"This is the sort of thing that only happens to you once in a lifetime" ~Lord Howard Foley
28.05.2015 18 °C
Day 5 (May 26)
Our first day of real classes was today. In our Sustainability class taught by an Australian professor we went over topics regarding Australia's Population. It was actually really interesting to see how Australia has facilitated growth because the country actually has fertility replacement rate is what I think it's called. Meaning for each fertile women there is often not enough children able to replace her. So to make the countries population grow an initiative called Australia Unlimited they created baby bonuses, paid maternity leave, and a family friendly work place. International migration is where they get most of their bulk population growth from. Fascinating stuff really when you think about it. Especially comparing Australia to the U.S.
In Professor Balls class who is teaching Cross-cultural and Indigenous psychology and who came with us from the U.S., we talked about our research projects that we are going to conduct over the next 5 weeks. My group is going to do a project on the idealized female body image in relation to a countries gender inequality. I think it's going to turn out pretty well. We are actually ahead of the other groups, which is good. Next in our planning we will set out the methods in which we conduct the study and other variables.
After class, I met my sorority sister, Paige, at the Botanic Gardens. This is probably one of my favorite places in Adelaide so far. For those who know me I am a country girl not a city girl. I can't pound the pavement for days. I need to get out and see grass and trees and birds! So Paige and I explored the gardens while I reenergized from all the beautiful nature around me. I'll make sure to put up pictures if not in this post then somewhere.
Once Paige and I said goodbye, I met up with some people on Rundle Mall, another spot I tend to hangout in just because it's so central. By this time I was pretty starving so we got grilled cheeses from a miniature VW van food truck thing. They were delicious. Somehow they had melted cheese on the outside so it was basically one gooey cheesy mess. It was glorious! While we were sitting there eating our yummy grilled cheeses we spotted a crepe cart and we just had to have one of those (not that grilled cheese wasn't enough)! I got a crepe called the Lot, which consisted of nutella, strawberries, banana, and crumbled biscuit. So god makes me hungry just thinking about it!
When are bellies were stuffed we decided to stop off at a pub, none other then the Austral where we were the night or so before, for a drink before our movie. I got my signature drink a Kraken rum and coke (first real alcohol I've had since I've been here). Hit the spot. After our drinks we head to the theater to see Pitch Perfect 2! While we were buying our tickets we found out that the person selling the tickets was actually from the states as well. She was from Texas of all places. Small world you know. When we got to our theater we were the only ones there. So we thought we would have the whole movie theater to our selves. Oh boy we were wrong. We had some rowdy Australians beside us who had to be fairly drunk because they were laughing hysterically, I mean big guffaws, throughout the entire movie especially at the American jokes. Grant it the American jokes were kind of funny especially when your so distanced in Australia. They really made the movie though, the acapella was just eh.
Day 6 (May 27)
Woo second day of classes. Time is just flying by. Today in our Sustainability class we learned more about Australia's changing population distribution and effects that has on Australia's population composition, environment, economy, amongst other factors. I'm slowly realizing Australia is in a never ending spiral of struggle...more on that to come. In our Psych class today, we did a small psych study on the Adelaide students. We were put into pairs and went up to a person (preferably sitting) and asked them a random question. Then the second person in the pair came up and asked the person who had been asked the question what race, ethnicity, and nationality they thought the person who asked them the question was (read it again if that was confusing). We found out that not a lot of people know what race they are and they aren't really able to identify other peoples races or nationalities easily. This could be because of the blurred definitions of ethnicity, nationality, and race, which are still confusing even to me. I'm also apparently Canadian. Ay.
After class, since it was another beautiful day in Adelaide I decided to show my friend the beautiful Botanic Garden that Paige and I had visited before if anyone is keeping up. I actually found new stuff that I hadn't seen before in the gardens. It's a mystical place. Kind of like Narnia...not really. We also wandered through the National Wine Centre while we were there. I don't think we toured it right or something funky was going on because it was weirdly empty. Maybe we were just there at a weird hour. I plan to go back for a full tour.
For dinner tonight we decided to stay in cook because we were pretty tired from our adventures and we had to catch up on some work. I cooked our apartment a delightful chicken parmesan meal with a lovely honey balsamic salad (kind of tasted like dirt in my opinion the salad not my beautiful chicken parm). Afterwards we headed over the other girls apartment to partake in some throwback to college drinking games. We played a good round of Kings and the Cheer to the Governor while sucking down some lovely Australian wines. Many laughs and rosy cheeks were present.
Day 7 (May 28)
So in my mind Australia is the biggest struggle bus ever. Today in sustainability class we talked about how to fix Australia's problems with population policy and it's like if you fix one thing another thing goes wrong. It's pretty incredible, I understand why they struggle so much. One of their biggest problems is water. They are running out of water pretty fast given there population size and the amount of rainfall the area in which people live get. They try to solve this by having people move to an area where there is more rainfall but they refuse to move and also if the move it would interfere with the aborigine people who are actually living in the most plentiful water area. Just every problem is linked with another. It's no wonder why the Australian government avoids the topic of Sustainability.
In Psych class we performed another miniature experiment on students in University of Adelaide area. In this study we looked at how people respond to another person smiling at them as they cross paths. We found that people especially around my own age are very avoidant. They either blatantly see you and look away or just look down at their phone. This could because our generations limited view of social interaction or some other cultural difference between Australians and Americans. I also felt very unloved. I tried smiling at people no one cared to look at me. It was like I was a ghost. Wonder what this means for the world.
After class we decided to hit one of the museums, the Art Gallery of Australia to be exact. We saw some Australian paintings through the ages, some aboriginal work, an Indian (like the country) tribes pieces, some Islamic art, European art, and an interesting art installation. The art installation was really interesting it was a video of an interrogation just in words. It got really dramatic real fast. I think it was about some woman who had killed her husband after he had abused her. That's just what I got. I also really enjoyed seeing some aboriginal artwork. Love those dots! It's such a simplistic form of art which can be done by just using a bamboo stick, yet it can display and mean so much. I can't wait to actually go to either an aboriginal camp or museum or both! To reboot after the museum we stopped at a nice alcove of a tea shop. I got a lavender latte, which was actually really nice. Kind of made me sleepy though it's a wonder I'm still awake...it's only 9:30 though here.
For dinner we did a pizza night in the guys apartment. We watch some throwback youtube videos including Shoes, Old Gregg, and some other weird stuff that I don't understand. Pop culture...not my thing. After dinner some of my flat mates and I booked our trip to Sydney! We actually have a long weekend over the Queen's birthday so we decided to head to Sydney to catch the tail end of the Vivid light festival. Should be fun! It's quite stressful planning such a big excursion, which only reminds me that I need to start planning my trip for after my study abroad program ends! Ahhh time moves so fast and I just want to do it all! If I'm gonna do it all I can't stay here blogging about it! Till next time.