I am officially on vacation in beautiful Australia! I took my last college final of the semester yesterday and now have one last day at a gorgeous ecolodge in the Glasshouse mountains to relax. Best of all, though, I am officially done with science! It’s a tad bit lowering to admit but one of the reasons I chose Australia for my study abroad program was because it would fulfill my science lab requirement.
To be fair, I really didn’t want to take that at Lewis & Clark College. That would involve me sitting in a classroom listening to someone ramble about things that would most likely end in osis or otics that I would find difficult to pronounce, challenging to spell and impossible to remember. See, I like the idea of being a well-rounded individual. That’s why I chose LC in the first place. It’s a small, liberal arts college that promised to transform me into a smarter, more articulate version of my high school self. Sold.
But then I actually had to take science and math classes. Suddenly I was all for maintaining my edges. Who needs to be well rounded, really? I mean, when was the last time that knowing the Pythagorean Theorem proved handy during, say, a classy dinner when you were wanting to impress somebody? It’s not like you can casually work it into the conversation.
Me: Oh you know, A squared plus B squared equals C squared, that’s what I always say. My mantra for life. Oh, what was that, Holly? What are my plans for the future? That’s rather Nostradamus-esque of you, now isn’t it?
Yeah, I think not.
Anyhow, my last final has been taken and my science requirement has been fulfilled. I also know my class schedule for next semester.
Art and Culture of Japanese Tea Ceremony
Great Ideas in Physics
Senior Seminar on Henry James with The Incredible Rachel Cole
It’s going to be grueling because I could be taking walk/jog three times (seriously, that’s a class) but as long as I had The Cole, yeah, I don’t stand a chance. All of my really smart friends were crying over it last year. As in, they showed up to our Brit Lit class and one of them would say, “I had a complete meltdown in her office. She handed me some tissues” while the other girl nodded as if that were perfectly normal. Then again, English Major #2 would usually console English Major #1 by saying, “oh yeah, I’m going to see her after class today. That’ll definitely happen to me too.”
Horrifying! Especially since they were studying Nathaniel Hawthorne and from what I’ve heard he is significantly more fun than Henry James. Then again, I’ve heard that every author in the English language is significantly more fun than Henry James. Not that I’m nervous or anything. I have merely accepted that this class will crush my soul in the best of ways and have decided to more on.
Speaking of moving on . . . this will probably be my last post from overseas! I am headed to Houston, Texas next to stay with my cousin for an undetermined amount of time. I am very excited about this. One of the first things I will have to track down is Thai iced tea. I don’t know what is wrong with Australia in this respect. They are significantly closer to Thailand. There are Thai places all over the fricking place. Yet, none of them offer my favorite beverage.
Australia is weird.
But now that my time here is coming to a close, I have to say there are parts of my journey that were absolutely phenomenal. I think my person highlights were the week long Aboriginal immersion camp where I actually created my own, ahem, garment for the traditional dance night, the week at Heron Island where I felt like I was in a snow globe except instead of glitter I was surrounded by iridescent fish . . . and (on a less profound note, perhaps) my week at Arundel House in Sydney where I got to hang out with some seriously great Aussies.
I’ve also collected some pretty amazing embarrassing moments from this trip. They will make excellent fodder for future books, I’m sure. Plus they have given my fellow classmates plenty to tease me about throughout our journey. The worst was when I got distracted while cooking and decided to pan-sear my pre-made ravioli instead of boiling it. I’ll never live that mistake down. Then again, it has gotten me out of cooking duty a time or two.
So who is laughing now!
Actually, they are. At me. Still.
But back to my point. I’ve had some great times in this wonky country and I think I will find myself missing it, especially when Portland is wet and freezing cold. Since Portland is almost always wet and freezing cold, I may find myself reminiscing more often than I expect. In any case, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the stunning beauty of this country as well as the outrageous niceness of most of the people I’ve met here. From bus drivers in Brisbane, to bartenders on Heron Island, to college students in Sydney—everyone has been great.
It’s definitely been an experience. But I will admit, I’m ready to have more adventures in Texas where I can actually get cell phone reception. And go to libraries. And buy books without bankrupting myself. And talk to people without this stupid time difference tripping me up. Oh, and use the INTERNET without crashing the system!
So . . . you could say that I’m ready to go home.
But despite all of that: Australia, you will be missed.