Friday, 3 October 2014

Hey, two days running! That's ...something.

Today I sorted all my travel to Africa. Have I told you I'm going to Africa? I'm going to Africa. And let me just say that unless your travel agent IS my travel agent, my travel agent is better than yours.

Here's the deal.
Fly out of the CBR on New Years' Day, stop in Perth, change planes, fly Perth to Johannesburg, then J'burg to Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi where I'll be doing the community project work and stuff for two weeks.
Then, back down to J'burg for one night before flying up to Livingstone, the capital of Zambia, where I start my 9 day tour which includes seeing Victoria Falls, a game drive in Chobe National Park, a night in the Okavango Delta, a night sleeping under baobab trees, and more! The tour ends in Namibia where I fly down to Cape Town, where I'm HOPING I will get to CAGE DIVE WITH SHARKS OMG. And maybe some other stuff.
THEN I fly from Cape Town to Dubai, spending two nights there, before catching a flight to Perth for a couple of days to see ONE LOVELY PERSON and then home.
Eeeeek

This is a boring braggy post but I am VERY EXCITED. YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW EXCITED.
UNLESS YOU GUESS 'VERY' IN WHICH CASE, YOU GO, YOU. FOUR FOR YOU, YOU.
x

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Blogtober? Blogtober.

It's happening. Maybe.

I mean, not yesterday, obviously. Although... I could always backdate this post to yesterday... Hmm...
Nope nope nope, I am embracing my failings.

But yeah, we're giving this a go. Expect to see:
Rants!
Short weird posts I make as I remember to post just before bed!
Maybe some well-thought out amusing things!
Feminism probably! Because that's always a safe bet.
Missed days certainly!
Lists! (see this post right now)
Complaining!
Reviews maybe!

Ah well, let's see how this goes.
Tune in tomorrow for a something!

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Looking Up

WRITTEN LANGUAGE WARNING IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO READ SWEAR WORDS

Okay, so this is all over Facebook at the moment:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7dLU6fk9QY
Interestingly, I haven't seen it on any other social media, (twitter, tumblr, whatever) which I think speaks to the audience its engaging.
Not that there's anything wrong with people who only use Facebook for social media, but I think it shows that what this video is underestimating is not something that's seen by the bulk of people who use Facebook exclusively as their social media service.
So, onto what really super pisses me off about this video.
But first, I guess, I want to say that I get why people see the value in it. I get the message that sometimes we can miss things that are going on because we're online. I think the message that you'll miss your daughter growing up is incredibly, unrealistically extreme, but I get it. I do. People are starting to experience the world less through going outside and more through a screen. Whatever whatever, kids don't go outside, whatever, I get it.

But that fucking self-righteous, ongoing, implicit throughout, and explicit at the end, idea that offline life is the 'real' life and online life is worse and a waste and not real?
(i.e. "Live life the real way", "One real connection", "How you're glad you didn't waste [your life] looking down at some invention", "don't waste your life getting caught in the net".)
Shut the actual fuck up.
Do you know what you're doing, guy? You're calling mine, and many people's, online experiences fake, a waste, and saying it makes us idiots.
Do you know why you should shut the fuck up, guy?
Because some of my most valuable, meaningful, and personal important relationships are based entirely, or almost entirely, online.

I don't know you. I don't know where you go online. But the online communities I am lucky enough to have found and consider myself a part of are some of the most important in my life and have contributed to making me a better, kinder, more thoughtful, reflective and considerate person than I would be without them.
I have friends I have never met who will reach out to me whenever they feel or can see that I'm struggling, with no prompting.
Some of the best things I have ever done in real life have been based ENTIRELY off these communities which, without social media, wouldn't exist.
I have been changed, transformed, made who I am (which is not a bad or fake person, and I like to think not an idiot) by "this media we call social" which you claim to be anything but social.

Your discussing social media as if it completely negates real world experience is ridiculous. I spend a LOT of time online. A lot. I don't know if you've got that yet by my passion for social media and online communities. But if you haven't. It's a lot. You know what else I and everyone I know online has? Offline friends. Families. Offline lives.
Do you know what you're doing, aside from making an illogical conclusion that just because I like social media, that will somehow mean I'll be tweeting while I propose/am proposed to? Aside from your obvious attempts to tugs emotional strings with absurd exaggerations about how using social media will make you miss enjoying the birth of your child???
You're negating my experience and the experiences of many. You're erasing it as invalid, insincere, and artificial. You're kinda implying that the people I know who have met through online communities (not online dating, or anything - actual communities and friendships online) and have entered into relationships and got married are not as good or real as asking a random girl on the street for directions, and that the sharing, kind friendships I've formed are fake.
The community, companionship and sense of inclusion I feel are not, as you say, a DELUSION. I am part of communities which are some of the most progressive, inclusive, reflective, kind, sincere and open that I've ever encountered and all of those, EVERY ONE OF THEM, is an online community.

