Thursday, August 31, 2006

Campus Photo Tour

So, you walk out of the back gate, and on your right, you have the barbeque area:*

You walk along the path. To your left and up a hill is the Village (where the Village people live, but we don't associate with them cos we're Hallies) and on your right is a pine foresty kind of thing leading down into the Gully.*

To get across the Gully, you go across the Bridge:*

And see beautiful scenery.** Then you see steps:

Up the steps and across another road, and you are actually on main campus. Up some steps gets you to the main level with the UniBooks shop and food court thingy and the quad:

It's so cute, it's just like a real university!

So then you go up some more steps and you have the main library level and the Humanities building, where I have some classes and where we learn how to be human:

After Humanities, there is Social Sciences North and SS South, where unfortunately I also have some classes, and so have to walk up many many steps:

And what do we find up the very very top?

Yes, I'm very jealous.

And here's one last view, this one back down at the quad. How much are we not in Kansas anymore:

*some photos haven't arrived yet. But they will. Ahem.

**See the post on views from Flinders. No I'm not making a link. Just scroll, you'll find it.

Photos: Flinders

Welcome to Flinders University.

Photos: Uni Hall

Welcome to University Hall.

Up the stairs...
(office through the doors and on the left, common room through the doors and on the right, dining hall along the path and far right)

...and you get to the courtyard (and more stairs).

Straight ahead to go out the back gate and off to uni. Turn left and up the inside stairs to get to my room.

Photos: My Room

The bed: (pretty isn't it)

The desk: (it actually has like school books on it now. I don't know where my chair went, but I do have one. You can just see my heater in the foreground there.)

The wardrobe:

Fascinating hey?

Edit: And here's the matching pinboard. I'm using the timer here, hence the dazed look in the first one.

Flinders: The View

The view from the Bridge:

Various views from different levels of uni. The city, the ocean, and um, the tops of trees.

A rainy day. About two o'clock is Flinders Medical Centre (the med centre). And about three o'clock you have the ovals where I get a tan walk go for a run. The Hall is at about seven o'clock (and of course up a hill). The uni is at maybe nine o'clock, or you could just follow the road. And Marion is at eleven o'clock (saved the best til last). Ok, now that we can all tell the time.

And one last look from the Bridge.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

There will be pictures

In addition to the photos from the first week which I expect to come emailing back to me very very soon, I took a whole bunch of photos this morning to show what it's all about.*

The first lot are Hall and my room kinda ones. Views from the bridge too I think. And this mornig was on-campus, stairs and quads and buildings kinda thing.

This is not a photo post.
This post does not have pretty pictures.

But they will arrive.

I'm almost sure of it.

*And no, putting your left foot in is not the right answer.

What Are You Doing To Me?! Grr.

Ok so I spent roughly all morning (not really) making this thing all prettiful for you and adding all sorts of things for you. I hope you appreciate it even though I have no idea if you will be able to see the great work of art that was my present to you.

For example, when I click "Preview" it all looks very nice I can see about half of the pretty things I'm supposed to see.
But when I click "View Blog" (presumably what you're seeing) these are all missing.
Not to mention that even if you could see it all, it's still not how I wanted it, quite.

Details, I know.

Let me know what new things you noticed (noticed = can see, so you have to look) so I know which part to subject to the horrible torture of the button known only as

duh duh duuuuuh


Edit: Never mind.

Fire in the Hall

No not really.

We did have a fire alarm though. It was very loud. And the doors shut. Oh and what was I doing at the time?

Sleeping? No, although I think everyone else in the Hall was. What else do uni students do at three in the afternoon. Studying? No. Eating? No.

Give up?
Well, I'll tell you.

I was in the shower.

No it is not the funniest, most cliched thing you've ever heard.

And no I did not go outside in a towel. As if I would. And I even took the time to grab my lipgloss. Hey, a girl's gotta look good when the firies arrive.

Year Book Profile

1) Name, birthday, course, email.
2) If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be and why?
3) What’s your poison?
4) Where will you be ten years from now?
5) Voted most likely to…
6) Most memorable event of the year?
7) Describe your best spew of the year.
8) Complete this sentence: In the hall, I am the_____________ who always__________. I like to ___________ and I think that__________.
9) If you had half an hour left to live, what would you be doing, where and with who?If you were born the opposite sex, what would you have been called?

Someone, please, fill it out for me. I have no idea.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Riders Take Two

After our discussions in class today about The Riders (some of which even stayed on topic - rare for that tut) I'm thinking I'll have to redo my ending.

After talk of neglect and wife-bashing and obsession, my version seems very naive.

