Kawabunga, dude

So it has been a week since I last wrote to my beloved readers about my shenanigans (bad word choice, now I miss Louisville) in Australia. I don’t think that I will ever wrap my head around where all the time goes. It doesn’t feel like an entire week has passed since I last wrote and definitely doesn’t feel like I have been here for two months already. Makes me scared to think how quickly the next four will go.

My first week of class was nothing to write home about (yet here I am writing about it anyways). My politics class is more of a government class than anything and my ‘tut’ (remember toot? hehe) goes against every part of the phrase, “Never talk about politics, religion, and money in public.” That is literally all we do and the results can be pretty intense. While this dynamic makes the class interesting I remind myself that even car wrecks are a hard thing to take your eyes off of. I signed up to introduce one of the topics to the class but already forgot which week I was doing. Oh wells, I’ll find out one way or another. Too bad Phil won’t be there to watch my reaction as I simultaneously walk into the classroom and remember I was supposed to be presenting like that fateful day in AP US History. Lawlz. 

Tuesday was a lot like Monday in that I worked out before class (it feels so good to be back in the practice of lifting, two months was a loooooong time) and then found my way to my Practical Ethics course. This is another car wreck of a class but now instead of arguing about what the best form of government or policies are we get to talk about right and wrong. Woop-dee-freaking-doo. I’m being cynical because writing about the first week of classes is forcing me to think about the second week of classes… so please take that into consideration before you think that all Australian classes are awful. I am just simply in the middle of a very big transition from not having any responsibilities and spending my time traveling to being a student and having to carefully plan everything in advance. So bear with me. The ethics course will not be that bad and I openly admit that I am intrigued with where the instructor goes. To be honest, he is kind of a jackass. He spent the entire first class saying a lot of very controversial statements that even had my sarcastic and ill humored self taken aback. Hopefully he was just trying to get a reaction out of us on the first day because if he wasn’t it is going to be a very long three hours every Tuesday. After class I rushed home to eat dinner (made sure not to eat a piling heap of spaghetti this time though) before running to footy practice. While I was eating I got a text message that said to bring my mouthguard and despite knowing it was a mass text that was sent to around 40 other guys I still felt so special and badass. I got there in time for the warm up (always improving) and even got to start in the match simulation. Enter ego boost stage left. Even though I literally had no idea what I was doing, I ran around out there until I was subbed out. Before that happened I touched the ball once or twice and both of them ended pretty badly. The first I completely whiffed on the pass and the second I got the piss hit out of me. And when I say I got the piss hit out of me, I mean I got wrapped up and thrown to the ground like a ragdoll. Just absolutely destroyed. I have no idea how I held onto the ball but the biggest mystery is that even though I landed (read slammed) on my head it was my big toe that got broken. Maybe it has something to do with the toilets spinning the other way? Land on your head and your toe gets hurt? Eh? eh? EHHH?! After practice we all rushed back to our respective showers and second dinners before gathering at my place for the predrink. It looks like it will be a Tuesday tradition and I am beyond stoked. The lot of us ventured out to the Hawthorn after that and danced the night away.

