Tuesday, 31 July 2007
I have finished my Spanish oral exam and it was really, really bad.
I wonder if they have a word in Spanish for "god-awful"? I know a certain verb I could use to indicate I screwed myself over...but this is a (fairly) clean blog, and I'd like to keep it that way, even in another language.
There are two parts to the IB Spanish oral. 5 minutes is talking about a photo/picture you've had 10 minutes to prepare 10 (two word) dot points about. You talk for about 3-4 minutes, and the teacher asks some questions about the picture. This leads into 5 minutes of general conversation about two prepared topics (mine were the environment (el medioambiente) and health and emergencies (la salud y emgergencias)).
I had the choice of a picture of a comtaminated beach covered in rubbish or a photo of a person who looked like she'd had a heart attack surround by a bunch of people (probablemente paramedicos) - as you can see, based around my two topics. I picked the rubbish one (ironically, it wasn't rubbish - there was a lot to talk about), but I was rubbish when it came to talking about it (sorry, I'm on a roll). I talked probably por dos minutos about the picture, then Senora asked me some questions which no comprendi (I didn't understand). General conversacion was alright - better than my spiel about the picture and my attempts to answer her questions.
You know how people come out of an exam and are all "OMG it was SO bad!!"? I'm not being melodramatic. I know I was bad. I couldn't even finish some of my sentences (and I'm sure some of them didn't make sense) because I couldn't think of the vocab.
And you know how generally, after an exam, there's this huge relief and you're all "who cares, it's over"? I've just got this huge, depressing disappointment.
[NB: While I may seem like a whiny, self-obsessed, teenage school girl, I'm not. OK, so I'm a tiny bit self-obsessed, but I do care about the environment and terrorism and Iraq and the rest of the world, m'k? Just let me have my moan, and I'll go back to petitioning to save Darfur.]
Just a girl
Saturday, 28 July 2007
The Bitch Review:
Evening is a touching love story that explores the meaning of love, mistakes, relationships and happiness. Romantic, comic and tragic, the story moves between a mother on her deathbed, recalling her younger, fonder years, and her first 'love,' paralleling her daughters' own realisations about their lives, decision and futures. A cast of the big names in acting, including Toni Collette, who impresses as the 'unfulfilled' daughter, and Meryl Streep, who is equally wonderful in her unfortunately small role as the older, comforting friend, however, cannot save Evening from it's inconsequential end. While such a reminiscent love story can be a recipe for a beautiful film (see The Notebook), this in itself does not ensure a film's noteworthiness. Evening is both funny and sad, but Claire Danes seems forced in her role as the young girl she remembers she was, the mother's deathbed experience is sometimes awkward and confusing, the storyline leaves some desirous holes to be filled and the film ends somewhat abruptly. Essentially, it all comes down to Streep's comment that "in the end, so much of it doesn't even matter." Because in Evening, nothing seems to matter in the end. There is no point. Though it begins hopefully, as a celebration of experience, hopes, dreams and reality, it finishes much like the mother's life; unresolute, which even its Oscar winning cast can't save it from.
Summary: chick flick for older women*
*(it's not stricly politically (or respectfully) correct, but perhaps such a genre could be introduced, named menopause movies or movies for the mid-life crisis)*
- Most romantic: What if we just sang and laughed together... for the rest of our lives. [Buddy]
- Most philosphical: We are mysterious creatures, aren't we? And in the end, so much of it doesn't even matter. [Lila]
And for anyone who's interested (i.e Miss SM) here's a photo of my 'prom' (prom, formal - call me American if you will) dress (though the dress looks better on me, of course):
It's Jessica McClintock , who does some absolutely gorgeous dresses. I could take my pick of any of them. My mum and I found this one in Macy's when we were in Hawaii for Christmas, and I'm glad we did; it's often when you're not looking for something that you'll find what you really like. I'm not trying to be philosophical or anything, I've just had a couple of rushed experiences in trying to find that something at the last minute, which is hard to do when you've only got snatches of time and weekend exeats in Melbourne. And I've already got my shoes (found - again, when not sought - for my house dinner, half price!)...All that remains is jewellery, make-up, hair and car!