And every time your stupid fucking video gets shared on my Facebook, you are sending me the message that the friends and support networks and wonderful communities I have online are a waste of my time, are preventing me from fully living a "real" life (whatever the hell that means) and are impeding my ability to make or keep offline relationships. To which I say fuuuuuuuuck you.
Can you create, for me, accessible offline communities which openly discuss how to manage sexual assault within that community (as many online communities are doing RIGHT NOW, and don't even say something about the existence of sexual assault in online communities as evidence for their badness - I know you're not that silly) and which discuss privilege and oppression and and feminism AS WELL AS sharing gifs from Supernatural? Because I sure doubt it.
Do those things sound fake to you? Do those things sound like a waste of time? Does learning more about my privilege and how to acknowledge it and how to sensitively and appropriately interact with those people over whom I have privilege sound like a waste?
Does being exposed to hugely diverse peoples, communities and opinions, which I would never be able to experience offline and which result in giving me a better, broader understanding of how the world works and how complex people are, sound like a waste?

Maybe you have shitty online communities, dude, but let me tell you, you're in the wrong place on the internet if that's the case. So if you could not insult and degrade and invalidate how I choose to spend my time, making myself a better person, that'd be great.

Also! If you shared this on Facebook, I obviously don't hold this against you or feel upset that you shared it. I understand that my experiences are not really the norm for most people I know, and that maybe this video really resonated with you for person reasons. That's cool. It's just very hurtful to see my friendships and my communities disregarded. Especially because it's not an uncommon thing for people who haven't been exposed to a lot of online communities to do.

This rant is not even to mention the not-so-subtle shaming of parents who entertain their kids with iPads and other modern tech, the ridiculous refusal to adapt to what is, I'm sorry (not really), going to become a more and more integral part of life, and the lack of understanding over the facilitation of authentic experiences for people who struggle with offline interaction (social phobias/anxiety/etc).
You know what? Do it, take your self offline. I sure don't want you here.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Good news in a tornado of stress!

First off, congratulations to me! This month, despite not doing very well at BEDA (I have been doing uni work almost non-stop, it's great...) I reached a new recall for total views in a month! And probably only half of those were me! So thank you, one and all. I mean, it doesn't mean a lot to you, but I've been trying to beat my record I set like, 3 years ago and now I have :)

Second! And kind of related! Yesterday (I think) I received an e-mail telling me I've been selected as 1 of 101 local humans! This is an exciting tourism uh, thing (I am up on the lingo) in order to make Canberrans and their family and friends from interstate more aware about the cool things Canberra has. They've selected 101 humans (of which I am one - I managed to trick them into believing I'm human) who are 'social media savvy' (a term I've been longing for someone that isn't me to apply to me for ever) and have a 'flair for telling stories', and is part of the broader Human Brochure program thing (link: this is the link) which is helping to showcase Canberra as a cool place to go. These 101 humans get to experience after hours events with local and interstate friends and family, to explore all that Canberra has to offer. I sound like I'm selling this to you. I'm not. You can't be in it. Ha! It's just me. (And 100 other people). But I'm pretty excited!


Reasons why I'm excited:

  • Getting to do something fun after hours - I put my name down for the Family Fun category, so I can do something with my step-brothers and interstate family, which will also be awesome
  • They literally judged entrants' social media presence and credentials. Like, this is apparently me according to Visit Canberra director Ian Hill: "We're really looking for people who have a sense of passion about Canberra, who like to share Canberra, who are connected on social media networks and meaningfully connected. So they do actually write things of substance and are influential within their own circle." I am influential in my own circle!! WHAT! Should I warn my circle? Blog circle, consider this your warning, I am probably influencing you. (From here
  • We get to attend events to help us learn more about developing engaging social media and to show us more about Canberra and weeeeee! Ahhhh! We get upskilled! Upskilling! In getting to do fun stuff!
  • I have excused to do social media. I love social media. Like, I don't know if you know this but I love social media. It is very important to me and now I have an excuse to do it. This is the literal best. 
  • I won something! By having skill! At social media! And now I get to do fun stuff! For FREE! Wow.
Anyway, I better stop being so gosh darn influencing and passionate and writing things of such substance and being all connected and go finish my assignment. Aw, that's not nearly as fun :(

