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« September 2006 | Blog home | November 2006 »

October 2006

Some of my split ends have split ends

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There are many reasons I love uni. In fact, the number is infinite. And regularly, as I walk past the quad, or into one of my aging yet glorious classrooms, I sigh contentedly, and ponder just how lucky I am to be here. But, in the past week, I had one of those light-goes-on moments, when I really thought “I’m so glad I’m here”. Here’s how it happened.

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Beebop had been slinging insults at Cowboy Dave all afternoon. A heady mixture of Coco Pops and Mornings with Kerri-Ann had left the beady eyed monster sugared-up, over-stimulated and just aching to buy a lovely new-yet-retro-style Mixmaster for the kitchen.

Cowboy Dave was livid: he’d just been dumped by his girl Foxy McLovelyface the night before. Slighted by woman, spitting testosterone like nobody’s business, Dave was looking for a bit of a rumble. He mounted his trusty mare Plastic Fantastic and yelled to Beebop.

“Why don’t you come over here and say that?”

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I’m sitting at my computer on one of the beautiful mornings of stuvac, building up the courage to start studying for my impending exams. Meanwhile, outside my little bubble, a revolution is taking place.

The clues are everywhere – Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, the green reusable shopping bag frenzy and John Howard’s recent proposal to build a $400 million solar plant that can deliver 154 megawatts of power.

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I remember the day when I found my UAI. My mum woke me up really early and stood behind me as I tried to log into the website. When finally my UAI came up – everyone else seemed happy except for me! I did really well, but when your UAI goal is the cut off for Combined Law at USYD (99.55 last year!) you can imagine my disappointment when I got close, yet not close enough.

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For our last Psych lecture in the cognitive processes stream, our lovely lecturer Caleb gave us some study tips that actually fit in with what we were learning. So I’ve decided to pass them on. And writing this is actually studying for me! Yay!

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I Heart Post-Its

28 Oct

Picture this: it's Friday night. Two gorgeous young girls are drinking white wine at a Surry Hills pub. They're conversing intently, and onlookers are intrigued by what, indeed, their topic of engrossing conversation might concern. One girl slowly pulls an object from her bag. Her companion gasps in amazement and almost spills the $3 glass of house chardonnay. Is it...? Could it be...? Oh, yes, it's just as she thought...it's a HIGHLIGHTER AND POST-IT NOTE ALL IN ONE!!!!!

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First year is over!

I know, I know, Keren, Lauren and Cath have dibs on “aaaaahgrhagrhagrhg/%^&@($* uni is over!” but I am still quite shocked at how quickly that went by. So I’m making a little comparison of what I’m doing now, and what I was doing this time last year...

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On Monday night the Sydney Uni Law Society (the society which represents law students on campus and organises a whole range of social and other events for them) had its annual general meeting. Those present at the meeting voted to introduce Affirmative Action into the constitution to ensure that women would have equality in representation.

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Eeek

26 Oct

Q: “Tuesday’s coming. Did you bring your coat?”

A: “I live in a giant bucket.”

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The first time I heard Meryl Streep (as Miranda Priestley) utter her famous dictum, 'That's all,' it sent shivers down my spine. Oh yes, the Prada-clad demon (loosely based on US Vogue editor Anna 'Nuclear' Wintour) made me think of all the nasty, conniving employers out there. And injected me with a dose of fear and panic, staving off my desire for full-time work for....oh, at least another four years.

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While staring blankly at the free food shelf in the cupboard of a small hostel in Ireland, I had a sudden flashback... Three years ago, to the day, I was standing in front of a different cupboard, a world apart, hoping that something new had miraculously appeared in the 15 minutes since I'd last checked. For anyone who has written or is in the midst of writing HSC exams, you know what I'm talking about. That's what months of study does to you and I was the queen of procrastination. At the time, life beyond exams seemed an insurmountable task. Three years later, with the help of some abandoned pasta shells, a collection of colourful memories, life on the Irish road and the prospect of another few months in Scotland, I've realised that the HSC was only a small piece of the puzzle that has made up some of the best years of my life. For those of you gazing hopefully into cupboards now, keep focused, but be excited - so much more awaits...

