treat for me, since I had never seen an ocean other than the Atlantic.  And the Pacific, which I flew over to get here, but that doesn’t really count.  It was still much to cold to even attempt going in the water, so we just walked out onto a fishing wharf and watched the sunset.  Later, we very successfully caught a bus back to campus, and that brings me to where I am now.

Even with the original frustrations of the day, I would say it turned out jolly good indeed.  I need to get to bed now, and who knows when my next update will be, so until then, cheers!

Category:Australia | Comment (0) | Author: Ryan

buses suck

Saturday, 26. July 2003 20:13

When I was making breakfast this morning (just toasting an English muffin), I decided to go outside to check the mail. The mailboxes are super close to my flat, which is really nice. And guess what? I got a letter! Woohoo! My first piece of mail in Australia. heh. It’s from Rachael, which is surprising. I was expecting something that my mom said she mailed, but I guess it hasn’t come yet. Rachael wrote me a page-long letter, which is totally cool. I haven’t seen her in a while. We went to school together from 3rd grade until senior year of high school. She goes to university in Florida now, so I only see her when we’re both in Connecticut on breaks. I feel bad because she came back home only a couple days before I was leaving for Australia. I didn’t have time to hang out with her (or any of my other friends). But yeah, I’m pysched that I got mail!

So, Ryan and I were going to leave our rooms at 10:30am to catch the bus to the Garden City Shopping Centre, which is like a mall. Things got screwy and we didn’t know which bus stop to go to. We ended up waiting until 12:47pm and taking a different bus, that we knew where the bus stop was. Coincidentally, Kendra, Megan, Luca and Gabe were going to the same place and we met up with them at the bus stop. When we saw the bus approaching, we all stood up and Luca waved his hand a bit. What did the bus do? It sped on past us. Ugh. I am really sick of these stupid buses. What the heck did it do that for? I was very, very aggravated.

I somehow convinced Ryan to go to Fremantle instead. I knew how to take the bus there. He wanted to go back to his room and do some work, but I didn’t wake up with the intent of going somewhere for nothing! Fremantle is a town about 20 minutes away from our university. It’s right on the ocean and it’s basically little shops and restaurants. We ended up having a really good time, so I’m glad that we went. We walked around for a bit and then had a late lunch/early dinner. I got a really, really good small pizza. It had mushrooms, olives, tomatos, and ham on it. The crust was pretty thick and really fluffy, and there wasn’t much cheese on it. It was so delicious!

We walked down to the water, which was neat. It started to rain for a little while, like it always does here. It comes in very quick spirts and then it’s over. When it stopped pouring, we started to walk and we saw a rainbow! It was so neat! Ryan decided that there probably are a lot of rainbows here, since the rain showers come and go so quickly.

There was a scuba dive shop nearby that I wanted to go in. I found out that they do a 2-dive day almost every day for only AU$145, so I’m really excited! While we were in there, it started raining again. Once it was over, we assumed there’d be another rainbow. We hurried outside to check, and this time, it was even better. It was so spectacular. We could see it as a semi-circle and it was so, so dark/bright. I’ve never seen a rainbow so beautiful. You could clearly see each and every color. Amazing.

It pretty much cleared up after that, so we walked down to a small beach and then to a lighthouse pier, where we watched the sun set. It was a really nice evening. Very windy, but pleasant.

We made it back to the bus so perfectly. I knew that it was coming at 6:01pm, 6:21pm and 7:01pm. We were almost to the bus stop and it was about 6:01pm already. We saw it at our stop already, so we obviously couldn’t make it because we weren’t close enough. However, we were up-street from it, so we ran to the next stop up (about two blocks away) and got there before the bus! We were able to get on and get back to the university without any problems.

Category:Australia, Diaryland | Comment (0) | Author: Megan

super bug!

Thursday, 24. July 2003 21:27

I’m really excited about my Australian environmental history class! It was the only class that I had today, which was quite nice. The topic is just so interesting to me. Now, I’m not saying that I’m going to get an ‘A’ in the class, because the workload is hard. At least the subject keeps my interest though. The teacher made a good point today that I never thought about before. In the Bible, it says that the Earth was given to Adam and Eve (aka people) to dominate. If God gave us the Earth, then why can’t we do whatever we want to it? This was a problem in the beginnings of environmentalism. The Christian Church ended up changing their opinion on how people should treat the environment, because they used to support humans doing whatever they wanted to it, which is obviously just wrong. I had never heard that before, and I think it’s totally not cool, but it’s neat to know. Anyways, yeah, I’m glad that I like this class because it’s supposed to be my “fun” one.

