29 July 2009

Update - Woolys

So postage is quite expensive – well relative to what I am used to in Charlotte. It’s $1.40 for cards, and $2.10 for letters. Even post cards are $1.40. But whatever, I had to send out thank you cards from my party. Today is Wednesday and finally I start class. This afternoon at 4pm I will have my first class at Uni. From 4-6pm I will have a lecture in International Politics. The lectures are held in big theaters and hundreds of students attend. Then at a different period – usually there are five of six periods to choose from – we each go to a one hour tutorial. And the tutorials are taught by different teachers – known as tutors – and these classes are much smaller. There should only be about 26-30 students in each tutorial. I am used to that size at Queens and it allows for a great exchange between professor – or tutor – and student. These tutorials involve instruction for upcoming assignments as well as discussion of the topics touched on in each lecture. Week one is the easiest because there are no tutorials. Next week I will have lectures and tutorials.
Sunshine Coast takes good care of its International Students. They have workshops that teach students how to write assignments using the Harvard system of referencing. Student Services helps students know what is expected of them at this Uni; which is really helpful. I am signed up for the class “Assignment Writing @ USC for International Students” which meets the next three Fridays from 10am to noon. It is really helpful and will help me not be overwhelmed with understanding the requirements. Also at this Uni – which is what everyone here calls University because Australians like to shorten everything – each class posts a course outline before the class begins. In the course outline is every assignment for the term, every reading, everything that will be graded, and all the requirements for each. This was very useful in planning things out. I’ve already gotten two weeks of homework done for one class and one week’s homework done for another class. Staying a step ahead!
At the front of the development is a shopping center with a grocery store and banks and post and video store. Last week I walked to the Woolworths (grocery) and it was about a half hour walk there. I bought my groceries and decided the only way I could get all the things I had bought back to my house was to push a trolley (grocery basket) back to the apartment. Well, in Australia, the trolleys have wheels that turn 360° and the sidewalks are slanted towards the road…so my walk back was quite an unadventure. It was ridiculously frustrating! The basket was very heavy and kept rolling toward the road. It was disastrous. Everyone I passed asked if I needed help. Well, yes was the obvious answer but I couldn’t very well ask a stranger to help me push my buggy for 30 minutes. By the way, why do people say a ‘prefect’ stranger? If they are a stranger how could you possibly know they are perfect? What makes a stranger perfect? Anyway, if Melanie was here she’d be able t o answer that question…so I finally got the trolley to my house. I and the trolley and even the eggs were in one piece. And I parked my trolley with the other 15 trolleys that other Uni students had already taken. I vowed to take one back. And today I did. I walked the trolley back to Woolys as I have come to call it like the natives.
I also went to the post and sent some cards and letters and now I am going to read “An Acceptable Time” by Madeleine L’Engle. I forgot to bring “A Swiftly Tilting Planet” to read it again, but I have “Meet the Austins” - the first of another series by the same author. And when I am finished with the Time series – of which An Acceptable Time is the final book – I will start the Austins. And I am going to sit on our balcony in the sun.

1 comment:

  1. Love your writing! Wow.
    Thank you for taking the time to do this. What a great way to scribe your experience!

    Hugs and Love,
    Mrs. Z