Sunday, August 27, 2017

Week 5: Quizzes and Events, Go!

Hey, all!

It has been a very eventful week since my last post! I had a lot of fun with friends and probably should have studied more than I ended up doing, but I think everything should turn out okay.

Monday, I went to the Doctor Who Society Bake Sale and ended up getting a lot of food. The first round was just a chocolate cupcake and another cupcake-like thing. After that, I went into the library to print some stuff for one of my classes. I also looked up books that I could use for my essay and got the ones I could and requested the others. About an hour had passed when I got out of the library and went back to the bake sale to talk to my friends there as well as get some more baked goods. I wanted to support them as well as have some good sweets, haha! I went back to my room and unloaded my backpack and sat down to relax (and watch the new Game of Thrones episode!) before studying. About halfway through the GoT episode, I got a notification that the NSA hangouts event was up for that day (in about 40 min). I decided I would go to that and bring stuff with me so I could study there (which didn't really happen, mainly because my iPad was low in battery). I went to the NSA meeting afterward and had dinner with them. I split my food again so I could have some of it for lunch/dinner the next day (saves money too!).

The only thing that really happened on Tuesday was that I went to the Intermediate Japanese language workshop that's held by NSA members. I got a little bit of a better idea of what was going to be on the quiz on Thursday as well as we studied a little bit ahead and then we ended up watching a couple YouTube videos in Japanese with no subtitles. Most of the videos were interesting and funny and I could pick up a lot of what was going on.

Wednesday, I studied as much as I could and thought about attending the Doctor Who event that night. I ended up deciding to go, but I brought my Japanese textbook and iPad (charged this time) to the showing, knowing it wouldn't start on time and that a lot of people would be late and thinking I could use the time to study until the showing. Turns out it was only four of us and we just made a game day out of it (and ate some of the leftover baked goods). I was spontaneously asked if I wanted to join to of the members to a movie (Spiderman: Homecoming) and I decided to go. It was a great time spent with a couple of people who I now call friends.

Thursday, I just studied as much as I could and did the rest of my online class stuff. I didn't do as well as I had hoped (even though the grades for the quiz aren't out yet) on the quiz simply because I couldn't remember what kanji to write. I got the grammatical stuff right, I think. After the class, I began studying as much as I could before the Mass Transfer quiz the next day. That one was easier and I did better, I think. I hope I'll find out this week before the midterm exam next week.

Friday, I just spent relaxing and thinking about how I could do better. I have a piece of paper with roughly what I want to get done everyday. I hope this will help with studying.

Yesterday (26 August 2017), I went to the NSA event held at Auburn Botanical Gardens for Hanami, which is specifically watching cherry blossom petals falling (even though the name literally translates to flower viewing). I got up early to get there about 10, which I thought was the time to get there until I was more than half way there. I was actually about an hour early. Since the gardens were open, I decided to wander around until everyone else got there. I'm now glad I did get there early since I got many opportunities to take pictures and get selfies. When everyone else arrived, it had gotten more crowded and you wouldn't really be able to take a picture of anything without getting someone else in it as well. I walked around with the group when they were there and  then about noon, we broke off for lunch. Everyone started gathering back together about one, which at that time I basically needed to leave to head to a birthday party. I left and got to that meeting place early as well, but I knew that would happen since I had left pretty early. I helped (sort of) the birthday girl with shopping stuff before we headed back to her place. We snacked on chips and sweets, played board/card games, and watched various stuff. It was a nice time. We had dinner and cake there as well and everything was tasty. I talked with and listened to everyone at the dinner table (included was friends and parents). We didn't leave until about 11 pm and luckily one of the people also lived on campus and drove three of us (including herself) back. Overall, it was a really nice day and I was able to spend it with people I like.

Today, I just recovered a bit and started looking for apartments near NAU since my time here is starting to come to a close. That's about all that really happened today.

I think that's it for now! Until next time!

 ^^: The Henna a couple days after getting it. I still have it today, but it's fading away pretty fast since I wash my hands a lot, haha.
 ^^ & >>: It was Artweek at UNSW and a lot of stuff were up and around UNSW. It was pretty cool to see art everywhere.

