Tuesday, June 23, 2009

home!

i cannot believe i'm home. i've been so so busy that i haven't even been able to update this and let you know that i've returned. i left sydney, australia on june 16th at 10AM, returned to LAX on june 16th at 6:45AM, flew to boston, and returned home at 11:30. The following day, I went to work at camp jewell. i'm no longer jetlagged, though.
honestly, this trip was the best thing that has happened to me in my life thus far.
i am a different person, a better person, and a happier person.
this experience has shaped my life into more of what i want it to be.
i will never ever forget this trip, the friends i made, and the experiences i had.
to end, i'd like to quote Lin Yutang
"no one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow"
too true, too true.
g'day.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

sydney: day one!

today i met erin in the city after her last exam!
it was her friend, emma's, birthday so we went out to lunch with her a couple of her uni friends.
it was pretty sweet.
tonight, we went to a pub with her and her fam, and i got to talk to my mom which was sweet.

when i got off the phone with my mom, she said "see you in five days"
FIVE DAYS?!
crazy!
i'm looking forward to going home but i will really miss this place.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

sydney, sydney, sydney!

i'm in sydney with erin!
saying bye to my flatmates was hard, it's definately weird to not be going back to WA.
my feelings are mixed, i'm so so excited to be here with erin but i really really miss my australearn friends.

i know i will definately keep in touch with them, though
and see some of them at the end of the summer--stoked for that!

"we had longer ways to go, but no matter, the road is life"
-jack kerouac

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

the final night in WA

i can't quite explain what i'm feeling right now.

i just said bye to april chris and patten, it was honestly one of the hardest things i've ever done.

my room looks so empty it echoes. it's crazy how quickly time went!
the people i met here have changed me for the better.
i will honestly never ever forget them
who's ready for a reunion at the end of the summer?!

i'm done with school now, though, and that feel great to be able to say! i just had a farewell dinner with my flatmates and now i'm going to finish packing.

heading to sydney tomorrow to see my friend erin! i'm so excited i can hardly stand it!

goodbye WA, the experiences i've had here will stay with me forever.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

zooplankton

urban dictionary needed one more definition to be considered legit.
i took it upon myself to give it that one last definition.

ladies and gentlemen, the infamous definition:

murdoch uni in all its glory!

a lot of my friends want to know what studying abroad is like, especially what the school is like.
just for fun, i looked up murdoch uni on urbandictionary.com
the definition seems pretty right to me:


murdoch is CRAZY when it comes to finals, though. super strict! i took two finals yesterday and am real proud to say that i actually survived!

the first one was my biology final. everything seemed to go pretty well with that, but it was wicked long and took me the whole three hours to finish. i think i did relatively well, other than the fact that i defined zooplankton as plankton that lives in a zoo...

better than leaving it blank, eh?

the second final was for my 'principles of language and lit' ed class. this one was A LOT easier. the essay writing wasn't bad at all, and picking out the processes, participants and circumstances in each sentence was pretty easy, so i was psyched!

two finals down, one to go!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

the first and final newport night...

every wednesday is dubbed 'newport night' after a bar in freo called, obviously, newport.
i could never go because i always had class at 8:30 on thursdays.
but since it's my last wednesday in perth, we decided to make an appearance.

good times!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

the perfect study setup

free beer and wine to celebrate the end of the semester in the new student village.
of course i took part, i don't know when the next time i'll have tasmanian beer is.

and then, being the fantastic student i am, i went back to studying...

how interesting are invertibrates?!

the flatmate dinner!

okay, so in the past 4 months, my flatmates and i have always wanted to get together and go out for dinner. what was supposed to be a 'once a month' thing never happened.

well, i have less than 2 weeks here and we finally got our act together.

if you know me well enough, you know i love chinese food. actually love it, like more than any other type of food in the whole entire world.

kardinya is only about a ten minute walk from our flat and whenever we go to the shopping centre, we pass a chinese food restuarant and it's ALWAYS packed, so we decided to go there because it must be good.


we were right
it was incredible!


