I just finished my first two weeks of classes! They went fairly smoothly, but there were more than a couple times I couldn’t find my class or didn’t leave enough time, arriving sweaty or discombobulated. Even if I do happen to be late here or there, it is hard to express how lovely the campus is. It is covered in plants and coffee shops and magpies, and it spills out into the city, where more buildings are architecturally significant or interesting than not!
The classes I’m taking this semester are Australian Wildlife Biology, Marine Biology, Developmental Psychology, and Street Art. So far, Australian Wildlife Biology is a lot of content, but quite engaging. We’ve covered freshwater fish, reptiles, and are now looking at different types of insects. So far I’ve found my lectures quite engaging, and in many of my classes the lecturers switch around. I also have quite a few field trips.
Marine Biology is more about different habitats than the flora and fauna within them. We’ve been talking about estuaries the past week and a half, which is a lot about sediment… but cool to know, because they are everywhere! As I’m writing this, we’ve finally moved on to rocky shores (phew!)
Developmental Psychology is probably the most straightforward class (no field trips), but the content is so important to know, and it will leave me with just one class left in my psych minor. Finally, street art is just fun! I think it will provide an interesting perspective on political and cultural themes, while also stretching me to be creative… yikes!
Being at school here will be a new type of learning for me, because it is mostly independent, with big tests and projects due at key points in the semester. I’ve started to study a little bit, but I’ve also just been settling in, running in the mornings, cooking lots of yummy food, and generally just feeling very much at home.
Tuesday night, I went with a group of people to trivia night at a really cool bar. The trivia was quite high tech, with videos and things to guess, mixed with actual questions about sports, music, and current events. There are prizes for second to best, best, and second to last. Our team was doing pretty well, and then we absolutely bombed the last round. Somehow, we managed to come second to last, and we won a jug of beer!!! Afterwards, across the street, someone handed us free Nutella donuts… We went back for trivia a couple nights ago, and somehow won second to last. AGAIN! What’s nice is that most of my classes start fairly late in the day (my earliest class all week is at 10:00), so Tuesday night trivia is quite doable.
Wednesday I have my classes more squished together than any other day, and I ended up about 10 minutes late to my lab, when everyone else already had lab coats and goggles and was seated. I didn’t miss any content in any of my lectures or in lab, but it was a good reminder that I am in a new place, going to a new school, and some parts could throw me off a little bit. Luckily, I finished off the night by going to a women’s soccer game with my friend Helena, which was a wonderful time.
After the game, we walked through the night market, which was closing down but still super busy. It’s held at Queen Victoria Market, the huge market just down the street from my house! This week we went back to the night market with our study abroad program. I got potato and cheese pierogis and some delicious strawberry gelato this time around, after lots of contemplation and walking past every single stand at least twice.
Thursday, after class I went on a nice little walk to look for animals to classify for my wildlife biology class! I saw tons of bats and a common brush-tailed possum, and had some nice time on my own.
Friday, I only have one class, which I followed up with gardening club. I worked with compost (not super glamorous), but we got put to work right away, and I met a couple cool people (we made it on the Facebook page!). I also got a little excited and took home way too many free herbs. After a quick lunch, I headed to Fitzroy, a nearby neighborhood, for some thrift shopping with friends.
The weekend was filled with market visits, my first ever AFL game (women’s), and a festival called Moomba down by the river that runs through town. During the AFL game, a local Aussie in front of us explained the rules and who to root for, so hopefully next time I’ll be an expert. What’s really cool is the energy that surrounds AFL, even during a free women’s game! People get so into it, as many of the teams are based in different places in the city.
Monday I had a mandatory field trip for street art (darn!) We walked around Fitzroy and talked about the different styles of street art present, and the trends of more commissioned works of art instead of graffiti, and the values of both formats. Afterwards, I got gelato with a few people!
The past couple days were spent with running, spending time with friends, classes, trivia, and the night market, as I mentioned before. Each day is full of so many fun little things that it is hard to encapsulate, and which is partly why it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Hopefully the next one will be less long winded.
I’m nervous about papers and exams that are sneaking up on me and planning travel for my upcoming “spring” break (Cairns or Christchurch). However, I’m excited to the beach tomorrow with family I haven’t met yet, and next weekend I’m headed to Tasmania, which will be amazing. More days just mean more exploration of this beautiful place I’m living in, and more time spent with some really great people.