Sunday, April 10, 2011

Halfway done...

Two and a half months down, two and a half more to go...
First round of exams over! And now there's some time off from school. I'll be honest, I'm going to miss it- the people, the teaching, the daily routine, I love it!

Nostalgic and melancholy already, and I still can't quite believe I'm here!

Life's like that, I told myself the other night. You get here, you get used to it, you love it, then you get out while the gettin's good. It's just a quick trip, but you wish it could last forever. And you also wish you could be home, in your nice warm bed.

And then when you're home, you want to be gone.

The grass is always greener growing on the other side.

Enjoy the now, enjoy the now, enjoy the now. There is something special in every moment (Dad you have taught me well!)

And right now, I'm still coming down from the high of maximal effort fitness testing after the mental exams. I learned the joys of the beep test, and discovered I can stay in plank position for 3 whole minutes (What would David Spurrior say?) Although it was Mary (the instructor) who got me through the last 30 seconds, coming over and telling me, "Come on Akemi, show those boys up!"

This is a fine demonstration of side plank. ;-)

This is when you're done with side plank!

The after-workout stretch.

Come Dulan, you can do it!

I love that stuff!

The next day we went swimming at Water World- a beautiful pool, lovely water, but just a little cold and windy.

There were tons of parrot-y type birds flying around, it was like Angry Birds in real life!

Today it rained a ton, it was like buckets full of water being thrown on the house. I was at school all day finishing up a project, half asleep and slowly...

I'm hoping to finish it up, get a good start on my paper, and then take off next week to actually see something of the rest of Australia!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fall back, spring forward

Weather got cold, and we've got exams next week. I'm still trying to live a renaissance life by keeping in touch with the fun part of life even though the pressure is on... Back pain struck with a vengeance and made me nervous, but it's calmed down now and I've made the effort to really hit the books. Spent all weekend studying, but still managed to find some random pianos around town.

This one was in front of the Zumba class!

This one was in Chinatown. A woman was playing it really nicely...

After she left, someone else came up with sheet music and started playing some more. As she walked away, I could see that she used a cane. It gave me a sort of strange, hopeful yet melancholy feeling, to hear such beautiful music, a work of art really, and then see how she had to walk slowly and rely on a cane, a visual which brought me back to reality, as she might be somebody I might treat in a physio clinic...

Here's a moment from today's studying marathon- we were up in the classroom practicing on each other- do you remember those long days of studying in groups, when by the end of the day everybody is so tired yet slightly pleased that you've done so much work, that you get delirious and someone says something and everyone just cracks up laughing? It wasn't necessarily this shirt, it might have been the Friday video on youtube sung by Jon Stewart, but I just got a kick out of Eike's shirt...
(The grey bear's luggage says "I Love Beach")

On the way home I swung by the Botanic Gardens, something I should do more often.
I was greeted by a kookaburra bird- and he flew right up to me again as I was leaving and posed nicely for this photo before flying up to sit in a tree next to another kookie bird. He was like a cartoon bird, kind of big and heavy, with a big neck and a very human gaze, looking right at me.

And later I ran into this guy, Carolus Linnaeus

This garden felt so nice, so green, so massive with trees and foliage, quiet and peaceful. Someone was playing piano in there too, I just didn't find them. I could hear it though, it was unreal. That combined with the kookaburra bird made me feel like I walked into Alice in Wonderland.

And then when I got home, I ran into another kind of bird! ;-)