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September 2006

About two weeks ago something awful happened. I actually had to go to class.

Somehow over the course of the last month I’d managed to block out the fact that going on exchange to a foreign uni would entail actually having to attend class. My blissful bubble of denial was burst, however, when I found myself seated in the back of a packed-out lecture hall at an hour of the morning that I hadn’t seen since my last Sydney Uni exam in June. The horror of the situation only increased as the lesson went on and dirty words like “essay”, “midterm” and “oral presentation” were used with increasing frequency. As the Prof (note my use of Canadian uni slang) started to describe what was expected from our study groups, rather than giving him my full attention, all I could think about was how having to go to study group on Monday morning would affect my plans to go to mechanical bull night at the Buffalo Club on Sunday.

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After three weeks of great events, the Verge Arts Festival comes to a close.

With faculty reviews, concerts, exhibitions, awards, radio broadcasting and a screening of Harry Potter in the main quad, Verge has become an unmissable event in the student calendar.

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Honour Bound

25 Sep

Today's riddle:

What is:
- 130 pages long?
- has a word count of 21813?
- includes over 140 000 characters?
- references 110 items of primary sources, and 147 secondary sources?

MY THESIS!

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Gentle readers, I understand you have been upset by my absence. Indeed, it has been some time since I have written to you. But lo, there is a reason. For I have suffered from the most ravenous of plagues. It is true – my normally cast-iron constitution has let me down, and I have been beset and ravaged by a host of diseases, and disgustingly enormous nosebleeds. Worst of all, I was bereft of any parental help – a babe alone in the wilderness, as the cruel world closed upon me. Let me set the scene…

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My post earlier on a key debate in feminism caused some controversy which is good. Some have asked what it had to do with uni life, and my answer is simple.

Beyond the bars, clubs & societies, sports and cultural events is what uni life is really about: learning.

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People always ask me why I chose physiotherapy, and invariably my response is ‘I like sport and I like science so it seemed like a great way to combine the two and plus it’s easy to get a job at the end’. In the past four years I’ve learnt the exercise component and the science component. Now as I finish off my degree I need to start thinking about the job part!

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On Thursday the 7th of September, officially the best night I've had in Sydney yet, four unassuming kids from the Blue Mountains (including one of my best friends) took out the Band Comp final held at Manning, leaving with $2500 in prize money and a legion of new fans (or "Cloud Converts" as they're becoming known). Following in the footsteps of Band Comp big names such as The Vines, Youth Group, Frenzal Rhomb and Tim Freedman (think the Whitlams), Cloud Control is making quite a name for themselves in the local indie/powerpop scene, racking up considerable airtime on FBI radio and lining up gigs like they're going out of fashion...

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Cloud Control L-R: Heidi Lenffer on piano, Ulrich Lenffer on drums, Al Wright on guitar and Jeremy Kelshaw on bass.

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I emerged from my Honours thesis-writing hibernation for a split-second, and found myself reading this story about a recent controversy where a burlesque performer (read: stripper) in balloon-based costume was hired as entertainment for a forum on Climate Change. Apparently, lots of women walked out of the forum.

As a pro-feminist, I've got my opinions on this key debate in feminism - often pitted as anti-porn vs. sex-positive feminist positions.

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Despite the fact that I’m a serial procrastinator, I always get excited about preparing before each academic year by buying and covering books, getting my pencil case ready and organising my pens, notes, textbooks. In fact all this may be a cleverly disguised form of procrastination in itself.

The only problem this year was that I didn’t know what to bring to uni! So here’s what I’ve found to be the best options for the newbies.

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In Texas, the Lone Star state, there is an average of four guns per person. As such, my first stop in the USA has landed me smack bang in the middle of one of its biggest controversies. As yet, I have not been shot, so I’m going to attempt to dispel some stereotypes (and confirm some others) about the home of one of the most powerful men on earth.

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Hop to uni

12 Sep

Last week I did something I haven’t done since November last year….I went back to the Cumberland Campus at Lidcombe for uni. After 20 weeks of prac work in the hospitals and 9 weeks of glorious holiday, it was finally time to start the last 7 weeks of my undergraduate degree in Physiotherapy.

I can’t really complain. I only have 4 days of uni , not the usual 5, plus I am learning how to manipulate backs and best of all I get to visit the famous Cumberland lolly shop (where students get to stock up on their favourite lollies to help get them through long lectures!)

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After a miserable week in Sydney (I'm still unsure of how Wednesday's downpour came about - stop teasing us with this erratic weather: can I wear my spring skirts or should I stick to jeans????), full of studying (for me, at least) and complete media saturation about one person (which in my opinion, disproportionately overshadowed everything else), it was refreshing to witness the 2006 Law Revue. Finally, someone was ready to stop being so serious and take the piss out of...everything.

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Yes, I'm in another show. Who's surprised? Only those who are surprised easily, like people who jump when mail comes through the mailbox in the door whilst they are watching re-runs of their favourite tv show (this happened to me yesterday).

We hold these truths to be self evident:

1) I am in the Arts revue
2) It is going to be a fantastic show
3) You should all come and see it

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Today I felt like I’d won the lottery. Only I didn’t spend money buying a ticket and my odds were a lot greater!

You see, I opened my mail today to find a wonderous cheque from Sydney University -my scholarship cheque.

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Last week, I got tickets to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers, so I was over the moon. As it turns out, my happiness was extremely short lived. I was going to contain my bad day rant to the highlights I recounted in a comment I left on Bailee's post, but seeing as it spilled over to Tuesday as well, I thought an entire blog would be necessary. Let’s recap on my week so far...

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Revue season is here, folks. With Engo down and Law to come, the only respectable thing a girl can do on the Saturday night in between is...hot-foot it to Med Revue, of course!

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In high school, as part of the Year-12-Fest that was the last week of Term 3, we had our farewell assembly, our graduation night, but most anticipated by all was our FLOP - a bunch of skits put on by the Year 12s poking fun at the teachers and school, giving everyone a great laugh, and showcasing our “talent”.

Uni’s answer to this are the Revues.

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As the sun rose upon day three of my time in Canada, I was still lacking any inspiration for the theme of the next installment of my exchange blog. Don’t get me wrong. A lot has happened in a pretty short time since I left Australia. I’ve been to Tahiti, spent a few days in LA and lived off bananas for nearly a week because I soon discovered I’m incredibly lazy when it comes to getting myself real food. People actually seem to have serious difficulty understanding my accent and I’ve been asked what part of Britain I’m from one too many times. But despite all this, nothing had really struck me as decent blog material. Nothing that really encapsulated the strange and interesting new experiences that exchange is supposed to entail. Little did I know that late this afternoon inspiration would strike in the form of the wrinkled backside of a man in his mid-sixties.

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