Ew, I ate a microwavable spaghetti thinger before I left for class. It tasted pretty good, considering what it was. I just left the empty container on my desk when I went to class, and when I got back, it smelled like puke. Ugh, it was really disgusting.

The days are going by sooo slowly. It sucks. I just finished my book, so now I *really* have nothing to do. I wanted to take the bus into Fremantle today, to shop and explore. Ryan didn’t want to though, and I wasn’t about to go by myself. Oh well. I really hate being bored. :-\

Oh gosh, Ryan is so cute. I was in my room finishing up some fake dinner and he IMed me and told me that he needed me. There was a moth in his room. He’s terrified of all bugs… I love bugs and have no problem whatsoever with them. I went over to his room to rescue him, since he was panicking. It was just one of those tiny moths, that fold their wings so they hardly look like anything. I was able to trap it in my hands and successfully bring it outside. Megan to the rescue!

After I “saved his life,” we were looking at all his pictures on his computer. I impressed myself (and him too, I think). I knew where almost every picture took place and almost all of his family members’ names (and other people) that were in the pictures. I’m so good. He hardly knows the names of anyone in my family. Of course, I don’t have thousands of pictures of them on my computer, so he would have had to remember them from meeting them in real life. The reason I know all of his family members’ names is because I got to know them through pictures and then met them in person (or vice versa, sometimes). It’s easier when you can “cheat” that way.

On a completely unrelated note, I feel bad for my ‘n’ and ‘m’ keys. Normally, I use an external keyboard with my laptop, but since I couldn’t pack that when I came to Australia, I’m using the actual laptop keyboard (which I’m really starting to like). When I type, I guess that my finger nail scratches the ‘n’ and ‘m’ when I use them. The lettering is beginning to get worn off. You can actually see scratch marks in the letters. I don’t like that. I don’t want to ruin my keyboard, but I can’t find another way to use those keys. :-\

And by the way, in case anyone cares, the title of this entry “Super Bug” comes from science class in freshman year of high school. Good times. Usually, my entry descriptions mean absolutely nothing. In fact, I hate having to come up with them. And this one doesn’t really have anything to do with this entry, I just thought about science class because of the moth thing. But yeah, entry descriptions suck.

Category:Australia, Diaryland | Comment (0) | Author: Megan you always do

Thursday, 24. July 2003 12:00

Yesterday afternoon, Ryan and I decided that we wanted to walk to McDonalds. We looking online and found the closest one to us. It looked a good distance away, but we figured that we could walk there without a problem. We ended up walking 45 minutes there (and 45 minutes back) just for a couple cheeseburgers and fries! But it was so worth it. I’ve been to a McDonalds in Sydney, so it wasn’t that big of a deal for me to be in an Australian one. The box for the french fries say “Australia’s favourite fries” on the side. It’s cute.

In the same shopping plaza, there was a Hungry Jacks (which is the same as Burger King), Baskin-Robbins, and Subway! I really wanted to get a sub to eat later, but I ended up deciding that I shouldn’t spend more money on food when I have some in my flat. We looked through the window though, and the menu is exactly the same. It was exciting!

We made it back to campus in time for my flat meeting. Ryan missed his on Monday, because we were at the grocery store and he didn’t know when it was. :-\ It wasn’t anything all that important anyways. Two of my flatmates weren’t there and two were a little bit late. The RAs just told us some stuff and made sure that we weren’t having any problems. We have a cleaning schedule, which sucks. Everyone has a different chore each week. I really don’t want to clean the bathrooms. :( Actually, I don’t want to clean anything at all. It’s one thing to clean after yourself, but cleaning after others is gross and annoying.

I volunteered myself to shop for toilet paper and cleaning supplies. I also have to pay the rent money for the TV, VCR and microwave (we all pitch in the money). No one else wanted to do it, so I figured that I could handle it. I need some responsibility; my life wouldn’t be normal without it.

