Wednesday, April 27, 2005

日本語の会話クラスが始まった!

そう・・長い間に日本語が話すチャンスがあって良かったぁ。けど、どのぐらいの言葉もう忘れたっていうことに気がついたよね。それで、これから毎週この会話練習するつもりだ。いつかちゃんと話せるようになるのかな。頑張ります!では、では・・

Monday, April 25, 2005

Recent happenings

After much procrastinating i have finally decided that it's about time to write something up here. Life seems to be getting quite routine again lately. Between going to class, trying to keep up with reading, and work on Thurs/Fri, the weeks seem to be all sort of blurring together.

For the last couple of weeks i've been having 8am starts on Monday morning which has not been fun. But from this week on it's back to normal (10am starts) again thankfully. I got my mid-sem mark back for Con & Admin Law. It proves that i really must have no clue in law: when i'd written it i thought i went quite well; when i looked at my mark i didn't even pass haha :) On the upside i got my mark for International Trade Policy mid-sem recently too. Despite not actually knowing it was on until about the day before (*note to self: read the lecture notes if you skip class*) i got a nice solid mark.

Last week tickets to the law ball finally went on sale. Unlike last year i thought i'd actually get there early to line up, and luckily i did too. Unlike last year there was quite a crowd of enthusiastic people already waiting there at about 10.30 even though tickets only went on sale at 1. I'm thinking next year it's going to start becoming like the commerce ball where you need to line up overnight just to get a place... Guess this will be the last time (and only time) i go to law ball then... Looking forward to it though; it should be a great nite out.

Somewhat unrelatedly, I've decided to start taking some japanese conversation classes, starting this Wed which will hopefully be a lot of fun. It's surprising how quickly you can forget things when you don't use them; just trying to organise where to meet and what to do in japanese was a bit of a struggle...

In keeping with the theme of jumping from one unrelated topic to another, on Saturday i went down to Area 61 in St Kilda for Susan, Alex and Kevin's party. Thanks to Mr. Hwang for giving me a ride there and back ^^

Ben, Grace and Tez


The crowd was predominantly Melb Uni students; particularly Melb Uni Law students... So i got to catch up with quite a few people who i don't see around uni that much these days. I also found out that i'm lapsing into my old habit of meeting people and promptly forgetting their names; which is particularly embarrassing when they don't forget yours... Anyway i will try my best :)

Sonia and I


My transport (aka Sam) and his other half (Michelle)


The place was quite a nice little bar/lounge sort of thing; we were upstairs and had running water down the windows (for looking) and even a chocolate fountain (for eating) which was good fun. It was a bit like a "make your own pocky" event since they provided some little breadstick things for us too hehe.

Don't you just love it when there's like 2 people taking photos at the same time? At least we got 3 out of the 5 looking the right way...


The speeches were quite drawn out and hard to hear in there unfortunately; and it didn't really help that about half the people, upon realising that, just decided to chat amongst themselves. But i think they were good fun for the school bunch who actually knew what they were talking about in the first place. I still managed to get a few laughs from them though.

Bernice and Susan the birthday gal


Oh and can anyone tell from the above pictures what the dress code was meant to be? If you can i think you are quite gifted ^^

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Give up? Cocktail with 'a touch of red' ... If you look closely i think there's even a little hint in every pic up there. Although i must say, not everybody really put in a whole lot of effort ... *cough* yes that's you all you guys who said you were wearing red underwear *cough*.

Various people had my camera during the night, which was good since it gave me lots of random pix without any effort on my part.

Surprise! (Liz in the bak, Sam and me)


When we got there at about 9, the place was actually quite empty, but by about 10 it was pretty packed full of people. Thus, the tab on drinks sort of ran dry a bit earlier than i would have liked. The place actually opened to the public at 12:30 - which kind of ended the whole thing a bit early i thought. Still, it gave me a reason to go home and get some sleep at a reasonable hour...

