Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Racial Riots in Sydney

Ho. ly. crap.
I only just found out about this a few hours ago, thanks to my aunt. Those of you in melb here with me, who've been busy partying and/or preparing for graduation and not keeping up with the news might not have heard about it yet, so I figured I'd better post about it.

Apparently, there's been a spate of racial riots up north in Sydney over the weekend. I'm still trying to absorb all the information myself, so no analysis for now. Instead, here's a bunch of links to articles in the Australian regarding this issue.

If any of you have friends and/or family in Sydney, now's a good time to ring up and make sure they're alright.

Read in order:

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Greetings from...Melbourne...?

Well, for those of you who don't know yet, I didn't go to Tasmania this week as planned. The rest of my family's over there now with Uncle Dave (family friend), but I kinda decided I wanted to spend a lil' more time with my friends here in melb before heading back for good (if you're one of these friends, that was your cue to start feeling honoured =P).

And for those of you who weren't aware...yeah, I'm supposed to be in Tassie from Monday to Sunday this week. If you feel out of the loop, that's only because no one likes you.

So...I've been up to a lot of stuff this past week-or-so. One of my chief reasons for hanging around (you didn't really think it was for friendship, did you? -pfft!-) was because I wanted to look at my exam script for Tech&Soc. So, I went and looked up Prof. Berreen and asked about it. He said no, because you're only supposed to look at it in Feb, which is standard department policy.

But hey, I'm graduating on Tuesday; what's the use of checking my exam script in Feb if I've graduated by then?! And I know for a fact that final year students are allowed to check their scripts after the results have been released. But he refused to let me check them, and the department won't over-rule him (which I guess makes sense), so I guess I'll never know if I really did that badly for the paper. Thanks, Terry, you've been a real help. Fuck you very much.

So besides not being able to check my exam script, what have I been up to? Well, I've been packing up my room, for one. It's a slow-moving process, considering the amount of rubbish I've managed to accumulate over four years. Still, I'll hopefully be able to move my furniture over to no.3 tomorrow. My landlady also decided to purchase my bookshelf, clothes drawers and the two single-seater couches from me, which helps ease my burden. Shyboy also did his part by buying my TV and desktop.

The rest of my time has been spent with my friends, mostly. We held four intensive drinking sessions from Sunday night to Wednesday night; once at gnuheeK's, once at dar's and twice at siao-eh's. We learnt some interesting stuff about each of us, especially the fact that Dodge really can't hold his drink. ;)

So, besides the multiple liver-wrecking sessions we've been having, I've also been out and about with various other activities. Shyboy, sketch, mei and I headed to Mornington last Thursday (Dec01) for a bit of horse riding. All in all it was pretty fun, especially watching the flies infest shyboy's entire body. For some reason, that guy is a natural fly-attractor, which was undoubtedly to the benefit of the rest of us. ;)

My horse, Harry, really liked me as well. He was a very affectionate horse,and kept nuzzling up against me. Very easy to control too, he basically did everything I asked him to do. One of the best parts of the trip was the excellent scenery. Really, really beautiful, especially after we emerged from the foliage onto the beach. Breathtaking, even.

A whole bunch of us gathered at Alamak!'s place on Friday night (Dec02) for a DVD-athon, followed by fun-and-games at siao-eh's place. When I say fun-and-games, I mean we played games like hide-and-seek, police-and-thief, and so on. Y'know, games normally played by six year olds. Who would think some of us are actually about to graduate, eh? I also suffered a nasty gash to my right lower ribs region while playing police-and-thief. See, I was the police and was chasing siao-eh around the house (he was one of the thieves) and he got a little over-enthusiastic and slashed me with a knife. No, not really, but that version's more exciting than what really happened. ;) Oh yeah, while we were at Alamak!'s place, we got distracted for a good fifteen minutes (at least) by these christmas tree-shaped chips we were eating (see picture). -sigh- All four of us in the picture are done with our uni education. Imagine that.

