I was sitting with my friend Stefi from Miami and we came to the conclusion that just because we have four months in Sydney doesn't mean we should save all our activities till the last minute. The first week I arrived I made a list with about 40 activities I wanted to do before I left. I've accomplished some of them. However, if I plan on completing all 40 I need to get a move on. So, the next day we took initiative. One of the girls living in my building has an internship at Amnesty International and a few of us went to the city to have lunch with her. After indulging in a delicious lunch (with a lot of beets) my fingers were stained purple and we ventured to Darling Harbour.
I'm ashamed to say this was my first visit into the city during the day, but because of the amount of time needed to travel there and back, a whole day must be set aside. Our initial plan was to visit the famous botanical gardens, which, according to Stefi, was right next to the Opera House. However, Stefi only told us this part once we were in Darling Harbour, at which point we had to clarify to her that The Opera House was on the opposite side of the city.
This experience was more entertaining than anything else and I can't really judge because I had no idea where I was going either. So instead of visiting the botanical gardens we decided to entertain ourselves in Darling Harbour.
Restaurants, shopping centers and numerous other touristy activities surround this harbour. We also discovered a water taxi that takes you from Darling Harbour to the Opera House, probably for those tourists who think, like we did, that they are in the same place. Unfortunately it gets dark around 5:30 here so we called it a day once the sun started setting. It gets pretty chilly at night.
Classes at UNSW are much different than they are at Bucknell. All of my classes meet only once a week for three hours. This leaves a lot of time between each class, so in order to keep up with the course I'm required to do a lot of work on my own. I'm used to having classes at least twice a week with a certain assignment due each week. It is much more independent here and if you don't keep up you'll fall behind in class. So it's been tough adjusting to this system, especially when there is a beach three blocks away.
For my video art class I decided to combine the beautiful beach of Bondi with my homework. My first video art project that is due is based on the idea of The Loop. I have to present a three-minute video demonstrating a loop, which has no beginning and no end. It's a very open assignment and can be represented through nature, time, history, social interaction, etc. So inspired by the Olympics, I wanted to do something involving my rusty gymnastics skills. Many moves and events in gymnastics all possess this idea of the loop, most obviously forward rolls, cartwheels, tucks, etc. The natural setting of an ocean also incorporates this repetition so in my mind at least, this seems like a good idea. No matter what I film for three minutes is going to be monotonous, so I'm hoping that I'll be able to edit it in a way that makes it entertaining to watch.
I recruited my neighbor who is also interested in video and we went down to the beach today to give this idea a try. It was a beautiful day and there were even people lying out on the beach, which was a first!
So I spent about 45 minutes doing forward rolls, cartwheels, backhand springs, and handstand pirouettes. The forward rolls represented this idea of a circular motion the best so we focused on different angles and distances. I rolled around in front of the waves long enough to get a bruise on my neck so we called it quits for the day. I'm presenting one minute of this in class to see what the professor has to say. Wish me luck!
This Saturday I'm going to the South Coast with the UNSW study abroad program. According to the advertisement, the Southern Highlands is "the location for the popular movie 'Babe'". We go on a Fitzroy Falls bushwalk, learn about the mystery disappearance of Australia's greatest aviator on the Kingsford Smith Lookout and then have a guided tour by a local Aboriginal national park ranger and learn about bush medicine. We also go to Berry, the Seven Mile Beach National Park, Kiama Blowhole and then finally we visit the Nan Tien Temple. This is the biggest Buddhist temple in the southern hemisphere! I don't know how all of these events all fit into one day, but it should be exciting and exhausting. I can't wait!