…entre nous soit dit…

between me you and the gatepost.

quick update on the exchange front

Just saw the europe exchange expert and UCL still has a slight possibility. Its not completely off the cards. However he also managed to see me on sciences po so now there’s a large toss up between them. According to him, sciences po is like the harvard of politics and has the equivalent of a 98 TER score as entry pre requisit normally. Sooooo in terms of getting a job internationally, it would be pretty good.

However the catch is, I won’t be aproved to go until 2nd semester next year instead of first semester like I had planned. Personally that works even better for me if I can travel after that for a couple of months.

The reason I won’t be approved until then is because, sadly, my grades aren’t high enough. This is for a number of reasons: firstly because I failed french last semester with a ridiculously low final mark of 46.7% (can you tell I didn’t try at all?); And even more so because when I dropped psychology in first semester last year (when I was a young and niave fresher) I was told it wouldn’t affect my marks and it would just be a no show result, but alas no. It has apparently counted as a 0 much to my horror seeing as it is bringing my overall average down by around 10%. If I had known it would do that I would have damn well kept with the subject. Even a 50 would have been better than that!!

So now I have an appointment with the faculty advisor to see iif I can’t get that over ridden. If I can’t then I’m looking at needing basically just over 80% on all 5 of my subjects this semester (and that’s going to be bloody hard!!)

And that’s it for the moment folk seeing as I’m in a lecture and really should be paying attention if I have any hopes of getting those grades! Cya xx

March 17, 2010 Posted by | ambitions, just a quick note, Politics, Study Abroad/Exchange, university | Leave a comment

Snags

Well I’ve hit a snag with my study abroad plans for next year. I just found out that I am unable to do an exchange to UCL (my university of choice) for politics or english (both of which the university offers but doesn’t offer to exchange students). They only offer engineering science and geography.

This was the glorious institution that I wanted to attend (which also ranked as the 4th best university in the world).
But alas…

… UCL fails.

So tomorrow I’m going back to the office to talk to the guy who specialises in europe exchange studies. Hopefully he can help me find somewhere else, although my heart was really set on that and I find myself somewhat deflated now.

I thought the next best option would probably be to study in paris… Or denmark I guess. I’d prefer paris, but I know that they don’t provide any student accomodation – hence I’d have to find it on my own and that’s something I dread.

When my sister lived in paris for 6 months she was staying in an apartment that was smaller than any bathroom iv ever had. In order to fit three people in there, one person had to sit on the bed and one had to squeeze in so that the door could be shut. The toilet attatched to the floor was no better than a hole in the ground. It was HORRIBLE and she paid a fortune for it.

Plus let’s face it: I fail at french. Literally.
I failed it last semester because I didn’t go to basically ANY of my classes and I suck at picking up languages anyway.

But I suppose failing london, I would prefer to go to paris. It IS a beautiful city… Either that or else I have to change ALL my plans for next year and I’d go to america instead to study at Berkley or UCLA. But like I said, that would change ALL my plans. Next year was supposed to be my europe year and then AFTER I finished my degree I was going to do road tripping around america. That’s what I had planned anyways and it worked reeeeally well. This would fuck that all up.

Grrrr. This is so frustrating. There’ll no doubt be another blog to come tonight about the different universities I’m now looking at as possibilities. *sigh*

See ya kids.

March 16, 2010 Posted by | ambitions, disapointment, French, just a quick note, Politics, Study Abroad/Exchange, university | 1 Comment

Volunteer Work and University

Well I haven’t written an update on herein ages and I figured it was about time I wrote of some news in my life (because I know how boring it totally is). Yesterday, I went to see an advisor for my faculty at University about getting Uni credit for the volunteer work that I’m planning on doing in Cambodia at the end of the year. I’m probably going to be able to count it as a second year unit, which is pretty awesome considering I’m currently still in my first year of my course. I’m also considering taking a second level unit (for second year students) this semester as well. I’m not sure of that one yet though and I have to seek approval from two people, although I should be able to do get that. My dilemma is then deciding what subject to drop instead. However that means by the the time I start at Uni again next year, I will be behind by one level one unit, but up by two level two units if I do that.