Thank God for no Wednesday morning classes. I was absolutely exhausted this morning and spent most of it Skyping and eating some impostor cereal that has the balls to call itself Honey Nut Cheerios. Errands, a workout, and a late lunch were all that separated my morning from my evening International Business class. This class is going to be either really awesome or the bane of my existence. No dramatization. It is the only class that I will have tests of any kind in (the other two are all essay and participation based) and there is what appears to be a very significant group project as well. The instructor is a younger guy who probably enjoys his power just a little bit too much. The class that I went to was the ‘tut’ so it was a smaller group and all we did was go over the unit outline and discuss the project. It was during the project discussion that I began to really question whether or not I should just get up and leave. Not only do I have NO IDEA what the topic is going to be or when it will be due, but the rules for this presentation are just downright stupid. First, I understand it is a business class and that looking professional for the presentation is a reasonable expectation. But sorry man, I didn’t drag a suit across the Pacific Ocean with me for a 20 minute presentation. And you’re high on crack if you think I’m going to ship it here or buy a new one. I’ll be rockin’ the denim and you’ll like it, dammit. Second, did you seriously just say overhead machine? Look over your shoulder. See that black box that lights up when you press that circle button in the center? Yeah, that’s what we call a computer. The box hanging above it is called a projector. Say it with me, p-r-o-j-e-c-t-o-r. Put the two together and you can do Powerpoint (its really cool, TRUST me) presentations really, really easily. Wait, you know what that is? THEN WHY THE FUCK ARE WE USING THE OVERHEAD MACHINE?! Thats right, folks. My instructor will not let us use the modern(ish) equipment in our classroom and is forcing us to create, print out, and use overhead slides during our presentations. Now if this was his way of breaking us away from dependence on the machines that will one day destroy us all, I’d be down for that. But it isn’t. It is because he says the equipment is unreliable. My mouth was open in disbelief the entire time this little schpeel was going on. In what crazy world does this guy live in where he thinks that overhead projectors are a legitimate part of international business. The world doesn’t operate like that anymore and instead of letting a few computer malfunctions relegate you to the Stone Age of presentation technology why don’t you simply teach us how to deal with such malfunctions when they happen? Unbelievable and I hope with every fibre of my being that the lightbulb explodes in a fiery ball of technological justice when he turns it on for the first time. You can’t reboot a lightbulb, jackass. After going around and talking about our strengths (felt like I was in the Shawnee library reading circle again) we formed our presentation groups, wrote each other’s information down with stone and chisel, and were dismissed. Now if I was in Australia to become valedictorian of Swinburne I would have gone to my next class which is the lecture part of the International Business course but I am not so I went to the last night of the Victoria Night Market instead. Before you get your panties up in a bunch let me explain that the Night Market is a really amazing experience and something that anyone who comes to Melbourne needs to do. That night was the last night it would be running while I am here so I made the choice to go experience a huge part of Melbourne’s culture over sitting in a classroom for two hours. And I don’t regret it because the market was fantastic. The weather was far from ideal and it actually rained towards the very end of the night but I lot of exchange students were there and I met up with Sarah, a French exchange student at Melbourne University who I had met at the infamous Turf Bar, which was really great. The week before I had gone for the unique Australian food that was at the market but tonight I went for whatever looked good. I hadn’t ate dinner before so I was in absolute heaven walking around to frozen lemonade, South American barbeque, Mexican chorizo sausage, and dumpling stands. The rain cleared the market out a bit early so our group actually managed to grab chairs and tables, a very rare occurrence indeed. I was very happy with my choice and after meeting Sarah’s friends I went back to my apartment with the rest of the group.

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Thursday was a good day. My school week was over and I took the free day to go to the gym and talk with Coach. I haven’t gotten to talk to a lot of people via Skype because of schedule conflicts and the time difference but I was so happy to see and talk with a friendly face. Truth is, I miss you all. I am having the time of my life here in Australia but don’t let that make you think I don’t still think about you or wish that you were here to share the experience with me. I’m not homesick and I won’t be coming back early but not a day goes by where I don’t wish I could go to that basketball game, sit around that dorm room watching HIMYM, or go have a beer at Shenanigans. My toe was still giving me a really hard time so I decided not to go to footy practice that night and went to life with Olle instead. It was his birthday that day so I told him whenever he started to have people over to let me know and I would be there. The party started around 9 and it was pretty packed because it was both Olle and his roommate Lucas’ birthday that day. We moved to the Hawthorn for awhile and when that closed the group split between going back to Olle’s room and Mackerz (McDonald’s, and I don’t really know how to spell the slang word but I’d like to think it has a ‘z’ in it). Since I am so awesome I managed to do both but my return to Olle’s room ended up me fiercely defending my fries from everyone else.

Friday was another splendidly lazy day. The weather was shit and I had nothing of immediate importance so I spent most of the day researching trips to the Gold Coast and Great Ocean Road. People had gotten pretty rowdy the night before so there wasn’t much nightlife happening within my group of friends but I did go to the welcome drinks the SwinMates were having at the Hawthorn to hang out and eat some dinner. Ben invited me to come watch a preseason footy game with him and his roommates at a bar down the road so I joined in on that for the first half before going home. When I returned, Matt explained to me that our roommate Marco had apparently taken all of his stuff out of the bathroom and kitchen. We hadn’t seen him at all that day and even though that wasn’t exactly out of the ordinary I called him to see where he was. This was when he informed me that he had moved out of the apartment that morning. I would be lying if I felt any sort of remorse upon hearing this news and after wishing him a good semester I promptly hung up and moved on with my life. He hadn’t been the most inviting of people and to be honest I thought he was incredibly sketchy so I was glad to have his awkward presence and disgusting refrigerator etiquette out of the apartment. 