chinese food restaurants are different than they are in the western hemisphere. people in australia (and southeast asia, according to my two singaporean roommates) use both the spoon and fork to eat chinese food. i think americans are the only people who eat with only forks for the most part, because during dinner, laura (from finland) and angel and ailin (from singapore) asked me if i ever use a spoon.


my response: "yeah, i use a spoon if i'm eating cereal or soup or ice cream and stuff like that"
their response: stares.

it was pretty funny.

not going to lie, it took me a while to eat with only a fork, but i stuck to my american roots.


the dinner was really fun, we all had a great time! i wish we had actually gone more than once. but one time is better than none at all, eh?
i'm really really going to miss angel, laura and ailin

i love you guys!

Monday, June 1, 2009

dude, heat wave?

okay, so i'm nonchalontly sitting in my room skyping with my friend talia and we're talking about how i'm about to go to the pool and get tan while studying for my biology exam. she's like "i want to be tan!" i was like, "you will be, believe me" (sidenote: she's heading to the eastern side of australia in about ten days for six weeks). she said "no, it will be winter there". i explain to her that australia honestly has no ozone layer, so she'll tan even if it's winter.
that's when i check the temperature on my clock to see how hot it is in my room. let it be known that i have both my windows open and my fan on. this is what my thermometor said:

really? 110 DEGREES! really? it's winter here and it's still hot as hell in my room!

i laughed over this--in massachusetts winter time is easily in the negatives.

oh australia, how you still continue to amaze me.

Friday, May 29, 2009

road trip, day 2: wave rock

wave rock is SWEET
(R-L) kevin, shibs, me, april, chris & patten
honestly, wave rock was legit. pretty stoked that we made it even though the drive was 4 hours. the rock, made from granite, is 15 metres high and 110 metres long. the formation was caused by water erosion and weathering and was discovered 60 million years ago when it emerged from the ground.

we, being ridiculous and just generally excited to be out of the car and standing up, probably had way to much fun on wave rock and took tons of pictures.
(the fact that kevin is also an aspiring model/camera whore created about 90% of them).


a couple of kilometres down from wave rock is another rock formation called 'hippos yawn'. it's called that because it looks like a hippo yawning, for obvious reasons (unless you're chris, direct quote "how does it look like a hippo? i don't see it!") really chris, really?

we ended the day by watching the sunset on the top of wave rock. the view was absolutely beautiful and we were extremely lucky that we caught the sunset just in time. it was amazing, definately something i'll never, ever forget.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

road trip, day 1: the pinnacles

today, a bunch of us went to the pinnacles desert!(L-R) anna, katie, shibs, kevin, me, april, chris & patten


Since there were so many of us going, we took two cars (and i got to drive one of them--on the other side of the road) here's proof:
We woke up at 8, met up at 8:45, and we're on the road.

The drive was relatively easy, took us about 3 hours, and it's honestly in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE! but the drive is seriously worth it. i've always wanted to see the pinnacles and i still can't believe i actually have.
When we got there, we were able to walk around the desert, and then drove around on a driving path. if there was ever a perfect day to walk around a desert, this would have been the day.

video

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

road trip this week :)

the other night we watched 7 pounds--such a great movie.
so so good :)
today, me april and kevin laid out in the sun, it felt great--it's been colder the past couple of days, and by cold i mean probably 60 degrees farenheight. i feel like jack (my grandfather) because he always talks about how cold it is when it's 70 degrees.

i'm PSYCHED because this week we're taking a road trip to the pinnacles desert and wave rock.
can't wait!

pinnacles desert

wave rock

Sunday, May 24, 2009

the pong/board game/dance party

"i get by with a little help from my friends"
to celebrate the end of classes
(and to just generally have a good time)
we had a pong/board game/dance party.
good times.