I know all my flatmates’ names now! Tan (female), Rachel (female), Dave (male), Seda (female), Linnet (female), Desmond (male), and Mevin (male). I haven’t met Linnet yet because she just arrived yesterday, but I’m sure I’ll be able to figure out the one person that I haven’t seen. I’m really glad that I have nice flatmates. It seriously is great.

Mevin cracks me up. He reminds me of an 8th grade boy. He’s really tall and lanky, like he hasn’t grown into his body size yet. He also gets really nervous when he talks to me. For example, if we’re talking, in the beginning we make eye contact, and then he gets all nervous and squirmy and he’s afraid to look me in the eye. It’s silly.

The only problem that I’m having with the flat is that our door doesn’t lock correctly. We have a kitchen and living space, and then there’s a long hallway connected to that. I live at the far end of the hall, and there’s another door to the outside there. Well, the door doesn’t close when you lock it, unless you physically unlock it, close it, and then lock it. It’s really aggravating, especially because my bedroom door is so close to it. The RAs (and everyone else) keeps saying that you have to make sure you always keep your bedroom door locked, because there have been crimes. I don’t get it though — the campus seems so safe to me. But anyways, they said that even if you’re in the lounge or just in the shower, you should lock your door. I guess I should start doing that, especially since I’m so close to the outside world. It makes me feel weird to have to lock my door *everytime* that I’m not in it. Shouldn’t I be able to go to the bathroom without being afraid someone’s gonna steal my laptop or other stuff?

But anyways, I have class in a little while, so I should finish this up. Oh, and just a small comment, V8 needs to be refrigerated. I bought some last week, and there’s about 1/4 of it left. I was going to finish it today, but when I took a sip, it was soooo nasty. I guess I should have put it in the refrigerator. :-P

Category:Australia, Diaryland | Comment (0) | Author: Megan

Aussie Entry 6

Monday, 21. July 2003 22:00

Well, then.  The first day of classes is over and done with.  It was sort of interesting, though because last night there was this big party at the RAC centre (not the gym, for you UMBC people).  It was basically a large barbeque put on by Student Village as a way of celebrating the return of school.  The RAC, which is about the size of a full basketball court, was packed with people grabbing some not-so-great food.  They had some kind of burgers and hot dogs and sausages, but no rolls – just bread.  I just grabbed what looked like a sausage, some stale bread, and sat around with Megan and some of her friends for a little bit.  There was also a DJ there, who, in my opinion, was pretty bad at what he was doing – I wouldn’t hire him anyway.  Nonetheless, he played a bunch of dance music, which people eventually started dancing to once they had some alcohol in them.  Although I really wanted to get into the groove with some beer and dancing, I’ve realized through wedding photos that the two combined don’t work very well with me.  Since this would probably be the first impression that many people would have of me throughout the semester, I decided to just leave after about an hour.  After all, classes started the next day.

I had three classes today, but only two officially.  When I first came here, I was expecting to take Forensic Science to cover my science requirement at UMBC.  However, it is worth 4 points instead of the regular 3, and when combined with my other 3, 3-point classes, it put me over the normal enrolment of 12 points.  If you follow that, it means that in order to take the class, I would have to over-enrol to 13 points and pay almost 600 Aussie bucks for the extra point.  Without that much spare change, I decided to take a 3 point science unit, Introduction to Chemistry.  Last week, however, my dad messaged me, saying that he would generously pay for the extra point so that I could take Forensic Science!  Hooray!  I still felt a little weird about doing it, though, since it is so much money, so I decided to check out Introduction to Chemistry today, anyway, since I was already enroled in it.  To put it nicely, I hated it.

Back in high school I took chemistry, which was taught by this little woman from India, and I didn’t like the class one bit.  I don’t know if it was her or all the elemental molecular blah-blahs of chemistry itself, but it was just a struggle to even read the text.  For this class at Uni, not only would we basically repeat all those things I learned in high school, but we would have additional class time (out of the range of the scheduled class), where would have to go to compulsory laboratories once a week, tutorials once a week, math sessions once a week, and whatever extra help we needed in addition to that.  Plus, the unit is taught by four different teachers, each giving a different lecture on a different day (one of which I swear is Santa Claus).  Not to mention that 50% of the semester’s grade rests on the final exam.  Yuck!