I’m also looking into changing my degree so that I’m doing three majors, not the normal two majors within my course. It’s only an extra two units that I would have to study which means overloading. The volunteer work will take up one of those units which means I will only have to overload for one more semester if all goes according to plan. It just means that I’m going to have to work my ass off next semester because if I want to do the other extra unit next year instead of in my third and final year (and I don’t know if I even can) then I’m going to do two 3rd year units in the second semester next year. In order to do that before completing all my 2nd year units (because I’ll still be finishing two of them as well as a first year unit at the same time as starting the two third year units), I’m going to have to seek special permission again, and to have that granted I’m going to have to have some brainiac marks in the first semester of next year. All in all, I have some hard yards set out for me now by my own choice.

Now I just have to choose my majors and my units to continue with. Obviously my first major will be communications seeing as that’s why I’m in this specific course. My second major should probably be english to tie in with that. Considering I want to be a foreign affairs journalist/correspondent politics was my other natural choice (we don’t have a specific International Relations). That ruled out Philosophy which was my original choice and my favourite subject. It also rules out French which I’m doing begrudgingly because I know how good that would look on the resume of a journalist, plus it would be handy seeing as it is a fairly common language in parts of Africa, unlike English, and that’s where I want to be a journalist. So it makes sense to continue with French. So what do I do?

I have a choice of doing two things for the Volunteer work – either I can make the work specific to one area (ie teaching English to the kids) and then count it as an ‘Arts Practicum 2’ specific for my English major; or I can work in all areas (ie building things, making food, teaching english or french etc) and count it as an ‘Arts Practicum 1’ which is more generalised (although I’m pretty sure English will count that towards my major anyway, because English is slack. Either way I will have to do 100 hours of work, which shouldn’t be a problem seeing as hopefully I’ll be there for around a month, and then I just have to get someone to sign off on it.

I’m getting really excited about volunteer work though. I was reading some of the stuff they sent Mum and it’s pretty cool. Here’s what they said about the little village that the orphanage is located in, 2 hours from Phnom Penh:

“Takeo is a small town and you can get around by walking, on bike or by moto.  

Takeo is a market town and the provincial capital of Takeo Province.  It is 70km south of Phnom Penh and 49Kn from the border with Vietnam.  There are few tourist attractions in Takeo, so it doesn’t receive many foreign visitors.  However, there are a few tour buses and independent travellers who come through town each week, usually on their way to seaside towns of Kep and Kampot.  Of those tourists who do come to Takeo, many have come to see Angkor Borei and Phnom Da, ancient sites of one of the earliest Angkor kingdoms.

In addition, there is a slowly growing population of foreign residents in Takeo, who are either long-term volunteers or employees with local and international NGOs, such as OXFAM, Peace Corps and Medicin San Frontieres.

The centre of town life is the local marketplace.  You can get most things here, its just a question of locating them, and this can be great fun, as most local people do not speak much english.  Those things that you cannot get at the market or elsewhere in town, can usually be found in Phnom Penh.  You can buy a whole range of Cambodian food at the market, The rice/banana balls sold at the stall near the entrance have proved very popular with our volunteers.”

Later on in the booklet, it goes on to say that:

“Local villages have no electricity or running water, and run their lights and televisions from 12 volt car batteries.  The most common form of long distance transport for passengers is the back (or the top) of a truck.”

Personally I find that awesome. Although I guess there will be no ipods or modern world reminders there. I don’t know how I will charge my laptop and camera there because they most definitely be coming with me regardless. No two ways about that. I think it will help if I stick with french this semester ad don’t drop it as I was planning on doing, even if only because some of these kids will know a bit of french because it’s the third language they learn after Khmer (their naive language) and English. Although they only pick up French from the people they have traveling through the area and helping at the orphanage. I would love to try and speak in two languages with the kids. It’s just a pity I suck at french. I haven’t been to a single one of the 5 french classes I should have been to so far this semester and it’s only week two!!