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Have I become a zombie? A student's lament.

eughhhhuhgg ghghhhggghuuuuuueeeeeeeeghhhhheeehggghhhh braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnsssssss i neeeeeeeddddd braiiiiiiiiiinnnnnsssss (to do this assignment)
uhhhhhhhhngngngngngn
mmmmmmguuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhuuuuu

And yes, my Google search history now includes "zombie noises".

Monday, 21 April 2014

Wow, did I need this today.

So now I'll share it.
You should click this: (click me, please, hello)
You're welcome.

Yes, I'm writing an assignment so this is all you get. But let's be honest, that link is better than anything I could write anyway.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

I'm baaaaack!

BEDA was going SO WELL until I got to Odate with my brother and my hotel, which had no internet and while in the brief moments when I was at my brother's actual house I did have internet I wasn't in a blogging position, but I feel super disappointed because this was about the first time since the first year I did it that I was actually looking like I might complete it (it = BEDA). And YES, I did get back a few days ago and am only posting now, but I was pretty sick after travelling.

Which is this weird thing that's been happening recently. Like, in the last year, maybe year and a half, I've been getting sick all the time. Like, I've never really got any kind of motion sickness in my life, except for a manageable amount of sea sickness, but all of a sudden I started getting car sick and air sick and the nausea lasts ages after, and I vomit all the time (detail you need to know, I'm sure) from just food? And drinking, too. Like, I can't drink at all any more without feeling super nauseated from like, two sips of any vaguely alcoholic thing. It all started happening around the same time I started getting allergic to my cats, and started getting asthma (which I had never had any signs of ever before) and having dizzy spells, as well as probably when my recent episodes of depression started, but it's super whack because I feel like all of a sudden I'm this completely different person, physically. I mean, I've never defined myself as Someone Who Never Gets Car Sick or Someone Who Can Drink And It's Totally Fine or whatever, but I've always been a pretty healthy person who never really had any of that stuff that many kids have and everything. And now I do? I don't know. It's weird. And I don't know why it's happening and I'd kind of like to. I know that when you're tired you're more likely to feel dizzy and stuff, and given that I'm tired 100% of the time, that might be it but that doesn't explain the allergies and asthma and everything. I don't know, it's just kind of surreal, I feel like I'm in someone else's body or something. Because now there's all this stuff I can't do that I LIKE doing. Like, I LOVE flying and I love long flights, but now half the time I get nauseated in the first half hour and don't get better for two days or something.

Also, I know everyone says they're always tired (except kids, because admitting you're tired when you're a kid is like admitting to a crime where the punishment is going to bed - these days, I'd take someone instructing me to go the sleep as a blessing) but I actually think it's problematic for me? Like, I can't wake up in the morning unless a) someone physically wakes me, multiple times or b) I set multiple alarms and give myself time for at least two snoozes. And then I fall asleep in lectures, at work (my colleagues can vouch for the fact that I bring in a cushion and go into the empty office adjacent to ours and sleep during my lunch break), and in any moving vehicle (that I'm not controlling) if I'm in it longer than half an hour. And THEN the worst of the whole thing is that I'm tired ALL DAY, until about 8pm at night, when my mind wakes up, I don't feel tired any more, and I stupidly stay up until 11.19pm writing dumb whingy blog posts. And I'll go to bed now, right, because I will, and I'll sleep until 8.30 when my first alarm will go off, giving me between 8.5-9 hours sleep and I will still feel exhausted. Oh what a thrilling life I lead.

And now, I'll stop complaining (publicly, at least) and get some of this magical sleep thing. And you can take a moment to collect yourself after this RIP ROARING EXCITING WOW AWESOME THRILLZONE BLOG POST.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Japan keeps taking my money

Seriously. Why is everything here so cool?! It's either stupid adorable, like the cow ring and socks I got today, or super delicious, like the pocky and grape gummy lollies I got today, or super awesome like the everything I got today. Come on Japan. Just have something I don't want to buy. But no rly I love you xo

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Tokyo Disneyland!

