Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Sitting at my desk studying for comparative animal physiology and feeling the warm spring air blow through my window. so nice : ) The warm air part...not the studying part....the neurohormones produced in the hypothalamus include, corticotrophin releasing hormone....

back to work now

supersweet seventeen....days!!!

(I had the greatest time EVER with my name twin Anna. Because we are the greatest girls EVER.
That's all that should be rememebered.)

--> I left my computer unattended and Anna wrote that. She would like you all to know that I have friends down under- and she's right. The friends i had made here are all unforgettable. They are my aussie family and my year wouldn't have been the same without them. It's exciting to have made so many connections. I'll have a little dot on the map for everyone i know and they'll range from Japan, to New Caledonia, to Canada etc. I also will get heaps! of visitors when all my new friends make their way across the sea to the United States.

As my flight home is fast approaching the oscillation between excitement and fear has increased as well. It's going to be so sad to leave all of this behind. I don't want it to feel like a dream but I know that there is no way to explain to anyone else what an incredible impact these 9 months have had on me and all the experiences that made the year amazing as well as challenging.

Since my last post a month ago I have finished classes, had a week off for SWAT vac (which is our study vacation) and as of today taken one exam. During swat vac i spent several days just having fun. I swore that i would not spend 3 weeks studying like i did last semester. One of the most fun things was making a spontaneous trip to buy kites on a windy day. I know that when i go home i'd rather remember spending those last precious weeks with friends rather than spending it cooped up in a room just for a couple of extra marks. Grades are important to me, but i honestly have difficulty seeing the value of this educational system sometimes. This life is so much more than a GPA and when I don't do well on a test but I know that i have really gained something from the class, i am more satisfied than when i can pull of an H1 (A+) but will forget it all by the next week. For example i really stuffed up my management exam today even though i knew the answer to every single question and could have gotten an H1(Stirling says that that's a bit pretentious but he can stuff it!)- circumstances suck sometimes, my mistake but still.

Anyway, my next exam is on friday and then i have 10 days off until Aboriginal Studies followed by 4 days of summer vacation and then home to winter. Maybe i'll update more as the days wind down...maybe.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

random conglom of thoughts

So i guess it's that time again, where a semester is reaching its end and i have never hated school more. So close to being done, yet so much work is left to do. I got back from my trip to WA last friday night, it was an awesome 10 days of not worrying about anything and just having a great time. I met some fabulous people who are American exchange students studying in Perth as well as other world travellers from Scotland, Canada, and Germany.

Since I don't want to do my school work, i've been spending a lot of time thinking about the things i'd rather be doing. On the top of my list: Working at camp and spending time with the friends i haven't seen in forever. I'm unusually good and coming up with creative projects at inoportune moments, such as when i should be working on a paper. I'm excited to be graduating in June so I can start devoting time to putting my ideas into action.

There's only 7.5ish weeks left in this country. (I'm in Australia by the way, in case anyone else forgot, i do sometimes.) I'm nervous to go home but excited to get  back to school at Lawrence. I don't know what it's going to be like to adjust again to the LU academic culture, or to hear American accents again and drive on the left...i mean the right side of the road, and i'm so excited to see my friends.

I guess the job now is to finish everything off with a bang! Just like the end of every other semester, i've gotta push through my last assigments, study for my exams and be done with it. I want to try and go camping atleast 1 weekend and visit Adelaide and Kangaroo island. Not to mention spending time with all my friends here, because it's not long until i have to say goodbye.

52 days 19 hours

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

WA-ndering solo

Wow, okay so i've been in Perth for almost 24 hours now and i'm having a great time. First success of the trip, I managed to catch all the right buses on the way to my hotel yesterday. I did make the bus driver give me change for a $50 to pay a $3.70 fare, but i think he'll get over it. After weaving through a lot of suburbs the bus finally go into downtown Perth. The street we came in on reminded me of what it's like to drive into Madison. The city is much smaller than Melbourne and very easy to get around it. Loving the free buses that take you pretty much anywhere you need to go (including a stop directly outside my hotel). The worldmark here is nice. They have free internet...but only if you have your own computer (hence i am now at the state state library-->but that's okay the internet here is free too! take that pricey internet cafes!). The room is a standard style hotel room with plenty of space, a small balcony, etc, etc. Oh yeah, and a 2 person sized jacuzzi tub! that comes with a rubber ducky! -->heaven. So yesterday i got to the hotel around 4, cleaned up a bit, got some info about the city and then took the free bus back into downtown to get some food. (The hotel is just on the edge of DT).

This morning i was thinking of heading to rottnest island but realized that i wouldn't be able to make the morning ferry's so i decided to spend the day exploring the city. First stop was the Perth Mint. Got a little historical chat, see an extensive coin and gold bar collection, try to lift a bar worth $2,000,000 and watch a gold bar be made. I also got to measure how much i would be worth in gold, and the verdict is $2,786,312.

