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This week a very novel marriage proposal by one Sydney Uni physicist to another captured the hearts of the online world after making the front page of Reddit. We tracked down our romantic researcher for the inside scoop on how his ‘proposal paper’ came together. Congrats Brendan and Christie!

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Working in the Uni's Learning Hubs, I still find students playing around with the whiteboards. The blank, uncomplicated canvases beckoning to be scribed on. You’d be surprised at what people get off their chest every time they walk by one. Perhaps it’s the anonymity or the guaranteed eyeballs on any given day. So how did all this whiteboard creativity start?

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Every day I get up in the morning, get ready and walk to university. I go to classes, write essays and drink coffee. I cook meals, go shopping and live a life no different to the one I would be living at home. Yet somehow, nothing is the same at all.

Where I am right now – Bristol, in the United Kingdom – people don't use stoves, they use 'the hob'. They don't use White-Out, they use 'Tipex'. They don't eat Weet-Bix, they eat 'Weet-a-bix'. They don't eat chips, they eat crisps. If you cut yourself, you apply a 'plaster', not a band-aid. Snow Peas are called 'Mange Tout', Zuchinni is called 'Courgette' and Capsicums are called 'Peppers'. Cars drive at 70 miles/h and not at 110km/h. Things that are good can be described as “lush” or “mint”. Football matches are hostile, and Rugby matches are family-friendly. You don't go to ‘tutorials’, you go to ‘seminars’. It's not 6.30, it's 'half six'. There are no ATMs, rather, there are 'Cash Machines'. If you say 'bludge' nobody knows what you're on about. Milk comes in pints, and not litres. They don’t use a vacuum cleaner, they use a Hoover. They think Australians use the word 'Huroo' and drink Fosters beer. AND to top it all off, TIM TAMS AND TWISTIES DO NOT EXIST.

How is everything the same, yet so different?

See more of Sidd's posts.

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I can distinctly remember the first 20 minutes or so of my very first official day of University. I can't remember the date, but the month was March, and the Year 2001. Phowa. Yep - absolutely ages ago. ipods didn't exist and Noika phones were still way cool.

As is the case now, back then I was quite partial to parental moral support (I was only 17. I'm 20 Holy-Cow 9 now, but feel nearly exactly as I did when I was 17, which may not be a good thing), so I organised for my mum (who is a legend) to walk up from Central Station with me and to drop me off outside the little Gate-House thing next to Parramatta Road. You know the one. We always try and cross the road there against the red-light and risk getting squashed by west-bound cars turning left off Broadway. It's currently the home of the Compass Outreach Programme. Anyway...

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When someone asks you what you love about going to Sydney Uni, it’s pretty easy to come up with an answer. I mean, there’s the picturesque campus, the vibrant student life, the lecturers (a.k.a. some of the best academics in their field), and so the list goes on.

But I’d like you to forget all that.

From now on, there’s only one answer you need to give when someone asks you what’s so great about going to Sydney Uni.

On sale tomorrow, November 1st, is the first ever Sydney edition of Monopoly, and the only University to feature on the board is – you guessed it – the University of Sydney.

Forget the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge – they didn’t make the cut. But you could be purchasing Sydney University at a bargain price and be setting up your little houses all over campus before you know it.

Sydney Harbour and Darling Harbour hold the prime spots on the board, while other locations to feature include Manly Beach, Centennial Park, Kings Cross, and Taronga Zoo.

You can score a $100 prize for the best Mardigras float from the community chest, or cop a $15 fine from the chance cards for travelling in the T3 lane of the Spit Bridge.

Considering that there were only 22 locations up for grabs and they were all nominated and voted for by the public, a position on the board is nothing to sneeze at. Put it this way, you know you go to a pretty neat University if it scored a place on the Monopoly board.

