Getting some pretty hot weather here of late. Thankfully, today was fairly cool with a slight drizzle of rain in the afternoon.
No word on my phone interview for my leadership program yet. Should hear from them within the week.
Been accepted by the ANU to do my politics major there. This is one of the top universities in Australia, and apparently ranks 16th in the world. As you can imagine I'm pretty excited to be offered to do an international relations major at this place. Not only is it within walking distance from my city apartment, it offers a superb variety of units to choose from (being the primary reason to study cross-institutionally with them). It involves a couple of compulsory core subjects (Australian Foreign Wars and Int. Relations) whilst the rest is left to electives. This semester I'll be doing Europe in the Modern Era, covering economic, diplomatic and political developments that transpired during the 18th and 19th century. Other electives I hope to pick up are Politics in China/or Russia (either will do), Politics in the USA, Grand Strategy, Security Studies and Counter-Terrorism.
Up to 65k on my novel as well, still stuck on a few plot snags but they can easily be remedied. At least its progressing.
And now I tremble in fear as I go to see the cardiologist tomorrow. Not fun at all. :(
So it looks like I might be off to Europe around July this year (what a great time to turn 25!). I applied for an intensive management and business course in Prague, Czech Republic, and got the provisional acceptance last week. Still waiting on the details for a phone interview so it's a tentative arrangement so far. But god damn, I've been wanting to travel for seven years now! So, the program itself is four weeks with field trips and community work interspersed between classes at Charles University. Based on the program syllabus I received it looks like a fairly intense program but nothing I haven't handled at my own university. I also have a few weeks free between the program's schedule and my own semesters, so it's possible that I could visit friends and extended family in other countries around continental Europe. I will definitely catch up with a family friend in Bonn, Germany, and then perhaps see France, Spain and the UK with time permitting.
So a happy new year to everyone, now that it is 50 mins past midnight here!
So, the last ten years have been interesting for me to say the least. I've graduated from highschool, mourned the death of two pets, met new friends and seen old ones fade out of contact, fallen hard at uni and picked myself up and performed well in my studies when I needed it most. I've written several short stories, none publishable yet, but with time and practice my writing can improve. I've travelled to New Zealand and toured both islands, been up and down New South Wales and visited some interesting mine towns. I've incurred a minor heart problem called vaso vagal syndrome and have had to undergo a procedure to have a small pacemaker put in (hoping to have it out in a few years). I finally got my drivers licence and taken my mum's car around the city a few times. I got a new cat just a few years ago, helped my parents with their new home at the coast and have lived in an apartment in the middle of the city for the last year or so.
While I can't say for cerain what's in store for the next decade, I can make a judgement of what I'll be doing for this year. First, and most assuredly, I'll be focussing on my degree and taking every opportunity that comes up that may lead to a credit towards my transcript. I've yet to hear from an organisation I applied for, towards a study trip to Prague in July but fingers crossed I'll hear from them soon. Second, to work harder and interact more with my friends, particularly because once my degree finishes in 2-3 years I'll most likely be travelling a lot and really need to keep in touch with them. Third, to exercise more, try out more healthy recipes and try out some thai and vietnamese cooking classes. Fourth, to write more and often, to exercise my brain and practice until I can complete a first and second draft of my plethora of projects. Fifth, to read and not angonise over every paragraph like I'm on a proofreading job, to engage with the narratives but also to think critically about the way in which the words captured my imagination and how I might improve my own pieces. Finally, I wish to be a good person that can reach my potential and can make a difference to my life whilst finding a happiness that has long been vacant in me for some time.
I'm pleased to report that my uni results this year have been outstanding. Next year is looking to be even better with the new changes to my degree, allowing me to do the majors I want without hassle. Perfect timing too, as the new National Security major comes out next year as well. It looks like a good round of international business, int. politics and relations, law, Border control, and public sector management. :)
Roll on 2010!
Also, my cat brought in a mouse couple of nights ago. Dead and slightly mangled. She then proceeded to crash tackle it, and just to be sure, threw it in the air to see if it moved.