That was basically all that happened today. And sore feet. And many things bought. That Disneyland. Sure makes you think that owning 3 bottle holders, 7 Mickey Mouse toys and 89 different character hats is a requirement in your life. 

Bahhhh. I would like to be more creative but I'm just so tired!  But Tokyo is great, y'all. Fo' shiz. 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Japan!

Hi from Japan. As the Japans say. In Japan. Where I am. 

Had a thrilling day. Arrived. Made it to Tokyo station. Made it to Yotsuya station. Made it to hotel. Wooooo!
Couldn't check in. Aww. 
Went to Harajuku! Woooo!
Had Maccas for lunch!
Went exploring around the Meiji shrine!
Got really tired of walking lots. 
Went to hotel. 
Checked in! Wooooo!
Napped. 
Went to Shibuya! Woooo!
Saw Hachiko! The statue! On on of his celebration days! Got a selfie with Hachiko! Woooo!
Walked around Shibuya!
Had culturally immersive dinner at Outback Steakhouse! Wooooo!
Went to hotel!
Struggled with Tokyo Disney online booking system! 
Credit cards were not accepted. Aww. 
BED BED BED BED BED SLEEEEEEEEEEEPING NIGHTY NIGHTS. 

Monday, 7 April 2014

Adrienne Trivia

Do I dance when I eat delicious food?
a) Yes
b) No
c) 'Dancing' would be a generous term for the seizure-like movements I am capable of making
d) Yes, sometimes with accompanying vocals
e) a, c and d are correct (and you wish b and b only was correct)

When I drink alcohol I become:
a) more fun!
b) more interesting!
c) less socially awkward!
d) super nauseated!
e) Batman!

Do I sing sentences when they:
a) make me happy
b) are awkward
c) give me anxiety
d) are bad news
e) all of the above plus some other times probably?

What city was I born in?
a) Winterfell
b) Hogsmeade
c) all of the answers are lies. Including this one.
d) Atlantis
e) the USS Enterprise

I think fashion is:
a) super cool and important
b) super uncool and shallow
c) confusing and intimidating and how do I wear this thing?
d) affordable
e) an industry which treats all women and body shapes as equal!

I'm in:
a) Gryffindor
b) Hufflepuff
c) Ravenclaw
d) Slytherin
e) the bathroom, crying, because I didn't get my letter to Hogwarts

On planes I like to sit:
a) in the aisle seat
b) in the window seat
c) in the middle seat (hint: it's not this one)
d) on the floor
e) in the bathroom, crying, because I didn't get my letter to Hogwarts

My middle name is:
a) Rose
b) Ruth
c) Ricky
d) Ronald
e) Brian

Approximately how much sleep do I need per night in order to not actually fall asleep during the day?
a) 6-7 hours
b) 7-8 hours
c) 8+ hours
d) 8++++++++++++ hours
e) all of it. Give me all the sleep. I neeeeeeeed it.

When are the only times I blog?
a) all of the below
b) sometimes when I remember
c) when it's April
d) when I have more important, assessmenty things to be doing
e) mostly, never

Sunday, 6 April 2014

okay okay okay

obligatory post which has no interesting content because i have spent all day writing an essay and this is the worst worst worst eugh. but hey hey japan tomorrow woooo but also not until i've written this essay and yes i'm mostly done but i still have to write my whole section on amputated limbs which first requires understanding about amputated limbs (obviously i know what they are, but understanding them in the context of the rubber hand illusion) which first requires doing many readings. then i have to write my reference list and conclusion and cut down my words and this is going to be a rly great twelve hours hahahaha that laughter is verging on hysterical it'll all be sweet but maybe not. i mean. i'll get it done but i feel like so far i've just written a literature review????? with like, three interjections of 'original thought' that may not even make sense but whaaaatever it's all i got. this is great. it'll be great.

see you on the other side (if there is one) (also probably not because i'm going to japan y'all)

THE LACK OF GRAMMAR IN THIS POST WAS BROUGHT TO YOU BY OUR SPONSORS:

  • Sleep Deprivation!
  • Overwork!
  • Last Minute!
  • Anxiety!
WITHOUT THESE EVER-PRESENT, DISTRESSING AFFLICTIONS, WE WOULD NEVER BE ABLE TO PROVIDE YOU WITH SUCH SUB-PAR CREATIVE PRODUCTIONS. WE THANK THEM LOTS, BECAUSE THE ALTERNATIVE IS TO CRY.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

A million angries.