But seriously, sometimes you gotta have a happy ending y'know?

However, maybe this isn't the right ending for the book. I'll have to think on it.

Besides which, the link I put up for my ending doesn't work anyway, so you have no idea what I'm going on about. But I'm sure that's normal.

Hall Carpark

Message no. 7670
Author: Dennis
Date: Tuesday, August 29, 2006 4:28am

Yes, that’s right folks, it’s happened again. Our car park has been broken into AGAIN (making it the FOURTH time this year alone) and this time our fellow hallies have had their cars broken into, and worse.

I am starting this thread for a number of reasons:
- To provide our community with an accurate description of the events (not a fictional tale woven by gossip queens and attention seekers who wish they were there.
- To express my outrage at the ineptitude and incompetence displayed by our Campus Security
- To raise awareness of the imminent danger to both our property and ourselves

At 9:45pm on Monday night (28th August 2006), Zoe and I were walking to my car, which was parked on the hill next to the hall units, that overlooks the car park. I heard the rustling of a wire fence, and looked over to see two figures climbing one of the trees overhanging the fence on the east (village) side of the car park, using denim jackets to scale the tigerwire, and then dropping down onto the bonnets of the cars parked on the east side. Both of them were of aboriginal appearance, of slim build, anywhere between 14 to 16 years old, and both around 5’5”.

I told Zoe to wait inside my car while I ran to our unit and called security, informing them that someone had just broken into our car park, and to “get here NOW!” While I was gone, Zoe saw the two check all of the cars up and down the East (Marion) side
of the car park, paying particular interest to Jordan’s red Feroza 4wd, Kelly’s blue Corolla sedan, and Toby’s silver VN station wagon. As I returned, the two offenders were breaking open Toby’s driver side door. They then opened the passenger door from the inside, and both sat in the car. For two minutes, Zoe and I heard them break Toby’s dashboard panels off, to gain access to the wiring loom under the steering column, in order to hotwire the car. I was wondering when the FUCK security were about to arrive, and ran down the hill to the Sturt tennis court to find them, while Zoe waited at my car on the hill. She tried calling other hallies mobiles’ to get them to phone security.

At the Sturt tennis court I was stopped by the head security officer and had to explain that I was a resident, and the one who had just called them. I told him again, “They are in there right NOW breaking someone’s stuff, what are you doing?” The three security vehicles were parked alongside the tennis courts and around the corner on University Drive. “Oh, they’re in there now? Well we’ve called the police, they’re on the way”. I heard on the officer’s radio that they had “found a suspicious car on the campus”, down near where University Drive turns off to the Med Centre. They had spoken to the driver, who claimed “I’ve just run out of petrol, I’m waiting for some friends to come and help me out”.

I went back up the hill to Zoe, who had seen them get Toby’s car started by hotwiring it. They were ready to leave, when they turned Toby’s engine off and went over to Kelly’s car, and smashed her door locks with a screwdriver. It would appear they were about to hotwire her car also and leave with both vehicles, when one of them spotted the security vehicle parked on University Drive. They went to leave via the fence on the east side, so Zoe and I came down the hill onto Hall Terrace. When they saw us, The two offenders climbed on the bonnets of the cars on the west side, trying to escape the compound. They used the cars to get them high enough to put their jackets over the tigerwire, and then climbed over them and down the hill to University Drive. Zoe and I followed them around the north side of the carpark where we saw one of the offenders get picked up by a car coming from the med centre turn-off, and the other ran across the oval.

There was one security car was on the oval already, ao Zoe and I signalled from the middle of University Drive to a different, oncoming security car that the Sigma driving away was the getwaway car. The security driver approaching us did nothing to give chase, instead casually drove up to us and asked “what the problem was”. I explained what had happened, and asked why he had made no attempt to stop or chase the getaway car. He gave me no reply, and would not tell me his name when I asked.

By this stage, it was 9:55pm. The police arrived in an unmarked car, and were given the registration of the getaway car, a light brown Mitsubishi Sigma, by security. Zoe and I went to the common room to call Duty Tutor Adam, and see if we could find Toby. Adam talked to the police and security, and collected evidence left in the car park, which included jackets that had been tangled in the tigerwire, and a hat one
of the aboriginals had dropped during their escape. Police later found the getaway car, which was stolen, and took three aboriginals into custody. Toby and Kelly have given official statements to the police, and Zoe and I have to do so tomorrow.