Owell. I’ll leave more updates for another night. It’s now 5.34 am and I need to get some sleep before going to see my Boss again about the payment debacle which still hasn’t been solved. Good night and wish me luck.

Au revoir x

July 28, 2009 Posted by | Africa, ambitions, just a quick note, life, school, Travel, university | Leave a comment

Summer Holidays 2009/2010

So it may be a little bit early to be thinking about the Summer holidays seeing as they’re still a whole 5 months away, but I’m thinking that mine are already starting to shape up pretty nicely. Seeing as my plans to travel to Japan these holidays fell through sadly, I’m instead making a million and one plans for the Summer ones instead. So far I’m looking at going to:

  • Cambodia – possibly around a month on a volunteer program building community schools etc and teaching English. Mum found this organisation and has been in talk with them  about coming over early next year.
     
  • Veitnam – a Kumuka tour (we used them when we went to Thailand last time). This would be after Cambodia
     
  • Japan – Already half way there if we’re in Vietnam, so I could go and see Dom there and go snowboarding!!
  • Bali – more likely at the very end of the holidays to farewell my manager whose Visa was rejected due to the Recession. This one is the most chancy and unsure though because we would only do this if there was a group of us, and of course most of us won’t be able to afford it.
     
  • ISV Programs – I’ve been looking at them lately and I’d love to either do the Costa Rica or South Africa program. Best part i that not only is it a 2 week volunteer and 3 week tour program, but I’d also be able to get 12 credited points for my university course which would mean I wouldn’t need to overload this coming semester.

Of all of those, the first three are probably the most likely and the last two not so likely, but I’m still looking into my options. The ISV programs would be awesome because I’d get to be with people my age on the program, but of course if I went on one of them I would have to pay for it and I’d miss out on Vietnam, Cambodia and Japan which are possibly my last chance to cash in on Mum taking me places without having to pay for it myself. Cha-ching.

I could always do the ISV tour another time but of course I’ve already planned things (ideally) for every summer holidays after these ones:

  • 2009/2010: These travels that I have already mentioned
     
  • 2010/2011: Work like crazy the whole time and go nowhere so that I will have enough money to go traveling for hopefully the rest of the year through europe (backpacking of course, because I want to go as many places as possible and I’m willing to work for it!) and maybe studying in the first half of the year. Then ending in…
     
  • 2011/2012: Our summer holidays = ski season in the Northern Hemisphere!!! YAY! so hopefully I can end my year abroad by getting a job somewhere in Europe, or failing that then America, for the Ski Season – even if it means working as a cleaning maid – I don’t care!! This will probably mean having my 21st birthday there as well 😀 
     
  • 2012/2013: Hopefully I will have finished my current course by this stage (and worked for another half a year or not depending on whether I studied abroad). These summer holidays will be traveling to America to visit New York and, Chicago, Las Vegas and Colorado (to visit family) at least. A friend and I want to be in Las Vegas for her birthday in December 2012. She’ll be turning 21 and it will be close enough to my 22, so we’ll just pretend it’s my 21st again. We’ll be playing 21 as she turns 21, buy 21 things, get 21 guys numbers, etc. Have a boozy time in general and party!
     
  • After that I will probably either do post-graduate studies at University, or I will take a job somewhere to earn as much money and reputation as I can in the space of one or two years, and then take off to Africa or the Middle East (hopefully both of them in the long run) to do investigative journalism – even if it has to be freelance.

So really, I’m probably a just a little overly ambitious, but that’s the ideas and dreams I have at the moment. I’m all about the traveling and seeing as much of the world as I can while I’m still young. The only problem is having the money (and paperwork *sigh*) to do it all. It would be nothing short of absolutely amazing if I could do it all… but somehow I doubt all of that will happen. Things in life never go according to plan, and in my plan I don’t factor in anything else such as finding a guy that I will end up wanting to stay with instead of traveling, or family members being elsewhere, or money going down the drain, or investments, etc.

But it would be awesome, would it not?

