Wednesday, 23 January 2008

My problem is, I dream too large

Think global. Dream large.

(You know what that means.)

I received an offer for the Bachelor of Arts at Melbourne University, my first preference!

To complement my acceptance at Melbourne, I was offered a place at the residential college of my first preference and a first year scholarship of $1,500 that I didn’t apply for! (Just as when my hand was shaking when I called my IBC to receive my score, my legs began to tremble slightly while I was on the phone to the residential college.)

I also received an offer for the double Media degree (with an Arts stream) at the University of Adelaide and an offer for the Bachelor of Philosophy (for Arts) at ANU, complete with a $5000 scholarship/year that, again, I didn’t even apply for!

So I’m absolutely on cloud nine about it all; I really couldn’t be happier with my score (well, obviously I would be if I’d gotten 41+, but I’m very satisfied and not at all complaining!) or my offers, which I’ve accepted at Melbourne University. The only thing that’s bothering me is my subject choices.

Monday was Academic Advice Day at Melbourne Uni, which was basically an information day about all the subjects on offer. The more I learned about what I could do, the more I wanted to do.

So now my problem is I want to do too much. There is not enough space on two people’s timetables for all the subjects I want to do. Creative writing, English literary studies, philosophy, psychology, anthropology, Spanish, classical studies, democracy, from Homer to Hollywood, Globalisation, Internet <=> Society, An Ecological History of Humanity, Introduction to Climate Change, Catastrophes, Cultures, and the Angry Earth.

At this stage, I’ve elected Creative writing (possibly my major), English literary studies (possibly my minor, or a double major), Spanish, from Homer to Hollywood (which I’m thinking I’ll change to Democracy) and Globalisation as my foundation subjects, and An Ecological History of Humanity and Introduction to Climate Change as my breadth subjects. I’m not sure if I’ll continue on with Spanish; I enjoy the subject and I’d like to continue studying it – not to mention it could also be advantageous for me in the area of journalism – but if I didn’t, I could explore other interests, such as psychology and philosophy, both of which I’ve never taken before.

I’m sure I’ll work it out; I’ve another few weeks to change my subjects, and the first few weeks of term to figure out if I like them or not. But the last time I faced this kind of decision – which was choosing in yr 10 whether to do Theatre and/or Design Technology and/or Biology in the IB (or instead doing all three in the VCE) – I didn’t find it so easy, and broke down a bit under stress. I’ll try to hold up better this time.

Any advice?

The rest of our (5 day) weekend in Melbourne was far less stressful and much more enjoyable. On Friday night we saw Shout!, the musical celebrating Johnny O’Keefe’s life, music and role in creating a profile for Australian rock in the 1950s, coinciding with 50 Years of Rock ’n’ Roll in Australia this year. It was very well done, portraying Johnny as a jocular, optimistic young man driven by his ambition to play on stage. He persuaded Lee Gordon to become his agent, and became heralded as the King of Rock ’n’ Roll and the Wild One. He encouraged fellow musicians to broadcast themselves – as he did – through TV by hosting variety shows. Though he never cracked it overseas – but not through lack of trying – he broke the conservative society that condemned such frivolity and indecency. In the middle of his career the lifestyle and pressure became too much, and he turned to drugs, which led to the breakdown of his marriage.

The musical numbers were in the vibrant style of the 1950s, and the ending was a performance which had all of us standing, clapping and singing along as a tribute to a man who did so much but died at 43.

On Saturday night we saw a musical I have long wanted – and waited – to see; Phantom of the Opera. It’s been running for so long that my parents have seen it once before, when I was little.

Just in case any one gets mad, there are spoilers – implied – in this review. They provide an overview of the musical, without giving the story away, but you have been warned.

With five crashing cords, the tragic yet compelling story of one man’s love for a woman he can never claim unfolds in Phantom of the Opera. His identity is a twisted mystery that haunts a Paris theatre, “an angel in hell;” she is the star who lights up the stage. But she is already spoken for; she loves another. And so until she becomes his, the play cannot go on.

Though the man behind the mask may be unforgiving and must be obeyed, his passion and desire becomes apparent in the stirring Music of the Night. By contrast, the Masquerade Ball is a lively affair, a picture of innocent lovers and celebration, but it is overshadowed by the fear of the Phantom and his demands, which force his muse to face up to consequences none can imagine. All of this culminates in The Point of No Return, a coy but blind seduction that leads to the Phantom’s ultimate attempt to wed* his unwilling bride.

Comic relief is provided in the shape of letters to the producers, but for the most part the play is suspenseful, poignant and bittersweet. The set is impressive in both grandeur and its seamless changes; the costumes equally so. But perhaps it is the special effects that are most spectacular in their ability to inspire shock and awe.

Though he can be cruel and manipulative to get his way, we come to empathise with a man who has never known true compassion. Though love conquers all, it is the Phantom who receives the biggest encore.
Sunday night saw us at the tennis, prepared to enjoy two matches, but only being able to see one and a half. The first was Australian Casey Dellacqua, who played well – but not well enough – against 3rd seen Serbian Jelena Jankovic. Tennis is one of – if not the – best spectator sports, because the crowd is so involved. After all, only in a tennis match could a crowd member call Jankovich’s return “out!” and be mistaken for a linesperson, causing Dellacqua not to the hit the ball, leading to umpire consultation and a request for the crowd not to make the calls. Collectively, we ooohed and ahhhed as challenges were played up on the screen, even before we knew whether it was right or wrong. We cheered when Dellacqua’s challenges were correct and when Jankavic’s were wrong. And Dellacqua’s grandmother received the biggest cheer of all when she was shown on screen before the match began.

The second match should have been the better of the two, as it was Nadal (who I had not yet seen play and had been eager to watch) vs. Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu. It began very well, and as Nadal began to hit his stride we were privy to some wonderful tennis. Unfortunately it ended all too soon, with the Frenchman retiring in the second set when he was down 3 love due to some unknown injury for which he had received some attention in the first set. The night matches previous to ours had gone on into the wee hours – Hewitt’s because it started late and went 4.5 hours, Roddick’s was simply a long match – but we got the night that finished early for all the wrong reasons. Ah well. I was happy to see Nadal – however briefly – as I have decided he is something of a dish. I would love to see him win the tournament – it would be great if he came up against Djockavich instead of Federer – but I doubt he will, Federer will probably win again, though I’m not adverse to that, either. I also hope that Ana Ivanovic wins - not only is she pretty, but a fantastic up and coming player who I watched beat Venus Williams in a tight match, but she'll have her work cut out for her in Sharapova, should she make it through the semis, who played arguably the match of her life against Henin, who matched her but just couldn't beat her. (Does the shriek annoy anyone else?)
Any other predictions?

Just a girl


toby said...

Wow! Awesome offers! Nobody can really advise you on this, because only you know what you want, however.....

Languages can be learned outside uni. I have friends who speak 3 or 4 fluently but did not go to uni.

Psychology and philosophy provide knowledge that is difficult to acquire elsewhere, whereas Eco subjects without science seem to me less useful.

Like I say, it depends what you want to do further down the line.

Emma said...

Terrific news! I'm so happy for you and you totally deserve it.

I don't watch tennis though; footie's more my game. ;)

Gabriela said...

Such good news!!!!

I'm happy for you.

I have no advice for you though, here in Mexico it doesn't work that way. I still can't comprehend how it works in other countries. Anyway, I think I know what you mean when you feel like you want to do too much. I've been there I guess.

Good luck with your decision, and congrats!