Sketch, dar, mei and I decided to hit the Hard Rock climbing gym on Saturday (Dec03) for a spot of...umm...rock climbing. That was pretty cool, considering I haven't climbed for a really long time. I really miss the old climbing days. Dar and mei had both climbed before, but this was sketch's first time, so I paired off with her, and dar and mei climbed together. The walls at Hard Rock are a decent height (about 5 stories) and on my first climb, with sketch on belay, I started chanting to myself "trustyourbelayer. trustyourbelayer. trustyourbelayer." as I approached the top. I decided to climb the shorter walls (around 2.5 stories) after that, and only so she could get more belaying practice. =P Here's a picture of me not trusting sketch's figure-of-eight. ;)

Alrighty, that'll have to do for now. I'll try to write another post soon about our continuous misadventures here before embarking on the Great Journey Home. Oh yeah, and look into uploading my photos as well. If I can be bothered. ;)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

There are two big moths in my room

Sorry for the extremely random post title, but just as I was about to title the post, I noticed my two new room mates who have taken it upon themselves to bug me. -sigh-

Today has been a relatively up-and-down day for me. The day started beautifully, with a wonderfully blue sky and great clouds (yes, I'm a sky person). Headed over to Seascape in the morning for a morning run with sketch and the no.4 jaggar (:P). That actually felt pretty good. I kinda overdid it on Monday and felt like puking, so I was careful not to exceed my limit today.

We then headed over to Glen for lunch. TUP came over to no.4 and gave us a lift, and we met up with dar, tkh, alamak!, win, siao-eh and shyboy. Sketch decided to go get a hair cut (or trim,or whatever), and the rest of us pretty much just waited for her while drinking bubble tea. It actually came out pretty nice; I like the new fringe. But bald would still have been better. ;)

We then decided to head over to no.4 to chill (we being sketch, jaggar, TUP, tkh, alamak! win and myself). Only they couldn't decided what they wanted to do. So I ended up dropping home to pick up the PS2, mahjong set and the poker set. And a bunch of DVDs for good measure. When I got back into the car, they told me the exam results had been posted.

I checked my results in sketch's room. She insisted that I should go first, and said she was going to brush her teeth. I jokingly asked whether brushing teeth would bring good luck. As it turns out, I got some pretty crap grades, while she did pretty well. Dammit. I knew I should've brushed my teeth.

Good news is I'm definitely graduating this semester; bad news is my results were quite far below what I expected. I didn't think I would get more than one Credit, with the other three units Distinctions or High D's; as it turns out, I got HD for Systems Integrity (which was a shocker, since I never expected it to be my highest scoring unit this semester), and D for the thesis. Was hoping for an HD, but what to do.

The crappy part was the two Passes I got for my teaching gig and Technology&Society, mainly because of the amount of time I spent on the teaching reports and presentation. Tech&Soc's also disappointing because I got really high marks for the assignments, which means if the results are accurate, I failed the final exam. -sigh- Looks like I'll have to call Michelle at Department and request to have a look at my exam scripts.

The results hit me pretty badly. While graduating would not be a problem, I was in danger of losing my H2A honours. Problem was, I didn't have my spreadsheet with me, so I couldn't actually calculate how these new results would affect my honours weighting. I did some rough calculations, but it was going to be too close to call, unless I checked with the spreadsheet. That's actually even worse than knowing that I'd definitely lost the honours: not knowing.

I joined the rest in the lounge and we ended up playing mahjong, poker andeyetoy, although we didn't watch any of the DVDs. I was dealing with it pretty okay, I thought. Went outside for a smoke and had a chat with StupidBoy which kinda put things slightly in perspective.

We later went to RK for dinner, and I was still handling it pretty well. I guess it really only started weighing down on me when we proceeded to AS for coffee. By the time we moved on to siao-eh's place for more fun-and-games, I was already fighting depression mode. I was okay at first, playing Blind Man's Bluff (which I hadn't played for maybe 15 years?), then Dad called and I told him the news. I went outside to take the call, and for some reason, I didn't feel like heading back into the party after that.

I've been fighting off this deep feeling of upcoming loss lately, trying to avoid thinking about how much I'm going to miss my friends, and even the place (though I hate to admit it) once I return home. I thought I had it handled when I figured there wasn't much to be done, and to simply make the most of my remaining time here. I guess that's why I decided to go on the trip to Adelaide with three crazy jokers, and why this entire week's been packed full of activities (like horse riding tomorrow).

It's not so much the fact I didn't do well that pisses me off; it's that I never expected it to happen. I thought I was over the "passing" phase, and it turned around and slapped me full in the face on my final semester. These are probably my worst results in two years. So I guess it's an accumulation of pent up feelings and this new thing.

So I sat around outside siao-eh's house for nearly three hours before I decided to walk home. It would have been a nice, cool walk in the summer's night breeze, but I wasn't really in the mood to appreciate it. As I walked past the field near Seascape, I noticed the field sprinklers were turned on, and had this sudden whim of walking through all of them.

So I did.

By the time I was done, I was pretty much soaked through, which means I froze most of the way home, and seem to be coming down with slight sniffles. Felt good though.