After chemistry, I went to Forensic Science to check out how that would be.  It’s a higher level unit than chemistry, meaning that it would be more difficult.  However, reading over the syllabus, I realized that it would be a heck of a lot more interesting than chemistry – crime scene investigations, hair fibres, toxicology, arson and explosions, DNA, fingerprinting, handwriting and voice analysis.  It’s just like something from CSI (even though I’ve only seen the show once).  It looks really awesome.  I hope the teacher concentrates on the physical science aspect of it, rather than the law-bearing perspective.  Even still, it should be interesting.  I think my only complaint with the unit is the instructor.  He’s not bad, but the way he talks can be annoying.  He will-say-things-really………fast………and-then……slow-way………down…randomly-in-sentences.  In the unit, each person has to give a half-hour long presentation, but it is done as a group effort, and we have already split into groups.  Mine includes two Aussie girls named Naomi and Jess (who were already friends with each other).  Not that having girls in my group should be all that surprising, since it seems that 80% of this university is female (Insert your own Ryan-ish comment here).  Later on in the day, I went to the Chancellor to have my classes changed from Chemistry to Forensic Science.  Thanks, mum and dad!

Next, I headed off to Cultural Studies.  Hmm.  What can I say about this unit?  Well, let’s just say the instructor is a little hyper, like she is on a constant supply of speed.  She’s a peppy (to put it lightly), foul-mouthed, yet hilarious, loud woman with bleach-blonde hair, and pasty white skin, whose face would make even Tammy Faye say “Girl, you wear too much makeup.”  For those who would understand the comparison, take my 7th grade science teacher, Mrs. Riley, heighten her Rileyness by tenfold, add some swear words, and you will come out with my cultural studies teacher.  Even still, I have to say that it was probably one of the best classes that I’ve ever attended, as she most definitely holds your interest, while actually making you think about the subject at hand.  And to top it off, the woman is hilarious, getting the whole class to laugh at least once every five minutes.  Heck, the whole lecture hall of about a hundred people gave her a round of applause after her lecture.  How many other teachers does that happen to?

All I really have to say about classes today is – wow.  It’s going to be a very interesting semester.

After all my classes were said and done, I met up with Megan, and we went out to (guess where!) Coles!  I really need to make myself a grocery list so I don’t end up walking down there every other day.  I picked up some cereal and milk, soda, and some uncooked pasta.  And as I write this, I realize that I forgot to get salt!  Dag-gonnit!  On the way back from shopping, night was falling and clouds were building, and when we were still not even on Murdoch’s campus, the rain fell in buckets.  In fact, it’s been falling on and off throughout the day, but very randomly.  You seriously never know when it’s going to rain here, which is exciting, and sometimes annoying.  For example, this morning when I woke up, I looked out the window, and it was sunny, but when I went to take a shower, it was pouring down rain outside the bathroom window.  When I got back to my room, the sun was out again with blue skies, as if nothing happened.  The same thing happened about five more times throughout the day, including as we were coming home from the mall.

The only unfortunate event of the day was as I was coming back into my flat (soaked) from the mall around 6:10.  It turns out that my flat was having a flat meeting at 6:00, which I almost completely missed.  The only notice was a little yellow piece of paper on our message board, which for the most part is covered in advertisements and dumb advice, such as “Don’t burn down your flat.”  It was a bit embarrassing, but hopefully my flatmates won’t hate me.  The rest of the night, we sat in the common room watching the season finale of Big Brother, where someone named Renee won.  Wahoo.  Speaking of television, though, I just have to mention the commercials here.  It’s really weird to get used to commercials where everyone speaks with an Aussie accent, but even weirder to see the exact same commercials in America, only dubbed in with Australian voices.  For example, there is a Blockbuster commercial with what I believe is a hamster and a rabbit (or some other animal).  It is the exact same commercial as in the States, but the voices of the animals have Aussie accents.  It’s really cool, yet weird at the same time.  That’s all I have to say for now.  Computer programming starts tomorrow.  Blegh!

Category:Australia | Comment (0) | Author: Ryan