Monday, 31 March 2008

Worb, Verd

Sometimes I could almost swear that my spanish teacher confuses the words verb and word and comes up with worb and verd.

That, it's his really strong semi-German accent and/or it's too early (10am) on a Monday morning.

It's one of those beautiful cloudy days (with rain earlier this morning in said spanish class) that Melbourne enjoys so frequently that makes you me want to curl up in bed with a hot chocolate and the book I'm currently loving, The Time Traveler's Wife. I wish I could sleep for the rest of the afternoon, but alas, I have tutes at 5.15, high table dinner, and another tute at 7.30 and tutes cannot be missed. Ah well. That is the price one pays for the convenience of college and the fun of friends (all in between during instead of class).

Hope you all had a happy Easter!

Just a girl

What is this, some kind of messed up karma?!

I had my wisdom teeth taken out last Wednesday (no biggie, more moaning about that later) and the pain hasn't been too bad over the past few days, and almost non-extistent today.

But now my jaw hurts because I've been laughing and smiling all evening since I got back to college and had an hour and a half conversation with Gemini (this is all her fault.)

How annoying. But in the meantime, I'm quite enjoying being back at college after a 10 day Easter break (though I'll really miss the sleep ins, I have a 9 o'clock lecture tomorrow morning, and yes, I know, I should be in bed). It's finally starting to feel like a home away from home. And that I have friends.

It's a good feeling.

Just a girl

Monday, 24 March 2008

O Week, Part II (Tuesday-Saturday)

Thankfully there was no repeat of the early morning wake up call on Tuesday or any other morning. Tuesday saw the start of University O week activities, some of which were entertaining (such as the trivia hunt on Thursday morning) but most of which were simply academic (read: boring.) But I did see most of my friends around Tuesday lunch time, which was pretty funny, because we all managed to run into each other on South Lawn and have a “reunion” of sorts. Bumped into many other people from school throughout the day, and would continue to do so during the week.

That night the college went out for dinner on Lygon St at a pizza joint (where else would we go on Lygon St?) which was loud, funny and delicious. Afterwards we split up; the majority of freshers went on a tour of local establishments pub crawl (about 5 in total, I believe, none of which are very far from college) whilst the “minors” (i.e. 16 or 17 years olds)/sick and on antibiotics/people who didn’t want to drink themselves silly (all in all around 15 of us) went laser shooting/bowling/gaming instead at Crown Casino. It’s only the second time I’ve been laser shooting (the first was a year 10 outing with my boarding house) and I sucked just as much as I ever did, but it was terrific fun. I’m not too flash at bowling, either, but with the bumpers on I wasn’t too bad. I’ve not done much gaming before, at least in a games arcade, so it was quite a new experience that involved air hockey (which I have played before), a dance off, a “drum off” and more than one “shoot off.” We didn’t finish until late – around 11 – so we stopped for ice cream on the way back and walked quickly back to catch the last tram, wondering if our counterparts were still conscious and what time they would stumble back to college. We all agreed that at least we’d be able to remember our night of fun!

Wednesday was Host Day, where we met up with older students in our faculties who would take us around campus, answer any questions and help us meet other first year students in our faculties through our groups. That afternoon was the Student Services Carnival, essentially a free stuff festival. There was free popcorn, free fairy floss, free snow cones (but only for student union members, so I suppose they came at a price), free “show bags” from the Commonwealth Bank, the student union, and various other groups, free stationary, pamphlets, key rings, Frisbees and so on and so forth. Met up with Sara, who got rolled over by two fat people people in blow up suits, which was pretty funny.

As we had our rubix cube party that night, I went to Savers (an op shop) with a bunch of other freshers to buy appropriately tacky, cheap and colourful clothing. 6 items of clothing (skirt, singlet, t-shirt, long sleeved shirt, bandana and scarf) cost me about $25. The idea of the party was thus: whenever the Captain Planet theme song was played, we had to swap one item of clothing so that by the end of the night we’d be dressed in one colour. I was mostly successful, but by the final swap I couldn’t trade my red t-shirt for anything purple. It was all hilarious though, especially the outfits/accessories we all turned up in (old coats with shoulder pads, straw hats, large shirts, boys in skirts – or one, anyway, manbags, lunch boxes, vests, hard hats, helmets), and all the ugly things we ended up keeping (and re-donating) at the end of the night.

