Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Last Hurrah: Graduation Before Exams

As of Sunday, I am now an official Old Girl of my school...and exams don't start until Friday! (Far too soon, I might add.) Nonetheless, I have the signet ring to prove it.

Our graduation ceremony was pretty much an all weekend event. It began Friday morning, with a house yr 12 breakfast outing (that we had to get up really early - 6am early - for, so it was a looong day - but so worth it). Sometimes it's just nice to get away from school for awhile, to forget about the everyday expectations - not to mention enjoy a decent buffet breakfast.

That night was our house Valedictory Dinner. It was the most enjoyable house dinner/event I've attended (and I've attended a few of those "in my time"); it was fun, comfortable, friendly and carefree, but oh-so-sad, because it was the last time we'll all be together. I was truly able to forget the stress of impending exams, but not the heart-wrenching fact that we are all leaving in a few weeks' time.

All the same, it was a fantastic night, filled with laughter, reminiscence, thank yous to our parents and tutors, and wishes for the future. This induced all kinds of emotions, and after my performance of Landslide (which didn't begin well - an octave too high! - and wasn't as polished as I would have liked, but not terrible), the nerves, the anticipation, the happiness and the realisation that this was it brought me to tears. I'll miss the girls, I really will; well, maybe not all of them, which sounds horrible, but there is this one girl...she didn't go to the dinner though, so my night was not ruined. But I'll miss the closeness, the jokes, the teasing, the openness, the understanding, the kindness, the trust, the care, the support. We've had it rough, losing so many friends along the way what with so many friends leaving, but we've always been there for each other, and that's something I won't forget.

I also hope I won't forget this night; I think it encapsulates the joyful experience I've had with my year group and my house.

Just a girl

Celebrating Being the Class of '07

Don't know who we are? Surely you've seen us around...

  • We're obviously distinguishable by our blue yr 12 jumpers, with our names (nicknames, or otherwise) emblazoned on our backs, along with 07 (too bad no one in our year is called 'Kevin.' And no-one thought to get "Double" (07) on their back. Doesn't mean that people weren't original with what they got though...)

  • We Old Girls are wearing our signet rings on our little fingers (if they fit.) The Old Boys aren't wearing their ties though. For shame.

  • You might see us carrying our cameras around campus, particularly in the Dining Hall. It's a "we'll-never-see-this-place-again-I-want-to-capture-it-on-film" thing.

  • We've been acting a bit crazy lately - blowing off steam. We're stressed, OK, and we need to have some fun before the seriousness really starts - exams, that is (Friday.) Some of us were mucking around on the pedestrian crossing outside a day house last night, taking photos which generally involved lying on the road. Don't ask.

  • Speaking of muck can't have have missed a large group of us in the Dining Hall last Thursday. We were crossing dressing - the boys wore dresses that were too short and didn't button them up. The girls wore shorts and shirts. We even went so far as to add lipstick and kiss marks on our cheeks. We took up about half the Dining Hall, raising a ruckus whenever any came in, and throwing food around. After that, we went outside to raise the roof sky some more.

  • Some of us sit at dinner with palm cards, frantically trying to remember whether osmosis is diffusion from high concentration to low, or low to high, and when Hitler's rise to power ended - 1933, with Chancellorship, or 1934, when he became Fuhrer? (If you're wondering, osmosis is the process of diffusion of particles from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration. And Hitler's rise may be considered to have ended at either date.)
  • Tonight, you may have seen a rather large and noisy group of us - mainly day boarders - at dinner together, taking photos and laughing loudly, celebrating the last dinner for the day boarders at school. Ever. Lucky them...

And when I leave, in 15 days, these songs will remind me of the school and the crazy people who are the Class of '07:

  1. I Like to Move It, Move It is from that hilarious animation film Madagascar and reminds me of when I went to see it with some friends in yr 10 on a weekend. We stayed during the credits, because the characters from this film were singing this song and dancing to it (on the screen.) It was highly amusing.
  2. Hollaback Girl reminds me of a girl who got expelled in yr 10 who always sang along to the part "this s*** is bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s..."
  3. Accidentally in Love makes me think of another girl who got kicked out in yr 10 - we used to sing it together walking back to house from music prac.
  4. You're Beautiful reminds me of this school in general. Everyone used to play it in yr 10, and it was overkill to the point that I had decided I hated the song (due to overkill) - until I found out that it was sung by James Blunt, who happened to sing one of my favourite songs of all time, Goodbye My Lover. Call me a hypocrite, but maybe it's because I like the sound of his voice more than my classmates'...
  5. Love Generation will always remind me of the new girl in yr 11 who is now a close friend. On our house outing to Daylesford, I remember her singing the song (I'd never heard it before) and saying "That song was so big when I was in France" (she went on exchange.)
  6. High School Musical (OST) was the soundtrack of yr 11, esp. term 3, when this movie was huge and everyone was watching it, talking about it, singing it and quoting it.
  7. Robbie Williams will make me think of the "Robbie Williams" (i.e. impersonation) concert we held last year as a fundraiser for the student committee I was on. It was great fun; lights; music; dancing! (And scantily clad women prancing on stage! Middle School were attending, for goodness sake!)
  8. Forever Young was also a favourite of many towards the end of last year
  9. Air Tap (a favourite song of mine) will make think of a yr 10 boy who is an absolute guitar god - he won the solo prize at our house music competition for this song.
  10. Take a Chance on Me will always be remembered as our house music song, with which we won house music the second time in a row! For a small house that is incompetent when it comes to aths/swimming (because we're so small, and we always have to run/swim/jump etc repetitively whereas other houses can afford to chose their best athletes), winning a house event is phenomenal (and means pizza night!). We practised it well and pretty smoothly, but when it came to the actual day, we missed our cue for the second line in, which we'd never done before! But we ended up winning, so what does it matter? (It's because we had the "package," you see; the adjudicator was impressed overall. Mind you, many were very sour and poor sports about our winning, complaining that we didn't deserve. Maybe we didn't, but couldn't they at least be gracious or happy that we won something? But the funniest part was that the adjudicator complimented one house on their group performance - a song they'd written themselves - except that they thought they'd won that category and accepted the prize! It was never said they shouldn't have, but everyone speculates because he said "I'd like to commend [such and such a house]...")
  11. The first time I heard You Can Call Me Al was when our vice principal/head of campus played it in assembly. I can't really remember what his point was, but I remember his playing this part where you could hear some kind of whistle or piccolo. Our VP is so passionate about so many things, especially charities and arts.
  12. Umbrella will remind me of my friend who left earlier this year, because she fell in love with it, and would sing it always, in those weeks before she departed.

Just a girl

Monday, 29 October 2007

Oh, The Things I Shall Do!

Read all the books I want – of my choice!
-To Hellas and Back
-On Beauty
-Master of the Books
-Out of Africa
-Through My Eyes
-Harry Potter (again)
-Gossip Girl (again)

Watch all the movies I want – whenever I want
-Dead Poet’s Society
-Apocalypse Now
-Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life
-The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
-The Talented Mr Ripley
-What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?
-High School Musical 2
-Shrek 3

Watch all the TV shows I want – any time of day
-Chaser’s War on Everything
-America’s Next Top Model
-Gossip Girl
-Robin Hood

Access to unlimited internet sites and downloads – I’ll never go byte over again!

Sleep in til lunchtime – no more bells and assemblies!

Open to recommendations and suggestions.

Just a girl

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Oh, The Places We'll Go

It's a typical graduation speech, but somehow oh-so-fitting. At today's Speech Day/graduation ceremony, our school captain quoted Dr Seuss, which was both inspiring and reassuring:

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS! your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

Just a girl

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Muck Up: Just an Excuse to be Bitchy

Not everyone agrees with muck up - there can be extreme events and serious consequences - but unlike initiation, it tends to be harmless fun.

In a boarding school, it's even better, because you can do all those things like putting washing powder in people's beds, stealing their toothbrushes, etc. Practises like egging and vandalism aren't really in the spirit of friendly jokes. And there's always the students who cross dress (i.e. wear the uniform of the other sex.)

On Sunday night, after brainstorming how to make fun of the yr 11s in tonight's skit (tonight is Party Night, and involves the yr 10s singing a funny song and a sad song to/about the yr 12s, the yr 11s making fun of the year 12s in a skit, and vice versa, as well as super supper), we put our devious heads together about how to carry out muck on the yr 10s (the yr 10s are always the ones who suffer muck up - at least at this school they do!), apart from the obvious: honey on toilet seats, Vegemite on door handles. This is what we came up with:
  • 'Stealing' their Internet (by unplugging the cord to the connecting box - we did this yesterday, and they still haven't figured out it us! Mind you, the Internet drops out all the time is this house. It's pretty funny though, because it's killing them not to be able to email/IM during prep, and I've seen some in our common room, because that's where they can get an Internet connection!)

  • Mixing up their dresses, so they're all in the wrong people's cupboards (also done yesterday)

  • Glad wrap on the toilet seat (not very original, but effective)

  • Setting alarm clocks to go off at 1/2 hour intervals starting at around 2 am in the morning, and hiding several in every dorm (this was attempted last night - all the alarm clocks were hidden but they weren't set!)

  • Stripping beds of doonas, tipping mattresses, and removing doona covers

  • Finding the house list of phone numbers and pranking them late at night, every so often

  • Stealing their shoes, tying them together (in odd pairs, of course) and piling them in our common room (can you picture them walking down for assembly, in their socks but without their shoes, dazed and confused?)