 ^^: This was the rest of the food I had for dinner Tuesday night from the Monday night dinner get together. It was rice with egg and chicken katsu.
 ^^: This was in the parking garage as we were exiting and heading up to our rooms. It looked very creepy and we decided to rush a bit more up the stairs (as a joke).


^^: A few of the pictures I took at the gardens and at Hanami!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Week 4 Over, Malaysia Festival!

Hey, all!

I didn't make a post last weekend because I didn't have any new pictures to give you and I thought I would try to get pictures and make another post in the middle of the week. By the time I remembered about the blog, it was Wednesday before I went to bed, so it wasn't going to happen. So I decided that I would just wait a few days and make a 'late' post to get back on track. It's hard for me to remember to make a post during the week when I am thinking about so much school. It's definitely easier for me to remember to make a post during the weekend when I'm relaxing and not so busy and thinking about school all the time.

Not a whole lot happened last week after my last post, probably adding on to me not posting during the weekend. I did go to a roommate's birthday party, which was held at a bar. Before we went, a couple of my roommates, a couple of their friends, and I had some pizza and some alcohol before going to the party. We also played a quite a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity and I wasn't on the losing end this time, so that was great fun! I was probably one of the first to leave the party, but I did stay for a little over an hour. I tried drinking some sparkling wine that was on the free bar tap, but I just couldn't drink it since it tasted bad to me and I don't like beer or wine. I ended up abandoning the drink on a table, haha. I enjoyed some of the free food offered though. One was fried chicken that had been freshly fried. It was extremely hot when I got it and I had problems holding it long enough to eat it and I didn't have a napkin to hold it. I think the tips of my fingers got a little burned. They were sensitive for a little bit.

Sunday, not much happened other than just relaxing. I meant to get stuff done that day for the following week, but that just didn't happen. Monday, I went to a club hangouts event for the Japanese Students' Association and played some card games as well as got ready for a few classes for that week.

Wednesday, I went to watch another episode of Doctor Who with the club and played more Cards Against Humanity. I was on the losing end here, though, but we tried some various rules and that was pretty fun!

Yesterday, I was invited by a new friend to the Malaysia Festival this weekend and to try new food and hang out with her. I was really happy and accepted the invitation. After class, I rushed off to an anime event that was showing 5 cm/ second and Your Name. I've seen both before, but the first one made a little bit more sense the second time I watched it. Your Name was better this time round since I could understand a little bit more and it was better quality as well! After that, I managed to be able to sign up to go to a Japanese Foundation Reading Night event for my Japanese class that I can use to count toward my grade. I am really looking forward to experiencing this event and reading a couple Japanese books!

Today (19 Aug 2017), I met with my friend at a bus stop since she lives close and we rode the bus together to get to the park where the Malaysia Festival was. As soon as we got there, we started looking around at the food and what to get. I left it open for her recommendation and I was not disappointed. In the midst of getting the food, we met another person and she joined our small group as well. We talked and shared food, it was a great time. Then the new friend bought us a drink called Tall Grass Cane Sugar juice (has sugar, lemon/lime, and ginger), it was pretty tasty! I was overwhelmed, a bit, by their willingness to share the food and buy me stuff since I was willing to pay, but they shooed my wallet away and said they would treat me. An Ibis was pretty bold and managed to take chicken bones that were sitting in our discard pile. It was pretty crazy seeing all the birds being pretty bold. I also ended up seeing an Ibis (maybe the same one?) with a kebab full of food on it and that really had me surprised. I also tried some dessert foods and it was all pretty tasty. My new friends began joking that they would make me Malaysian yet and that I wasn't actually American since I have very different views and am very accepting. It was pretty funny and they were starting to teach me a little bit of their language. Toward the end, I tried some durian and the smell was okay, I don't really get where people say it smells bad. The initial taste reminded me of a cantaloupe or honeydew (since they taste the same to me), but I was a bit overwhelmed after the third bite and had to put the fruit down. They congratulated me on being able to eat it and were pretty surprised that I liked it. One even said that I was only the second Westerner to like durian that she knows of. After that, we went to the cultural booth to look for something to have a souvenir of the time and I ended up getting a Henna tattoo.