After the mint i took a walk to the pier where the bell tower is. Listened to the bells ring while i ate cheese and crackers in the shade and then i sussed out (haha aussie slang) prices and whatnot for a ferry to rottnest island for tomorrow. The weather here is beautiful, i cannot see a single cloud in the sky, so hopefully tomorrow will be equally as nice so i can have a pleasant bike riding, snorkeling and exploring day.

Although i do wish I could share some of these experiences with someone else i'm actually having a great time travelling alone. It also means that i am completely responsible for what I do or do not do.Because i tend to try and make other people happy it's sometimes hard for me to figure out what it is i would really like to be doing, so it's a good challenge and it's kind of fun to see what i end up doing when there's no one else here to influence me. example- I went to an art gallery on my own volition = O. there are suprises around every corner.

Tomorrow i am off to Rottnest Island and friday my student tour starts. I'll try to update again soon : )

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Springing into break

After a lengthy decision making process about what i was going to do for spring break (Thailand-Fiji-America...) I finally settled on Western Australia. I'm heading off to Perth on tuesday to start off, where I'll spend three days in the city exploring/sightseeing/or whatever. On friday i'm heading off on a student tour up the western coast to Exmouth. Along the way sandboarding, hiking, feeding dolphins, and other shennanigans. Looking forward to warmer weather (25 degrees C/mid to high 70's F), relaxing, having fun, and meeting new people. Hopefully by the time i get back the cold weather in Melbourne will have ended.

10 weeks left!!! OH MY GOSH!

Life happenings:
-I went to see a theatrical performance of Mary Poppins last week- it was awesome!
-I'm really glad i played IH volleyball. In the inter-collegiate competition girls won the first two games and lost the third, boys lost-won-won-and then lost.
-Melbourne Uni Angels (*dance biscuits*) won the Grand Final softball game against the Red Devils
-I am strengthening friendships this semester and slowly recovering from the sense of abandonment left after Dajah, Becky and Tyler moved back to the US.
-Kat moved back to Hong Kong and now i have to watch True Blood on my own

Other things that are new:
-My knock-off converse
-My jeans
-A few songs in my itunes library
-My drivers license renewal sticker

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Get dirty

I've been trying to find time to sit down and write another entry all week.

Summary of what's been up-

Last weekend we had a 3 hour 8 minute softball game that finally ended with us winning by one point in a triple tie breaker. the umpire wanted the game to be over as much as the rest of us, you should have seen the relief on her face when we scored the final run.

I can't even remember what my school week entailed but i can say with 98% certainty that i DID go to class and do all the other stuff that i was supposed to do. In between training for Footy, Softball AND Volleyball. The weather in Melbourne is slowly but surely getting warmer. Even though we have the windy and rainy days still, they are getting less and less cold (or so i tell myself).

On thursday we (some softball girls) went out for dumplings and (as usual) hilarity ensued. (Sorry if you don't get the jokes but i'm going to write them down anyway) Highlights of the night include Cara and her "wank bowl" (supposed to be "mank bowl") and the restarant BLASTING the happy birthday song every 30 minutes. We were going to go to Section 8 (the outdoor bar next door to the dumpling place) afterwards but we were tired so we got dessert instead and then Tina drove us all home : D I appreciate car rides so much more now that i have to walk/ride the tram everywhere.

In Comparative Animal Physiology we got to manipulate toad hearts which had been extracted from the bodies and were beating without any external innervation in an ion solution. SO COOL!

Friday night Tommo came with me to see the IH play "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" and Saturday I spent in the mud with the IH girls footy team, went on a failed quest for new shoes, and went out for Kat's farewell party in the evening.

Today (Sunday) we scored another win for the Melbourne Uni Angels (*dance  biscuits*) and we are going to the grand finals next weekend!

I'm sore, happy, and off to bed :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Just keep swimming

Note to self: blogging before bed is not ideal.*yawn*

Yesterday afternoon and this morning i volunteered at the "Swimming Victoria  2010 Age Short Course Championships" (swim meet!). Here are some of my thoughts from the experience-

1. I wish i hadn't quit swimming
2. Swim suits just keep getting fancier and fancier
3. 10% of parents are verbally abusive toward volunteers
4. I felt like a secret service agent today when i got to wear the radio ear piece
5. Why did i quit swimming?
6. How do they DO that?!? (how did I ever do that?!?)- the level of physical strength and endurance necessary for swimming does not cease to amaze me.
7. it's nice to spend time in a humid warm environment (stupid winter, wtf australia!).
8. the pool is located on the corner of "nostalgia st" and "memory lane"
9. free t-shirt! woohoo!!!
10. I want a swimmers body (sorry, but it's true)

Overall, it was a good experience. I especially enjoyed getting some practice using my managing skills as the volunteer group leader. I think i'm meant to work with kids as opposed to adults. They're a bit easier to deal with even on bad days. (is this payback for something my own parents did at my sporting events?).

