Previously, this was a blog mostly to harass my poor friends and family with the details of my life. Don't worry-- that will continue. However, I'm also going to use this as a terrible forum for dialogue about green tips and eco-revolutions. Hopefully it will be helpful and entertaining...

Sunday, July 23, 2006

First Week in Palmy

With all the sheep, you'd think it would be FILLED with knitters! ... and perverts...
(thanks for that thought, Papa Steve...)

Well my first week of real school has come and gone and it's already Monday (for me) and I just now have the time and decisive ability to blog about it.

So first, last Sunday, in preparation for the schooling that would soon be upon us, we made a big, American brunch: scrambled eggs and french (ha) toast! In fact, it was the first time British Rob had EVER had French Toast. Bri cooked everything and it was fantastic. Becca spilled a glass of water before we even got to the eating part. So this was the food we ate:

And this was about 15 minutes later:

So, onward to class descriptions:
-Physical Geography is really interesting. I like the prof for this module (almost every course I have is taught by like 4 prof's, one for each section) as he is humorous and a nice guy. so far the topics have been kind of bland, but the overall picture of long term and short term climate change is really really interesting. we have our first lab this week and it looks scary but enjoyable...
-SOILS!!! I LOVE THIS CLASS! I seriously might become a pedologist. It is so so so tres interessant. it's awesome taking it in New Zealand because farming is such a large part of the culture still that people really recognize that there is so much to soils, and how diverse they are and how different uses require different soils. So I am going to look into that as a career option.
-New Zealand's Natural Heritage. As Dad says, "if you don't take at least one course that has the name of the nation in the course title, you're not really studying abroad"... or something like that... But yeah this is another really cool course, basically about the geography and geology of NZ. We get to do a 20-page case study where we go out into some land (like in a refuge or a park or whatever) and write down EVERYTHING about it -- flora, fauna, soil, rocks, all that. and then we analyze it and stuff. So that is headed straight to my "let me into your graduate school" folder!
-East Asian Religions. OH SNAP! It is taught by an American guy named Doug which is pretty awesome. He is uber laid back, and the course consists of two papers and one written final. We are learning about confucianism, buddhism, and taoism in china, tibet, and one other country that I can't remember right now. I'm especially happy because (a) I've always wanted to know more about those religions and cultures and (b) I'll be closer to Viki in thoughts when she comes back from Thailand and I am jealous of her religiousosity there.

On Wednesday we had CLUB DAY, where in I have elected to join the Massey University Alpine Club. The first meeting is tonight, but the basic premise is that for fairly cheap we get to go out and do stuff like ice climbing, repelling, skiing, and partying with fellow alpine members. For me, this is very exciting. We also can spend $5 and then for the entire semester be able to rock climb at the Massey gym with instructors for free on Tuesday and Thursday nights!!! I am going to be a fantastic athlete soon!!!

In other physical news, Becca, Bri, and I may start doing yoga for only $10 a class down at the Square in Palmy.

So what else happened in New Zealand this week??? Well, I practiced eating at the dining hall...
It is like the commons, so I get a meal combo. I can get EITHER lunch or dinner every day (meals don't carry over). Generally I get dinner. I can also pay money for lunch. I think I could also get breakfast, but that is the easiest meal to prepare so I'm not going to worry about that. ANYWAYS, there are three places to eat from:
one is a pasta and pizza place (generally has noodles plus a veggie sauce or a meat sauce; also can get a slice or 2 of pizza with french fries), an asian place (rice or noodles with veggies or meat), a "home" type place (fried fish, etc-- haven't eaten there that much), and another place I can't remember because I haven't eaten there either... Anyways, in addition to the combos you get a cup (which I drink water out of, as much as I want) and a roll and butter and a dessert that usually is half fruit, half pudding or something, as well as a salad and/or coleslaw. Yesterday I ate a plate of pasta with white sauce, which was okay considering I don't
like white sauce. Today I had fried noodles with veggies and tofu, which was decent. The food is pretty good overall. Nothing horrid.

However on Sunday night, there was a fire alarm in the middle of dinner so Becca and I had the pleasure of standing outside for 20 minutes well our food got cold...

Moving backwards, on Friday night, Becca and I went to a fairly good poetry reading that was part of New Zealand's Poetry Day, sponsored by Montana Wines (which apparently means free wine at all the functions...) On Saturday, we went out with Jackie and saw her play Netball, which was interesting-- like basketball but without contact. Then we tried to go to a Kia Toa rugby game but unfortunately managed to miss most of it... On Saturday night, we went to the on-campus bar, called the MuBar and watched the All Blacks REPRESENT against South Africa. Next week is the Bledisloe cup, so that will be exciting... After the game we watched a band called Deja Voodoo play at the MuBar as well, and they were quite decent-- great live show.

So that was my first week!!! More to come I'm sure :)

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