Friday, May 22, 2009

breakfast for dinner night!

every once in awhile, we decide that we don't feel like cooking anything except pancakes...
this was how breakfast for dinner night was born



oh, how i will miss it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

a WA winter

remember when i left to come here and it was winter in massachusetts?
the temperature was 10 degrees with a wind chill negative that.
let me remind you what that looked like:



now, just for fun, let's look at what WA looks like in winter time:



i rest my case.


mary&steve

mom and dad,
happy 25 years of marriage
love you both!
xxx

finished

CLASSES ARE OFFICIALLY FINISHED!
never thought i'd say this, but i'm sad they are.
it means i'm that much closer to going home
&
leaving this incredible place.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

rottnest island!

today was rottnest island day!

rottnest island is an island off of WA that is owned by the government--that means it is illegal to own land on the island (unless you work on it), and you cannot own a car.

our way of travel? bikes, of course!

april, chris, shibs, and i headed to freo this morning at about 9, caught the 930 ferry, and were on our way to rottnest.

rottnest island is known for it's quokka's, an adorable marsupial that is only found on the island. in fact, whoever first came upon quokka's thought they were actually oversized rats, and they're everywhere--therefore, ratnest, or rottnest. island was born.

but they're actually a lot cuter than rats, we swear!


video

the island is measured to be about 11 kilometres long, and we biked for atleast 9. i don't think my ass has ever been this sore--definately not going to bike ride again for awhile.

it was absolutely beautiful, though. the island has over 60 beaches, not including those overlooking bays. you can ride around the island for as long as you want and stop at beautiful beaches to snorkel.



but it was so fun!

and for those of you who have never seen a western australia beach, here's a video of one:


video

shibs was excited because he didn't have to bike for awhile, as we all were.

oh, did i mention april and i skinny dipped in the indian ocean?

--you only live once--

kirkland and his 23rd


lastnight , a bunch of us went to 'little creatures
brewery' in freo to celebrate kirkland's 23rd birthday! kirkland's actual birthday isn't until tuesday, but he's leaving to go back to the states on wednesday, so an early celebration was good!

he will be the first of the australearn group to depart
how sad is that?


it was really really great to see him, i've been so busy that i haven't been able to hang out with him as much as i'd like, but lastnight was a great reunion for the both of us! and the nacho's were AMAZING. seriously, if i hadn't eaten that jalapeno, they would have been even more amazing.


and 'little creatures' is also amazing! it was my first time being there and i fell in love with it. the whole atmosphere was awesome.




HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KIRKLAND!
i'll miss you!




Saturday, May 16, 2009

freo, heave ho!

freo, heave ho!

freo, way to go!

hit 'em real hard,

send 'em down below!

according to urbandictionary.com, australian rules football, or commonly just called plain "footy" here in oz, is "the worlds greatest sport". this is how the rules work:


-it is against the rules to push a player in the back, but it is allowed to run in from behind him, jump up, stick your knees in his back, and catch the ball.


-if you tackle a player, you get a free kick, unless the refs decide the tackled player did not have a chance to get rid of the ball before he was being tackled, in that case the ball is bounced.


basically, urban dictionary took a stab at footy.


chris, patten, april and i went to a footy game lastnight and we were clueless.
absolutely clueless--as in 'what the fuck is going on' clueless.


it was so fun, though!
(and we got free blow up 'fremantle football club' anchors--which look more like fallic symbols, but we have learned to pretend they don't).
april's flatmate, shibs, was watching it on tv and saw us! it was funny--a cameraman was a row or so to the left of us and was pointing the camera right at us, of course we didn't think much of it, but hell, we were on tv in australia, so you really can't complain, eh?

The game was at the Subiaco Oval, only a 20 minute train ride from murdoch station, and it was the Fremantle Dockers vs. the Hawtorn Hawks (all the way from tasmania). Freo ended up losing, but it was awesome to be there! i'm really glad we went. let me just say that (aside from steve yarmosky and maryland basketball) these freo fans were the biggest sports fans i've ever seen in my life. seriously, i have never seen anything like it. it just proved the fact that australian's love their country even more.
it was awesome.