June 24, 2009 Posted by | Africa, ambitions, experiences, fun, life, lists, Travel | Leave a comment

80 Films To Watch

In light of the recent events and my sudden desire to eat chocolate and not do very much (yes how pathetic, I agree), I decided that I could at least make this slightly productive. So I’ve decided that over the next few weeks… ok maybe the next couple of months… I will try and watch the majority of the films that have ever received the Oscar Award for Best Film. I figure they have to have won for a reason, so I may as well watch them.

Of course this list is extensive, so I have narrowed it just slightly. I will at least be watching every film that has won from 1980 on wards. Before the year 1980, I was a bit more selective as to which films would make the cut for my list. The bold films are the ones I am yet to watch, while the ones listed in italics are the ones I have already seen. All in all, there’s still 50 films to this list, 34 of which I need to watch.

2008 – “Slumdog Millionaire”

2007 – “No Country for Old Men”

2006 – “The Departed”

2005 – “Crash”

2004 – “Million Dollar Baby”

2003 – “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”

2002 – “Chicago”

2001 – “A Beautiful Mind”

2000 – “Gladiator”

1999 – “American Beauty”

1998 – “Shakespeare in Love”

1997 – “Titanic”

1996 – “The English Patient”

1995 – “Braveheart”

1994 – “Forrest Gump”

1993 – “Shindler’s List”

1992 – “Unforgiven”

1991 – “The Silence of the Lambs”

1990 – “Dances with Wolves”

1989 – “Driving Miss Daisy”

1988 – “Rain Man”

1987 – “The Last Emperor”

1986 – “Platoon”

1985 – “Out of Africa”

1984 – “Amadeus”

1983 – “Terms of Endearment”

1982 – “Gandhi”

1981 – “Chariots of Fire”

1980 – “Ordinary People”

1979 – “Kramer vs. Kramer”

1977 – “Annie Hall”

1975 – “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”

1974 – “The Godfather Part II”

1972 – “The Godfather”

1971 – “The French Connection”

1968 – “Oliver!”

1966 – “A Man for All Seasons”

1965 – “The Sound of Music”

1964 – “My Fair Lady”

1963 – “Tom Jones”

1962 – “Lawrence of Arabia”

1961 – “West Side Story”

1957 – “The Bridge on the River Kwai”

1954 – “On the Waterfront”

1951 – “An American in Paris”

1943 – “Casablanca”

1940 – “Rebecca”

1939 – “Gone with the Wind”

1937 – “The Life of Emile Zola”

1929/1930 – “All Quiet on the Western Front”

Of course, the films that actually take out the awards aren’t always necessarily the best, and sometimes there are some other films, which come very close to winning as well, but only gain the nomination. Let’s add a few of them to the list, creating an extra 20 films on the list.

2008 – Frost/Nixon

             – Milk

2007 – There will be Blood

2006 – Babel

2005 – Capote

            – Munich

2003 – Lost in Translation

2002 – The Pianist

2001 – Gosford Park

– In the Bedroom

2000 – Chocolat

            – Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

1998 – Saving Private Ryan

1997 – Good Will Hunting

1996 – Fargo

            – Jerry Maguire

1993 – The Piano

            – The Remains of the Day

1992 – Howards End

1990 – Awakenings

Now lets get started on the list of miscellaneous films to be added to my list and ones that are “must sees” according to many different people. First lets start with 6 of the Stanley Kubrick collection of films for the list:


The Shining
A Clockwork Orange
Full Metal Jacket
Lolita
2001: A Space Odyssey
Eyes Wide Shut


Personally, I think I will probably cringe the entire way through ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ thanks to the fact that Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman were cast as the leading roles (and I hate them both and think them pathetic actors), but Kubrick will hopefully be worth it. Next up is 7 of actor/director/writer Woody Allen’s collection, who has created some truly strange, yet renowned things. I have only seen Match Point so far of his works, but that movie was truly one of the strangest I have ever seen.


Vicky Christina Barcelona
Scoop

Match Point
Anything Else
Deconstructing Harry
Another Woman
Manhattan
Love and Death


And last of the director’s that I want to watch a collection of, is renowned director Quentin Tarantino. So to the list I’m adding another 4 films to see.