Eugh.
So like our neighbours have a dog and a cat, and they've gone away for two months? I think so far they've been gone about six weeks. And they asked their daughter and her boyfriend to drop by twice a day to feed the animals, give them attention and take the dog for walks.
My mum and I offered to help, too. The neighbours said it should be fine, but they gave the daughter our phone number in case they couldn't make it or something.
The first week, the daughter and the boyfriend came twice a day, every day. They came, fed the pets and left. Not really any playing and certainly no walks. So my mum took to taking their dog, Ellie, on walks after she takes Arty.
After that first week, they texted my mum one night, asking if she could feed the pets as they wouldn't be able to make it. Mum fed them.
Since then, the daughter and the boyfriend have come maybe 10-15? In A MONTH, where they should have come SIXTY TIMES (morning and night) to feed the animals. They've just stopped showing up, except for occasional, once a week drop-ins. Obviously, after the first night that they didn't come, mum and I have been checking whether or not they've come and if not, mum's gone in to feed the pets herself.
But this poor dog, who is super friendly and loves attention and cuddles, has just been left. She's got so depressed. She cries all the time. She's stopped getting all happy and jumpy and excited when people go around to see her. She's lethargic. She's taken to pooping on the concrete, because the daughter and the boyfriend haven't cleaned up the poop on the grass AT ALL in the WHOLE TIME. She's pulls her blankets out of her bed. She's distressed. And these people have just stopped caring for her (and the cat).
And now? Mum went over this morning to check on them, and there's no dog food left. But the daughter or boyfriend have been this morning because the mail got taken inside. But there's no new dog food? Why? Because they've started feeding the dog cat food! Responsible pet care, right?!

EUGH. I get so angry! I cannot understand how people could take on this task (when there were others offering to help) and when there are LIVING ACTUAL THINGS depending on their care, and then just like not do it???? And these people are actual PET OWNERS themselves! They have their own dog! So they clearly don't just hate everything, they actually 'care for' a dog of their own! I fundamentally just cannot understand how someone could just NOT go feed an animal, for DAYS ON END. And then feed it cat food, which can make dogs sick.
EUGH.
And this poor dog's whole personality has changed. I mean, we've tried to spend time and play with Ellie and everything, but there's only so much we can do.
People suuuuuuuck.

Friday, 4 April 2014

You know what I think is the most adorable thing about me? And by 'most' I mean 'kind of' and by 'adorable' I mean 'maybe a little bit pathetic'?

I get really excited as my page views on the ol' blogster (this thing, this thing you're on right now) go up and up. Then I realise it's me. It's just me. I end up rereading my own posts and making small changes to the alignment of things in the layout and checking and making sure that a new post looks okay and proofing it, so the page views just tiiiiiick slowly up and I'm like, freaking out that REAL PEOPLE are REALLY LOOKING at my REAL BLOG. But they're not. It's me. Hello, me! Stop getting excited about the presence of yourself, you dork! No one will notice or care that the alignment of the 'Who's that girl?' box has changed by ten pixels!

There is actually an option (I think) to exclude your own page views from the count, but the thought of how much my total number of views will go down TERRIFIES ME. Which is super dumb because I actually don't really care? This is a kinda journalling thing for me that I like sharing with my friends and whatever, but I don't care about getting more views? In fact, getting a whole bunch more would actually probably freak me the crap out. But it's this awful reward thing that internet teaches you to want, that views is the PRIZE and everyone should want it. And I don't want to want it!

Dem views doe.

I was going to write "On another note" and then keep writing things, but I realised I'm already tapped for creativity, which is only going to get worse as the month goes on, so NO MORE THAN ONE TOPIC PER POST is a rule a probably won't stick to but should try to.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Day 3: The Struggle is Real

It may or may not surprise you to learn that the hardest part about blogging every day in April is the part where you have to blog EVERY DAY in April. Especially when my life as it stands currently is simultaneously super boring (What'd I do today? Worked! Do you want me to regale you with stories about the data validation I did all day? Probably not!) and super hectic to the point where actually writing anything seems a huge task for which I can't set aside any time. AND YET HERE WE ARE.