Another random shot courtesy of some anonymous person with my camera


On the way to the car we ran into Lorretta (this is like at 1am on the street in St Kilda) who for some reason kept insisting that she wasn't drunk... Hmmm no comments there :P I hope she actually knew where she was going~ Anyway that was pretty much the last eventful thing i can remember for the weekend.

In more mundane news, i finally got the hard-disk i bought the other day to work. After about 5 hours of pulling apart the computer and putting it back together, i finally realised that it was some Intel program interfering with installation of drives bigger than 120gb!~ Talk about waste of time (>_<) !

Anyway that's all from me for now. Laters.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Blogging Reflections

Looking back at the vast majority of my posts i've sort of noticed that i never really put anything very insightful on here. It's more of an online "what have i done recently" diary than one which is full of deep and meaningful thoughts. This is especially obvious when i look at the kind of insightful blogs/xangas/live journals etc kept by a lot of other people. Indeed the same goes for some of the comments which seem to appear in response.

I don't want to sound too critical of what's written in those kind of posts, but sometimes i can't help wondering why people seem to be so comfortably open when they're putting their inner most thoughts up for the world to read. To me, those sorts of topics seem much more like something you might want to talk about with a friend over a coffee or two.. Not something you'd write in an article that would be circulated amongst people you hardly even know (or don't know at all for that matter).

I mean, if the reason people keep personal paper diaries is to give themselves an outlet for their thoughts and emotions that they don't feel like sharing, the very idea of using these web logs like diaries is counter-intuitive. Yet, despite the lack of privacy, web logs seem to provide some sort of security to a lot of people which lets them express themselves in ways that they wouldn't normally.

I'm sure that not everybody who keeps a blog (or posts comments) is just extremely extroverted and unconcerned with who knows what they're thinking/feeling - although undoubtedly there are some people like that. Maybe there are some people out there who just think that they're anonymous when they post because they don't use real names.. Or perhaps it's the security of not needing to immediately deal with another person's reaction. Isn't that the reason why so many people find it easier to write a letter (or these days, send a message) than to face someone in person? It is a lot easier to say unkind things to somebody's email box than to their face; so perhaps it is easier to put one's thoughts up in a blog rather than to talk about it to a real person.. Is blogging just another way by which we as human beings are distancing ourselves from one another in today's ever increasingly 'networked' social environment?

I guess i have to say that i tend to agree with the latter argument. It seems to me, sadly, that people today are generally spending less and less time actually interacting with each other directly. A lot of the time, and i am no exception, people take the easy way out.

Now i'm sure some of you are probably wondering how i can say that i am surprised that people are willing to post 'anonymous' deep and meaningful blogs, while i am happily reporting (with pictures) a large portion of what goes on in my daily life. What is the difference is between blogging about whatever you've been doing and blogging about whatever you've been thinking...? I guess in the end it's really quite an arbitrary distinction that i have in my mind. And that distinction may well be peculiar to me and to me alone. But in my eyes, unlike one's actions which are readily observable by any who would care to take notice, one's thoughts are an infinitely more private realm... And not one which i would feel comfortable sharing with the world at large.

I started this web log back in September 2004. And i started it for a purpose: i wanted to be able to share some of my experiences on exchange with friends and family back home. But as originally daunting as it seemed, i found that writing about my experiences regularly so that everybody could read was not only a good way to reflect on what i'd been up to; it also actually helped keep a sense of connection with people. And now that i'm home? I like to think it's my little link to my life as an exchange student and all the wonderful people i met there - even though the majority of readers are probably not living 8000 km away. In any case, i hope at the very least that in keeping this blog the way i do, i am not being too much of a hypocrite and falling completely into the very traps i was so critical of above...

And that, people, is my justification for why my blog is what it is, and why it's not what it isn't. ^_^

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Another week over

This week has been rather unproductive uni-wise. After all those hours last week trying to study for my Constitutional and Admin Law Test, i spent most of my free time this week just being lazy and doing my own things.

