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March 2007

Attempting to scale the sandstone walls of the Quadrangle and being caught by security probably isn't the smartest thing to do after a night at Manning. Before you jump to any conclusions, it wasn't me (the guy will remain anonymous). But I do understand why you'd want to climb onto the other side because I've recently contributed to the growing list of inanimate objects that people seem to fall in love with.

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Before I properly start this blog, I should probably put a disclaimer here. THIS BLOG HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SIZE OF MY BUTT. Nor is it a lengthy thesis deploring the conflicting messages young girls receive from mass media. It’s not about Jordan’s surgically enhanced chest, or ‘Super-Sized’ meals from McDonalds, or the physical differences between violins and violas. It’s about going to an itsy bitsy, teeny weeny (but not yellow or polka-dotted) University.

In two words, it’s fantastic! Now let me tell you why…

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A concept that scared me during my first year were the computers. There are heaps of computers all over uni which are connected to high speed internet and printing facilities that you can use as if they were your own.

In first semester I didn’t even know where any access labs were, how to print and I was too scared to ask anyone. In second semester I ventured out, fell head over heels in love with studying away from home, and tried out many of the access labs on campus. Read here for my verdict:

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It’s twenty to midnight and I cannot help plunging into an existential crisis, the kind you are far more prone to when it’s so quiet you can hear the fridge humming and the crickets outside. But it’s not the silence that’s killing me, its what’s sitting across from me on the couch….

Some may call it ‘child’s play’ but I wonder whether there is a level of skill you loose as you grow older. Not everything can get better, more sophisticated, and developed, can it?

I have to find some excuse or scientific explanation for the fact that I am an absolute failure at “Bop it”. As I desperately grab at the buttons on this battery operated children’s game I keep one ear cocked for any sounds of stirring from the kids I am babysitting. I have saved my tomfoolery for after I put them to bed, and thank god because my highest score seems to have stagnated on 9. Which makes me feel like a right twit when you put it into context - the young one now slumbering (in a room decorated with frog pictures) has his highest score set at 188.

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I was driving home from work the other week, cruising down the Great Western Highway debating what I should cook for dinner when something on the radio made me gasp and forget all about my dinner dilemma. (It was either packet made macaroni cheese or a stir fry with slightly rotting vegies. The stir fry won.) You see, some poor uni student confessed that he hadn’t eaten in 5 days.

This malnourished student was not on a hunger strike. Nor did he suffer from anorexia nervosa. The reason for starving for 5 days was simply because he had no money to buy food, and his pride was obviously bigger than his stomach.

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Compared to the all singing, all dancing, all liquor drinking antics of ‘Strangelove: The Musical’ on Friday night the State Elections on Saturday was definitely as beige as nursing home beige can get.

First of all, props to the cast, the writers, the composers and anyone else involved in Strangelove. Nothing completes another week of uni like a musical comedy involving the imminent threat of all-out Soviet-US nuclear warfare, a doomsday device and an abnormal obsession with bodily fluids.

Morris Iemma and Peter Debnam could seriously have taken some of these pointers on board when they were campaigning…maybe not. A chorus line of politicians would sour anyone’s milk. While Peter called to congratulate Morris on his win last night, I couldn’t help but wonder what their conversation was about…

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Le français, they say that you can seduce any girl with a cleverly crafted smattering of this language of love. I have to admit, that's one reason why I'm studying it. But what's the use of studying Old English if there aren't any medieval women to whom I can profess 'thou hath ankles most shapely and pale'?! No, Old English isn't the best language to pick up with on campus. But as a fresher, I might as well be speaking it when I try to navigate the sandstone mazes of Sydney Uni.

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Yes, the library is scary. There are actually several libraries within Sydney Uni, and they could probably take over a blog of their own* so I’ve decided to just tackle Fisher for now.

Fisher is the main library at Sydney Uni, and is located near the Quad and front lawns. Things you need to know....

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Doh-Re-Mi

23 Mar

If I had a recurring nightmare, it would probably start kind of like this:
The scene: a tutorial room at the Conservatorium of Music. Twenty first years sit in a circle nervously looking at the ground.

“Alright,” the solfege teacher would say, “Who can sing us a major third above B. How about… Liisa. Liisa, would you please sing it for us?”

