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August 2006

Sydney Uni LIVE! A fun filled day of frollicking amongst the sandstone. It's actually the only day of the year where I don't feel a twinge of guilt walking on the grass in the Main Quad. Then again, I am mildly obsessive compulsive.

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For those of you who are regular readers, you might remember a blog entitled 'Am I an idiot?’ I now have a definitive answer: YES!!!

Last Friday morning I was amongst 1784 people who undertook the challenge of walking 100km for charity. Sadly, 20% of them did not complete the challenge for various reasons. It was without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It is so difficult to describe the physical and mental pain that I was experiencing. Give me 6 exams in 5 days any time!!

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I’ve always been astonished by those people who, after 23 hours of flying, seem to emerge cool, calm and collected from the arrivals gate. Needless to say, this has never been the case with me. When I stepped off the plane at Heathrow I was the dishevelled backpacker you see shuffling towards the tube station through groups of waving relatives and friends.

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Just a reminder to everyone out there: IT’S THIS SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!!

Come along to Sydney Uni Camperdown (main) campus from 9.30 - 4 this saturday the 26th of August so it can be absolutely cemented into your brain that this is the #1 Uni of choice!

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Some of you may be aware that Sydney Uni has received some unwelcome media attention lately. Apparently, Jewish members of the student community have been physically and verbally abused on campus. Nothing, and I repeat this, NOTHING, could be more utterly reprehensible than this, and the actions of these students in no way reflect the values of the University of Sydney.

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I used to lament the fact that I was a Sydney Uni student who wasn't on Camperdown campus. I missed out on Theatersports at Manning on Thursdays and the food from Ralph’s café. I used to think that Cumberland was a small campus where nothing very much would happen outside the lecture theatre. But I am beginning to realise that this can also be a good thing!

Last week I walked on to Camperdown campus and was confronted by student politics.

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As we enter the main plaza the enormity of the situation hits me. We are ten “gringos” (foreigners) taking part in one of the most important celebrations of the year. Thousands of Bolivians stare and cheer as our overwhelmed selves respond to the cries of “Viva Bolivia!” Their shouts compete with the sound of firecrackers as they ricochet off buildings, and the marching band that marks Independence Day.

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Ode to Rod

21 Aug

As an Honours student, I have devoted a sizeable chunk of my year to studying in Fisher Library.

I use the computer labs there, I search for books there, I look up journal articles online, and as an added bonus, I am able to order books from other libraries if the Fish doesn't carry them.

This process is called Document Delivery, and today, I'm going to tell you all about the man who runs the DD show: Rod.

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Keren’s post, 'The single scene' , once again sparked my mind and encouraged me to write on another of the world’s little known minorities – The Zoroastrians. (I owe her a drink for all the times she’s flamed my creative consciousness)

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More than once I’ve witnessed a lacklustre showing at a uni protest and thought wistfully of the so-called golden years of collective action, when everyone had a social conscience (or perhaps just the looming spectre of mutually assured destruction is just a sexier issue than Voluntary Student Unionism, I don’t know). Yesterday's Pro-Choice protest also made me somewhat reflective, but for a different reason. It’s not that people don’t care about this particular issue. Not at all. It’s just that both sides have such strong beliefs, and such solid reasons (in their own convictions, at least) for these beliefs, that any interaction between the two inevitably reaches stalemate.

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Long time gone

17 Aug

My thesis is due in less than two months.

My body has been replaced by ten buckets of stress and a half a dozen bits of nervous wreck.

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Every night before I go to sleep I make a list of stuff that I have to do for the next day. Now, I’ve never been one for lists before this year (they are admittedly a bit anal), but I’m finding more and more that not only do they help me get my proverbial sh*t together, I actually need them. I only realised how bad this dependency was when I lost the one I made for today… still in my towel, I was already late for my all-day design tutorial and I was on the verge of a serious phone-chucking, Melibu-dumping and dare I say architectural model-crushing meltdown; all because I couldn’t find my ‘to do’ list. I was saved by my diary, thank god, and was sitting in my studio within ten minutes (aaah the joys of living on-campus). So while I got to my studio relatively on-time, with my design concept model still intact, it did get me thinking: people our age really do have a lot on our plates. And it’s not always how much we have to do but how we do it that is the deciding factor in how things turn out…

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The single scene

15 Aug

We all know it can be a tough life out there if you’re single. There’s no one to fend off unruly and unwanted men at a bar, you have no back up plan for Saturday night if all your friends are doing their own thing and then there’s worried and sympathetic whispers by the parents. These are problems without the complications of trying to find a partner.

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Home

14 Aug

I have just returned from an amazing two-week trip overseas. As a stowaway performer on a French/Italian Mediterranean cruise, I visited Nice, St Tropez, Capri, Sorrento, Amalfi, Pompeii and Roma. Before all that I managed to do a stop over in Bangkok and on the way back I had a stop-over in Amman (Jordan) to see family.

This left me thinking about the concept of home. What is home?

My honours thesis for sociology this year is all about the concept of home and feeling at home – the freedom to bring all parts of your identity together in a safe and validated way. Travelling really brings to the fore what it means to be “at home”. Surprisingly, the places where you are most at home are not always where you expected...

Rome Colloseum Flower.JPG

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I am going to let you in on a big secret. About me. You’re privy to my innermost thoughts and desires. And this is perhaps one of my biggest. Some people will think I’m strange, maybe even totally weird, but I can still hide behind the anonymity of my blog. Furthermore, I feel that I’m ready. I’m ready to confront the world, and show them my love. Are you ready for it, world? My heart is pounding as I write these words, but they’re coming slowly. Here it comes – I love Mongolian Throat singing.

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Nuclear transfer (better known as therapeutic cloning) is one of those issues that the majority of people would automatically skip over unless you were a keen medical science student majoring in stem cells or the likes. We see the word ‘cloning’, freak out by the thought of recreating people like Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot etc and move on to the next blog.

And I would probably be the same had my dad not brought it up at the dinner table just about every night for the past fortnight (you see, my dad is one of those keen medical scientists!!)

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Seven more sleeps until I board a plane bound for London! I feel like a little kid again in the days leading up to Christmas.

As uni went back last week my mind was far from thoughts of Sydney lectures and tutorials. Instead, it is racing with the prospect of a semester overseas.

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Under the shadow of the giant statue of the Virgin mother I sat tranquilly looking out over the city. Suddenly a small card was pressed into my hand – a prayer. That and a swift kiss on the cheek and he was gone…

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I think the one month break I had was the perfect length: I was able to go away for a bit with my family without feeling like I had missed out on too much in Sydney; there was enough time to cool off and forget about exams before results came out; and also to watch two seasons of Scrubs - enough to be (almost) sick of it.

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Keren’s post about “It’s time to dream” really interested me, and inspired me to write one of my own on the topic. Indigenous issues fascinate me, and the ongoing struggle that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have in mainstream Australian society is particularly interesting.

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So it’s ten past 12 and I’m sitting in my college computer lab wondering whether it’s better to lie in bed and think about things or sit at a computer and actually write about them. Today has been pretty full on for second week, but instead of feeling tired I feel energised and excited about everything! I know, it sounds nerdy, and maybe it is, but having just filled up almost every available slot in my diary for the next week, instead of freaking out I’m actually looking forward to everything that’s coming up… to the point that I’m having trouble sleeping. Yes, it’s true, I’ve got the uni bug (no, not that bug), and I’m loving it…

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When I was in high school, my perception of what uni was like was all based on the movie Road Trip and the TV show Felicity. I thought university was about frat parties, sex (or at least the opposite sex), cramming for exams and making out amongst the huge shelves of books in the library.

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