  • Stealing their bras, hooking them together in one big line, and hanging them from the beam in the common room

The last two are planning to be carried out when the yr 10s go on camp in a couple of weeks from now.

Such much up is more rife in another girls' house, where the yr 12s actually have permission from their Head of House to carry out muck up on the yr 10s! I believe she even provided them with a list of people to target! They began the week (this week) by "raiding dorms" - running in at 12am and then again at 2am, turning on lights, taking doonas, and generally causing havoc. They also have rules including that the yr 10s may not talk to the yr 12s unless spoken to, and that they must write an essay on one of two topics: "what if God was one of us?" and "the history of the dildo." However, this has all been ended by a yr 10 girl complaining to her parents about it, and her parents ringing the HoH. Sigh. No more muck up.

I don't think our HoH is strictly aware of our plans. I'm not sure she'd entirely approve. Although it's not as though we're going to hurt anyone. We shall see what hits the fan.

Muck up also tends to be a time when people get suspended. Around this time in yr 10, four girls in my house snuck out of the house around 1 am in the morning and visited a boys' house. I needn't go into details - there was some degree of intimate relations, as well as alcohol, and obviously being out of bounds, out of hours. Three of the four girls were expelled (as they couldn't pin dirt on the fourth girl.) Just one of the many reasons why our year group is so small.

Speaking of mucking around...two boys have been suspended and demoted (from prefect) for getting caught drinking alcohol on campus! Big school no-no. Not exactly sure how they were caught, but that's what everyone's talking about.

[Update: the HoH has said NO! to all things muck up. No, we didn't ask her - I'm not sure if she was pre-empting us, or whether it had to do with a small matter of yr 10's cupboard being locked and not being able to find the key, or if she figured that we were behind the Internet debacle. Whatever the reason, our last excuses for fun at school are quickly disappearing. Party night tonight, yr 12 breakfast Friday morning, Valedictory dinner Friday night, followed by Speech Day, then exams. But more time for fun after that - 22 days to go!]

Just a girl

Saturday Night's Alright for Bitchin'

From a conversation during dinner on Saturday night:

“Hey, look, it’s the hot Indo gang.”

“That guy’s not Indo.”

“Yeah, but he’s hot.”

“Eww, no, he’s wearing ugly shoes!”


Monday, 22 October 2007

Laughter = Exam Stress Relief

Dinner date
Boarding school slang
To imply an exclusive arrangement between two (or more) people to eat dinner together

Tonight I have learned to appreciate the simple happiness of friends and laughter, particularly in such a stressful time, with 11 days until my first exam(s) and 24 days until I leave. I had a dinner date with two good friends who I unfortunately don't see much out of class time because they are day boarders. It was so relaxing and carefree just to sit about and talk. After dinner, I performed a musical piece for them, because I'm trying to practice up for this Friday's Valedictory Dinner, at which I will both sing and play (on piano) Stevie Nicks' Landslide. Afterwards we stayed and reminisced about old times.
In the meantime, I try to stay inspired. My motto is if I can survive the next 2 weeks of torture, I will have earned my freedom. I'm anticipating that freedom will mean this:

Ah. Paradise. Just like Christmas. Hopefully I'll be returing there in 4 weeks' time!

Just a girl

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Dumbledore is gay, but that's OK

I was first told by Emma, and I confirmed it. It's also been announced in some very amusing (and imaginative!) headlines:
  • Rowling Lets Dumbledore Out of the Closet (Some Angered as Rowling Reveals Potter Mentor Was Into Wizards, Not Witches) [ABC]
  • Alohomora Closet! [Firefox News]
  • Dumbledore Rumbled! [News of the World]
  • Magical day for gays as Dumbledore is outed [Times Online]

In a question and answer session at Carnegie Hall during her American tour, J.K revealed the following:

"My truthful answer to you… I always thought of Dumbledore as gay. [ovation.] … Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald, and that that added to his horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was.
To an extent, do we say it excused Dumbledore a little more because falling in love can blind us to an extent, but he met someone as brilliant as he was, and rather like Bellatrix he was very drawn to this brilliant person, and horribly, terribly let down by him.
Yeah, that’s how I always saw Dumbledore. In fact, recently I was in a script read through for the sixth film, and they had Dumbledore saying a line to Harry early in the script saying I knew a girl once, whose hair… [laughter].
I had to write a little note in the margin and slide it along to the scriptwriter, “Dumbledore’s gay!” [laughter]
If I’d known it would make you so happy, I would have announced it years ago!"

Is anyone else very surprised?