Thanks, I know it's out of some primal urge to look after perceived 'sick' family with 'inferior' hunting skills, but did you have to put it on the leather chair in the TV room?!
Almost a month till christmas and I've only done half my gift shopping and non-perishable food preparation. No turkey here though, but hopefully on the Day. However, it will be with my mum and stepdad again, so I suspect it will be a scorching hot Christmas so a seafood lunch will be in order.
I've done about 2k words on my story these last two weeks. Very poor performance and I haven't even been distracted by blogs and games! Been down the coast for a couple of days though, which is excusable. My mum has a new dog, called Louie, who loves everything edible in his path and throws his squeeky toys every which way he can around the kitchen.
Saw my first whales outside the house today. A large pod of humpbacks heading south to the Antartic. Couple of them stayed in the area and breached the water for a few hours before leaving. Pretty cool!
Now that my studies are over, I've been meaning to get through my mountain of 'To-Be-Read' pile as well, which is exceeding astronomical levels and taking over half my bedroom. By end of January I hope to finish the following and have reviews up for:
Mistborn - Brandon Sanderson
Fallen Dragon - Peter F. Hamilton
Lamentation - Scholes
Retribution Falls - Chris Wooding
Dragonfly Falling - Adrian Tchaikovsky
And a plethora of non-fiction books to go through!
I have a sudden urge to take up fencing. Must look into any local clubs that take that up.
So exams are done. Just have to wait until November 27 for my results. I'm fairly confident that I did well, but there's always that worry that perhaps I didn't try hard enough. :S
I went to a defence seminar on Thursday night at Old Parliament House covering Iran and Afghanistan. Quite a large turnout, though I was in the minority as a student. There were two speeches, and an awards ceremony. Overall, I enjoyed the discussion, but I had already read or heard similar arguments over Afghanistan during my National Security unit.
Went out for lunch with my dad yesterday, who is moving out in a couple of weeks. Since I won't see him for Christmas he got me the following books:
Napoleon's Wars - Charles Esdaile
Australian Peacekeeping: Sixty years in the field - David Horner, Peter Londey & Jean Bou (eds).
Pacific Fury: How Australia and her Allies defeated the Japanese - Peter Thompson (signed)
Been reading 'Pacific Fury' and so far it seems to be pretty well researched and the narrative is similar to that of a novel.
Last exam tomorrow and probably the most important one this year. Granted I already passed this unit (National Security) but I want to get a good grade for it. Been stressing out for no apparent reason despite having studied for this one for two weeks straight. I already know half of the coursework, with plenty of references and examples to sink a ship. Will be going out to a police training compound afterwards though, so should be interesting.
Ah well, once more unto the breach.
So, having worked on statistics homework since 4am, I managed to almost miss my statistics tutorial. Typical. :S
My last national security lecture was today however. =/ Really going to miss that unit, which has been by far the best experience I've had at university, and has encouraged me to look into opportunities in this field. Our last lecture was a bit different this time. We had the High Commisioner for Pakistan talk to us about Pakistan's history and current situation, relations with India and the turmoil existent in Afghanistan. I brought up a question regarding China's regional influence upon the geopolitical tensions within the area and if he saw any potential growth in fostering cooperative measures to deter terrorism and brokering peace and security for South Asia. As to my answer, it sounds pretty promising. Some really insightful and productive discussions during this lecture, and I took way too many notes (lol).
I'll do a proper update on this later, as I'm feeling pretty inclined to sleep for a bit. :S My stepsis's bithday as well, so happy birthday J! :)
I also got Samurai Seven and really loving the steampunkish+samurai theme!
Just 7 more days till my first exam for this semester. Time sure has gone fast these last three months. While I don't mind doing statistics, it really is a lot of effort to keep up with all the formulas and testing. I have spent perhaps the last ten weeks on overload study just to do all the assessment items and be ready for the exam. This is the first and most important exam if I want to keep up my high academic average and be selected for an overseas business program in Europe in 2010. Sigh, never seems to be enough time to be able to relax. Guess those days are over now. :S