video





reality sets in

today is my one month mark to my departure back to the states. remember my last post about my one month departure date until i go to australia? i was terrified of leaving massachusetts, which is weird to me now because i'm so so comfortable here. if anybody reminds me of the time i have left, i suddenly get a feeling of anxiety. quite honestly, i don't want to leave here at all. i feel like i've been here forever and i love that feeling. i was talking about it to a couple of friends lastnight, remembering the first view of murdoch, when my australearn group first drove up to the student village in our hippie van. everybody was still confused about driving on the wrong side of the road, everyone had no idea what was to be expected.
i can honestly say that i am more comfortable here than i have ever been at bridgewater,
which hurts me to say a little bit, because i know i have so many friends at bridgewater that love me and miss me and can't wait until i come back--and don't get me wrong, i miss my friends there too, but i've lived in massachusetts my entire life. not much is different in eastern mass than it is in western mass (minus the mountains, of course).
but sometimes, you need to completely remove yourself from your comfort zone in order to feel completely comfortable with life again.
i know to some people this doesn't make sense, but to me, it does. i love this place and i'm planning on living it up for the next month. therefore, the next couple of posts will be about me taking all the oppurtunities i can, traveling all i can, experiencing everything i can, because i know now that good times can happen so quickly.
--it's time to appreciate everything here for what it is--
"when i was a little kid
my father told me to see the world for him.
so i took my things
and painted pink sunsets over the vast oceans"
-steel train

Thursday, May 14, 2009

the learning journal, post 2

in a couple of days, my complete learning journal is due for EDU260 (the same class that the goldilocks performance was for). it's a lot of hard work, but i enjoy doing it if i have some good music to listen to (www.myspace.com/goblindpilot). the learning journal has three parts; the lecture portion, the workshop portion, and the reading portion.



i have finally finished the workshop portion (applause)! it seemes to take forever, but i'm really proud of it. after i finished the workshop portion, i went straight to work on the lecture portion. i have to say i'm breezing right through it, which is good--i'm hoping to get to the reading portion as soon as possible. the reading portion will definately take the longest because all of my notes on the readings for some reason can't be found on my computer. it's a mystery.

update: the lecture portion is officially finished! i'm celebrating with an episode of lost (YAY!) and then onto the readings i go!

lost!


okay, so now would be a good time to explain to you my completely and utterly absurd obsession for the tv show, lost. so i totally missed the bandwagon on this one and started watching the show from the very beginning this past december.

i finished season one (so good!) but then i came here and unfortunately, abc.com doesn't stream anywhere outside of the US. therefore, i have been completely lost free and i hate it. HATE it. especially because a new season started lastnight in the states and i am still only caught up on season one.

so i decided to do something about it. after months and months after trying to find a loophole and watching the episodes in australia, i found a site that works! now i can watch an episode a night before i go to sleep :)

lost is so intense, though, i doubt i'll be able to sleep...but i can't wait :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

uplifting song

whenever i'm upset (especially about the amount of math i have to do), watching this video puts me in the best mood ever. oh how i love justin vernon--honestly one of the most soulful, beautiful videos i have ever seen.

ugh.

honestly, i am getting sick of math.
in fact, i didn't realise enviromental biology had so much to do with math.
ew.

Monday, May 11, 2009

the learning journal, post 1

since my EDU260 class is officially over, i've dedicated my free time to working on it's final assignment (due 18 may). the final assignment is a 'learning journal'. The journal is "a record of reflection in and on learning through the arts during this unit including summaries and reflections on and intergrating lectures, readings and workshops". that description of the journal makes the project seem really lame and pretty boring. truthfully, it's been fun putting together a scrapbook of the class as a whole. i'm not going to say it's been easy, though.

the project is worth 30% of the grade and it's definately starting to get to me. i'm an artsy person and i like doing projects like this, but usually it's for fun--not for 30% of my grade.


and because time in australia is running short, i would much rather hang out with my friends then work on an assignment like this one.

no worries, though, i'm almost done with the workshops portion of this project. i've started the lecture portion, and the final portion (the readings) will be started on soon. this would be a whole lot easier if my reading journals weren't deleted mysteriously off my computer.

anyway, the pictures are of the learning journal so far. i'm not quite done with it, but the pictures are of the pages i take the most pride in. a lot of the pages are still lacking pictures of my class and my performance group, but i'm heading to the library today to print those out.

hope you enjoy :)

 
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