Just a girl
Friday, 27 July 2007
It's been a funny day - as in funny ha ha, not funny peculiar (love that expression). I've been laughing at everything, from Neighbours' TC new look, to our English class discussion (which was unsupervised by a teacher), to Harry Potter 1 on audio tape (I swear it's funnier on tape)...
But the funniest thing would have to be this, my result from a Sparknotes King Lear quiz (I'm revising, OK? It was an easy quiz anyway):
You got 25 out of 25 correct. (That's 100%.)
Do they think I'm stupid? The brackets seem to imply that I can't do math (half right, but I can calculate simple percentages!) Seriously...hilarious, though.
Just a girl
Wednesday, 25 July 2007
Not to turn on my heater for a while
Three days since the epiphany
That I'm much warmer without my heater.
Yes, it's a lame parody of One Week. But the point (or epiphany) is that on Monday, I turned off my heater because I was feeling guilty about not volunteering to help plant trees on Sunday (do my bit for global warming and all that), so I decided that it was a waste of energy to leave my heater on, essentially, all the time. So I turned it off, and I haven't turned it back on since. I find I'm warm enough at nights anyway, and it hasn't hurt that the past two days have been pleasantly sunny...plus, with all the times I'm using Blackle, I must be saving heaps of energy! So that's my bit for the environment.
A sweet surprise today was my friend Miss SC showing up, flying down for a few days to pack! It was so nice to see her tonight, sitting together, watching the yr 12 IB Theatre production (very, very good, but emotionally intense - in a 'wow' way) together, walking back to her house...just like old times.
Another interesting (school-related) development is our formal, which isn't actually our school formal, but known as (something like) the Beginning of the End Ball (it's not called that, but I'm not releasing the name here.) It's not allowed to be associated with the school as we're organising it and there will be alcohol there. I'm quite excited about it - already bought my dress at the start of the year in America (it's not that I was so eager then, it's that my mum and I were looking for something different that no one else would find; dress shopping on a budget in Australia can be kind of limited around Melbourne). The big debate at the moment is dates or no dates? I'm not fussed either way - I'm pretty sure I won't be inviting anyone!! (no, not even the crush...whose attraction is waning...) Should be a good night, I think we've got a really nice venue booked. And I suppose if we end up having dates I can always invite a girl friend (is it girl friend or girlfriend? Because I always thought the latter implied more than friends...if you get my gist. Like boyfriend.)
BTW: Did you see: Lindsay Lohan got arrested for DUI again! And she had possession of drugs (again)...and she was driving on a suspended licence! I wonder if she'll get jail time? I think she deserves more than Paris got...it's a sad trend, especially for someone who has talent, like Lindsay (no comment on Paris - she's obviously got nothing better to do with her time.)
Just a girl
Monday, 23 July 2007
- Survive IB and live to get an ENTER score, hopefully somewhere around 39 (= 98.5) or above
- Get into uni (hopefully Uni of Melb., otherwise somewhere in America, eg University of Rochester, Yale or Columbia)
- Survive uni and live to get a degree (bachelor of arts majoring in english or journalism)
- Get a job (it gets a bit sketchy here...) hopefully at a newspaper/magazine etc
- Be successful (I told you it gets sketchy...) - editor? travel journalist? front page?
- Become an author - become bestseller
- Somewhere in there, fall in love, get married and start a family
I know it's not all black and white, but I know what I want and I know I can get there. I didn't need this guy to tell me how to do it.
In other news...I'm saving the world, one click at a time. Did you know that Google has released a search engine called Blackle? It's based on the idea that using a white monitor uses more energy, and using a black one uses less, thus Blackle - a completely black version of Google, but totally the same. Pretty cool, huh? Now you, too, can be saving the world with a click from the comfort of your own home...gotta love it!