So, lets examine this shall we. Security’s first step was to call the police. Fuck, I COULD CALL THE POLICE MYSELF, and they’d probably get here faster than including the middleman.
Then, they sat around at the tennis courts while one of our fellow hallies cars was hotwired, and it could just as easily have been any one of ours. And when I told them that the offenders were still in there, they made NO ATTEMPT to catch them in the act.
Instead, they sat around and were eventually spotted by the offenders, which gave them time to escape. (psst... you're not in camo, you're a silver car with bright orange lights, so you give away your position very easily...)

These kids had successfully hotwired one car, and were getting ready to do the same to a second, and I speculate that (unless they had a carpark access card, which I doubt) they would get the cars out by driving them through the North fence of the carpark. That fence is shitty and weak, and anyone could easily take it out with the tiniest of shitty cars. It is simply not good enough.

Security knew that there was a suspicious car on campus, but made no attempt to stop that driver from fleeing the scene. Sure, you can’t fucking arrest him (you’re only rent-a-cops anyway), but you can park your shitty Echo in front of him across the FMC turn off and prevent him from getting to his buddies during the escape.

Next, the security car on University Drive, the one that Zoe and I signalled to, to stop the getaway car, made NO ATTEMPT to stop them, or give chase. What the fuck? Again, You can park your car across the road and block traffic. If it was just some normal, innocent person, they’d stop and be reasonable, but anyone driving a getaway car would have to go around you, and that would tell you for sure that they’re up to something.
Bottom line: YOU SHOULDN”T HAVE LET ANY FUCKING CARS LEAVE CAMPUS WHILE YOU KNEW THERE WAS A SUSPICIOUS CAR IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO A CRIME! Are you fucking retarded? I’ve seen six-year-olds play “cops and robbers” better than you guys. Also, when I asked for your help, why the fuck didn’t you answer me? I’m a resident on campus, it is your job to help me! And you didn’t give me your name when I asked because you knew I was going to report you for doing a shitty job.

Finally, the security car on the oval. A getaway car is fleeing the scene, your buddies in the other cars have scrambled because they know the offenders are fleeing, and one kid sprints across the oval. FOLLOW HIM! IT WAS HIM! Do you need it spelled out for you? Anyone could tell you that that is the kind of guy you pursue. He sure as hell wasn’t going to outrun you, because he’s on foot and you’re in a car! How the hell did he get away?

So everybody, what the hell is going on? THIS IS NOT FUCKING GOOD ENOUGH (yes, I’m angry, can you tell?) Security are not doing the job we pay them for and our compound is far from “secure”. I don’t know how we go about fixing this, but I know a few things for sure:

- We need security to DO THEIR FUCKING JOB. I am making a formal complaint myself. Calling the police for us does not count as you having done your duty.
- We need higher fences on our compound, ones that you can’t get over by standing on a car’s bonnet. They need to be made out of something stronger than that chicken-wire shit, and the North fence needs to be replaced, NOW. And tigerwire, the shit that you can get over with a denim jacket? We need RAZORWIRE people (you’re seen SAW, you know what I’m talking about).
- We need to get rid of ALL those trees. Apparently, they were trimmed. It is nowhere near good enough, because those aboriginal kids got over there in about five seconds flat by climbing a tree.
- We need security drive-bys to be more frequent, or we need someone to watch our compound every second of the night. Impractical, yes, so I’m open to ideas.
- We need security cameras. Sure they’re another target for vandalists, but it looks like we are out of options here.

Finally, what about the danger this threatens fellow hallies with? What if one of us had been coming home from work and surprised the thieves? Imagine one of the girls we live with being set upon by the two aboriginals. Did they have knives, or other weapons? What if one of our neighbours got hurt? Why are we still sitting on our hands? Why are we okay with this?

So as you can tell by now, I’m pretty outraged. I personally am staging a carpark embargo, and I am only using the top carpark at night from now on, until they fix this fucking mess up. I encourage everyone who wants something done about this to do the same. Park up the top, where hallies can watch out for you. Park in the loading bay, by the smokers table, on the grass, under the mezzanine, wherever your car will be safe. If security want to give you a ticket, well, that's about the only part of thier job they can do properly. And you won't be the only one appealing the fine, because OUR CARPARK IS NOT SAFE. It has been broken into at least FOUR TIMES this year! We are uni students, we can not afford insurance and repairs, and we should be safe in our own home.

Something needs to be done. The people have spoken. And the people are fucking angry.

You win some, you lose some

So you're at the uni bus-stop, you're wearing a backpack, your arms are full of folders and law textbooks, and what does the driver say? "I need to see a student ID." WFT?! Like I would seriously impersonate a student to get a cheaper bus ride. If I was going to impersonate someone, it for sure wouldn't be someone who has to take the bus.

Thankfully, this does not happen to me at Flinders.