It also seems odd for Rowling to reveal such information about a key character after the books. What is she trying to achieve? Although there was no (apparent) woman in Dumbledore's life, there were no other hints at his sexuality (that I could see.) Of course, now we'll all re-read the books, just to see if there is something we've missed.

Not that it changes anything for me. I still respect Dumbledore as a great wizard who, although had an 'experimental adolescence' involving plans "for the greater good," defended and died for his beliefs of compassion and forgiveness, whichever way he swings.

Such a revelation has been met with mixed reactions. We Potter fans are an accepting lot, and many of us have cheered the news, but some are in a state of shock and outrage.

I think it's wonderful that she's using the books as a "prolonged argument for tolerance," and I respect much more as a writer for doing so. But could she have made her point better by including this in the books themselves? Or did she feel that there would be too much opposition to the books if she did? Did she think it might not be a children's book otherwise? Or is she just trying to promote homosexual understanding?

While I can appreciate that Rowling might want the characters of her books to be created and shaped by the reader's interpretation, I would think that such a major part of who a character is should be developed throughout the series, not just used as a bombshell afterwards. Was she worried about banning and backlash? Whatever her intention, she has the world talking about it now. And I support however she helps people come to terms with and acceptance of homosexuality.

I just think it's sad that Dumbledore never found true love.

Just a girl

Saturday, 20 October 2007

The Sweet Sounds of Spanish

Last night the two IB Spanish classes united for dinner + dancing at a Spanish restaurant in Melbourne. This was basically an excuse for

  • The boys to go into the bathroom and smoke
  • The girls to dress up and dance
  • The boys to check out/dance with our young and gorgeous (but married) Spanish teacher
  • Dancing with each other and people we met
  • One of the quietest (not to be confused with nerdiest) guys in our class to take off his shirt not once but twice – at the table! The camarero spilt soft drink down his back, and so give him a clean, dry shirt to change into – which he did, at the table! Some while later, he realised the shirt was on inside out – so off it came again, in full view of all! (which, needless to say, warranted much catcalling on our behalf.) That’s not to say he didn’t have a nice chest…
  • Eating out (and sampling Spanish cuisine)
  • One of the ‘hottest’ boys in our year to meet a new girl

The evening started amusingly as, when the bus pulled up on Lygon St, we saw a classmate – already on exeat, but not joining us for dinner – strolling down the street, smoking! He quickly ducked into a side alley once he realised who we were, but too late – we were all laughing at him and giving him a hard time about it.

The dancing was amazing, so passionate, sexy, crazy, exhilarating and exhausting. It was great fun, as we participated in a dancing lesson with other people who were learning as well, although most of them knew how to dance. It was also highly entertaining to watch other students dance, as well as our teachers (think of watching your parents do the salsa!)

The only downside to the night was someone losing $50.

Just a girl

Thoughts on Life

From my friend's blog.


Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it!

Friday, 19 October 2007

Oh, Those Desperate Science Nerds

A notice from our Daily Bulletin:

Albert Einstein Poster taken from Science Foyer
The poster of Albert Einstein was recently taken down from the Science block foyer. Could it please be returned immediately. Thank you.

Perhaps a yr 12 prank, or someone who really, really admires Albert Einstein. Either way, it's funny.

Just a girl

Helping Feed the Hungry Poor

This week is World Hunger Relief Week.

One in nearly seven people do not get enough food to be healthy and lead an active life, making hunger and malnutrition the number one risk to health worldwide – greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

Hunger and poverty claim 25,000 lives every day.

And we can help.

You could make a donation, but if you're like me, you're not in an economic situation to do so. I have found, however, that this does not stop me from making a difference. By visiting you can click so that sponsors pay; with every click, the site's sponsors give funding for 1.1 cups of food to the United Nations World Food Programme.

"Clicking the button on The Hunger Site is a way to trade a few seconds of your time to help complete strangers. Because thousands of people click daily, we are able to improve the lives of millions over time." —Tim Kunin, co-owner and CEO of The Hunger Site

The best part is, you can make a difference every day. And while you're on the site, you'll also notice tabs on the top of the page to breast cancer, child health, literacy, rainforest and animal rescue, all causes you can support by simply clicking on the site. If you want to see how you've contributed, and how the site has helped their cause, scroll down after clicking through to how much has been donated.

Every click counts.

Just a girl

Thursday, 18 October 2007

About the Girl

100 of the many things about the Girl.