Inglorious Basterds
Sin City
Kill Bill: Vol. I
Kill Bill: Vol. II
Pulp Fiction
Reservoir Dogs


I can’t think of any other directors that I really want to see at the moment. However there are a few other miscellaneous and more current films, which I would also like to watch:


21 Grams
Apocalypse Now
Revolutionary Road
Star Trek
Defiance
Before Sunset
Watchmen
The Mist
Magnolia
Transformers 2
(still to be released)

Well that brings the list up to 80 movies in total. I figure that is definitely enough to keep me going for quite some time. A couple of months I should say, although since University holidays are coming up, and seeing as I rarely use my study breaks before exams properly, it might be somewhat faster. 

Oh and for anyone that hasn’t already watched it, go and see The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’. It’s an amazing film with a story line that is both beautiful and traumatic.


NOTE (29/05/09): As I watch the movies, I will take them out of bold print, change them to italics and make them blue so that it is obvious which ones I manage to tick off the list. I’ve also added all the films I still need to watch to ‘THE WATCH LIST‘ along the right side of this blog page. As I watch the movies, I shall take them off until finally the list disappears.


May 25, 2009 Posted by | ambitions, bored, Film Review, lists | 4 Comments

See that mushed up pink thing? That’s my heart fool.

Have you ever set your heart on something that you really wanted, and then realising it most likely won’t happen, put that desire behind you and decided to move on with you’re life? And then, after that small heartbreak, you get told it is possible, so without realising it, you’re hopes are raised beyond belief… only to be ripped to shreds, leaving you cut up about the whole ordeal and feeling empty.

It’s the worst feeling in the world. Doesn’t matter what it’s related to – love, friends, school, houses, the horse you’re promised as a kid, a car you tried buying, or even a Barbie doll you wanted Santa to bring you.
It leaves the bitter taste of disappointment in your mouth.
This time though, it feels like that bitter taste is producing a gut wrenching feeling which makes my whole body want to convulse, shrivel and die. 
It seems pitiful, considering it’s not like I’ve just had someone die, or broken up with someone I loved, or found out I was going to die, or anything like that. All that’s happened is that I had set my heart on going to St George’s College. It was my dream. Half the entire reason I wanted to go to UWA instead of somewhere more prestigious and specialised for journalism (ie Curtin).
I knew it wasn’t likely and I decided to move on because of the fact that it’s so expensive and it came down to a choice of international study or St George’s, but not both. At the end of the day, I decided to go with travel to get some culture and experience abroad. I could deal with that and it only hurt a little to let go of that dream.
Then Dad (an ex-Georgian) offered to pay for my first year and suddenly finnances weren’t an issue. I could go. Theoretically speaking. Pitty he didn’t decide that until the application process was basically over. But I applied all the same and was in with the slimmest of slim chances.
Today was the day when that all came crashing down tragically and now that dream lies in tatters at my feet… along with my stomach, heart and internal organs in general.
I went to drop off my referees names after work and in my confusion as to where the administration was, the Warden stuck his head out the window and gave me directions. I went through and he met me in the administration anyway, to take the letter I had brought. Seeing as I was applying for residence, he interviewed me then and there. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem because I usually dress really nicely for work.
However today, I had a slacker day because I knew I would probably be doing lots of stock work, and running around. So instead of the dresses and blouses I would usually wear, I wore a black Kiss (as in the band) shirt, with a denim skirt and thongs. That outfit was what I was wearing when I was interviewed. I also had writing all over my hand. I pretty much had everything going for me that is the worst thing to do to give a good first impression. I blew it the second I got out of that car.
I know it seems vain and shallow thinking this would ruin my chances, but when it comes to an interview, your presentation is what makes the first impression, and whether or not we like to admit it, our society is very judgmental – especially of looks. We stereotype strongly, and there is no way that I could have gained any good stereotypes today other than maybe the fact that I talk well.
Oh but wait that’s right – my interview wasn’t even an interview on account of the fact the Warden obviously didn’t think me a likely candidate for a spot and so didn’t see the point in really asking me any questions. 
It seems silly to lie down and mope about it, or shut myself in my room and cry myself to sleep about it, but this kind of result is what I’ve spent years building the bubble around myself for. My little wall around my heart; the bubble that I live in; the thing that makes me a cold ghard bitch; Those are the things that protect myself from things like this. When you know you’ve just lost your dream over something as silly as that, it’s painful. Especially when I know, if given the chance, I could have dominated my interview, which was supposed to be tomorrow and not today!
Oh well, maybe I’ll just be pesky and visit them again tomorrow during my alloted time for the interview I was supposed to have. I’ll hand in the results which I’m sure I gave with mistakes today, and I shall take a walk around the college – see if I can’t stun the Warden enough into giving me a tour… or maybe just one of the lovely admin ladies will show me and I can just become bffs with them. I’ll Weasel my way in somehow…