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Here in Hilo the vegetation is lush and tropical, and we look to windward and face the rain. When the skies are not laden with moisture, nevertheless a haze of vog – volcanic smog – leaves us with skies scarcely better than Los Angeles', behind a faint blanket of sodium yellow. Further up in the highlands, however, and you might be in country New South Wales amid stands of eucalypts, rusty brown grass, cattle grazing and a clear blue expanse above. As the mountains thrust up so too does the temperature fall, so that Mauna Kea, the White Mountain, is sometimes capped with snow. However this only accounts for a small part of the great diversity of landscapes to be found on Hawai'i, and in this the dominance of the volcanoes is absolute. Cross over to Kona - “leeward”, the west coast of the island - and the rain shadow of Mauna Kea can be seen in the dusty, black deserts that approach almost all the way to the coasts in places. To the south, Kilauea - “the spewer” - is the most active volcano, sitting on the side of Mauna Loa but with a magma chamber all to itself. It is the domain of Madame Pele, the volcano goddess – though these days the US National Park Service exercises temporal authority, in the wonderful Volcanoes National Park. Over the last several days I've been exploring Kona and Volcano with some of my friends here, and there could be a story there worth telling.

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I’m writing this blog post from London, where I'm training for the next three weeks. I’m a first-year student at Sydney and I’m also an elite athlete in canoe/kayak slalom. And I've just been selected to compete at the 2012 Olympics.

Here's a quick video of my training. For those of you who don’t know what canoe slalom is (most people don't!), it might give you a better idea.

So my trip didn’t start all that smoothly. I’m only at uni two days a week, and the past few weeks before uni break were really busy, so I can’t say I was 100% focussed on uni. This became obvious when, on the last day before uni break, I actually realised the break was that week and not the next! Living under a rock, I thought I had plenty of time to let my tutors know and email some letters about my absence. But no. I had a huge panic, but thankfully all my tutors and coordinators were really helpful and we were able to find solutions for my missing a few weeks of uni and some assessments.

I definitely have my head screwed on for the next few weeks – it’s time to get down to business and stay on top of uni by correspondence (this could be tricky...), train twice a day, gym and recovery and maybe, just maybe, if I get time, I’ll get some sightseeing into the program as well!

Training here is so exciting, especially with the "100 days to go" celebrations yesterday. The whitewater is big and bouncy - really powerful and I know I’ll need to build up my strength before the Olympics roll around. I’ll be based here for three weeks in Lee Valley - Waltham Cross about 30 mins from central London.

London has put on the best of UK weather - a lot of rain, wind, cloud, bit of hail and sometimes you might even spot the sun. Here’s hoping it clears up as it is absolutely freezing on the water! On the plus side, the cold and rain means more time indoors, and more uni work completed... in theory.

For more news on my adventure to the Olympics
check out my blog or Facebook page.

It's one of those days, right now, when I have no idea what's happening in my life.

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Mondays, for most people, are absolutely horrific. This day usually involves minimal to no breaks, running from one side of campus to the other in the tiny ten minute gap we have (if the lecture hasn’t run late) and attempting to retain concentration after seven hours worth of information has been shoved into your brain. This is not what Mondays are like for me.

I arrive at uni a comfortable 11:30 and casually walk to my English lecture. After that I have my English tutorial. Then a gap. Lovely right? NOT SO.

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The beauty of uni is that the strangest thing can happen on the day that you only have to be there for one hour.

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I was sitting in my Philosophy of Mind lecture the other day when a thought occurred to me. At least, I think it was a thought, and I think it occurred to me, but if the subject has taught me anything it’s that you can never really be sure with these things.

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After 4,500 miles of good times road tripping its finally time to say goodbye to Bruce the eclipse.

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The weeks before the break I was so pumped it was already summer! I wrote a blog (which I didn’t post – clever!) about the joys of 30 degrees in September! I’d gone on a beach weekend vacation with 11 other uni students to chill on the beach in the Central Coast and head out fishing, jump off a wharf swimming, a late night BBQ – all things summer! The next weekend again I’d spent at the beach, eating mangoes, sushi and Boost juice – the 3 ingredients of summer!