However, what does happen is people do not think. Or they are inconsiderate on purpose. If you are the first person into a lecture theatre, do not sit on the end of the row. Because then, either people have to climb over you, or you have to get up. So much effort. Just walk a few extra steps to the middle of the row of seats to avoid all that hassle.

Because, really? It's not a plane. There are no 'good seats'. You're here to learn. Just do it.

What are you here for people?

The girl sitting next to me (but one seat away, you know how it is, god forbid you actually sit next to someone) spent the who lecture reading. Not lecture notes, not research, but a novel. Now for all I know, it was a compulsory text for another class. However, the fact remains that she did not take one single note from the lecture, and I doubt her powers of concentration are good enough to enable her to take in what she was reading and the lecture at the same time.

Do you not think we pay enough to be going here, that's it's a uni it's even a little bit hard to get into and therefore people who would actually work hard would love to trade places with you, enough that you could actually spend 50 minutes to listen to the person you're paying to hear?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

History Readings Do Not Have To Be Boring

This is a surprise to me.

However, since I actually did the readings for last week (ok I did them this week, but at least I did them) I was rewarded with a very interesting, very funny piece of writing.

Oh and you should not read interesting, funny things in the library. People tend to look at you funny.

So here are some examples of what could await you should you actually do the readings:

The Convention ... passed a law as requested, offically called the 'Law of Suspects', also known as the Terror. This is one of the many points during the revolution at which it's clear no one had quite mastered the art of political spin. Couldn't they have thought of a slightly more PR-friendly name than 'the Terror'? A modern government would have slipped it in as 'Section 24 of the Grain Distribution Act (pike clause)' or something.

I wondered whether they [farmers] have a similar perspective on every news event. So if there was a plane crash, Farmers Weekly would report, 'Fortunately ten of the dead were vegetarians, so the impact on beef sales will not be as great as was originally feared.

[The Revolutionary Tribunal] back the surreal law that aristocrats weren't allowed to live by the coast. Presumably this was to stop them escaping to join a foreign army, though it would have been interesting to see what the Sun would say if a couple of thousand aristocrats were plotting to sneak on to a cross-channel ferry.

The Convention decreed that 'only the houses of the poor and the homes of good patriots shall be left standing'. Which must have caused havoc with the property prices, estate agents advertising their most exquisite properties are 'poky little hovel, needs tons of work, miles from the shops'.

The first man to be guillotined under the Terror was called des Maulans and the judge and jury burst into tears as the sentance was passed. But, as hit-men say, it got easier after the first one.

There were usually two or three executions a day ... with refreshments available. Wouldn't that bring home to you the mundanity of life, to be mounting the scaffold and hear in the distance, 'Do you want onions with that?'?

The new months were named for their scientific attributes. For example there was frimaire, meaning the month of frost; thermidor meant the month of heat; and brumaire was the month of mist. Again, this could only happen in French. In Britain we'd end with months called 'Tut, the nights are drawing in' and 'Well at least it's keeping mild.'
In any case its doubtful whether such a change could ever take place in Britain, when you consider the only time the calendar was altered, when it jumped ten days to the Gregorian system, there were demonstrations against the disappearance of these dates. It must have caused havoc with the chanting:
'What do we want?'
'Our ten days back!'
'When do we want them?'
'Ah, now there's a metaphysical conundrum...'

Theatres were required to show three times per week 'the tragedies of Brutus, William Tell and other plays which recall the glorious events of the Revolution'.4 Which sounds a bit grim, like the plays put on by left-wing theatre groups in the '70s. A typical play would have begun:
[Peasant carrying pitchfork approaches noble with a cushion up his jumper to make him look fat]
PEASANT: It's a nice day today, isn't it?
NOBLE: For me it's always a nice day. For while we are just four per cent of the population, we own ninety-six per cent of non-clerical land. But tell me, I hear you have fallen in love. Is this true?
PEASANT: Indeed it is. I have fallen in love with liberty, for as long as the people yearn to be free we shall we richer than you, the Duke of Brunswick and all the tyrants.

An American, Citizeness Mace, found herself in court for serving a cheese shaped like a white heart, which was described as a counter-revolutionary pudding. The Daily Telegraph should take note: that is political correctness gone mad.

The farmers ... had benefited from the abolition of feudal dues, but their enthusiasm for having their produce removed at gunpoint was limited.

Certainly, more people would watch the discussion programmes after the Budget if the interviewer was saying, 'So, the main points of Gordon Brown's speech appear to be no change in the basic rate of tax, a two-billion pound boost over three years for the public sector, and an army to be sent to the boards of multinationals to threaten execution if they continue to avoid tax through bureaucratic loopholes. Roy Hattersley, what do you make of all that?'

