There and Back Again - an Australian Tale

There and Back Again - and Australian Tale

As of Friday, October 1st, 2010 I have officially been accepted to study abroad in Cairns, Australia. This program marks a new page being turned - another new start. I feel like my life is in need of some revamping and by traveling, submitting to my wanderlust, going somewhere new to learn new things in new ways - well, this trip is just billet I've been looking for. Come along and laugh at me, with me, or both as I prepare to tally forth, wander en and return from, the Land of Oz.

Australia's New National Animal

Australia's New National Animal
A Fez ?!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hey now that you mention it, it kinda does!

Last week was hell. I had a presentation to give Friday to the masses visiting for parent’s weekend, papers due, projects to develop, work to go to … I needed 28 hours in a day just so I could manage to get some sleep and maybe eat a meal other than coffee for breakfast. With little more than a prayer, I managed to get done what I needed to – save for a 500 word essay – but I consider it a successful week. I made it to the presentation at 4:00 and talked about my summer research to anyone who asked until my voice grew hoarse. My vundabar (define) research adviser came by and praised the work I had put into the presentation (even though she had been, not an hour earlier, quite eager to END me) before heading out to drive her mother home. On the way out the door  she asked me if I had received word about the CIIS Program I had applied to – apparently a few of her students who applied to study in Kenya and Costa Rica had heard and she was curious if I was to be added to her list of missing for the Spring of 2011. Now – I had been told we wouldn’t hear back from the committee until early October – but actually having ‘early October’ MEAN October 1st brought to mind the vision of pig flying through the frozen-over landscape of hell.

I replied no, she left, I went on presenting.

But now I was nervous. Would I get the little envelope on the Uni’s letter-head saying “We regret to inform you”, “please re-apply next semester”, “DENIED” … or the marvelously fat, impressive, portfolio like folder unceremoniously stuffed into our tiny mailbox slot telling me I got in, here is the money you owe and MOAR paperwork?

The presentation ended at 5:30 and I gathered up my things, jonesing (define) for some real food and the longest cat-nap in history. I walked out of the presentation with some of the other research students from the summer – chatting about our 3 weeks off before we were back at school and how the semester was going … and then I remembered what my adviser had told me about the application decisions. I quickly made my apologies and flew across the student center (taking out a few freshies and a janitor along the way) and came to a screeching halt by my box.

I would try to make this sound even more dramatic but I have heaps of homework and time is running thin.

I found my swollen, bent, bright-blue, folder-sized envelope just as I had imagined – so stuffed in the damn box I almost fell backward pulling it out – but the concussion would have been worth it. I WAS GOING TO AUSTRALIA!


I phoned home and let them know the good news as I bounced back and forth in the service hallways of the building – stepping in every other tile and avoiding the red ones (LAVA!). As I went to hang up my father told me not to celebrate TOO much, and after a quick “I promise nothing” and a good laugh I hung up and went back to my room in search of some Dr. Pepper and ‘The Kraken’ black-spiced rum.

An evening of A.I.-frivolity (define) ensued, taking a break, watching really old cartoons with some of my housemates and laughing about how we use to subsist by the half-hour slot that certain shows came on. At some point just past midnight-thirty I left and went to visit a close friend to add the cherry to the top of my now-awesome-day sundae. We stayed up until 4 in the morning with one another until we passed out – in a mildly tipsy, comfy and oh-so-smeepy manner as we occasionally do.

I spent the 2nd of October playing video games, watching television shows and generally avoiding looking at any work - really enjoying a day to myself. I think I had earned it – besides, homework could be done on Sunday. After a day of eating my favorite foods and relaxing, sprawled on the futon in my room – I started thinking about what I wanted my semester away to be like, things I wanted to do and places I wanted to see … and then I started thinking about who I wanted to be.

It was the sort of feeling that people get when they go away to college expecting something new and exciting. To make an excessively long and painful story short – I was robbed of having some time to enjoy college with a naive sense of wonder. I made the step to leave home and be 8 hours away from the people I knew and cared about – taking the even bigger step of going nearly half-way around the world seems to fall under the natural progression of things; the next step.

Besides – I deserve a stab at being the person I feel like I am, with all of my facets … not the person everyone seems to see me as (including myself!) So, in a strangely ritualistic sort of way, I took a hot shower, scrubbed the tired and aching away from the week … I was laughing to myself about how I felt like I was ‘cleansing’ away the old me – washing her down the drain to start from a fresh page.

But every time I’ve ever tried to start on a new leaf – something silly happens and it’s ruined. I suppose now is the part where I tell you I had to run though the bathroom naked, sudsy and wet because I only had enough shaving creme for one leg and that when I bent over to continue shaving I managed to head-butt the water lever.

But hey – I’m turning over a new leaf remember? Maybe I’ll be less clumsy now. But somehow I doubt it (^_^)

I finished drying off in my room, realized all my underwear were in the wash so I put on athletic shorts without any, a comfy bra and my new “Australia – It kinda looks like a gorilla wearing a Fez shirt” … I also listened to “Land Down Under” – by Men At Work and watched the video because I’d never seen it before. You know, I bet there are some Australians that hate that song … I mean, I hate “Party in the USA” but I’m also not a fan of the Hannah Montana/Miley Cirus personality-jaded duo.

I’ll have to ask when I get there.

Sincerely Yours,

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