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Saturday was nothing short of spectacular and the inspiration for the title of this post. The bus picked us up at 10am to drive us to Torquay beach on the other side of the bay from Melbourne. It was about an hour and a half ride that I spent battling my iPod against the awful music our guide was playing over the bus speakers. When we got there we dropped our stuff at the top of the beach before picking up our wetsuits and boards. An awkward squirming of skin into cold, damp neoprene ensued and when that was over we were onto the sand learning all the super special, extra secret hints about how to surf. In reality our teacher gave us a 30 second tutorial on how to paddle and stand up before throwing us into the waves. As far as my competence in surfing goes, I am not the worst but am definitely not the best. I can somewhat discern when a wave is a good wave to catch and when I succeed in this I am quite skilled at ‘catching’ said wave. What comes after is inconsistent and sloppy at best, but I did manage to  get to my knees and even stood on the board a few times before being thrown off by poor balance and innocent bystanders paddling in front of my aqua fueled speed board. My success only came on my second trip into the ocean though as my first session was cut short from frustration and saltwater beaten eyes. I could hardly blink when I was walking up the beach but it was nothing a peanut butter and nutella sandwich couldn’t fix. Nom. My lunch break also included the adventure of trying to hit seagulls with my boomerang. Report me to PETA if you must, but I have no accuracy with the thing and the seagulls moved much quicker than I could throw. After lunch I went back out to surf and, as I said before, had much more success. We quickly ran out of time though so my trip to the ASP World Championship will have to wait until I can practice some more. I’m coming for you, Kelly Slater. The bus stopped at all the surf outlets for about an hour which was just enough time for me to stock up on non-Bellarmine tshirts and return to my iPod for the ride back. I was absolutely exhausted when we got back (surfing was a lot more physically draining than I thought it would be) so I stayed in once again and walked to get pizza with Matt. Awwww, roommate bonding time. The pizza kept me up long enough to read a few chapters of the Lacuna but there wasn’t much that could have kept me awake after such a tiring day.

Sunday (today) was one of the more productive I have had the entire time I have been here. I woke up early to run errands at Target and Woolworth’s where I picked up everything from toothpaste to all the cleaning supplies I would need for the rest of the semester. I made breakfast for lunch (breakfast always tastes better when you are eating at a time other than breakfast time) before wiping the kitchen and bath areas down spotless. My lack of vacuum was all that kept me from cleaning the rest of the place so hopefully I am as motivated tomorrow as I was today. In between cleaning I caught up on emails and Skyped for awhile. Leftover pizza was my date for the finale of Season 2 of Lost and now I am here writing this post for you. That was my week, how was yours? 🙂

Now for a few very important side notes!

To my cousin, Melissa. Congratulations on your marriage! I am so happy for you and Michael and wish you the best in everything. I am sorry I couldn’t be there for your special day but cannot wait to see you when I get back.

To Coach, have the time of your life this week. I know it will be different from last year and summer, but keep your head up. You may not be doing the same things or be with the same people but you are in the same place for the same reason as before. Focus on being back at CAP, not on anything else. It will be an amazing experience and I cannot wait to hear all about it when you are back. Do you remember what you are supposed to forget? 😛

To Bellarmine sports and Knights’ Nation, I will always be proud of you all. It has been unbelievably hard for me to not be there for the games and festivities. I would like to congratulate the Women’s Track team on a GLVC Conference Championship and support to the Men’s Basketball Team who may have been knocked out of the conference tourney but will come back with a vengeance in the NCAA. To Girlfriend, sorry I couldn’t continue my streak of attending home games 😦 and to all you ladies on the soccer team I hope that the rings fit! 😛

 

 

That’s all from this side of the world. Love and miss you all. Thanks for reading.

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