That was pretty much the end of that event and we rode the bus back together and went our separate ways. When I got back to my room, I relaxed and ate a little more and waited for the Henna tattoo to try and absorb into my skin a little more and then I started cleaning the apartment since it was my turn to clean. It took about an hour or so, but I was being pretty thorough. I wanted to do some studying tonight, but I don't think that's going to happen. I have three quizzes this week and will have to study and be ready, so I will be doing that starting tomorrow.

I think that's all I have for now! Until next time!

 ^^: Left, is a picture of outside my class. I was trying to capture how smokey it was on Monday, but you couldn't quite see it in the picture. It also smelled smokey, but apparently it was just a controlled burn. Right, was the cards we played with in the hangouts event and I thought they looked really cool!
 ^^: After the hangouts event, there was a meeting that I could attend as general committee member. After the meeting, we went out to dinner and I had some ramen! I also got to take some food home for lunch the next day, so that was nice!
 ^^: Left, a flashmob (apparently) dancing. It looked fun! Right, my friend taking a picture of me in front of dancing ladies and the Malaysia Festival sign!
 ^^: Left, the Henna tattoo I got while it was still wet. I will probably post a picture what it looks like when all the stuff has fallen off. Right, is my friend from school (bottom left), new friend (bottom right), and I (top middle). I had fun with them!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Semester 2, Week 3!

Hey, all!

Once again, I did not manage to post on the weekend like I hoped and am in the middle of the following week. Once more, I am hoping to get things back on track and make a post this weekend. We'll see if that happens. I think it should since I don't really have a lot planned for this weekend.

This passed week has been pretty eventful. Wednesday (02 August), I went to a club Welcome Back BBQ to help them out and to get some free food. It was in the same area as one of my classes that feels pretty tranquil. That showed that it is still a very serene place that not many people visit. I also noticed the sculpture for the first time and realized why they nicknamed the area the "Naked Lady Lawn." I got a few pictures of that as well as a few more pictures of the surrounding greenery and flowers. That night I went to another club even where I watched some older Doctor Who.

Thursday, I finally had my engineering class and I really enjoyed the teacher and his teaching style. It is more of what I'm used to: writing on the white board and writing what he has written down. I'm looking forward to this semester with him. A couple of students that sat next to me offered me a package of Middle Eastern biscuits/cookies and they were very good. Later that day, the apartment complex gave out free sushi to the residents and I got some. It was pretty good!

Saturday, I went to a park to help out with another BBQ for the Rainbow Project for Japan where Japanese have homestays here in Australia where they can stay until wreckage back home can be fixed, whether the wreckage was caused by earthquake, tsunami, etc. For the first half of making the sausages for the BBQ, I was using the bread crust to roll the sausages over to get them fully cooked since we didn't have tongs to use. That was a fun and interesting way to do things. I got to try some new Japanese foods as well and that made me really happy. I also spoke some broken Japanese, which was also nice.

Sunday, I went to a DogSoc event where we went to a dance studio-like place and watched a movie and dogs were welcome. We watched the movie Hachi and it was very good and also pretty sad. I felt pretty bad for Hachi and just wanted to give him a lot of love. When the movie first started, I had laid down on the ground (with a pillow I had brought) and one the dogs, Dragon, kept licking my face until I would push him away a little bit, but he would go around the room and end up back at me and go back to trying to lick my face. This happened two or three times. I laughed as did everyone else. I was actually pretty grateful that Dragon did this as I hadn't gotten to pet any dogs for a while and I was kinda sad about that.

Yesterday (08 August), I got to try two different styles of Middle Eastern desserts and they were pretty good. The treat was called a Knafeh. Today, nothing really interesting happened other than I got a little lost in a building trying to find the room to make it to another event of Doctor Who so I could watch another episode, haha!

I think that's it for now. Until next time!