In fact almost every priest, vicar and rabbi would agree that the Bible on which their whole system is based is not be to taken literally at all. It's as if a defendant charged with murder had their alibi disproved and stood up in court to exclaim, 'When I said I was at the cinema at seven-thirty, I didn't mean that literally! It was just a sort of metaphor.'

Religion isn't usally the problem. .. When Catholic and Protestant kids get in a fight, the Catholics aren't thinking, 'We're going to keep chucking this rubble until you learn that that little wafer is the body of Christ.'

Notre Dame was renamed the Temple of Reason. There was a new, sans-culotte version of the Lord's Prayer ... Who knows, maybe if there is a God he appreciated a bit of innovation, as he must be sick of the turgid version recited to him a billion times a week for thousands of years.

...except to say that the rural communities wouldn't be needing their churches anyway as they were seizing all church bells and silver to melt down for ammunition.

One commissar announced ... 'I ordered all the priests to marry ... some twenty promised to marry within two months, and I have authority to find wives for them.' They should have been thankful there was no television at the time or this would have become a Channel 4 reality show, on once a year with every priest's move recorded as he undertook the challenge of getting married in two months or facing a line of sans-culottes with pitchforks.

And who can say, when they're been stiched up by emergency plumbers or those crooks who demand two-hundred quid to tow your broken-down car into a garage, that they wouldn't have appreciated a visit from an army of the Terror to enforce a maximum price?

Our leadership speech would be, 'Let the coffee-shop workers produce tall lattes for the army, let the accountants work out how to carry part of the army's expenses into the following tax year, and let lap-dancers distract the enemy while production companies propose a docu-soap.'

They ended up by announcing that, after any further attack from locals on their positions, 'we shall reply by burning ten villages in your country, and every place from which we are fired on ... will be reduced to ashes'.
How many were won over to the royalist cause by this careful diplomacy isn't recorded.
[A Serb protester] suggested [to a newspaper columnist] the Americans were bombing [Serbia] because they wanted to control the region. So 'I tried to tell them no one was interested in their dirty hate-filled blot on the landscape of Europe but they just wouldn't listen.'8 Fancy, even that didn't win them over. Some people don't want to hear a reasoned arguement, that's their trouble.

'It's better to fight a year against the English that a month in the Vendee'.10 At which the most aggrieved must have been the English, ... 'What, are you calling us poofs?'

Events in 1794 ... moved at such a pace, it's easy to forget certain figures who were prominent in earlier scenes but had slipped out of the main plot, as in a soap opera. ... In the case of Marie Antionette, it was as if the writers, having suddenly remembered she was still there, decided her only use would be to have a final flourish and then killed off.

As she [Marie Antionette] set eyes on the cart prepared to take her to the scaffold, she expressed surprise at how tatty it was, though it probably didn't occur to her that, if she'd tried to escape in one just as tatty three years earlier, she might not be needing this one now.

Her [MA's] final act was to tread on the foot of Sanson the executioner, then say, 'Monsieur, I beg your pardon, I did not do it on purpose.'11 Her defenders cite this as an example of her sturdy harmlessness, civil and without malice to the end. I think they do her a disservice and the feisty cow meant it.

Herbert seems to have been a left-wing taxi driver. He should have called his paper Bloody aristocracy, they need stringing up - it's the only language they understand.

Some of the defendants screamed, especially one called Valaze. Brissot leaned across to stiffen his colleague's resolve and tell him not to be afraid, to which Valaze replied that he was screaming because he'd stabbed himself with a hidden dagger. ... The dead Valaze was taken down to the cells along with his live co-defendants, then dragged back to the dock and sentanced to death, despite being dead.
... The dead Valaze['s execution] was left to last, which must have been a bit of an anti-climax for the crowd.

It's a sad thought that if you make a grand departing gesture, your last thought is probably 'I bet the bloody journalists report that wrong.'

Right, well, if you got through all that you did very well. Now I'm to write about as many words again, this time on the aims and successes of the Revolution and the Terror respectively. Hopefully my lecturer will not be laughing when he reads it.

* All the funny and interesting material came from
Vive le Revolution by Mark Steel, Scribner 2003, pages 201 to 219.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Riders

I just finished reading The Riders by Tim Winton. I was all ready to dislike it (Lockie Leonard ickk) and certainly a lot of people in the class seem to, but I didn't really feel like the story was unfinished. Sure, there were a lot of unanswered questions, but (and maybe this is because it came full-circle) I actually liked it.