So, to celebrate the fact that I am going overseas again on Monday, I would like to share with you all the countries I've been to, in the order of my favourite to least favourite. Now, I love Australia as much as the next pretty-ashamed-of-our-current-political-climate-but-unable-to-escape-the-nationality-listed-on-my-passport Australian, but it's not on the list. Not because I don't care about it, but because I would probably put it at/near the bottom and then people wouldn't like me.
Also, some of these are also quite low because I haven't been there very long (heyoooo, Vatican City and Singapore) and some, like Italy, are low because while I LOVED LOVED some places in that country, others were ehhhhh. So here we go!

Mexico
USA
Norway
Switzerland
Scotland
Republic of Ireland
Spain
The Netherlands
Malaysia
Monaco
Germany
Czech Republic
Canada
Japan
England
Fiji
Northern Ireland
New Zealand
France
Italy
Vanuatu
Indonesia
Austria
Singapore
Vatican City (sorry!)

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Desk tour!

So while I was WORKING VERY HARD today at work, I thought to myself, "Hey, my desk is cool. Let's blaaaaaagh pictures of it!"
That's what this is. That's all. Appreciate this insight into my soul.






Hollaaaaaa

It's BEDA time. So let's BEDA.

I mean, it is already April 2. But it's still April 1st in the US and starting BEDA on April 2nd is almost becoming a tradition here on theonlyadrienne. So is not completing BEDA, so we'll see how that goes :D

I will also be going away for 8 days, where I may or may not be able to blog but ah well. I may even write posts but not be able to post them. I mean, it's unlikely but you never know.

And so begins the long haul of having to try and think about what to write for BEDA every day. Will I frequently resort to lists, or short posts that contain nothing other than a brief acknowledgement and assurance I am alive? Will I start writing a story that I'll never even consider finishing? Will I grumble and complain about things? Will I break new ground on theonlyadrienne blog and put up delicious recipes? Will I give you recommendations on how to improve your life by reading specific books? Will blogspot become a place I fear to venture because of the shame of yet another failed BEDA?

WHO KNOWS. Certainly not me. Place all bets now to be in the running to win a fabulous prize!*

Now I will try go off and try and book a room in a small town in Japan using a poorly translated website (THANKS, Google). This is a venture bound for success!

Wish me the luckiest of luck for BEDA! I know I'll need it. You know I'll need it. The lint in my pocket knows I'll need it. Which is especially amazing given I am not currently wearing pockets! Or wearing clothes with pockets! Or wearing lint!

(*Prize to be determined and may or may not corporeally exist.)

Friday, 21 March 2014

GULP 2014

Heyyyy, cool cats.

My life is a major hot mess right now - I have a BILLION things happening and some of them are HARD and some of them are just TIME CONSUMING and some of them are GREAT.
So this year:

  • I'm talking a full psych course load, so all my courses are psych courses, including a research course which is simultaneously super exciting and incapacitatingly terrifying woo yeah alright!
  • I am playing basketball, which is activity, so fun! Also hard, because apparently stopping playing a sport for 3+ years means that when you come back to it you might not be as good???? It might almost be as if you haven't played for 3+ years??? Who decided on that rule?? 
  • I'm (still) doing cake decorating, for three hours a week, and literally no other time ever at all because despite really enjoying it I seem incapable of actually using my acquired skillset to produce anything that isn't made as a requirement in class! I don't know if I'll continue this because man, it's fun and I am completely uncreative otherwise, but it's a long time. And I already have very few nights free, what with night classes and such.
  • I'm helping develop the ANU virtual clinic which is an online mental health clinic for ANU students (and staff??). This should be totally awesome and really cool experience. I say 'should' because I don't actually really know what it involves yet, other than attending workshops (which will be catered ... but I'm definitely there for the experience).
  • Working 2+ days per week haaaaaaaaaa I totally have sufficient time-management skills to handle all this!
  • Probably some other stuff.
  • GULP!!!!!!! The title of this post!! a.k.a. what I will spend the rest of it talking about!!!!
So late last year, ANU posted a thingy about this pilot they're running of this program. This thingy contained delightfully little information, which I was hoping was due to them intentionally withholding information so the details would be revealed post-interview/acceptance but actually seems to be due to the fact that they actually just don't know anything. Specifics - who needs 'em?

What this means though is that I can't really give you a very detailed idea of what GULP is, but here are the basics:
A group of 11 ANU students and 11 students from the University of Minnesota have been chosen to participate.
Each ANU student has been paired with a UoM student.
We work together to develop ourselves as leaders and our cultural awareness.
We fundraise for our project.
In the middle of the year, we begin developing a project for implementation in a community in Malawi, Africa, which will help address a local need.
We complete the development of this project. *fingers crossed*
We go to Malawi for 2 weeks at the start of 2015, and complete the project in that community. 