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They say if you haven't started studying for exams by the time the Quadrangle’s Jacaranda bursts into its eerily stunning purple-blue flower, then, to put it bluntly, you're screwed. As I write this entry I can see a Jacaranda, one of many that dot the campus, from my college window, simultaneously luring in its beauty and repulsive in the guilt it evokes: for I, in true collegiate fashion, have not started studying for my exams - a situation compounded by the very real possibility of me failing my first unit of study... ever!

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Old hand

25 Oct

While Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes decide on a wedding date, and Mark Viduka breaks a toe playing soccer, I have completed my last ever class as an undergraduate. Woohoo!

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What do you do when a Nobel Peace Prize winner reminds you how messed up the world is?

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The HSC. All the previous moments (hours...) where you have been studying like crazy, stressing, worrying perhaps, and its now its here. The HSC has begun. And for my part, I cannot believe it has been a year since I last sat in that exam hall. I remember it exactly like it was yesterday and how I almost wasn't allowed in to the examination hall…

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.......But I love her for it.

Last Sunday, we went on the Spring Cycle, otherwise known as a 50km bike ride...... Read on for the gruesome details.

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Top of the World

20 Oct

If you are one of the millions of clever people who worship Madonna as a God (mainly for her music, but also for raping African nations of their first-born sons)* you will know that in the Bible known as the Immaculate Collection, Psalm 1.01 reads:

Holidaaayyyy.....
Celebraaaaate....
If we took a holiday,
Took some time to celebrate
It would be,
It would be so nice!

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As I write this, you are all sitting in your various school halls / libraries / exam centres; full of jitters, nervous, about to vomit. Aka, about to sit English Paper 1.

I am feeling for you, I really am. I actually have that pre-exam nervous flutter in the pit of my stomach, for you all.

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AHHHHHHHH! BLAST OFF! Yep! It’s begun! You’re in it. Dead set, it’s the HSC. First exams are down, that’s one less to go. Don’t forget, keep studying! It’s really important. I’m sure you’ve heard this all before, all the time, for the past two years: but study is the key! The HSC is unlike anything you’ve ever done before, and for most of you, anything you’ll ever do again. It’s tough, it’s rough, and it takes no prisoners. But never ever make a mountain out of a mole hill!

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Hey. You there! Yes, you with the desk covered in summary notes, the fridge full of chocolate, the blistered-up writing fingers. You, with your bloodshot eyes. I know you’re “crazy busy” right now, and you’re probably only thinking about Inner Journeys and why Thutmose II was a useless excuse for an Egyptian pharaoh. That’s fine, that’s cool, because the HSC exams are very important. I certainly don’t want to distract you from your study.

OH WAIT A MINUTE. YES I DO.

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Last week, I attended my first 21st birthday party! It was very exciting - here’s the lowdown plus some other stuff I’ve been up to recently....

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As HSC exams get underway, and with his own semester's major work due in less than a week, Alex (recently back in the world of the computer-enabled and settling back in to the blogosphere) reminisces on what he now sees as the golden days of Year 12 when he thought he was bored of studies...

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I think it is fair to say that we are a generation that likes to surf the net. I must confess, I am ever-so-slightly a computer nerd. I check my emails at least three times a day, and then all my other favourite sites. Firstly there’s the penultimate Google (don’t pretend like you’ve never Googled before a first date!) Then there’s emails, blogging sites, MyUni and the good ol’ facebook (a new social networking phenomenon that is sky-rocketing in popularity here, just like in America.)

But the Sydney Uni Casual Employment Service website is certainly one of my favourites that I check every couple of days. Here’s why……

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One day a year, the shores of Vancouver’s Jericho Beach are swarmed by hoards of college students ready for war. Ridiculous outfits are donned, gauntlets are thrown down and The Day of the Long Boat begins.