Thursday was the “Crash Course to Uni” day, which involved a trivia/scavenger hunt around campus in our host groups. I was the only person from my group to show up (perhaps it was the miserable/cold/wet weather), but thankfully my host showed up too, so we joined with several other “lost” groups/hosts/people. It was pretty enjoyable, as we had to walk around campus, striking stupid poses all over the place (having photos taken). It really helped me find my way around campus (I was really worried about getting lost, as it’s a huuuuuge campus) and meet people.

Lunch time saw another Carnival (and Collection of Free Stuff) – the Clubs and Societies. I joined MUDS (Melbourne University Debating Society) and the Film Society. I didn’t stick around though, as we – the college – went rock climbing around 3 on the Verve wall on Swanson St. The last time I rock climbed was in year 9, at Mount Buller. These walls were something else, with so many different levels (from beginner to mega-advanced) side by side, and walls that stretched oh so high. It was incredibly scary to look down when you reached the top (even more so whilst you were climbing), so the adrenalin was pumping something fierce, which made it all the more thrilling. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to enjoy it as long as everyone else because that was the night of the IB Awards Ceremony (i.e. nerd fest) which I attended with my parents and actually wasn’t as boring as might have been expected. It was good to catch up with a lot of friends I’d only briefly seen during the week.

Friday was the final Clubs and Societies day, which I didn’t attend as the college had better plans; St Kilda Beach or the NGV. Being that it was cloudy, cool, and I enjoy that kind of thing, it was an easy choice; I went to the NGV and wandered through several free exhibitions; portrait photography, mourning fashions and European paintings of the 17th century. Again, this was cut short due to a dentist appointment that simply confirmed I would have to have all four wisdom teeth extracted removed, which is to happen next Wednesday.

Friday night was “disco ice skating,” at a temporary rink in Docklands. I haven’t ice skated since I was 10, maybe, when we used to often go to a rink in the city, which unfortunately closed. After a couple of times around the rink and holding onto the rail, I found my feet skates, more or less, but being the uncoordinated person/klutz that I am, my balance was more than off, and I’m surprised that I only fell over once (there were quite a few near misses, and I was a hazard to several people.) We even performed the fresher dance on ice, which was quite a feat (and earned us more than a few curious looks). The true embarrassment, though, would come outside, when we had to do it in the amphitheatre. But all was well again when we stopped at Hot Chocolate, a chocolate bar nearby which is absolutely divine.

The funniest thing about the tram ride home (not that late) was three drunk Irish guys who came up to myself and another girl and began telling us (in heavy accents) how “fucking great” our city was, with it’s “free drinks on every corner,” but how “fucking easy” it was to get lost. “Fucking great city, though.”

Saturday morning was the “O week closing ceremony,” and involved a “twister off” – a competition of Twister between the teams (in which I came 4th) – and an eating competition by one representative from each team; a bowl of custard powder, m’n’ms, two weetbix, a glass of milk, a glass of water and a glass of baked beans. Of course, when you mix it all together, it was just as hard to watch as it was to eat. We were all given awards for our various stand out characteristics, sayings or activities during O week; mine was the Shamrock award (for the three drunk Irishmen who were so friendly on the tram).

Of course, O week couldn’t finish without some form of sadism, and we were all arranged to have a photo taken underneath the veranda of the college when...buckets of ice cold water were dumped on us by student leaders on the roof. Suckered into posing for “the actual photo this time!” it happened again, but I’m thankful they didn’t throw flour on us the second time.

And so O week finished the way it began; with a whistle piercing the air, student leaders calling “It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Superman!” and us lying on the ground, beating our arms and legs, crying “whoosh! Whoosh!”

Just a girl

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

What is the world coming to?!

Read this incredibly unbelievable quote in an article today detailing the Macca/Mills divorce settlement:

British media reports said Mills emerged from court declaring she was happy with Monday's ruling, despite it being less than a fifth of what she'd demanded.

