Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Semester 111

First week of classes are done and over and I'm starting to fall behind on the blog with the second week almost done and over. The schedule for this semester I thought would roughly be the same as last semester, but with me taking on the Post Graduate Students Association (PGSA) as President and subsequently Bond University Students Association (BUSA), I've added a bit more to my plate. Not to worry though, everything is under control.

This semester I am taking Chinese 2, Media and Crime and Social Research in Criminology. Chinese is a bit more the same but more or less expanding on grammar and tone. Our professor's style of teaching is spoken first and then worry about the written later on. Which makes sense. As a child you learned to speak first well before you were taught to write. So I feel this will be another successful semester of it. I've also done some thinking in regards to pursuing a Chinese degree, but that's for another day...

Media and Crime is also an interesting class. The idea behind the class to watch the way media reports on crimes and news and events associated with those crimes. We first looked into Dennis Ferguson, and while many Australians may feel the man will forever be guilty, the idea that the media has continually hunted this man down all throughout his life is what we focused on. As part of our final project we are looking at a media outlet of any type of researching the variable effects it has on society. I think for our presentation we are looking at the relative differences between what is shown in the popular American show Criminal Minds and how it differentiates to that of reality.

Lastly, I am enrolled in Social Research. More or less your typical mean, median and mode class in which you go out, conduct a survey and then scholastically (I use that loosely) write about the results. We start next week and I am still debating what my research will be based upon but I'm looking at three topics: The correlation between those who speak 2+ languages and their grades, the concept of the CSI effect on society or integrating social networking into cheating on significant others and how far can one go before being condemned as 'cheating'. So interesting topics and I have a week to decide.

Other then that, school is well under way! Almost into week 3 already... Sad day today as it was Australia Day (Australia's 4th of July) AND A PUBLIC HOLIDAY yet we still had class. How messed up is that? Not to mention many services on campus were not even operating. Yet students have to still go to class? Come on now....

Cheers and 再见!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Run Forrest, Run!

Today was a pretty slow day. We had a major pub crawl last night (in the process of getting a video and pics done for the blog) and just wanted time today to relax and enjoy life in the slow lane before it picks back up Monday. While it was mainly library time on campus and quick stop at the IGA to pick up some milk and bread, I decided to go for a run.

Now it had been about 2 weeks since my last run (4km) and about a week since my last workout. I've been somewhat slack these last few weeks as student association, post grad association and classes have taken over my life. Luckily the hectic first week of classes are over and I can get back on track with the working out. Speaking of, look out for a blog in the the next day or two about my impression on classes and the education system in Australia.

When I arrived in Australia I had weighed in at 260lbs. At 5'11 I am classified by the BMI chart index as OBESE. However, I could come off as stocky, perhaps big boned? Oh, who am I kidding, I'm fat. Working 50-60 hours a week in the US did not help my health ethic, so I made it a priority to get back on track while down here Australia. Fortunately so far I have dropped close to 20lbs and since my last weigh in (3 weeks ago) stood at 242lbs. This is a huge achievement for myself as I weighed 225 going into WSU in 2004 and would like to get back to that weight and lower.

Tonight I put on my running shoes and decided to just go run. I signed up for a new program called Map My Run as well as downloaded the app for iPhone, as it seemed like the program with the most positive reviews. Needless to say, I ran a 7.10km (4.41mi) in 48:40. Roughly 11 mins a mile and while that's absolutely horrible to a healthy person's standards, that's amazing for me. In the US, I wouldn't dream of even running a block and constantly drove to campus that was merely 10 mins away.

So with that, I hope to be at 230lbs by the time winter rolls around (April-May) and to possibly 210lbs or so by the time August comes through. My ultimate goal is to go sky diving, and at my current weight I would either be paying overweight fees or just denied the option to fly with some companies. I need a catchy motto for this... Something like "Drop the weight and drop out of a plane" or "Double digit goal" (100kg is 220lbs, so 99kg, you get it...). There we go. Stay tuned!

Cheers and 再见!


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Varsity Shores

G'day mates!

All moved in to my new place at Varsity Shores and I can say it's far better than Varsity Towers.

To think I was paying MORE to live in a studio apartment and was charged an insane amount for internet and laundry. About the same distance to the university as well.

Varsity Shores is located on the other side of Lake Orr and about a 10 minute walk from Bond Uni. From the street, you can actually see the university. The site consists of about 100 or so units that range from 2 story units to 3 story waterfront properties. There is a pool and rec room but will probably never use it since I work out at Fitness First. I've also noticed there are actual families that live here. While it is definitely suitable for families and kids, I feel bad for them come midnight when the drunks come out (haha). I will probably be spending the rest of my time here at Varsity Shores while in Australia as I don't like moving (even though it's easy when you just have a suitcase).

For Semester 111, I'm living with Thomas (German), Nick (S. Korean) and Chad (Canadian). So quite the diversity of nations that we have. Living with Thomas will be great as I can begin to re-learn and re-use my German as much as possible while at the same time learning Chinese. We'll see how that turns out... Nick just arrived today from Jakarta (visiting family) while the rest of us have been living there for about a week now.

The house (or would it be a duplex?) is two stories with the 1st floor being the entrance and garage with laundry room and Chad's room. The 2nd store leads upstairs to the kitchen and living room as well as Thomas' room, Nick's room and my room. I currently have the master bedroom with own bathroom and share the balcony with Nick who resides next door. Nick and Thomas share the public bathroom. I'll be sure to post a video blog soon of the place so be on the look out!

Cheers and 再见!


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Twitter Resolution

One of the many advantages of traveling is the many people you run into and meet. Some people, a casual acquaintance that you never see again while others become lifelong friends that you stay in touch with to one day hopefully cross paths with in China, Germany or Brazil. I enjoy meeting new people, hearing their stories and learning about where they came from and where they are going in life.

Because of this, I have ventured out to a new virtual new years resolution to carry out. Each day, I'll follow a new person completely random and chosen from my current followers. Businesses and organizations don't count and nor do people I already know who I choose to follow. This is strictly complete strangers. That gives me 365 new people to get to know and find out what runs through their life in 140 characters or less. Should be interesting. Likewise, I deleted about 300 people from Facebook that I either no longer talked too or just had a one time run in with. Since then, it has begun to rise again, as I make new friends down here in Australia.

Cheers and 再见!