Friday, February 18, 2011

Post Ten: in which I finally find some resolution, discover the DLC allday/night coffe machine, and 'James Bond' my way around campus.

Hello dear readers!

Sorry it has been a fairly long time since my last post. and sadly, I am not creative enough this Saturday morning to come up with anything groudbreakingly amazing for the tenth post in my travel blog. 

Before I get to the nitty and gritty of my academic and orientation travails, I must firstly and most importantly relate some of the crucial discoveries I have made.

1.) Coffee. the coffee here is not good. Of course, since I have not shelled out the 5-7 dollars a cup that it takes at an actual coffee shop, I cannot expect much; therefore I am contenting myself with the 24 hour coffee machine I recently found in the DLC kitchen. THAT'S RIGHT PEOPLE! 24 HOURS! I have added a picture of all of this glorious machine's options so that you can get an idea. All in all, the coffee is like chewing instant coffee flakes flavor-wise, but the round the clock and coffee AND espresso option makes up for it to some degree. I am by no means a coffee addict, I try to limit my intake so that I will not become such a person, however the mere fact that there is constant coffee if I should so choose is pretty sweet.

2.) Vegemite. A truly Australian experience (despite the fact that it is manufactured by Kraft), Vegemite is a brown substance that comes in a jar or packets, similar to Peanut Butter or Nutella. DO NOT BE FOOLED! Vegemite is a yeast-based, butter-like stuff that tastes like brown salt with a butter consistency. I was shown exactly how to eat this stuff by a native of Canberra (pronounced Can-Bra) who said that she grew up eating it on toast as a snack...Vegemite is...tolerable I suppose, I did not find it a totally undigestable substance, but I cannot understand why anyone would WANT to eat it...its not even good for you it is just salty yeastbutter basically. It does not add any pleasure to anything one can put it on, no value as far as I can see.

3.) There was a speed friendship session last evening. I met someone named Han. Yep, like the Solo. Enough said.

4.) The Reject shop: in the mall across the street is a shop by this name. they have a bunch of stuff that is a little less than perfect so it could not be sold in regular stores (e.g. soap bars that are cracked). anyway, it is alot alot cheaper and I have been able to get a bunch of stuff there such as folders, a sponge, and I was really happy to find some dishsoap that smells like Sprite!

ORIENTATION: Now begins my narrative of the first few days of Orientation. Let me start by saying that at least 90% of what we were told at the O-sessions we could have been given through an email packet weeks and weeks before we arrived. We were given info on campus clubs, surf safety, internships, and what to expect from our classes. We were then split into groups to talk with our advisers, we were then told how to access our campus emails (in which I found later we already had important emails that we should have opened BEFORE orientation, but didn't because we were not informed how to access these accounts...) and how to go about changing our classes. Given all the legwork I went through to get all of my classes sorted out before I left America, one would think I would have no issues. WRONG! one of my classes had the one and only lecture time scheduled for the exact same time as another class...therefore I unfortunately had to drop either Indigenous Studies, or AU cultural Studies (the two classes I was most excited about taking). THEN I had to run around campus finding professors so that I could get approved to take another class since I was dropping AU Cultural studies!

I don't mean to complain much. All of this is sort of normal I suppose, for any school, even at LU there are often class issues. It is just that being in a different country, and with all the frantic emails I had sent before my departure I had hoped that things would have already been sorted out. However, no worries, its all worked out now (as far as I know) and the huge bonus is I only have class T, W and Thurs! Hello 4 day weekends! I hope that my classes will not be too difficult and I can perhaps get some weekend trips in!

CAMPUS: This is where the James Bond aspect comes into play. I decided that since I have such a poor sense of direction I would try to walk around campus to get to know it a bit before I had to be actually in my classes. I thought it would be fun to take some pictures of campus to post here. On leaving my dorm I ran into another American who is living here, she saw my camera and warned me that a friend of hers had been chewed out by campus security for taking pictures. Apparently it is really not allowed to take pictures of campus unless one has special permission. Needless to say, this did not deterr me from snapping my covert photos, it merely put me on guard and I proceeded to sneak around campus secretly snapping shots of the various buildings all the while thinking of James Bond music and sometimes flashing to Get Smart when I accidentally almost fell down the stairs because I was not aware that they were there. Here are my results.

Dunmore Lang. I live in the right building on the left side. Campus is about five minutes walk directly behind where I am standing
Campus Hub again, sort of looks like a parking garage...
The main walk outside the human sciences buildings
Central Courtyard and Campus Hub building

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