What caught my eye about the article was it's headline, which screamed Mills 'throws water over Macca's lawyer', so naturally, I just had to read it.

In short, Mills wanted $A271.1 million (God only knows what kind of 'damages' she was claiming to warrant such an amount) but only received $A52.3 million. How devastating for her; she still [only] ended up with the equivalent of $US1,400 ($A1,500) an hour for her four-year marriage to the pop icon.

Tell me, what could she possibly do with $270 million? Buy a prosthetic leg for every day of the year, and then some?

I don't have a problem with Paul having that much money (he is said to be worth $A1.8 billion), because he made it himself. Mills is just a gold digger, if you ask me.

But in much happier news, one of my favourite artists and the politician I'm rooting for are joining forces, so to speak. I would kill do serious bodily harm to go to that event! But you're probably all Obama supporters.

I can't deny Obama's inspiration as a speaker and his message of change (which I think the US really needs), but at the same time, that's all I think he is: rhetoric (perhaps "all hat and no cattle"?) He doesn't have the experience Hillary has, both as First Lady (obviously he can't have that experience, but it's an advantage for her) and as a Senator (of New York, no less) for 8 years. He hasn't done what Katherine Kizilos calls a "political apprenticeship," and I think that's important. The Des Moines Register really articulate my fear, observing that "with his relative inexperience, it's hard to feel as confident he could accomplish the daunting agenda that lies ahead." (Source) He very well could be a great president - next election, perhaps?

Also, considering their policies; Hillary's "affordable and available" health care scheme is universal, whereas Obama's is not, and would not cover around 15 million people, which I think is an important difference. Hillary's foreign policy, too, understands the need to talk with rogue states such as North Korea and having met with leaders and countries at countless international conferences at the First Lady, she has a good idea of how to participate in international affairs. Human rights are central to her policy; she believes in "a broader foreign policy mandate that, for instance, considers disease fighting a national security issue and deems the rights of women a priority." (Source) Though, to his credit, Obama has lived in Indonesia for 6 years (as a child), which surely would have broadened his understand of the world. notes Mr Obama's calculation seems to be that his vision-thing rhetoric will be powerful enough to get voters focusing on the psychic rewards from an omnivorous foreign policy that works out; rather than on the physical risks and costs that will come from getting involved and getting it wrong.

So her health plan fell apart. Isn't that what her critics are supposed to say about her? Kizilos says it all: The fallible Hillary Clinton has shown other strengths: that she is resilient and hard working and capable of admitting when she is wrong.

There is the whole legacy thing; Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton, but I'd rather that than Obama. And if you think "she's too liberal, too polarizing, a feminist too threatening to male voters. Too much baggage. Too... Clinton," well, consider this.

I don't support McCain because I think of myself as more of a Democrat, and also because I think he's too old. I read some pretty amusing opinions in a Democrat chat room:

  • The thought of eight years under The Clintons depresses the hell out of me
  • The thought of eight years under John McCain or Mitt Romney depresses me even more.
  • I'd rather Bill Clinton as President again then a Republican.
  • Anyone in America can grow up to be president, little Johnny...
  • Oh come on, eight years of Clintonian partisan warfare will be a delightful respite.
  • It's enough to make you wanna curl up in a fetal position.
  • Anti-Clintonites are a depressive lot. And they want everyone to feel the same way.

This thought was from the Political Interests Society meeting that I attended in the first week: the Democrats have an obligation to win this election. (Funny thing; when the question was asked who's a Hillary supporter, I was the only person in the room to put up my hand.)

And again, as Kizilos phrases it; I am still hoping that Hillary manages to turn history around by beating the odds and winning it herself.

Would you agree that surely any Democrat is better than a Republican?

How did we get from Heather to Hillary? Oh, right, headlines. Funny things, those...

Just a girl

Poetic Graffiti

Found in the toilets (this seems to be a trend) in the Law Building.

A maiden at college named Breeze
Weighed down by BAs and LITT Ds
Collapsed from the strain
Alas, it was plain
She was killing herself by degrees.

Clever/humorous, no?

