Thursday, 23 September 2010

Surprise! I’m alive :)

Hello, dear blog. It's a jolly good thing you're not something that requires constant watering, otherwise you'd have withered up long ago.

Would you look at that – several months have bitten the dust since I last blogged. Oops. This last semester has been crazy – I didn’t think it was possible for me to be busier than I was last semester, when I was organising the college ball, adjudicating, starting a roving reporter gig and doing a full load of uni subjects. Apparently I enjoy proving myself wrong, not just in theory, but in practice: with only taking three subjects this semester (my final 3!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! Graduation, here I come! ...provided my crap grades this semester don’t make me fail...) and a sweet two-day-a-week timetable (but shhh – don’t tell my dad, he’ll be all “you’re wasting your time at university, you’re so slack, why aren’t you taking more classes, rah rah rah” – he knows I’m only taking 3 but doesn’t realise my timetable is so AWESOME – I mean “lazy”) I felt I could take on a few more extracurriculars. Cue my getting a casual job, getting involved with the Student Appeal on campus, starting to volunteer with the Oaktree Foundation one day a week, a hectic college calendar, a billion and one twenty firsts, and you get one ridiculously busy JAG.

But back to the exciting news that I have a job – I WORK AT BORDERS, BITCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How FANTASTIC IS THAT?!?!?!?!?

Not meaning to gloat or anything, but honestly, I love my job. Everyone who works there is so lovely, they’ve been super helpful in showing me the ropes, my managers are really nice, and getting paid to sell, talk about, shelve and be around books is just a dream. Plus the pay is pretty great (let’s be honest, almost anything – including working at McDonald’s – pays better than Boost, so I’m stoked) – I’m saving up for next year (GAP YEAR!!!!!) if only I can resist my glorious staff discount. It’s also a lot of fun, because it’s the one place where you’re allowed to be unashamedly fangirly about anything and everything. So you can see that I fit right in ;)

So peeps, I’m trying/starting/hoping to make plans for next year. The plan I’ll be working for 6 months (hopefully still at Borders – they’ve been pretty great so far about the fact that I can’t work over the Christmas for two weeks because – that’s right – my uncle’s getting married in Hawaii) making – I mean saving – some serious dough so that I can commence some serious travelling in the next six! I want to volunteer teaching English or working in an orphanage for a couple of months – and before you say “but JAG, you KNOW there are only 12 months in the year, right?” – that’s half of the six months travelling. I’d love to go to Argentina, because it’s Argentina, I’ve never been to South America, and I’d like to try to resurrect my very shonky Spanish. Or maybe Peru. Possible Costa Rica. Any of which would be AMAZING. But as we all know, I’m DYING – like, literally a little bit every day (“wait, WHAT?!”*) – to go to India (and not just to visit a dear friend of mine – ok well mostly) SO I haven’t yet decided whether I’ll volunteer there and travel, then go on to Europe (because I want to see more of Europe – especially Spain – and who knows, hopefully meet some of you!). Decisions, decisions.

Can anyone recommend an organisation/agency I should volunteer with – or advise against, that’s equally helpful. At the moment I’m thinking of getting TEFL qualified with i-to-i or possibly going with Projects Abroad. I’d love to get an AYAD position, but that seems extremely unlikely.
Oh, I’ve missed this – all of this, and you. I’ve missed the ability to endlessly rant with pointless asides and references only you, my dear friends, will put up with, mainly because I choose not to edit, and therefore you can do nothing about it but tolerate me. I’ve missed your advice and your jokes and your comments and your LIVES: like, what have you been up to? UPDATE ME. I’ve been shamelessly out of the loop – not reading your blogs, not commenting, not even skimming them in passing on the way to Go Fug Yourself or Post Secret (both sadly neglected in recent weeks) or, more accurately, Facebook.

Does anyone here watch Charlie the Unicorn? I’ll admit I’m fairly late in the game – my college is obsessed with it, and keeps quoting it (“Charlie! We’re on a bridge Charlie!”) – but that is some funny shit. Get on it.

So in the time between now and when I last blogged, it took Australia approx 1.5 years to decide on a Prime Minister (did anyone think it was going to be that close an election? Apparently we want to be just like the Mother Country – I mean England – and have a hung parliament too) and honestly, it’s hard to tell if the Liberal (remember: Australians are backwards, so the Liberal party Down Under is actually the conservative party – yeah, no kidding) or Labour candidate is in, considering we’re getting so little progressive action on refugees, climate change, foreign aid or gay rights. The Greens and Labour marriage of convenience should be interesting – I’m hoping it’ll make Labour’s policies slightly more distinguishable from the Liberals, ie give us some actually liberal action. What a change that would be!

(On the other hand, some electoral seat in QLD now has a 20 year old MP. "*splutter* - WTF AUSTRALIA?!" It's OK - we feel the same.

Also, I went to the UN DPI/NGO Conference on Advancing Global Health (quite exciting – only the 3rd time in 63 years it’s been held out of NYC – last two were Mexico City and Paris), which was pretty amazing. I got in as a volunteer usher, which was a pretty sweet gig, because all I had to do was stand around, direct people/tell them where to go (pretty funny on the first day, we couldn’t answer basic queries like “where are the bathrooms?” “where does the elevator go?” and “is there wireless in here?” because we hadn’t been briefed) then we could sit in on whichever sessions we wanted to see! Every morning (it went for 3 days) there was a roundtable/panel of speakers on a certain issue relating to health and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Tim Costello moderated one session, and Chris Varney (2009 Australian UN Youth Rep) spoke a couple of times too, both of whom are FANTASTIC speakers. Big wigs from the UN were there, as well as prominent leaders in development and NGOs from around the world. The conference was a change for NGOs to come together and discuss strategies for achieving the MDGs, as well as affirming their commitment to them and issuing recommendations to the UN on how to move forward between now and 2015. It was fascinating being exposed to such a range of thinkers and activists, all passionate about one thing: advancing global health. It was quite a sentiment to be caught up in.

And finally, it was Gemini's 21st a couple of weekends ago, for which I flew to the national's capital. It was themed "12 years old (being young again)," complete with fairy bread, jelly beans and karaoke. I had a fantastic time, and would definitely count it as my favourite/most fun 21st so far (I have something like 8 coming up in the next 6 weeks.)

Anyhow dear friends and lovers, it is much past my (desired) bed time. It is lovely to be back, and I'll see you again soon :)




*remember my propensity towards exaggeration to express my desire and/or excitement :)