Tuesday, March 1, 2011

First and Second Days of Class

Ah, a return to class after about 2 whole months off…. I know some would find it difficult to get back into the regimented-swing of things, but I’ve been in military-precision Planning Mode for most all of my break. At this point, classes feel less stressful than all the other terrifying things I’ve been doing, like trying to pack or navigate public transportation. >.>

I started off today with my communication class, which looks like it’s going to be pretty cool. I like the professor (she definitely has it together –she reminds me of both Dr. Shepard in the Honors dept and Tema in the Comm dept back home), and the class is only roughly 30-40 students (which, from what I hear, is practically intimate here). We have to give a 5 minute Talk (presentation) on any topic of our choosing, so long as it relates to science, which is then assessed for 25% of our grade. o_o Then we have to re-write a scientific article to better communicate the findings, for 40% of our grade. O_O; The rest of our grade is a few quizzes, workshops and participation. The profs here don’t mess around lousy regular tests or homework nonsense, apparently….
I’ll be giving my Talk (yes, capitalized -25% of your grade is worth a little emphasis!) on March 18th, since she suggested it was easier to get it over with quickly. I’m one of the unlucky few who has to go tutorials (compulsory attendance) on Friday late afternoons. :/ However, this is entirely made up for by the fact that I’ve already decided I want to do my presentation on stromatolites! I already started researching and am pretty excited. The tricky part will be editing down to keep it within 5 minutes. :D

Next class was geomorphology! There are two guy professors who both sound pretty chill. One of them reminds me of a cross between Karl Karlstrom (a geo prof at UNM) and Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer; he dresses like Karl (and all the other geologists I know), but looks and sounds rather a bit like Giles. :D Which is pretty awesome. The other prof has just a hint of what sounds like an Irish brogue to me…. You can bet I’ll be attending those lectures. :P

Finally was my Australian culture class. Unfortunately, today was a bit of a disappointment. Apparently the original professor had bailed, and the professor standing in front of us had been just recently pulled out of retirement to take over the class. She’s working with someone elses class plans and materials, didn’t have time to prepare, hasn’t taught a class for three years, and doesn’t know how to use a laptop. No one even told her what time class was supposed to meet and she showed up at the venue 2 hours too early. :( Poor lady…. I can only hope it’ll get better from here, because today was not very promising.

I dropped by the UniSFA room again today (needed another Terry Pratchett!) As I wondered in warily (which I tend to do as it seems to always be crowded), some guy asked if I was a fresher (clearly happy to be lording it over me just a teensy bit). I told him, well, sort of, but not really, because I’m an exchange student, it’s nice to meet you, my name is.... A little comprehension suddenly dawned in his eyes and he said “OH, I’ve heard of you.”
o_o;; He refused to say anything more, so that either bodes well (I’m not just another nameless fresher, which means I might actually make friends who aren't other nameless freshers!) or rather ill (I have to wonder why he’s heard of me….). So we’ll see how that fares.

After classes, I stuck around to go to the Fresher welcome event for the undergrad choral society. This was my random “well, might as well really stick my neck out here” club I signed-up for during O-Festival; I haven’t sung outside of the safety of the car since I was 10 years old. To make matters worse, that stupid stupid cold I mentioned before has STILL not gone away, the damn thing, and I sounded like a frog. >_< Also, I learned how to read music once (I’d need a few serious hours to pick it up again), but it was for playing classical guitar; I have NO idea how to make my voice make certain notes. I mean, I can mimic if I hear it first, but if you tell me to sing a high C, you might as well be asking me to do it underwater at the same time. Despite that, I enjoyed it for the most part, especially since I learned the trick: stand next to someone good.

 I ended up leaving early though; throat got worse, and anyway it was quite dark by then and I really didn’t want to miss the last bus. Walking back to my Dianella house from the bus stop was rather…. Exciting, what with the freak thunderstorm rolling in the distance and the wind whipping the trees. There was also, of course, that little matter of all the deep dark shadows, but I’m a good girl scout and had my flashlight with me. It takes me about an hour and half to get to and from school from Dianella, so I was plenty tired by the time I got back.

Today I only had one class! Which actually sucked because I had to travel for said hour and a half just for a 90 minute class. :/ AND the bus broke or something on the way and everyone on board had to wait at the station for the next bus to come along, which resulted in me being late to class. I hate being late to class, especially for one I care about. 

However, after class I went into the city in search of black shoes for work. Yes, I said work; I’ll be able to pick up at least a few hours a month as a receptionist for the Perth Bell Tower! I’m excited. But she said I needed black closed-toe shoes, when all I brought with me were my brown sneakers and red heels.  >_<

Pro tip #7: Listen to your mother. When she says “a pair of black flats is an excellent thing to have, and they’re small, just throw them in your suitcase”, just do it. ^^;;;

I found 3 different second-hand stores in the CBD, and not one of them had any workable black shoes. Their whole shoe section was suspect actually…. Nowhere near the selection or quality of the thrift stores I frequent back home. Maybe that’s a cultural difference? There were lots of new-shoe stores. I eventually started going into those that were having sales. After about store #6 or 7, I finally found a pair for $10. They are very weird: they hardly rise 2 inches up the side of my foot, show my toe cleavage, and are made entirely of plastic. Not the kind of shoes I’d buy normally, but I was starting to get cranky about the whole affair. But they fit, look professional enough, feel pretty comfortable so far, and could double as shower shoes, which is all I possibly ask of $10 shoes. ^^

That's all for now, but hugs to all!


  1. hiya babe... finally caught up on your last few posts and lemme jes say YOU ROCK at bringing the flavor of DownUnder to life. yes, listen to your mother ;-) black flats or low heels are indispensable. I have several .

  2. Listen to your mother. Usually very good advice. Also, "if you're going to be somewhere for more than 3-4 days, bring a pair of nice black shoes".

    Cheap shoes = good. Comfortable cheap shoes = better.

    Aaaand you can tell I'm a little bit loopy. Oh well. The girls and I ordered takeaway and are watching Sherlock in celebration of the end of the week.

  3. i like how you took up singing!
    so how did this Freshie guy know you?did you ever find out?