Just a girl
Wednesday, 18 July 2007
1. Of, resembling, or characteristic of death: a deathly silence.
2. Causing death; fatal.
If J. K. Rowling wrote about Harry and the IB, that's my title prediction. Clearly, I am referring to deathly in the second meaning of the word. Of course, I believe if Harry did the IB, he'd suffer far more than he has constantly fighting Voldemort over the past six books combined. What about "Harry Potter and the Unforgivable IB" or "Harry Potter and the Prison of IB" or, better yet, "Harry Potter and the Curse of the IB" (because that's definitely what it is - a curse.)
I'm going through a bit of a "Potter Phase" at the moment - can you tell? I've been rereading the books - listening to the first and third on audiotape, which is quite enjoyable, good for long car trips, I've found - mostly in preparation for the 5th movie and the 7th book. I have come across a "revelation" of sorts in the 4th book, when Dumbledore finally tells Harry about the prophecy etc and the bit about how "neither can live while the other survives" and Harry finally understands and says "one of us has got to kill the other...in the end." Oooh...the anticipation! Who dies? Who lives? Who gets with who? What will Harry do in his final year having left Howarts? With the aforementioned prophecy in mind, my prediction is that Harry won't die; it's either Voldemort or Harry (a final stand-off) and I don't think J.K. would let Harry die...not after everything he's been through. But I won't know until I've read the book (obviously), which unfortunately may not be for a while; I'm considering postponing reading it until after my Spanish and English orals (in two and three weeks' time respectively) as no doubt it will be highly distracting (rereading the 4th book was bad enough!) but knowing me, I'll probably end up reading it anyway. Just so I can read it before my brother.
However, before I blog about anything else (and there's a lot), I will first present the (ahem) eagerly awaited "Central Australia: A PhotoJourney;" highlights of a trip around the Rock and the discovery of a town that's a bigger hole than Canberra: Adelaide. OK, I'm kidding about Adelaide. Kind of. I suppose it's one advantage is that it's a beautiful city. And at least the shopping is decent. Too bad the football stadium's so far out of the city and their buses suck.
This is of my father and brother who I climbed the Rock with - they went ahead while I hung back to take some pics. This was one of them. I love the silhouette and the sun rising behind the Rock.
One of the Rock's many multifaceted and unexpectedly lush sides.
The Olgas at sundown. Just as spectacular as the Rock at sundown.
Rock cairn found in Trephina Gorge. I thought it was cute, especially against such a simply picturesque background.
Fountain on the River Torrens. I particularly like the combination of the rainbow in the fountain,the green of the grass in the sun and the blue of the storm behind, all reflected on the water. If it's the only thing going for it, Adelaide is beautiful.
Another example of the beauty in Adelaide - this photo taken on the same river, in a spot close to the previous photo. In this I was trying to capture the bridge, the storm (ooh, look, a rainbow, top right corner, I didn't notice that!) and the coloured pedal boats sitting under the bridge.
I think what really captures the essence of my trip and the Outback is Dorothea Mackellar's poem My Country, which I can recite by heart.
For love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens,
Is running in your veins.
Strong love of grey-blue distance,
Brown streams and soft, dim skies -
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of rugged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizon,
I love her jewel sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide, brown land for me!
The stark white ring-barked forests,
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot, gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree tops
And ferns the warm, dark soil.
Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart around us,
We see the cattle die -
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady soaking rain.
Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back three-fold.
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
A filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze...
An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land -
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand -
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.
I love the last verse. But the imagery, all the connections that Mackellar felt with the land, her passion for the wild beauty of this country, means so much more to me now, having experienced it's untamed splendour.
I have so much more to blog about, but Harry and my work are fighting, calling my name - which will I choose? No doubt Harry will jinx my work somehow, but I'm not complaining...I wonder if he can finish it for me? Or better yet, make it disappear?