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So, now that we’ve all read about Bailee, Davina and Gemma’s adventures, and are all dying to go on exchange....... how exactly do we go about it?

I started looking into going on exchange a few months ago, for Semester 2 next year (woo! Yes, it does take that long to organise!!) - and I just handed in my application!

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Recently I flew to Brisbane along with 13 other Indigenous people from Sydney University to kick some serious butt in the National Indigenous Tertiary Education Student Games...

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Boredom and procrastination on a Saturday afternoon leads Cath and her posse of fun-loving adventure trippers into the wilderness of a Vet Party At Camden.

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That’s right, it’s crunch time. As I’m writing this, it’s no more than two weeks until the HSC begins, and I’m sure you’re gripped with nerves. Asako’s already given you some tips on how to study in STUVAC, and rather than copying her, I thought I’d give you some tips, from an HSC veteran, about how to handle the actual exam period, and the exams themselves. Keep in mind, I only did artsy subjects (so that’s why I went and did arts at Sydney uni!) but there are some basic rules that are true across the board. So, here are my top tips:

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For the purpose of all you HSC doers out there, I attempted to cast my mind back to what I actually did during the procrastination-filled potential disaster that was the 3 week stuvac break. Problem was, I couldn’t actually recall any events from the time. So, I cracked open my diary to this time last year to see what I was thinking. Here is an extract from the night before my first exam (as is, no edits):

“So it’s getting real soon. I’m... freaked out, but it really comforts me when I know that we are all going through it, together. It’s all a learning experience, a journey that we take as individuals, whom are part of a collective. We are enriched with this voyage toward the end,.. OH MY GOD WHAT AM I SAYING?!”

Another interesting thing to note is that our grade’s message board peaked the night before our first exam, and this continues to be the “most people online” timeframe. Anyway, what I do remember from Stuvac are some study techniques that really helped with specific subjects. Read on for English, Maths, Japanese, Art, and some other general tips....

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The first thing he said to me when I got off the plane was “I never want to leave this place”. Meet Ryan, another of those students happy enough to leave beautiful Sydney Uni behind in search of new horizons on exchange. And for you, dear reader, I took it upon myself to visit him and his fellow Usyd-kid Claire, in order to give you a greater picture of what studying in the United States could be like. Any personal benefit is purely coincidental.

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‘Hello, and welcome to Stirling University. My name is Gemma and I’ll be your guide today.’

Ok, so there’s the opening line, down pat. From there I’ll be flying by the seat of my pants leading prospective students around a campus I have known and grown to love in just over two weeks. Any attempt to mask the fact that, as a new student, I took the same tour not so long ago will, I’m afraid, be exposed after my broad Australian accent rears its head in place of the wonderfully curly Scottish intonation they might expect from someone claiming to know a lot about the University!

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22 — It's like 21 but OLD.

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Myth: Animals are more scared of you than you are of them.

Fact: Our furry little friends the possums may be the exception to this rule.

I am someone who you would probably classify as ‘somewhat’ scared of animals big and small. I am not one of those girly girls who screeches at the sight of a cockroach. In fact, I can handle insects and creepy crawlies rather well. It’s the more unpredictable animals that make me cautious.

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Just the other day sitting at my desk, with my mango & pineapple scented candle burning, and RHCP’s new album playing, I realised I had inadvertently recreated the exact environment in which late last semester (read: the dwindling hours of Stuvac), I was studying dreadfully hard for my final biology exam.

Instead of causing me to uncontrollably twitch or splutter expletives at the traumatic memories elicited by these familiar smells and sounds, it made me realise: if I can get through biology, I can get through anything (academic-wise). Furthermore, if I managed to beat biology to a pulp (ok fine... it got away with a gentle slap on the hand), you can definitely get through your HSC in one piece. Read on for the How To Survive Stuvac Guide:

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