Now a week later it’s FREEZING! I’m sitting writing this all curled up in a dressing gown and ugg boots (the height of fashion I know!). But seriously: dust storms, record high temperatures for July, record low temperatures for October, summer in winter and winter in spring. Come on weather – work yourself out!

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A whole group of us just went up to the Hunter Valley for a wine tasting extravaganza. The premise of the trip was to go to a town called Greta, for a friend’s 21st, whose name just happens to be, you guessed it, Greta!

We took a horse and carriage wine tasting tour to sample different wines. It wasn’t until 5pm and the 5th winery that we learnt our entire wine etiquette was totally wrong!!! The guy at the winery was so patient and talked us through all we needed to know if we ever wanted to look like we had any idea about wine – we thought we were already doing this, but apparently no!!! I thought I would share this knowledge, so you don’t look like wanna-be-wine-buffs, but the real thing!

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A few weekends ago Sydney decided to have a Winter Festival. It was truly a slice of Europe. It was held outside Sydney’s one big gothic cathedral called St. Mary’s Cathedral. There was an ice skating rink (in true European style you had to have booked to use it prior to the event though!), and even fake snow blowing around. Seeing the snow flying around the Cathedral did make me really ‘homesick’ for Europe (Can I call it that if it’s not technically my home?!).

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Last week was the Sydney Writer’s Festival, so I thought I’d get cultured and head off to some of the events. The first thing I went to was a speech by Germaine Greer. I really wanted to people watch, to see some true 1970s bra-burning feminists, but it wasn’t like that at all. She focused on the politics of Australia in Britain, in really ‘lay-man’ terms, so it was pretty interesting! She’s definitely opinionated but has changed topics. Someone tried to bring up a feminist issue of female Prime Ministers and she completely brushed it off...that fight is clearly done for her.

The next event I trotted off to was a speech by author Kate Grenville. It was at the Observatory, so the event was coupled with champagne and nibbles as we saw an art exhibiton, and then a tour of the observatory. It was a cloudy night unfortunately but we did see some stuff! (Some of it may have included the Luna Park mask and the Harbour Bridge but hey!).

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Six hectic weeks, and one not-so-hectic-but-still-busy week have come and gone since semester started. What is life like for a pharmacy student? Well...

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I am in a new relationship. It is new and exiting and he constantly impresses me. This freshness, however, does lead to some serious misunderstandings. There are moments when I find we just don’t know what we want from one another. My first thought was that perhaps he was a little stubborn and temperamental. That isn’t the problem though – it’s just that we come from completely different backgrounds and occasionally we fail to understand eachother.

But I’m committed to making it work, because this one is special. I can feel it in my fingertips. He is the one that can, and will, make my life complete.

His name is Mac and I love him!

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To dispel the myth that people doing “intense” courses like pharmacy have no life other than their studies, I went to see Phantom of the Opera at Lyric Theatre, Star City on Saturday night. Well, maybe not to dispel that myth specifically. But it was a good opportunity to take some time out from pharmacy, pharmacy and more pharmacy. So how was it?

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We’re fast approaching the end of winter—the days are getting longer and the temperature’s rising. Everyone’s starting to wear T-shirts or singlets and bringing a warm cardigan or two in case of that freezing gust of wind. I’ve even seen some brave souls start to wear their thongs (flip-flops), even if it’s only the thongs die-hards. With it also comes the end of the winter cold and flu season. Studying pharmacy, this holds greater significance for me than just being a sniffling, coughing, miserable victim of a member of the rhinovirus genus of the picornavirus family of viruses...

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Speaking from the vast experience of one who is oft described as a person who thinks with their stomach (then again, I am a teenaged male) I can confidently say that the procurement of food is one of the most important and enjoyable past times a uni student can ever experience… err. Pretty much. Anyway, to cut straight to the steak… or point, the purpose of this blog is to share my favourite eateries in and around the university, in terms of value, taste, and most importantly, coffee quality. In addition, since I truly want to cover this in detail, I’ll be releasing this ginormous blog as a two-part special, so if you like, you can think of it as one of those B-grade mini-series they put on free to air every now and again.