Monday night went off and had a long needed game of badminton at doncaster. On Tuesday I finally had dinner with Aida whom i hadn't seen since getting back to Aus. Then i was working the late shift on Thursday and Friday which brought me all the way to the weekend pretty quickly.

Yesterday we had a family gathering for my cousin Carl's 21st. Was a fairly standard eat, drink and talk affair, but with food aplenty and some company, i'm not complaining.

Here's Carl stabbing his birthday cake


Our (well, for me anyway) long awaited comedy festival night finally arrived yesterday too. Somehow, we managed to get 12 people together for a table at the Comics Lounge where we saw 'Radio Wars'. There were four comedians, who were all from various Australian radio stations (altho i had not actually heard of any of them... lol)

Ez Soh and Alex


There was a rather funny MC too which kept the laughs going for almost the entire time. He was one of those guys who just kept on pulling out weird facial expressions for laughs - but in terms of impromptu comedic ability he was really really good.

Me and Mel


Nancy taking photos (as usual)


We all got there by about 8.15, but the show only started at about 9pm or so. Being provided with various sheets of paper which outlined other events happening at the Comics Lounge, we of course decided that some origama was in order. I think we managed almost a whole flock of swans...

Grace and I (and a swan)


Sam looking a bit annoyed for some reason, and Michelle


Afterwards we (minus Sam n Michelle) went off and had some ice-cream for dessert. Was a really nice night for it too since it'd been really warm during the day.. Really pleasant end to a fun night out.

Time to (try to) make up for my laziness this week. Laters. (^_^)

Friday, April 08, 2005

日本へ戻っていくことができそう!・・幸せ

Yup. That's right! For those of you who can't read the title... Bad luck. ^_^
Will be gone from June 25. Can't wait.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Birthdays ... and more birthdays

Photos anybody? After my last post i doubt anybody wants to see a whole heap of text with no pics ~

I've been spending the majority of my time studying for this mid-semester exam for one of my law subjects (which is rather uninteresting so i won't bore you going into details); but i suppose there are a couple of things worth sticking up here.

First, on Wednesday night we went out to dinner for Ez's birthday at some mexican place. Food was... different. Aside from the nachos, everything else kind of looked and tasted like mush to me. Maybe i just wasn't hungry.

Here's one table of ppl (Soh, Hwang, Tez, Ez, Grace, Eric):


This is the other table where i was sitting (Darren, Andrew, Ez, Paul, Karen, Mel):


After dinner we went off to sit at pancake parlour for a couple of hours. Was a bit weird since there was basically two separate friendship groups there and nobody made an effort to talk to people they didn't know... So half the table sat and talked, while the other half entertained themselves with cards... Great social skills, guys.

I'll stop complaining now. Thursday night was my cousin Carl's birthday, which was at the Glenferrie hotel. I think it was the first time all 'the cousins' have been out together in a long time. Had a really good time although the night had to be cut a bit short since i had to *sigh* study the next day.

This is the second gen cousins - Me, Bernard, Carl and Mel [Daron should be here but he's not 18 yet so i don't think he would have been able to get in (>_<) ]

The 'elders' (Alex and Brian) looking a little shonky (that's slang for 'shady' guys ^_^) ...


Does this look a bit off or is it just me?


Just sat around, talked, drank and generally had a good time. Alex gave me his usual lecture on life (which he seems to give me a lot when there's alcohol around... hmmm ^_^), being predominantly about beer and girls - altho in slightly less explicit terms. Didn't see much of Carl (the birthday boy) since he was busy floating around between all his different friends... Tab ran out pretty soon unfortunately but i guess it wasn't so bad since i was going anyway.

In more general news, I am starting to get quite sick of birthdays. And i need to start thinking about what to do for my 21st. Hmmm. Anyway, back to the books for now.