Just a girl
Sunday, 8 July 2007
In my dreams, not only would I be able to sing, but I'd have to guts to do it, too. That's why it will remain one of my more outrageous fantasies.
Just a girl
Friday, 6 July 2007
Pretty cool, huh?
Unfortunately, I did not see Sam Newman patrolling the streets of Adelaide (close to our hotel!) for last night's Street Talk. Guess you can't see everyone (but what I want to know is, why not?!)
Just a girl
Wednesday, 4 July 2007
Photos later, as I'm using the home computer. But what I've been doing can generally be described under these subheadings:
American Unis (Monday)
8 American universities visited the school on Monday night for a presentation. Very interesting, and now I'm interested in the University of Rochester, NY, which offers an IB scholarship!
Salsa Class (Tuesday)
The inspiration of my Chilean Spanish teacher (i.e. she's from Chile and teaches Spanish; obviously she speaks it, too). It was good fun though. Both the yr 11 and yr 12 Spanish classes were supposed to go, and most people did. It was an hour that began as an awkward conga line but finished in laughs and some almost graceful dancing. Highlight: got to dance with my yr 11 crush.
Public Speaking (Wednesday)
The Regional Final of the VCAA Plain Speaking Award, as hosted by our school. There were 9 competitors (including me and another girl representing our school). I was so nervous about it, but it ended up being great. I didn't win, but I had a really good time. The 6 min prepared speeches were first (mine was on the subject of interracial adoption - is it a solution? Good or bad?) and they were all really interesting and the students were all really passionate about their subjects. The impromptu topic (a 3 min speech with 4 min preparation time) was The time is now, which was good for me because I'd been thinking about that one beforehand (it was included in the 'previous impromptu topics' on the VCAA site). I talked about global warming and yr 12 - the time to act (be sustainable/study, respectively) is now. The other girl from our school came runner up, and the girl who won deserved it (she'd also beaten the girl who came runner up last year in another public speaking competition.) I feel that I went well, that I presented both speeches well. But what I loved most about the competition was when we were all in the same room waiting to go into the impromptu preparation room and we were just talking. It was really comfortable and friendly.
Said goodbye to Miss SC, very sadly. Spent the last hour before I was picked up (by my parents) in her kitchen, reminiscing and laughing and having a good old time. I'm grateful for that. I cried the first time she told me she was leaving, but not as hard as I did after I'd said goodbye and I was walking back to my boarding house. It just hit me hard that she's moving, and so far away. If you're reading my blog, chica, (and I know you are!) here's my shout out to ya: I'll see you when I see you (when I win $1,000,000!) but I'll talk to you even sooner.
Central Australia - the trip begins (Friday)
This isn't going to be a detailed description (that will be better accompanied by photos) but a snapshot of the highlights.
Flew out early Friday morning - first low light of the trip was leaving my retainers behind (but fortunately they still fit after a week away from my mouth - albeit a little tight!). But eventually I got over it and realised there was nothing I could do. The trip got better after that.
A really awesome trip, as I've never been to NT or SA before. Spent a few nights in Alice Springs, exploring Aboriginal art galleries and culture (fascinating), a few nights out at The Rock; we climbed it in the morning and walked around the Olgas in the afternoon. It was the hardest climb I've ever done (yes, including Timbertop) but definitely worth it. The view from the top - and on the way up - was amazing. Spent a night at King's Canyon - absolutely beautiful - and trained it down to Adelaide on the Ghan (which was pretty boring and cramped). Adelaide just reminded me of Sydney, but with less life and culture (that sounds harsh, but it was a pretty dead city when we were there. Maybe it was just us...) Caught the Eagles vs. Crows game, and my team (well, the team I was supporting) the Eagles pulled through to victory (my brother is a Crows fan.)
Best get back to that huge pile of work that is mounting over my shoulder.
Just a girl