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I have not used the internet for an entire week, and let me tell you it’s been liberating. I have instead been spending my time in the freezing artic terrain of Richmond, rehearsing with the Australian Youth Orchestra. Being stuck in a place with fairly terrible food makes you think quite a lot about what you eat, and you realise that almost everyone has some kind of “weird food” addiction. One double bass player is addicted to Tang , my deskie has a fetish for 95% cocoa Lindt chocolate squares. Apparently I am more weird than most because of my love for Vegimite and Honey together on toast. But the weird food that really, really gets me revved is plastic cheese.

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Like a melodic mantra these words echo through Aussie Stadium, in the first of a series of concerts across the globe driven by the need to address “a climate in crisis”. Newcomers Missy Higgins & John Butler join the iconic Paul Kelly on stage, and the audience sing along, willing this lovely dream to come true.

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Little hands and toes twinkled under the ballet studio white lights...from the side of the room, I watched my cousin perform her best demi-plies with a smile that stretched from ear to ear.

It didn’t seem long ago that I was fluttering around in my pink tights and pinned hair with dreams of being a ballerina too.

But like most children, my interests transformed with the most unpredictable speed…and that was ok.

It wasn’t a sign of weakness or misdirection. I was only a young girl with no shame in changing her mind or following a whim.

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A lone female figure sits hunched over the old oak desk, wrapped in blankets to make up for the lack of heating. Having given up on the previous pursuit of staring into space, she now taps away in an apparently productive manner.

Time – 2:47 am
Cups of tea – 7 (and counting)
Times I’ve checked Facebook today – 6 (very good!)
‘Oh no! A chipped nail... better file it’ – twice
Meals – 1 ½ (poor nutrition, tut tut)
Cans of ‘Mother’ (a fantastic Red Bull substitute) – 1

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At a big birthday bash not so long ago I wore my crazy-psychedelic-Felicity Shagwell boots, thinking the occasion warranted their special guest appearance. After a barrage of judgements had erupted I admitted to the commentators that I have a bit of a boot fetish. The male with whom I was seated didn’t miss a beat, countering, “So do I now.”

At once my boots had gone from being a functional item of clothing to a conversation starter and potential man-magnet. This got me thinking about what we wear and why, and how this is reflected on our beloved Sydney Uni campus. Which I guess adds another element to the humble boots…. the ability to incite deep contemplation.

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I’m learning German, and not at university. It was a decision based on me having the ‘ants-in-the-pants’ syndrome where I can't seem to sit still (squash, futsall and chess arent enough!) mixed with the desire to challenge myself and continue learning post-uni era.

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Want proof? I’ve made a comprehensive list of all the different types of procrastination you can partake in. And then I wrote a blog about it.

So...

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The human memory is like a bit like a two-year-old iPod – temperamental, capricious, and an increasingly short ‘play’ time. On a good day, your memory might do you proud, spewing up pages of Music History 3 notes and replaying entire piano concertos within the warm fuzzy confines of your cranium. Other times, your memory works for about 30 seconds every five minutes, and for some reason refuses to play anything bar KanYe West’s ‘Gold Digger’, apparently completely at random.

But there is one function of our memories that (I like to think) separates man from machine. And that is our ability to retain copious amounts of Interesting, Questionable, and Utterly Useless Facts (Henceforth IQUUFs).

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A common affliction among University students, Facebook-itis ranks as the third most prevalent of student diseases behind none other than The Big Night and Procrastinator-Fever. In some journals it is in fact cross-listed with Procrasinator-Fever and to a larger extent, MySpace-Mania.

