A Travellerspoint blog

Scholastic Adventures.

So, somehow I've managed to make it through a week of classes. My week begins with a photography lecture. Our professor is a photographer who, from what I understand, works an incredibly high-speed camera, usually in factories to examine the fine detail of the assembly line in the event of a malfunction, but apparently also at important tennis games. He showed us examples of past work in the course, proving his very artistic eye. He also explained how we were to be able to look at a photo and discern the method in which it was taken. He used examples to explain shutter speed and flash, and I actually, shockingly sort of understand. Today I wandered about and took a few photographs to make sure I'm not completely incompetent before I begin the first assignment.

After Photography lecture is Drugs and Behavior, in which I am an absolute genius for having taken AP Biology and having two medically-oriented parents. I knew almost every single thing the professor spoke of; I knew axons, neurons, hormones, neurotransmitters, drug classifications, etc. I did not, however, know that witches were possibly said to have the ability to fly because their brew contained various psychoactive roots that can create a flying sensation, as well as frogs, whose sweat glands produce DMT (a psychedelic). In my tutorial, which is a fancy name for a teacher's assistant who puts low-quality VHS's into a machine and presses play, I also learned that love really actually is the "soul drug," composed of a happy mixture of seratonin, dopamine, endorphins, noreadrenaline, phenylethelamine (naturally found in chocolate), and oxytocin.

On Tuesday, I have my Love, Sex and Relationships lecture and tutorial. This class, as far as I can tell, is a glorified (and highly entertaining) version of sex ed. In the lecture, we watched National Geographic film, "The History of Sex," which was filled with a lot of names and dates that I hope I'm not supposed to remember. The tut was only moderately awkward, despite being assigned the task of listing nicknames for various body parts and sex acts. This class is popular among Americans; I know nearly half of the 100-person audience in the lecture. Perhaps they are drawn to the professor, who arrived sporting stilettos and a satin halter top.

Wednesday is my Philosophy and Film lecture, which I missed because of a scheduling problem, but I have been informed that the prof couldn't get the computer to work and ended up just talking the whole time about the films we would watch in the class, as well as unrelated tangential information. This didn't really surprise me after meeting him in the tutorial on Thursday. He speaks with extended pensive pauses between sentences, not unlike my grandfather. I impressed him by not naming "Gladiator" or some other spectacle-based movie as one of my favorite "films that made me think." Instead I listed the blatantly philosophical "Waking Life" and "I Heart Huckabees," as well as the more subtly philosophical, inspiring, and real, "Y Tu Mama Tambien," which he clearly approved of as an example. He argued that his class is not a "movie club," but from his description of class activities, I can't really see how it could be anything else...

After that I had my Photo tutorial, which is fortunately optional as it is held from 4-6 PM on Thursday. The teacher's assistant is mildly incompetent, but managed to show me the basics of my camera. It was worth going because a girl from the advanced photography class oooh'd and ahhh'd over my wonderfully gangsta Minolta, which I am more and more appreciative of every time I pick it up. She said "you will get much better pictures with this than with a digital," and "I had one but my siblings broke it-- I am so jealous of you-- you can't find cameras like these anymore." It will be interesting to see how the first roll turns out, despite being sent through the X-Rayer at the airport.

Tomorrow, a few of us are going on a trip to Byron Bay for surfing lessons. I can't wait!! Pictures soon!

Posted by mintleaf37 02:20 Archived in Australia Tagged educational Comments (0)

Happy Birthday to ME!!

sunny

After numerous delays, missed connections, miscommunications, lengthy layovers, and more delays, (all on my birthday!!) I've by some miracle arrived at Bond University in the Gold Coast of Australia. It's stunningly beautiful here. The trees and flowers are like something out of a science fiction novel, and the birds make wild noises and have shocking colors as though they've been dipped in paint. Hares run rampant; the Aussies hate them for their exceeding abundance. Ants are also in abundance, and accordingly so are spiders. One quite large spider has been spotted outside our building. We've named him Frank. I don't know why. Here's a photo.
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Pretty cute.
Our dorm is known as part of "the blocks," which is a most appropriate name. Despite certain ghetto-like qualities, we've enjoyed having single rooms and shared common space for social reasons. We seem to spend more time outside our rooms than those with private bathrooms and balconies, etc.
Despite irregular weather coming out of the "wet season," we've had two trips to the beach. The first day we went to Surfer's Paradise, which is also the nearest city to Bond Uni. Here is a picture of me and Alex, who goes to Delaware and lives across the hall from me.
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The waves are huge. I went to play in the waves and was literally floored by them.
We also went to Burleigh Beach, which is in a cool little town a bit down the shore from Surfer's Paradise. Here is the view of Surfer's from Burleigh.
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It's very different from Boston, where the tallest buildings are mainly financial or business-related. Here, the tall buildings you see are mainly residential. I can only imagine the views.
So, I'm starting to get into the swing of things and am making friends. Ironically, most of the people I've met go to Northeastern, or some other school in the northeast. Here's a picture of my main group at the Bungalows, the coolest places to live on campus.
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That's me, Matt, Aja, Alex, Coree, and Phil. Matt, Coree, and Phil go to Northeastern, and Alex and Aja go to the University of Delaware.
One of our Aussie friends, Logan, lives in the Bungalows. He's been giving us the inside info on Australian culture, mainly dialect. For example, here the "pharmacy" is known as the "chemist." "Flip-flops" are "thongs," "ketchup" is "tomato sauce," "tube tops" are "boob tubes," and a "period" is a "full stop." I'm working on making a complete list of all the Aussie words I've learned. The speech isn't the only thing that's different. Alcohol is extremely expensive, except for wine which is absurdly cheap. Perhaps the heavy tax on alcohol is to prevent American study abroad kids from getting wasted, like Phil here.
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A glowing example of why not to drink to excess, Phil managed to climb on a wet cement block, jump to another, loose his footing, and land on his head. Here are the after photos...
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They spent the rest of the night in the hospital.
It's been an exciting week, but classes start tomorrow, so that's all for now. Goodnight, mates!

Posted by mintleaf37 02:27 Archived in Australia Tagged educational Comments (0)

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