It’s been a little while since I’ve done an update on my adventures. It’s partially because I’ve been pretty busy with school, but mostly because blogging about schoolwork isn’t all that interesting.
I will say though, there are few differences between the Aussie and Canadian school systems that I do find quite interesting. Firstly, professors in Oz are much less formal. I would never refer to a professor here by their title or last name. I’ve actually had professors correct me and specifically tell me to call them by their first name. Whereas in Canada, particularly during my undergrad, I rarely referred to any professors by their first name.
I also have one professor, in particular, who is committed to ensuring that our class remains as informal as possible. On my frist day of class he told me that were to act “more like a family, than as classmates”. This professor is also somewhat obsessed with the idea of having a student make and bring a fresh-baked cake to each and every class. It was my turn last week to bring said cake.
Since I don’t have access to an oven in my residence I had to be pretty creative. I decided to make Rice Krispie Squares. Apparently, they’re not really that well-known here. It’s also funny because you’d think that it’d be easy to find the ingredients for Rice Krispies, given that there’s so few of them, however there are so many little differences here, it made my baking task challenging.
First of all, the Aussies don’t exactly have Rice Krispies – They have “Rice Bubbles”. Second, I looked everywhere for white marshmallows, but there are none. I had to settle for these odd pink and white ones. Since I wasn’t confident in how the pink marshmallows would taste in my Krispies, I decided to add melted Snicker Bars. At the end of the day, I’m pretty confident I was successful in my very random school assignment.
I’ve found it very interesting how similar, yet different things are here, as opposed to back home. I’m still trying to wrap my head around certain Aussie sayings. For example, generally when you say “hi” to any Australian, their immediate response is “how you going?” aka “how are you?” – I never know what to say in response! Should I say “I’m going by bus” or do I respond with “I’m well, thank-you”?
Some of the other interesting sayings our “bogans” aka. rednecks, or “thongs” aka flipflops, or “lollies” aka. candy. I’ve also determined, through conversations with other exchange students, that in every Western country other than Canada, your 21st Birthday is a huge deal. Even though in every Western country other than America, nothing significant actually happens on your 21st Birthday.
Another thing, particularly unique to Brisbane, is the wild turkeys. First, I found them to be quite annoying, because they’re everywhere, and they don’t seem to care about getting out of your way as you try to pass them. Now, I’ve discovered that at this time of year the turkeys start building huge piles of dirt for their nests. When I say huge, I mean about 5 feet wide by 3 feet high. It’s pretty impressive that such a small animal can kick around enough dirt to make such a huge pile.
It’s also annoying because the turkeys will kick all this dirt from one garden, onto a footpath, then into the next garden where their pile is. I was incredibly confused the other day as I walked to class and had to scale this two foot pile of dirt right in the middle of a footpath! Finally, the worst part about these turkeys – I’ve been told they taste horrible. They’re everywhere and you can’t even eat them!
Wild Turkeys aside, life in Brissie has been going pretty well. I had a great time last week at my residential college’s ball. The hall served amazing food – with delicious, edible turkey – and it was fun to get dressed up for a night. After, spending so much time in school this past week, I’m looking forward to getting out and about this upcoming week!