Facebook-itis can seem like a bit of harmless fun at first but can develop into a nasty addiction. It is a slow and painful killer of one’s study regime and academic marks. It is also unfortunately very contagious, especially amongst Generation-Y who all practically live through the internet.

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When it gets down to the nitty gritty, most people have something which inspires them to stand on a metaphorical soapbox. This week, I found mine. It concerns the prejudice which a certain class within our society (I’ll call them ‘The Shod’) bear toward the minority (For clarity, they can be ‘The Un-Shod”).

It all started on Wednesday - I finished my piece, pausing appropriately at the end of the last note. My teacher walked over.

“Better, Liisa. I can see you’ve worked a bit on intonation.” My shoulders returned to the normal, relaxed level - a moment too soon, as it turned out.

“BUT,” my teacher continued, “No more performing in bare feet.”

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Following the furore that Richard Dawkins’ latest book “The God Delusion” whipped up, it seems that the Catholics on Campus could not resist, and have decided to run an “educational” event called “The Dawkins Delusion”. I could, and still cannot, contain my outrage at such an event, but in the interest of pluralism and free speech, I suppose everyone is allowed to have their own opinion, no matter how blatantly scientifically unprovable it may be, so long as they don’t push it on the rest of us.

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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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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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I only remember two things from Year 7 German. 'Das ist mein hamburger', which is quite self-explanatory, and the title of this blog, which very accurately describes the state of my computer at the moment. And is probably spelt all wrong. Go on Simon, correct me. You know you want to.

Isn't it sad when your whole life crashes down along with your computer?

I didn't think I was one of those people that were so attached to their phone/computer/iPod until one actually broke… Well the first step to getting better is admitting you have a problem, right?

Hi, I'm Asako. I'm a techno-holic, and here's my story.

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What have I been doing with all my free time after exams? Writing blogs, lazing around, eating, and watching movies! Oh yes and checking online twice a day every day for exam results...

And I’ve discovered the three fundamental types of movies. There may be more, and if so, feel free to add and correct me...

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I want to introduce a new term to your lexicon of expressions. CFS –Clothing Fatigue Syndrome. My friend Liss coined this term 6 months into her overseas travel after disparagingly opening her backpack each day to find the same dirty worn out clothes. The treatment of this ailment is a quick fix and involves breaking the budget and splurging on a new outfit.

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(an acute hangover-related illness, often involving headaches and vomiting. In some cases memory loss will occur, though most common symptoms are lethargy and inability to concentrate or compose any form of recognisable speech.

It doesn’t bite, it doesn’t sting, and it won’t swell up the next day, but symptoms of BN are still quite easily detectable.)

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As of today, I've officially been a “resident” in Canada for 3 months. While it might not seem like that long, it’s been long enough for me to completely fall in love with the place. Vancouver is beautiful, Canadians are impossible not to get along with and despite what you may have heard to the contrary, Ice Hockey is definitely the best sport ever. In the midst of my love affair with my adopted home I have but one small grievance: Mother Nature is quite literally raining on my parade.

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The takers of the world. How do they live with themselves?

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So, you know when you see yourself on video or hear yourself on tape, and the first, nay, ONLY thought that pops into your mind is, “GOOD GOD, HOW DO PEOPLE STAND THAT VOICE?”

Well it could be worse.

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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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Eeek

26 Oct

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

A: “I live in a giant bucket.”

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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R-files...

27 Jul

What is it with Sydney University and reality TV?

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Sydney's Latest Contribution to Reality TV: Max from BB

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That’s right. I’m back. It’s been a while, I know. Technology screwed me over for some time, and then the faceless terror of exams came hurtling into my humble life, leaving me with no eyes (they fell out after late night study sessions) and a dowager’s hump (all that craning over, searching for books in Fisher). So, what have I, as a blossoming young first year, learnt from the past semester at university? Too much, that is for sure.

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Ok, so it’s exam time and I’m holding a bit of resentment towards the world, and feeling a teensy bit sour. Perfect time to compile a list of the things that really piss me off in life. (In order to remain positive, I’ve included some ways to combat them).