 ^^ & >>: Left, is a  picture of a pretty scene of flowers in the tree. Right, is the flower that is in the trees above.
 << & ^^: Left, roots wrapping around the pole and above on the metal. Right, the Naked Lady pond.
 ^^: Left, I think this is the largest amount of Ibis I've seen so close together. I saw this at the park where the BBQ was. Right, a picture of the two small pieces of Knafeh that I had.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

First Week Over, Semester 2 Go!

Hey, all!

It's been a little over a week since my last post and I apologize for that. I meant to get one out on Friday or Saturday, but I ended up getting distracted with trying to figure out a set pace to go about studying for my classes this semester.

The first week of class was pretty good and I am feeling relatively confident with this semester. The only class I haven't started yet is my engineering class and the lecture for that starts tomorrow afternoon. My Japanese class is a little overwhelming right now, but I have been away from it for a semester and a couple lessons behind what they're taught here. I feel like I'll be catching up pretty quickly in a week or so. I'm going to be trying to be pretty active about catching up and learning everything. I'm planning on getting some stuff this weekend that I think will help with that.

My math course is actually two math classes in one, so it's a little different. The lecture for the first half is on Mondays and its tutorial is on Wednesdays (tomorrow) while the other half's lecture and tutorial is on Tuesday, back to back, with the tutorial first in the morning. Numerical Methods (first half) is a little weird and I was unsure about it last week, but after this week I think it should be okay. The real test I think will be the tutorial/labs. The Statistics part (second half) is actually pretty good and I'm already seeing how it will help when I get back to NAU.

My Classical Greece class is a flipped classroom setting, where the lectures are online and we have an in person tutorial. So far this class is absolutely great. The material we are supposed to do online each week to prep for the tutorial is actually interesting and isn't just reading. He also posts videos and audio. I think even in the future weeks, he will be posting videos and maybe podcasts. I am looking forward to this class, despite the fact that I will have to write a 2250 word essay. I think this time it will go easier since he seems to be more instructive on what he's looking for. I also think it will go by easier since it's the only essay I have to prep for and I have at least a couple people who would be willing to help edit it and make it better. I'm hoping that I will be able to prep for it early enough and start writing early so I'm not stressed about getting it all done in a week or so.

My Heat and Mass Transfer class is also kinda a two part class, but the first half of the semester is going to be one transfer and then the last half of  the semester will be the other transfer. I'm not sure what to expect from this class yet since I haven't had it. The tutorial and lecture were both cancelled the first week of class. I'll update my feelings on this class after I have the lecture and tutorial. I'm hoping to actually get these posts back on track and posting on Friday or Saturday.

Other than that, not a lot has really happened. I went to a club meeting yesterday (31 July) and as a result, I was able to pick up a hoodie for being in the club and paid for it and a future shirt I will be getting. Today, I Skyped with my family for my niece's birthday. It was nice and I miss my family. I, however, do not miss how loud they can be, haha!

I think that's it for now! I hope to post Friday night or Saturday! Until next time!

 ^^: The pictures above are nearby one of my classes and I hadn't journeyed over this way so I felt I had to take some pictures!
^^: The back and front of my new hoodie! It's only for executives and general committee members (if they wanted).

Monday, July 24, 2017

Semester 2, Week 1!

Hey, all!

Not much happened since the last post. Last week, I went and saw the tattoo artist to begin the consultation process to get a new tattoo, but after a design was picked and I asked for price, I found it was way out of mine and my family's budget for the moment. As a result, I won't be getting it here, unfortunately. I am asking the tattoo artist if she would still be willing to draw it up and be paid for it, but I have yet to hear back on that.

Over the passed week, I also ventured out of my apartment and searched for where my classes would be this semester as well as getting a couple books that I would need from the book store. I found quite a few spots that are very quiet and serene and I will be sharing some pictures from that. My pictures probably don't show how nice it is, but I hope you can imagine!