Just a girl

Monday, 17 March 2008

I Can't Believe the News Today

From the devestating to the downright bizarre, the headlines appear to be more bad than good.

NZ teen shot dead after being mistaken for deer

Beheading accused suffered 'delusions'

Star of Courage awards for three acts of great bravery

Police-chase crash teen dies

They sought help, but got exorcism and the Bible

2000 teens gatecrash UK mansion party

Woman sat on toilet for two years

First Lady Becomes First Female Democrat Nominee - now that's a headline I'd like to see.

Just a girl

I really am a college student now

Stayed up late tonight watching Centre Stage on TV - never seen it before - instead of studying for tomorrow's Spanish mini quiz.

I also slept this afternoon when I should have been writing about "climate change and human migration" for my Ecological History of Humanities class.

All of which may sound minor, but I'm a self-confessed nerd, remember?

I really am a college student now.

Just a girl college student

Thursday, 13 March 2008

"You are all lame hookers. Reclaim your childhood."

Just a piece of graffiti I read on the wall of a toilet at a cafe I dined at recently.

In the interests of regularly updating this blog, I am posting the details of what went down during the first two days of O week.


Fweeeeeet! goes the whistle shrilly, and we all groan inwardly, knowing it can only mean one thing but hoping it won't.

"It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's Superman!"

That's the call that signals all of us to lie flat on our stomachs, banging our arms and legs against the ground and shouting "whooosh! whooooosh!"

The theme for O week is Superhero; all the student leaders dress up as one, and we all get to act like one on the ground.

This is O(rientation) week, when second and third years get to make fun of the "freshers," whenever and wherever they want. This is how we become accustomed to residential college life and meet new people who share our shame.

I moved in on Sunday, blissfully naive as to the torturous fate that awaited me. And of course I exaggerate, but only slightly. That afternoon we - all of us "freshers" - learnt what would become known as The Fresher Dance, a.k.a The Height of Embarrassment. It's a unique dance routine to the song Grace Kelly by Mika, which I had never heard before I came here, and now hear all the time.

Other meet ‘n’ greet activities included an “Amazing Race” around the college, in which all the members of each group (numbering 7 or more) were tied together and “speed dating,” both of which involved being squirted with water guns, which, we would soon find out, would become regular practise.

That night was the tutor’s welcome party, which was Harry Potter themed – for them. It was a really fun night, despite having to shout over the loud music, trying to introduce yourself to people, pronounce their names correctly, remember it and ask them what course they’re doing. I spent a lot of the night talking to people, dancing and trying to get other people to dance. It was also quite a learning experience, as we were exposed to some of the college party traditions;
-the fresher dance (ours, and that of the years before us)
-towards the end of the night, gathering in a circle and linking arms to sing “Holy Grail,” our unofficial anthem, whilst charging other people in the circle.

It went late into the night – past 12am – which made the next morning rather unpleasant (or more so) when we were woken at 7am by the blasting of “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” through our wings and banging on our doors, complete with shouts of “get up, freshers!” Dressing quickly (in our fresher t-shirts, of course, a bright red thing that made us easily conspicuous in anything and everything we did) we were hurried downstairs to begin the day with fun and games (such as tunnel ball and passing a lifesaver with a toothpick in your mouth) that again involved being wet by water pistols for incompetence (or winning, it seemed there was no pleasing them.) But the true agony was yet to come – we were made to run around Princes Park (or the oval, in any case), whilst being attacked along the way by “superheroes” armed with thier weapon of choice, water pistols.

Our next big adventure (read: torture opportunity) was a scavenger hunt in the city that afternoon. But before that began, we would be truly humiliated by doing our “superman thing” on Bourke St, in front of Myer, and then performing our fresher dance, which was apparently funny enough to make most people line up on the other side of the street, point, laugh and take photos. Oh, the shame. The hunt itself was not too bad, and mostly involved photos being taken of us doing goofy things, like striking superhero poses on the steps of Flinder St Station and singing the Captain Planet theme song on that stage at Federation Square. Fortunately, all of this is mild considering that last year – I’m told – one of the instructions was to go into a book shop, find the Karma Sutra, pick a pose and re-enact it (obviously taking a photo as proof.)