January 5, 2009 Posted by | ambitions, disapointment, life, Personal, school | 3 Comments

weddings

I really do think that weddings are over rated. I went to one last weekend and for all the effort that goes into it, at the end of the day all it ends up being is a ceremony that “officially” means you’re together and a huge waste of money. I mean sure, by the time I finish writing this blog I will still be able to tell you that I will most likely end up having an elaborate wedding as well…. But that’s just because as much as I can criticise it, I’m still victim to the girly fantasies that surround it.

The wedding that I went to had a ceremony in the park on the edge of the river and while it was absolutely gorgeous and everything, it only went for about twenty to thirty minutes, and yet it would have caused countless hours of stress, thought, crying, debating and planning. So I had to ask myself, is it really worth it for twenty or thirty minutes? Most guys would automatically jump in here an say no, no it’s not.

I know for a fact that our friend who was the bride was stressing for days before hand and almost had a breakdown when the lady who was supposed to be doing the flowers got caught up in Darwin last minute and couldn’t do them. Do you know what? If that happens to me then I’m really just not going to care. Give me a kids doll – a Disney one or superhero or action figure and I’ll gladly walk down the isle with that. Atleast then it would be spontaneous and create some humour. And even better is the fact that guests would remember that because it would be different. I would create a mini theme of it to replace the whole flower thing that is expected: a couple of figurines on each of the tables at the reception or something. Or toys that are fun or funny and remind you of fun times had as a kid. Childhood memories are so much more fun to think about and they get funnier the older you get in my opinion.

And I’m all for the wedding being a funny occasion – something that you can always look back on fondly and still gets a laugh.  So bring on the surprise band that pops up from behind things as I’m walking down the isle, the crazy dancers that appear at the reception, the best man pretending that he forgot the rings, the funny speeches and rude jokes, fun songs that actually mean something for the first dance (and not a soppy love song), good DJs to get drunk and dance all night to, wedding themes and anything spontaneous. So long as the spontaneous thing isn’t you or the person you’re marrying changing their mind.

That wouldn’t be a fond memory.

And I’m sure that a fun wedding like that would take a hell of a lot of the pressure and boringness out of it for the groom. Why should you suck all the fun out of a day that should be publicly announcing and celebrating the fact that your happy together and want it to stay that way?

But then I can’t help but want to conform to some traditions. At the same time as I would love to have a wedding on a jetty (and sail in on a yacht) or the beach or in a park, I can’t help but really want to get married in a church. I love the gothic architecture of some churchs and they amaze me with their structure and the happiness yet solomness that can fill one place. I’m no religious person. Never really have been. But when I enter a church, I can’t help but feel touched. Whether it’s by spirits, God or just the feeling of welcoming and happiness that seems to unite most religious people, I don’t know. But I feel somewhat looked after and safe in a church.

To be married in a big gothic church is a dream that I don’t think will die. It has cold walls and air, but yet makes me feel warm spiritually and that amazes me.

So bring on the wedding day. But just let it be in a good church.

And don’t stress. Have fun.

November 5, 2008 Posted by | ambitions, experiences, fun, life, love, people, stereotypes | Leave a comment