...I am…

  1. a brunette
  2. shy
  3. stubborn
  4. impatient
  5. optimistic
  6. a Gemini
  7. kind
  8. sensitive
  9. loyal
  10. a listener
  11. caring
  12. a dreamer
  13. ambitious
  14. a perfectionist
  15. honest
  16. trusting
  17. responsible
  18. reliable
  19. a small town girl
  20. a farm girl
  21. right-handed
  22. a good girl (not to be confused with a goody two-shoes)
  23. independent

    ...and I love to...
  24. read
  25. dance
  26. listen to music
  27. sing
  28. write
  29. go to the football (I’m a Cats fan, and I am so thrilled that we finally won the premiership!)
  30. go to the movies
  31. spend time with friends
  32. travel
  33. act
  34. design & create clothing
  35. debate
  36. go to museums
  37. shop

  38. colour: pink. You can never own too many pink clothes. Or pink accessories.
  39. movie: the notebook
  40. band(s): U2, the Beach Boys, the Beatles
  41. song(s): can change on a weekly basis, however, some constant favourites are Waitress (the Waifs), Tiny Dancer (Elton John) & Sunday Bloody Sunday (U2)
  42. sweet(s): chocolate
  43. sport: netball
  44. restaurant: Alan Wong's The Pineapple Room, Honolulu
  45. brand: Alannah Hill
  46. store(s): Lush, Body Shop, Macy’s
  47. book: many, but the absolute favourite is To Kill A Mockingbird, followed closely by The Catcher in the Rye
  48. magazine: Vogue

    ...have I ever...?

  49. kissed a stranger: no. never been kissed
  50. had alcohol: no
  51. taken drugs: no, & never will
  52. smoked: no, & never will
  53. run away from home: no, never really wanted to either
  54. broken a bone: no
  55. got an x-ray: yes – my teeth
  56. broken someone's heart: not as far as I know
  57. broken up with someone: nope – never really had a relationship/boyfriend to break up with
  58. cried at school: well, yes, I am at boarding school, so it’s practically unavoidable (esp. considering homesickness, which I suffered badly in yr 9 & the start of yr 10. Then take into account that I live with girls. Bitch fights, anyone?) I believe in...?
  59. god: no
  60. miracles: yes
  61. love at first sight: yes
  62. ghosts: no
  63. aliens: no, per se, but who can be sure about other life forms outside our own planet or universe?
  64. soul mates: I'd like to - I'm a romantic at heart
  65. heaven: no
  66. hell: no
  67. kissing on the first date: I don’t believe in a rule to kiss or not to kiss on a first date; just go with it if it feels right
  68. horoscopes: no, but I read them for laughs

    ...I believe in...
  69. animal rights. Even though I eat (& love) meat, so much so that I can’t imagine giving it up, I think that animals can be killed without cruelty & that as a meat eater, I can still support animal rights; it’s simply a matter of choosing the products that you know treat animals without pain & suffering
  70. anti-racism
  71. anti-sexism
  72. gay rights
  73. equality for all
  74. helping those less fortunate than ourselves
  75. donating to charity
  76. giving blood
  77. signing petitions to make a difference
  78. pro-choice
  79. sex after marriage
  80. peace

    ...I want to…
  81. be able to help make a difference in the world
  82. succeed academically
  83. travel overseas (backpacking/Contiki style)
  84. work & help the underprivileged
  85. eliminate prejudice
  86. fall in love
  87. be able to grow old
  88. never give up
  89. get married, have children
  90. write a book
  91. be a good person
  92. keep my friends
  93. never be bitter
  94. always appreciate my life
  95. touch someone’s life

More about the girl.

Just a girl

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

A "Sassy" Star

I'm cyber-blushing.

I have received a Blogger Star award from Emma!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

"This award is for bloggers who shine their light throughout the Blogosphere. Some do it with humor, others with creativity, and others with their kind and thoughtful natures. We all know more than a few of them so why not give them some recognition?

Here’s what to do if you receive this:

*Proudly display it on your blog along with a link to who gave it to you.

*Mention that it originated here at Skittles' Place so I can follow its journey.

*Pass it on to any blogger(s) you think should have it.

I'm flattered.

And just to share the love, I'm going to pass the star onto these fashionable teenage girl bloggers, who brighten up my day, and 'shine' with their style and creativity:

Just a girl

Friday, 12 October 2007

Even Prefects Bitch

Gossip is sexy. Gossip is good. Not everyone does it, but everyone should!
~Gossip Girl

Tonight I went out to dinner with the four other prefects in my house (all nice girls I love and get along well with), my head of house and assistant head of house to a fancy restaurant called Finnigan’s Place.

The food was wonderful and view was spectacular. But the conversation – hilarious!

We spent the whole night (a few hours) not knocking back drinks (because it was still a school-related function – I can’t imagine how entertaining it might have been if we had!) and discussing who should be next year’s prefects; who’s a good leader, who’s a follow, who’s not social enough, who’s too nice, who’s too emotional. Out of 20 students, we came up with a list of 3 students we agreed on, and 2 who were potentially suitable. Our table talk ranged from the most dangerous situations we’d ever been in; our travels; plans for the future; having children (our assistant HoH is going to be a father again!); bitching about other teachers (yes, they do find our principal as boring as we do, and agree that he should know the names of all the school prefects) and the ups and downs of the past three years together (those are stories for another post, about how many girls have been expelled from our year group alone, plus those who have left, which has reduced our house year group to 13.) Among other things, I discovered my head of house has been married twice (she’s not married at the moment), although I’d always suspected that.