Saturday, I went to a Doctor Who club event that was held on campus. We watched part of the older series: the War Games! It was 10 episodes, each episode being about 25 minutes. It was quite long. Half way through, we stopped watching to order some pizza and play some Cards Against Humanity. It's a pretty fun game, but I'm pretty bad at it haha! We stopped playing that when the pizza came and then we continued watching the rest of the episodes. Afterward, we played a couple rounds of What Do You Meme? and it was fun as well. It's like Cards Against Humanity except with pictures of memes and caption cards.

Today (24 July 2017), classes started. I had two back-to-back classes starting at 9am and ending at 1pm. I was pretty tired by the time classes were over, especially since I didn't get a lot of sleep. My first class was the Japanese 2B one and I am foreseeing some issues since (so far) it's taught in mostly Japanese and I'm not recognizing a lot of the words and verbs, but I'm hoping I can overcome this and get even better at Japanese. The second class was the numerical methods part of my math course. It was amusing for a bit, but it was also a bit boring and hard to figure out some stuff, but I think I will also get used to it.

I looked at all of the course outlines for my classes and wrote down due dates as well as exam dates. My Classical Greece class is going to require another 2200 word essay, so I'm not looking forward to that, but at least it's the only essay and the lecture is online.

I think that's all for now. I will be posting at the end of the week as well recapping how my first week of the second semester went. Until then!

 <<: The view from the back of one of the buildings I do class in.
>>: View from one of the buildings my classes are in.
  << & ^^: a flower and another view from one of the building's entrances.
 >>: A view walking back to my apartment.
<<: Another view walking back to my apartment.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Week Before Semester 2!

Hey, all!

Not a lot has happened since the last post, hence it's been a little longer than I would like since my last post. This post probably won't be very long and I didn't take any new pictures; so I'll just be putting in some pictures from the past few weeks that I haven't posted here yet.

The passed week I've mainly been watching Final Fantasy X and I've gotten pretty close to the end of the main story. I've also been trying to limit the amount of gluten I've been eating since it seems I have hit my max. Not to say I can't eat it, I just can't have it as often as I was having it, I think. This task isn't actually that hard, if I'm eating out (and some grocery stores), since I think Australia has more options for gluten free, especially the restaurants. Chances are better than not that a restaurant will have a gluten free option (that isn't salad), which I am extremely grateful for. I ordered some pre-made meals for this week, but those come in tomorrow, so I've been having to "scrounge" for foods I can eat and weigh the risks.

I didn't make it to the tattoo shop last week, but I did send them an inquiry about booking a consultation and they were quick to respond I will actually be consulting with the tattoo artist in Wednesday. I'm excited for that. Tomorrow, I have the psychiatrist appointment that will see if I need to up the dosage on the medicine I'm on for the adhd or try another medicine.

I skyped with my parents this passed weekend and I saw my 4 year old puppy; my parents gave him the shirt that I gave them with my scent on it and he was super happy about it.

I think that's all for now, I hope to post sooner next time! Until next time!

^^: These are pictures I took when my sister was here, all on the way to Lady Bay Beach! The top most one is a picture of a big and twisty pair of trees. Bottom left, a flower. Bottom right, a cannon that no longer works as one. The end/hole was covered.

 ^^: Pictures taken with my parents when at Australia Zoo! Top picture is an iguana, I think. Bottom pictures are a Tasmanian Devil and alpacas, respectively.
^^: Pictures taken when with my parents at Katoomba, in the Blue Mountains. Top picture is of a Christmas tree, which was in our (haunted) hotel. They had quite a few and I think it's common for Australians to put them up during their winter. I know quite a few places constantly (seem to) sell Christmas ornaments. Bottom, a scenic view from on of the decks of the hotel in Katoomba.
 ^^: Left, a larger-than-life-size red panda to commemorate my time feeding and petting a red panda! Right, a cake we had gotten from 85C Cafe to celebrate my belated birthday. We forgot to get matches so I pretended to blow out the candles
 ^^: Left, I wooden escalator! I found this super odd and it was in Sydney. My mom pointed out that someone could get their heel stuck in between the wood pieces, haha! Right, a random picture of a flower I took sometime while my parents were here.