That's basically all I've got at this point.
So far this year, the ANU students have been down to the coast for a weekend, to get to know one another and start to work as a group, as well as start planning our fundraising activities. The UoM students also went away for a similar thing.
Each group also made a video to introduce ourselves to the other group! Ours can be seen here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_Y13AIF1kCyOENNZU5LWWd5dFU/edit?usp=sharing

The weekend was really fun and I think we all connected really well as a group, which is awesome. And CHEESY.

Since then, we've had one informal meet-up (to discuss fundraising further) and two formal meet-ups. The formal meet-ups have a) included the UoM students and b) not been very formal (much to the displeasure of the receptionist who works at the ANU office we use for the meetings - HA!). Both of these have been really fun and a good way to see everybody all together.

As part of the program, we've had to do a couple of tests, to determine our 'strengths' and our cultural awareness. These have been ... interesting, although I don't put a lot of value into those kinds of things. While they certainly have their place, well ... I know me better than some half hour test and also none of these things are stable and also those kinds of tests are never perfect. But discussing them as a group has been good!

Oh wow this was spectacularly uninteresting for people who aren't involved and not even very funny.

SORRY. Hopefully you enjoy the video?
Eh, who cares? 

(Me. A lot.)



Thursday, 9 January 2014

Kindles: Why you should have one, but you don't.

I have a Kindle. I've had one (different ones; I just got the Paperwhite for Christmas) for three years.
I love reading. I love books. I love curling up in the sun or lying in bed in various uncomfortable positions reading.
I love my Kindle.
And I am so sick of hearing stupid arguments against them.

Number one argument I always get:
"But I like the feel of books!"
Yeah? Me too. And the Kindle knows that (well, Amazon know that). It tried to emulate a book. Of course, it doesn't entirely succeed. I have a very book-like cover, which helps, but yeah, you don't turn the pages and you don't risk paper cuts and you only read on one side of the page and you don't have to struggle to hold really heavy books up above your head while you're lying in bed. I understanding that book reading is a sensory experience for many - it isn't like playing computer for an hour to fill time. It is enveloping and involves stimulation of all senses (except taste, unless you read books reeeeeally differently to me) and etc. but the Kindle doesn't detract from that experience; it offers an alternative. 

"I like the smell of books!"
This is dumb. I didn't get a Kindle and throw out all of my old books. I still have my books. I still buy books in physical form, not as an e-book. I still have many resources available to have a good long sniff if the need overwhelms me. And it frequently does. Whiff away, my friends. Maybe I should invent Eau de Old Book Smell and it can be sprayed periodically from the back of the Kindle so this can stop being an excuse. Copyright Adrienne May 2013. 

"The technology age is taking over! Man the battle stations! Fight for the paper book!"
I have shamelessly stolen a large number of ideas from Maureen Johnson, which I highly recommend reading (after this, so you think all of these ideas are MINE). She's a young adult fiction novelist; when not writing, she's generally being about 80% crazy. Give or take.

Anyway, objecting to a Kindle purely because it's new tech is like so silly. That's pretty much the defining thing of our current age: huge leaps in technology, changing the way we live. That and climate change.

"I just think ebooks suck and real books are the best, and if you read on an ebook, your experience of reading is inferior to mine." [paraphrasing]
Aside from this being a completely arbitrary and elitist argument, it's also so 100% not the point. Are people reading? Are they enjoying the reading? This is important. This matters. 'Are they reading in my preferred method?' is not a question I have any interest in addressing. Nor should you. Your experience does not have to be my experience, and how successful your experience is does not determine how successful mine will be.

I'm not trying to convince everyone to go an buy an ereader. Though I think they're great and I think people disregard them too easily, you wanna stick to paper, you still to that paper! I will, usually, be reading a paper book too! But it's like DVDs, right? It's a new thing, that built on an old thing and made some aspects easier/more interesting to use. That's not saying I think books will go the same way as VHS tapes, certainly not as fast, but man, don't diss Kindles if you don't know. Personally, I'm sick of having to defend my status as an Avid and Enthusiatic Reader to people who think the fact that I own a Kindle means I somehow don't like books as much.

Also  you get to name your Kindle. Mine is called Like a Kindle in the Wind.