There’s nothing better than sharing good food (which we did!) with enjoyable company and scintillating conversation.

My head of house comes across, quite bluntly, as a bitch to most people, but if you get to know her, (and, of course, stay on her right side), you’ll find she’s fair, candid and witty. At least I do, mostly because I have a good relationship with her, and I respect her. Working with her also gives me another perspective – the frustration and anxiety caused by problems like stealing – that most girls don’t see or understand. I’m sure I’ll miss her when I’m gone (5 weeks to go!).

A memorable and happy way to end our year as prefects as our duties diminish and the year 11s begin to get a taste of leadership responsibilities.

Just a prefect

Operation Climate Vote

Dedication: Cordie, a rockin' blogger who cares about the environment

Helping save the environment, one email at a time. Petition Congress to vote on legislation that caps and reduces America's global warming pollution (but do it soon, before the holiday recess.) Just click the above badge.

Just a girl

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Spew Girl

This is a song last year's school captain wrote last year; part tongue-in-cheek, but mostly sadly serious and concerned, about body image and eating disorders (specifically, bulimia).

Well you can eat all day
Eat all your troubles away
Eat until you can't see your feet
Except in the mirror, oh no

You've had too much you'd better go
To the loo, get it out of you
And all your self-respect too

Spew girl,
Are you confused, girl?
Is it the food, girl?
I think it's you girl

Hurl girl,
Did it hurt, girl?
Too much desert, girl?
You better spew, girl

So get it out of you
All your self-respect too,
Your pride, your happiness, normality
You're not really bulimic, it's just a technicality

Go on, pretend that nothing's wrong
Spew away you're life
Just vomit til you're in too deep
And spew away the strife

Spew girl,
Are you confused, girl?
Is it the food, girl?
I think it's you, girl

Hurl girl,
Did it hurt, girl?
Too much desert, girl?
You better spew, girl

I'm sorry it had to be this way
Hope that you turn out OK
And you know that help is one the way
Look for those who care

It's not about the clothes you wear
Or the way you do your hair
Look for the friends who will be there for you, girl

You look confused
Is it the food?
Don't be a spew girl

Hurl girl
I guess it hurts
Lay off dessert

Don't be a spew girl

Please don't be a spew girl

Please don't spew, girl

Just a girl

Tagged With My Pants Down

Before you ask, the title is a figurative least I think it is, because it certainly is not literal. Maybe metaphorical?

Anyhow, this is my blogger initiation, as I've been tagged for the first time ever, by Celise. Thankfully, this is going to be pretty harmless introduction (as in not very embarrassing).

The Rules (have changed if you trace the tag back through bloggers who have tagged other bloggers &etc, somewhat like Chinese whispers, although you wonder how this could happen with text...nonetheless, they are):

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.

2. List ten (10) random facts about yourself.

3. Tag eleven people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).

4. These eleven people would have to tag twelve people.

5. You could also tag back, if desperate!

6. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving them a comment on their blogs.

10 Random Facts You May Not Have Guessed About Me (in no particular order other than that in which I thought of them)

  1. I've never dyed my hair. Ever. It's naturally semi-blonde-streaked. (I just had it cut, though! It's all nice and short and layered...)

  2. When I was 12 I wanted to be the first female PM. Seriously. But that was just a phase I went through. Like the phases of wanting to be an Olympic equestrian rider and kayaker (not simultaneously, of course.)

  3. I've never drunk coffee, and only drunk tea once or twice. An acquired taste I've not developed any affinity for yet. I prefer a hot chocolate any day. My favourite place for a hot chocolate is definately Max Brener's (Chocolate by the Bald Man.)

  4. I like to be tidy (particularly in my room at school) but somehow I can never keep my room at home that way...

  5. My ears aren't pierced and I don't think they're likely to be, either. It's not something I'm completely against - while I know that the market for pierced earrings is much larger, and generally cuter, than that for clip on earrings, it's something I've never felt an urge to do.

  6. I've flirted with the idea of getting a piercing (i.e. belly button) or tattoo (shoulder, perhaps?), but I've realised that they only really look sexy when you're young and skinny and can get away with wearing revealing clothing...after that, it just looks tacky. (Although Angelina Jolie will probably get away with looking good even when she’s a wrinkly grandma.)