Softball finals start tomorrow. School continues. Planning mid semester break trip. 91 days, 9 hours, 7 minutes and 24 seconds until i land in Denver.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

its time!

Thought of the day- I find it amazing that we can experience time in so many different ways.

 Example-almost 6 weeks has passed since school started and i have no idea how the weeks go by so quickly. Hours pass effortlessly while i'm perusing facebook, twitter, one of my 3 emails, or getting stuck on YouTube (today it was GloZell, and i got Lena watching it too). An hour of class on the other hand- slower than (one of my favorite expressions) a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter. Time seems to expand depending on the amount of stuff you squeeze into it, even though every second is the same length (or so we're told) it's almost as if it has an elastic quality. Time is a commodity, if we could purchase it, it would fly off the shelves faster than the new i-phone. And even though we cannot buy time, we can donate it through volunteering, so it is almost as if we somehow embody it (that's a bit too complicated for now)

This week, i'm giving some of my time away by volunteering friday night and saturday at a championship swim meet. I know that i need to get out of my room and that I enjoy volunteering. It goes along with my life theory that if you work for free you can always find a job. I couldn't get a research position because i'm not a graduate (screw that), so now i'm working for free, and guess what, lots of opportunities without a diploma. I also think i'm going to get to have fun with that little nostalgic buzz of the swim meet atmosphere.

Moral of the story- Time is elusive. However, once it has passed (whether you did something with it or not) you can't get it back. So here's to using the next 94 days and 8 hours to it's fullest potential.

Monday, August 23, 2010


After taking a full-on nap in my first lecture of the day i wasn't too keen to stay at Uni for my next two classes. The thought of having to re-live those lectures via lectopia (aka, online recordings) kept me from ditching. and i'm glad I stayed.

A strawberry (they didn't have raspberry) hot chocolate kept me warm in my (usually freezing) comparative animal physiology lecture. We learned about the cardiovascular system, interesting stuff, it made me wish Tina (the cardiologist on my softball team) was teaching the class.

The lecture on Vision and Identity in "Seeing the whole picture" struck a chord with some of my recent philosphical grapplings. The lecturer started out dicussing how the artistic medium through which something is presented, as well as the context in which it is recieved, have an effect on how it is interpreted. Identity is a projection, both in art, and in people. We want it to make sense to ourselves and to others. Therefore, who we really are inside is sort of irrelevant because it's what we project to the world as "who we are" that gets recognized--> Identity must be authenticated by a viewer.

In my opinion, who we see as the people around us are just manipulations of  "true personalities" (or their non-projected personality). How people dress is a perfect example. It's so easy to be something just by changing your clothes, hair or makeup, and it's also so easy to judge somebodys "personality" based on those external physical cues. But what are we really seeing?

I'm not a huge fan of getting dressed. I hardly ever feel like i really want to be wearing what it is that i put on. I don't feel like my clothes don't reflect who i am. Then again, I'm not really sure who that is.

I'm pretty sure i'm happiest when i'm able to be silly, creative, busy, and most importantly when i'm with the people i care about the most. It's easy to be myself with them because they are miraculously able show me that I make sense and spending time with them is absolutely effortless. Trying to make sense of who i am without them leads to a tailspin of introspective hooplah.

Maybe my lecturer was right. Identity relies on the recognition of a viewer. I don't have any control over other people's interpretation of me, so is it even worth trying to identify myself in order to show them who i am? They will probably see whatever they want to see regardless. Maybe eventually, just like with my best friends, their interpretation will coincide with my true personality, and I will be able to see a fleeting glimpse of "myself" through their eyes.

Until then, my friend Kat's advice- "let it go".

Acceptance of not knowing is a terrifying possiblity...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Positive-ly sunday

Okay, so now it's like 97 days but whatever.

I have come to a realization that i've been letting negative thoughts regulate my behavioural (oh no, aussie spelling) patterns. Therefore, starting today, everytime I say something negative or have a negative thought i have to immediately turn it into one positive thing (which i have to say outloud to someone, if they are with me). The original plan was three positive things, but i got exhausted of that after like an hour. So one positive statement for every negativity.

Today we had 2 softball games and we won both of them. Thanks to Cara and Danielle i got a lot of reminders to be positive. I really enjoy spending my sundays with such amazing people, AND! it was SUNNY today, such a nice change from the...delightful (see i'm positive) rain we've been having lately.

Off to eat dinner now, and then i will get some homework done before volleyball at 8:30. Still have a few opportunities to be successful today. Cheesy but true. I'm working on it.

: P