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Moi a ce moment

4 Jul

When I was fourteen, my best friend and I had a “letter book,” in which we would write each other little blurbs about what was going on in our lives at that time. It didn’t occur to us that we saw each other everyday at school and talked to each other everyday after school, thus making the letter book somewhat redundant. Nevertheless, we continued our correspondence, and each entry included a brief description of our loves, hates, crushes and happenings. As we were French students at the time, we called this section, “Moi A Ce Moment,” or “Me at the Moment.” So, here is my July edition:

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My nanna passed away last weekend after many years of suffering from dementia, and lately respiratory problems. This blog is more of an emotional and thoughtful reflection about something we all take for granted but my nanna was denied: education.

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The last time we spoke, I was being hounded by Mr. T.

Since then, a hound has saved me from Mr. T.

Allow me to update you, and possibly even sedate you, with my by-now boring story of two birds, a stone and a perfect hit.

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Ghassan emerges from a date with himself to reflect on times when a shabby, little teddy bear said it all...

Alfred Mini.JPG

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Yep… I’m still kicking around these traps.

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"And as another lecture approaches,
Our brief encounter comes to a jolting halt –
Disillusioning my thoughts and
Suspending my fantasising for another day
Packed neatly away
Between text-books and course readings..."

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Anzac Day...

28 Apr

“Why is Anzac day worth remembering?”, is a question that gets bandied around this time of year every year. Normally, I’d just assume “because it’s traditional” and not really give it much more thought. I’m no nationalist or true Australian patriot, but I’ve had family who fought, and always thought it was respectful to remember those who have died. I assumed, by and large, that everyone thought the same as me. I was wrong.

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What could be more joyful than celebrating your birthday? There's cake, alcohol, friends, and best of all: presents. Many, many presents...just for you. From the giddy anticipation you feel while unwrapping (it looks like a DVD, feels like a DVD, you know it's a DVD - but just in case, you'd better touch the corners warily, squint at it like you're a scientist looking for the seam in the atom and shake it really close to your ears...) to the heights (or depths) of drunken birthday pashes, birthdays are the days we can dedicate (justifiably) to ourselves.

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For reasons that have never been made clear to me, though I think it has something to do with lunar movement, Greek Easter (and all other Orthodox Easters) does not fall at the same time as regular Christian Easter. This year it was a week later on the weekend of the 22nd/23rd.

I’m not really all that religious, but I do find it an interesting celebration that I participate in, if not only out of habit, with the Greek side of my family every year.

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You know sometimes how it’s hard enough focusing long enough on one subject to write an essay? Well that little conundrum is the same for blog land. Instead of curbing my brain's little excursions into the world of daydreams this week I'm going to give it a licence to wander and hope that the result is vaguely interesting and/or readable. Stream of consciousness has never been so pointless...

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Awhile ago, someone commented that they'd never seen me in the same pair of earrings twice.

I took this as a compliment owing to my diverse yet chic taste in fashion, and carried on.

This afternoon, the meaning of this friend's words suddenly struck me, as I was making a vague attempt to clean my room.

Chains, pendants, brooches, earrings, watches were spilling everywhere (alarmingly, out of the three jewellery boxes I own.) As I began to tidy them, I decided to make an inventory of my findings.

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As I’m sure you know by now, I am doing an Arts degree (or arts ADVANCED as I like to remind friends and academics). Now, some of you may think “What possible use is an arts degree?”. In fact, the age old joke goes –

“What did the art graduate say to the law graduate?”

“Would you like fries with that?”

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New words enter our lexicon all the time.

Remember when "Girl Power" was all the rage?

Or "dotcom," "millennium bug" and "metrosexual"?

Well, here's a new one for your vocab, kids: "smother mothers."