From what Shannon said in the tut last week, next week we're going to have to write an ending or something tying things up in for our worksheet collection. As if I could just sit down and write. Plus, when I've been reading something with a particular style, I'm a very impressionable child, and tend to slip into that style if I start writing.

So here's my continuation of the story, could be a day or a week or a month later.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Writing Nation

In case you're short of things to read at the moment, here is the list of books I have to read for one of my English classes. (I'll post the other one later k. Promise.)

Home - Larissa Behrendt
Joe Cinque's Consolation - Helen Garner
The Idea of Perfection - Kate Grenville
Loaded - Christos Tsiolkas
The Riders - Tim Winton

And if you want something to watch because you want to flaunt your DVD-playing power in my face* go right ahead and watch these:

Black Chicks Talking
Head On
Japanese Story
Little Fish
Look Both Ways

*No I still haven't got my stupid computer's DVD drive fixed after it shat itself between home and here.

Peer Pressure

Thirty people in the common room, all shouting at one girl at the the tops of their lungs:
"No, don't do it! You don't know what you're doing, don't walk out there. Stupid bitch, listen to me! Do not - argh she's going."

And BOOM she gets blown away in the bomb blast.
Poor Meredith. At least George got his three-girls-in-the-shower fantasy.
Dammit though, I liked that bomb squad guy.
Oh well, such is (reel) life.

(PS. You should never give in to peer pressure. No, really.)

This Means You

If you read, you must comment.

Ok, so this is to the two, maybe three people who I've instructed to read this. This is an update of those instructions.

Read. Comment. Comprende biatches?

I am not writing for me. I am writing for you lot and if you're reading, I want to know about it. Write back okay?

How To Win Friends and Influence People

"Do you want to have a study group?"

Seriously, it is the most efficient way of getting to know new people.

You already have things in common:
- You're in the same class.
- You're at the same uni.
- You can pick people the same age (or not)
- You have something to talk about (school work) so you shouldn't be stuck for conversational topics. Ever.

Collaboration is good.

Tips for Doing Presentations

Make sure you know how to operate things: overheads, powerpoints, whiteboard markers.

Make sure you know how to pronounce words. For example: nuances is not nuisances.
If you don't know how to pronounce something, ask. If you do ask, for godsake, listen to the answer and pronounce the word correctly from then on.

Reading straight from a piece of paper, not terribly inspiring.
Reading from notecards is just stupid. The point of them is so you don't have to read word for word.

If you are going to read a passage from a book, make sure you know which page, which passage, which book. Even better, just include the passage, yes word for word, on your speech or notecards. Then you don't have to go searching while the audience stares off into space for so long that by the time you finally find it, they have no idea what relevence the passage has to whatever the hell you were going on about three hours before when the search began.

At least pretend to be interested in what you're saying. If you're not, why the hell should we be?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

English Class

Lisa's tips for not mis-using apostrophes: don't use contractions. Ever.
Well I thought it was good.

She also talked about 'active' and 'passive' voice, which (maybe I was asleep when we did it in high school) has never been explained to me. I liked the whole grammer talk, suprisingly, but I think it was because she had some reasoning behind the stupid rules. Active is more assertive and gives authority to what you're saying.

Also, we're allowed to use 'I' (at least in this class) but not 'I believe'. wtf? If you were going to say, 'I believe the sky is yellow,' then you would just say, 'The sky is yellow.' We're being assertive here people.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A little less conversation

I'm wondering if it is possible to have a conversation without mentioning any of the following:
* Where you're from.
* What you're studying.
* Where you live.
* How you've 'been'.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Flinders: Uni Hall

I live at Uni Hall.
It's a bunch of single rooms along a bunch of corridors on a bunch of floors, with a bunch of toilet/shower and random kitchens also along the corridors, though with less frequency than the rooms.
Breakfast and dinner are provided and things to make lunch are available at breakfast times. On the weekends you have to fend for yourself.

The floors are divided into Areas, each under the command of a Residential Tutor.
The Tutors and the House Committee run the Hall and organise things and are available to be approached (or so I would assume).

They are big on planned Hall activities (especially if they involve drinking) such as O-Week activities, Area dinners, pub nights, ice-skating, boys' and girls' days, theme dinners, movie nights, etc.

Flinders: The Classes

Well I am doing the normal full-time load: four classes.
ENGL1004: Writing Nation: Australian Writing for Contemporary Audiences
ENGL1008: Fictions and Transformations
HIST1802: Europe, 1945 to the Present
HIST1704: History's Killing Fields

I was doing DVST1002: Culture, Power and Change in International Development but changed out of it so I could fulfill my English/History majors requirements. Plus I really had no idea what it was meant to be about and when I found out didn't want to do it anyway. So yeah. Moving on.