  7. I've been published - twice! In my local newspaper; once on the front cover, and once in the news pages pertaining to events in my town. Both included photos (taken by me) and my own by-line! The former featured last year, and the latter this year, although both covered the same topic - travelling operas performing in my town.

  8. I have an unsuppressable habit of talking to myself, whether I'm looking for something, studying...although I don't think it happens in my sleep. I'm pretty sure someone would have mentioned it to me by now if I had - I've been boarding and dorming with other people for 3 years now! (I'm not counting this year, as I'm in a single room and it is bliss. Unfortunately it is like a hot box in the summer.)

  9. I was named after a famous actress. Think 1950s, black and white films…though her career has extended well into that of colour TV and cinema.

  10. Of all the countries I've ever visited, Southern Africa (including Botswana and Zambia) are my favourite, and the trip (taken midway through last year) that made the most impression on me. Africa is simply so unlike our society - so raw, unique and beautiful. My second favourite [country] is probably Italy, because the culture and history is fantastic and interesting, not to mention their food.

The lucky victims are:

Teen Fashionista
Stray Musings
That Boarding School
Allison in Wonderland
All About My Movies
Love it. Wear it. Work it.
Love is a
Diary of a Third World Fashionista
Doll Face
Doc 2 be or not

Just a girl

Sunday, 7 October 2007

The Day That Brought the World to Tears

Last holidays I watched Flight 93 on Showtime. These holidays I caught United 93. Both movies rank among the few that have ever brought me to tears. I don’t cry easily in films – my friend cried during No Reservations while I laughed (mind you, she’s the only person I know that cried during that movie. All the rest of my friends laughed – it was so clich├ęd, predictable and corny it was hysterical.) A more convincing standard would be that I never cried during Titanic.

I didn’t cry the Day the Towers fell, but I remember the Day well. The utter shock of it makes us able to recall where we were or what we were doing when we caught that image of the Towers on fire.

…I woke up later than usual, around 7.30, and saw the story of the burning towers on the news as I had my breakfast. At school, other students were looking up footage on CNN and the web before class started…

Both Flight and United 93 moved me because I was able to better understand the ignorance, fear, and courage of those who suffered on that fateful flight, and the plight of those who died that day as a consequence of a political war in which they played no part but pawns.

The difference between the two films is that Flight 93 pieced together the story of how the passengers overcame the terrorists by following individual’s contact to loved ones on the ground, and played on the emotions – the terrible, unfathomable sorrow – of saying goodbye. United 93, however, focused on the shared story of the terror and bravery of those in the air and the absolute confusion and chaos that reigned at ground control – at the FAA, the military, and airline centres from New York to Boston.

United 93 captured the disorder and uncertainty surrounding those on ground control trying to follow the suspected hijackings and disappearing planes; their sheer inability to respond and the inadequacy of their actions; but most of all, the brutality of the terrorists and the valour of the passengers who would not be collectively scared into submission but would fight to deter the course of violence and intimidation at the cost of their lives.

What moved me most – and of the two, United 93 affected me the most – were two things. One was ignorance of the people who would meet their doom on that flight – they planned for their futures, but I knew that they would not make it – they would not live to see their daughters or wives or fathers or sons as they so rightly expected to. The second was victims ringing families and lovers and saying “I love you,” with all those devastating connotations – goodbye, I’m sorry, I’ll never see you again. It broke my heart to watch.

In Showtime Extras, as the actors explained [United 93] and their experience of it, one summarised it quite simply as trying “to tell the human story of what happened that day.”

Just a girl

Friday, 5 October 2007

The Silly Things City People Say

So: I was watching Lateline last night (not so much watching avidly as listening idly) when a debate about Drought Relief caught my attention. Mostly what caught my attention was the absolute naivety of this guy called Brian Toohey who was arguing that farmers should "drought proof" their farms. OK, let's be fair to Brian: he was arguing that government subsidies to farmers are too extensive.

Still sounds like he's talking out of that place where the sun doesn't shine if you ask me.

Let's for a moment place the Drought Relief Scheme in the context of today's agricultural situation. There's a far reaching drought that is essentially facing all of Australia, and most of all, her farmers, all 15-20, 000 of us. This drought has been going for 7 years now without sufficient or significant rainfall - it's at its worst.

Brian claims that drought relief is distributed like cookies, and is "not good for farmers on marginal land." Jack Laurie, from the NSW Farmer's Association, rightly points out that "it's not just given out to anyone, anywhere...the farmers must be viable and judged as such." Drought relief is not like the $3000 baby bonus - given to and welcomed by all new parents. It's assistance farmers hope like hell they'll never need, because they'd rather not be in a drought situation. Such financial aid is hardly life saving - it's crutch to prop up a struggling industry.

So Brian concedes that point (as far as I'm concerned), but he won't give up. He proposes that there's "no point and it's not compassionate to keep people on farms...where they're not going to make a living." Why shouldn't the government support small businesses, when farms are only going to go bust?