Monday night was Trivia Night, which was tremendous fun (and not without having to strike our superman poses on the floor.) Our group was not drunk – in fact, only two people were drinking – but we seemed to find everything enormously funny or rude, which made the whole night fairly hilarious and jovial. The competition also included Pictionary and a fresher dance off. We were leading the points tally the whole night, but crashed and burned in the last round (which I believe was “sports”), scoring only 1/10 and losing by 0.3 points.

Coming soon: a "tour of local establishments" (read: pub crawl) laser fight, bowling and a rubix cube party.

Just a girl

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

What will define YOU?

I have walked (yes, walked) over this question quite a few times, as it is chalked on roads and pavements all over campus. I'm not too sure who is behind it - probably the Student Union, trying to encourage us to join clubs and societies - and it's rather unusual that there is no one associated with it, because most slogans or advertisements written around campus serve the purpose of promotion and therefore are affiliated with someone or something (usually the Christian Union.)

Or maybe it was the philosophical society (if there is one) trying to provoke thought.

I've been turning the question over in my mind, and while I was writing a quiz for Facebook about myself (because I'm cool like that) I came to ponder it more closely. Or more accurately, it was the question how do I define myself, and do others define me differently? This thought struck around question 8, as I was wondering how people see me and how they think I see myself. It's sort of a "how well do you know me" quiz, but it's partly "what do you think of me compared with what I think of myself." It won't take long, and I'd be interested to see the results (i.e. what you all think of me). Sara can't take it, because she already did over Facebook (because she's cool like that, too), and scored 62% (although I'm not sure how that works since the last question was repeated accidentally and she submitted two different answers); but if she wants to leave the answers she chose the first time, I'd be curious to see how she answered.

This isn't, by the way, a popular contest or who knows me best or me trying to find out what you think of me; I simply want to know how others see me versus how I see myself. So leave your answers as comments and I'll let you know how you scored!

Question #2
What is my favourite colour?
a. Pink
b. Blue
c. Purple
d. Green

Question #3
Which country have I visited?
a. Japan
b. Italy
c. Morocco
d. Canada

Question #4
Which country do I want to visit?
a. Egypt
b. Russia
c. Ireland
d. New Zealand

Question #5
What is one of my ambitions?
a. Lawyer
b. Doctor
c. Engineer
d. Writer

Question #6
Which haven't I done?
a. Been up the Eiffel Tower
b. Snorkelled off the Great Barrier Reef
c. Seen Niagara Falls
d. Travelled on safari

Question #7
Which city would I love to visit?
a. Venice
b. Beijing
c. Buenos Aires
d. Munich

Question #8
I am a self-confessed...
a. cynic
b. nerd
c. patriot
d. klutz

Question #9
Favourite TV show?
a. Robin Hood
b. House
c. Scrubs
d. Neighbours

Question #10
Hobby on the side?
a. Pottery
b. Sewing
c. Photography
d. Knitting

Question #11
Pet hate?
a. Spelling incorrectly
b. Celebrities
c. Body odour
d. Prejudice

Question #12
When I was in grade 6, I...
a. used to have really long hair
b. kissed a boy
c. was dared to streak across the school
d. played video games a lot

Question #13
I am worst at...
a. Ice skating
b. Tee ball
c. Maths
d. Pool

Question #14
I wish...
a. I could fly
b. the world was Cadbury
c. I could speak French
d. my eyes were blue

Question #15
I love...
a. the snow
b. summer
c. rock music
d. rollerblading

Just a girl

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Anything But Clothes

That was the theme of the party for the returning second year students on Sunday night.

One specification: anything but clothes, but not naked.

Most people turned up in a sheet styled as a toga (myself included, only with a doona cover), though some were more inventive, dressing (if it could be called that) in cardboard boxes, foil, towels, plastic bags, garbage bags and cloth bags.

The costumes were most entertaining, but made dancing interesting (read: restrictive) for most of us. But it was still a lot of fun.

What I wore (I pegged it down the side to keep it together):

Just a girl