Lectures are much bigger (obviously), about on a par with the main law units at CDU I'd say. Tuts are about the same, but everyone is pretty young. There's always that one annoying old person - in my case a bloke who is in ALL my classes and drives me crazy cos he thinks he's god's gift to Flinders.

The lecturers are much more organised and mmm distant? Maybe not the right word. We have two lectures each week for history and they turn up, talk for 50 mins, thank you, the end, dismissed. They often show film clips in the lectures: in Darwin if we ever watched something it was such a big production, but here it's like 'talk talk talk - show a short clip - talk talk - have a look at this - talk talk - thank you, goodbye.'

The assessment is basically the same structure: tutorial presentations, tut essays, major essay, give or take an exam or a collection of worksheets. And seriously? Who writes 500 words these days? Maybe when I was in year 7...

We have to read A LOT of books for english. Well duh, it's english, but still. And maybe one of them I would have read outside uni/have read. Expanding your horizons is where it's at.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Flinders: The Campus

There are lots of stairs.
There are ducks.
There is a quad where people sit on the grass and on benches to eat their lunches.
Buildings are arranged like this:
____[ ]
___[ ]
__[ ]
[ ]
so you're always going diagonally across courtyards, then up the stairs to the next building.
The bookshop is pretty much identical to the one at CDU.
Some rooms are really hard to find, eg cos they're under the stairs.
Buildings are generally well labelled and sign-posted.
There is a bank, chemist, and post-office.
They have a shop where you could buy all your stationary supplies for your whole uni career.
Did I mention the stairs?

The War in Lebanon: Is Peace Possible?

Instead of going to our normal tut, we got to go to a forum that was being chaired by our lecturer instead. There were two guest speakers, including a guy who grew up in Lebanon, and afterwards people in the audience could have a say too.

The guy from Lebanon was the most interesting speaker, in particular one story he told:
His mother was upset when he called, he could tell something was wrong, and when he pressed for a an explanation, she told him. His sister, one year older than him, was going to bed every night with her ID card in her pocket. Too many unidentified bodies are being pulled from the rubble.

Makes you think.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Ok, it's a bit small, but this should give you a basic idea. That's all the assignments and things I have to hand in between now and then end of semester. I think I only have one or two exams, but I also have in-class tests. What's up with that?

Friday, August 04, 2006

I have a dream

I had a dream that it was really hot, and I had to find something to wear, and I was going through all my skirts and stuff and I was really annoyed cos I couldn't find what I wanted to wear, and I knew I'd brought it with me (I did, by they way, but haven't worn it yet as it's too. damn. cold.) and you were in there somewhere and dad and Laura Smith, it was all a big to-do, and then I woke up cos someone messaged me.

And oh yeah, it was still cold.

Bugger Up

So I couldn't sleep.

Actually, I was asleep, and then some stupid person made a loud noise, and I woke up. Then I couldn't sleep.

I looked at my watch, and it was after midnight. On Friday, August 4th, 2006.

So I put on my pretty Uni Hall hoodie that I bought the other night, and went out to look at the view. There is a good view from Uni Hall, lots of fairy lights, but I'm betting it would be a hundred times better from the top of the Social Sciences building. But that's a long long walk so I had to be content with my little view.

Turns out views are colder when you're 21 than when you're 20, so I went inside. (Ok, it could have been the fact it was like one in the morning, yes.)

Burnsey, who I know, Alex, who I've seen and now know his name, and Doorsy/Megan who I've never met, were all playing cards with someone else before the view, and when I got back B & D were playing Five Hundred, so I sat down to watch. They finished and the four of us decided to play Bugger Up.

It's kind of like Euker, but if you play like you're playing Euker, you'll get buggered up. After each hand's dealt, you have to guess how many tricks you'll win. And then you have to try to win that many tricks. Or not win, depending on how many you said. It has a few more rules, but that the basic gist. It was really fun, and I did much better in the second game when I stopped trying to win tricks, and started trying to win the game.

We'll have to play it when I come up or you come down k?


Went to Leanne and Jim's house for dinner tonight. We had pasta and apple crumble. No, not together. And I got to put Ice Magic on mine, even though I didn't have any ice-cream. Dude, it's winter, hello. As if.

Maddy is very cute, and got quite chatty once she got used to me. It was just like being back at the centre.
I bought her a book, My Dad, by some author guy, which we had (they have) at the centre. It has lots of pics in it that you can sign to, and if there's not, you can always 'dad'. So I taught them that when I gave it to her, and then after dinner, she came and sat in my lap for me to read it. When I said the title, you could see her moving her fingers to do the sign. How cool is that?