It's like this, Brian. The agricultural industry is a fickle industry - some years it rains, and some years it don't. What are the consequences of the drought so far? Stock die. Crops fail. You can't sell. Nobody wants to buy, because prices are high and there's little for sale. That's why we need subsidies - to be able to support farmers until those grey clouds gather again.

Because the reality about a drought is that you can't plan for it nor predict it, nor can one "drought proof a property" as the newsreader (somewhat ignorantly) suggests. You can prepare for it, to a certain extent - you can buy feed, and you can set money aside, etc, etc. But once a drought is in place, you can't create any kind of rigid plan for it - you can't say "in 10 years, we're cutting off subsidy no matter what the situation is." You need to be able to say "our short term plan is this. If it continues, our longer term plan is this."

The answer to Brian's question is this: on what basis would the government support small businesses? A bad economy? High interest rates? Inflation? The government is supporting farmers because of the environmental and economic implications of the drought. Why does the government support farmers? Because we put food on your plate, that's why. We grow the rice you eat, the bread you toast, the cotton you wear; we feed the beef you cook and the lamb you roast; we shear the wool that keeps you warm. I'm not saying we give you everything - but agriculture is one of Australia's primary industries, and one of the main sources of the food you buy and eat. And yet I don't hear you complaining about that.

Brian begins to understand, I think - at least his next idea is less preposterous than the last (two). He suggests that farmers should have to pay back the relief they receive in a HECS scheme. Now there’s a debate worth having (seeing as I have effectively demolished Brian’s previous arguments.)

So: to pay or not to pay? On the one hand, you could look at it like university – you pay back what you’ve received. On the other hand, it could be argued that farmers’ produce is the repayment.

The jury’s out on this one.

I should mention that my absolute hardline approach to this topic stems from the fact that I am a farmer's girl and have lived on a farm all my life. Not only do I love it, but I staunchly defend it.

Just a girl

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

The Refuge of Frivolling Students


to spend frivolously (usually fol. by away):
to frivol away one's time.

Here's a riddle. What do the following have in common?

They're all tools for procrastination, of course!

I've noticed a very interesting trend: an increasing number of year 12 students from my school have recently (these holidays) joined Facebook.

Me? I joined before it was cool - well, I joined last holidays. Months before the masses.

So now we bond - over silly applications like The Water Fight and Pirates vs Ninjas (it's probably better if you don't ask), drunk photos from our formal, and wall-to-wall posts bemoaning the amount of work we have.

(Meanwhile, our lives creep away from us stealthily as we sit, entranced by virtual life.)

Skype is slightly more communicative and justifiable. Here's how:

Father: Were you skyping all that time? (NB: It was only an hour)
Me: Yes - I was talking to Miss SC.

Miss SC is my friend who moved to England. Thus: justifiable!

I am clearly beyond obsessed with all of the above, as I have been known to discuss Facebook and Gossip Girl while on Skype, which particularly frustrates my friends who do not have Facebook (nor understand Gossip Girl).

However, Facebook has introduced me to some interesting terms that I would like to share (using the application SuperPoke! you can do these things to people):

Undoubtedly the best feature of Facebook is the ability to throw a sheep at someone using above application.

Where does my beloved Gossip Girl come into all this? Only that I was rudely denied being able to download the 40 minute (gasp!) free (double gasp!) pilot episode from the iTunes Music store as "your account is not connect to the US store." In any case, I have been able to download it in segments (somewhat slowly) from YouTube. Hoorah!

In other amusing but useless things to talk about, my friend (who, incidentally, I was skyping) introduced me to this funny but catchy video jingle by Men Without Hats (what an intriguing concept that is - what is the significance of their hats, I wonder?) Makes you want to pull out some of those really bad dances moves from the 80s, doesn't it?

If you're feeling frivolous, or perhaps grumpy, watch this hilarious Harry Potter puppet video - better than it sounds, I promise (and this one has been circulating around my school for weeks now).

Egad. I have linked just about everything in this post back to Facebook or Skype or Gossip Girl.

And as now is the time for embarrassing confessions as above, I shall also admit that Harry Potter fanfic has also played a significant role of distraction, not least because my friend (who we have to thank for the song above) who introduced me to the idea keeps sending me fics. Not that I'm complaining.

No, the only thing I'm complaining about is the amount of work I still have.

Not only is this post becoming circular, as I mentioned the above complaint in reference to Facebook (I told you it always comes back to Facebook, Skype or GG!) but it is now going to join the riddle of Supposedly Unrelated Things Except for Their All Being On The Internet (And, Of Course, Tools of Procrastination).

I think I have either been inside too long or been on this computer too long.

Just a girl