Unfortunately for me, that recurring nightmare does not exist merely in the realms of my imagination – rather, it exists as a fifty minute solfege tutorial every Monday morning. And despite the fact that my solfege tutor looks
something like this, singing in front of twenty people is still mighty scary.

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Homecoming

22 Mar

It was no fun being the laughing stock at the Christmas table… especially as I’d only been back in the country for 24 hours. From the blue grey skies of Scotland, I’d arrived home in the midst of Sydney summer, with a look I liked to call ’lilac’…. Needless to say I was not in the best condition for the occasion that urges one to pull out that special ‘frock’ - perhaps even, a pretty little sun dress. Oh, no! The exposure of the sun on my china white limbs almost sent me reeling inside like an animal burrowing underground after the comfort of hibernation… Given the situation, I think it would’ve been far more admissible for mine and everyone else’s sake to opt for the role of Santa Claus…Then again, who would’ve born the brunt of the jokes?


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One of the most important questions any good student must ask themselves once they return from an overseas trip is "how long can i milk the jetlag excuse?" . Personally, i think one and a half weeks is about as long as you will get before people stop giving you sympathy and making you tea.

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My diary is already full of dates but not for assignments. The start of uni for another year has meant a jam-packed social schedule once again. The year started with the Sydney University Law Society's "Salsa by Sunset" welcome back drinks...

Cruise bar

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Its late afternoon and I am delighted to find the front laws buzzing with the kind of activity that befits any normal O-Week. Handing out flyers for the international exchange fair (to be held this week on Thursday the 29th March) I was in competition with the army of faithfuls that represent the EU (the Evangelical Union - not to be confused with the formidable European bloc), and the eager and helpful bright green SPOCS. We vied for the attention of excited first years, as they stumbled around, arms laden with freebies, in a bit of a daze having just joined half a dozen societies.

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Cockroaches, I can deal with. I even have moral dilemmas when I try to kill them. But fleas and bed bugs? It's a whole different kettle of Baygon.

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Now that I find myself an aging third year student at the University of Sydney (represses panic attack…my god where did the time go?!!??!) my first week of uni seems a bit like ancient history. Though there are a few memories that remain particularly vivid – the masses of people, the mind numbing boredom of sitting through a second year econometrics tutorial because I was too afraid to announce that I was in the wrong place and more than anything, the overwhelming sense of culture shock. While that was a few years ago now, my first week back at uni after 7 months away on exchange and traveling has been culture shock all over again – to the extent that I feel so much empathy with the poor map-carrying first years that I’ve actually been giving the right directions when they ask.

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Hey guys, so your first week of uni is over.

It’s getting a bit difficult for us bloggers to figure out who’s reading this anymore, and whether we should target this to year 12s or you first years, but if you recent high school graduates / current first years are still out there, listen up...

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Sometimes you don't really believe that there are many others who think like you. Then you get 26 applications from fellow law students to join you on the SULS Social Justice and Equity Committee...

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If you’re reading this, you need to get a life.

JUST KIDDING.

Making friends at uni is harder than at high school, because there are so many people bustling around doing their own little thing. Then again, the fact that there is a bar on campus can, on occasion, lubricate the situation.

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Throughout the past year, nearly every person I meet who had been through the university system told me that “first year is the worst year, and it only gets better”. I had been dubious I have to say. Unfortunately, I wasn’t dubious because I thought “how could it possibly get any better than this?” (which would have been nice), but because I thought “how could one year make such a difference?”. Well, lo and behold, I was wrong.

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Its 4am and a few carefree silhouettes can be seen winding their way along the Seine, fat nutella crepes in hand, with the Notre Dame majestically rising above them. Ahhh the romantic Parisian life… it certainly beats grabbing a kebab on the way home from a night on the town!

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I’ve never been to a Beachball. So I’m sure as hell gonna be there this Thursday!

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Rhetorical question for the day: why is there a need to get engaged straight after leaving uni??

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You may hear a term being thrown around during the first few weeks of uni... and it’s actually WebCT.

Not too sure what the CT stands for, but here’s the lowdown nonetheless.

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So. I checked my timetable.

All my starts were at the same time, quite early. Poo.

But then I looked closer...

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I had an awesome day at O-Week yesterday. Here is a photo diary tracing my footsteps...

Stalls.jpg

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