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I'm a law student, which means I'm very good at thinking about rules and regulations. I grew up in the suburbs of Sydney and was taught unwritten rules about what expectations surround friendship. I've drafted my own legislation which makes explicit the "unwritten" rules I believe in. This legislation attempts to balance the rights and responsibilities of both friends to each other by giving aggrieved parties a chance to proportionately deal with infringements to friendship loyalty, without over-penalising natural feelings that sometimes develop in uncomfortable and inappropriate circumstances. It recognises, but does not excuse, human frailty.

You think this is crazy? You haven't seen my case law! Here it goes. Introducing the...

Friendship and Personal Relationships Act 2006 (GAS)

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It’s probably because everyone at my house has already gone to bed. and when I’m up by myself things tend to go weird, but bloody hell...

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It’s official, I am an ignoramus!! I feel utterly embarrassed that until this week, I have never ever heard of the state of West Papua. This is coming from me, Keren, who likes to flip to the world news of the newspaper every morning whilst eating her raisin toast with cottage cheese and drinking her V8 juice. I even occasionally read TIME magazine!!

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A few weeks ago, a few friends and I were trying to decide which of the Desperate Housewives we all were.

C was easy - Bree van de Kamp, even she admitted it.

And M told us we'd better label her a Lynette, if only because her husband is such hot stuff.

But when it came to me, we were all a little unstuck. Someone regrettably mentioned Mary Alice, to which I replied that I'd read The Bell Jar, and I know how it all ends.

I wasn't Gabrielle, certainly. Nor was I the scary new neighbour who seems to wear pyjamas (or kaftan-type clothing oddly resembling pyjamas) all the time.

One of us suggested Susan, the ditzy, klutz-like one. I shook my head and laughed: pfft, I'm sooooo not ditzy and klutz-like.

After this weekend, however, I understand what my friends meant. Susan, you are my home girl.

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Being 17 at Uni kind of sucks. I’ve only been here a month and have so far missed out on the Psyche pub crawl (as well as their weekly drinks), Beachball, and the 90s dance party (which I actually turned up to, dressed in my high school uniform... it was a picture of true sadness). So now that I'm finally about to turn 18, I'm just enjoying the last little dregs of being a kid. Twelve hours left!

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Sorry guys and girls, but I feel the need to have a little rant. Just to calm myself down. It’s been…one of those days. And what, pray tell, brought me to this unfortunate situation? Zealots. That’s right – zealots.

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Most people have a delusion that physios must be nice people because they help people get better. Or at least try. Ask the patients on the orthopaedic ward and I think they would rather describe physios as sadistic aggressive bullies!!

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Everyone at uni seems to be obsessed with time. There seems to be a lack of it so to make up for this they've made up little seminars for time management. One of my lectures explained it this way...

There are 168 hours in a week, you attend uni for around 25 (depending on the degree, arts is much, much less) and are expected to match that in private study. That leave 118 hours of you're own time. and as he said, "you guys don't sleep anyway so you've got virtually endless time to do what you want."

Well like a lot of people, especially first year and college students, keeping track of time is just as hard as keeping track of money.

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The morning after. Don't we all know about that. Whether you regret how much you drank, how much you spent, what you didn't achieve or who you ended up with........ it doesn't seem to cros your mind until it's too late.

Well, right now my regret is astronomical...... and it's the same night!!!! Two words explain it "Fresher Haircuts".

Sore scalp for me and worried mind and sore eyes for those looking at me, are the reslts of a very spontaneous decision.

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The first week of uni, like any typical 'first', is generally a disappointment. (Yeah, you know what kinds of 'firsts' I mean...we don't need to draw pictures...)

My first week of my fourth year (seventh semester, going strong!) has been just that. I'm sorry. You want to hear how great I feel to be back on the unicycle (to use a Brendon-ism), how inspired I am to start again, and how hard I've been studying.

If you expected all this, then I'm afraid, much like my first week, this post will be a slice from the Let-Me-Down pie...

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Everything you ever wanted to know about uni but were too afraid to ask....
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