They also got me a present, which was very nice of them. A very pretty top from Just Jeans. Personally, I think very pretty tops are kind of over-rated here in the South, where everything's covered with a jacket, a scarf, a hoodie, etc etc etc.

But it's a very nice top.


There are ducks on campus. It is very bizarre since there is no resevoir or Popeye in sight. This confuses me. Anyhow.

I was sitting there, minding my own business, eating my ham and salad roll (in a hurry, might I add, as it was cold outside and there was a breeze...) when all of a sudden, there's these two ducks looking at me.

I went walking, what did I see?
I saw two ducks, looking at me.

I kept eating.

Then I hear this quacking sound coming from my foot.
Turns out my foot wasn't actually quacking, these ducks were standing right there suggesting I give them my lunch. Which might have seemed like a good idea, as I could then go to the library where it's nice and warm, but in fact wouldn't have been, as I would have then been very hungry.

I wish there was a more dramatic conclusion to the story.
But I digress.

I moved my foot out a little.
They moved backwards.
I relaxed.
They came closer.
I moved my foot, they retreated.
I retreated, they advanced.

You see the pattern?

However, at this point, some other person sat down on one of the benches, they left, I finished my roll, and they didn't even get the crumbs.

I need cash out

So I'm down to my last like $0.45 or so. I need cash.

To get to the ATM on campus, I have to walk down the stairs, across the courtyard to the back gate, along the path, across the bridge, up a hill, across the road, up the steps, across another road, up more stairs, and there I am.
The priviledge of doing this from a non-my-bank ATM is, I think, $1.50.
Then I go down the stepses, across the roadses, along the bring, along(up) the path to the back gate, around the courtyard, and up the stairs to my room.

To get a my-bank ATM, I go down the stairs, along the verandah, down the stairs, out the door, down the front steps, across the carpark, down more steps, down along the path, and across the road to the bus-stop.
Then I get on the bus (for the low low price of $1.10), go to Marion, get my money and catch the bus home again. Up and up and up the path, up the stairs, across the carpark, up the front steps, in the door (now, could take a break in the Common Room at this point, and also check my mail), up the stairs, along the verandah, and up the stairs to my room.

So, which do you choose?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Boat Races

Uni Hall competes against other residential colleges in all kinds of sports over the year. This semester it's netball, soccer, and hockey. Basketball was last semester.

Also this semester is boat races.

Think Flip Cup.
With teams.
And drunken supporters.
(Note to self: Need to learn the lyrics to the drunken Flinders chant.)

Flinders, St Marks, St Anns, Acquinas, and Lincoln students all went to the Colonel Light (pub in the city) on Wednesday.

It's an eight-a-side, round-robin, girls then guys, beer skulling battle.

Yes skulling. Not shots.
And beer. Not Fanta.

Thumbs on tables! Thumbs on tables!
Chins on tables! Chins on tables!
Face the water! Face the water!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


It turns out that clothes left in a heap on the floor do not magically turn up washed and folded in the wardrobe. How weird is that.

Oh well, you learn something new every day.

Now to figure out what those funny, heavy, boat-shaped things are on the funny-looking tables.

New Residents' Dinner

Tonight there was a dinner for all new residents and their tutors. Dinner was pretty boring but afterwards got to talk to tutor Amy and Cindy and shit, can't remember the first one's name. Anyway, I can now recognise a few more people in the Hall which is a good sign.

Also bought a Uni Hall jumper tonight, and at dinner rec-i before e except after c-eived a free Uni Hall polo shirt. Apparantly we're also supposed to get mugs and all sorts of other things, but tutor Adam is hoarding them for himself.

Hair appointment tomorrow. She better not make my hair short.

* He turned up with presents a bit later.
* It was a he not a she and he made my hair all even so it seems short without longer bits.


Apparantly (on the down low) there'd been a bit of tutor vs house committee issues going on. I think there's a connection, but I could be wrong.

Each member of the house committee and all the tutors and three of the staff have the names of two people. The first person, they have to give a piece of candy to - if they haven't already eaten it themselves.

The second name, they have to kill. It can't be in anyone's room. It has to be when the assassin and assassinatee are alone in one of the common spaces anywhere in the Housing area.

Everyone (not just tutors and house committee) are really getting into it. People are offering up their services as bodyguards. Tactics and the newly deceased are the hot topics of conversation in the common room and dining hall.

Word on the street is that there will be a huge one for all residents pretty soon. Sooner than start of 4th term.

Watch your back.
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