Saturday, August 28, 2010
I am my Father's Son
Greetings friends and family!
Today marks the end of a long and busy week. Friday afternoon I turned in my first major assessment, a 2500 word research paper for my Australian History and Society class. Since almost all of the study abroad students are required to enroll in this class, I was not alone in putting in countless hours of work this week; as they say, “Misery loves company!” The P and O hotel certainly has been low-key for the past fortnight while everyone has been working on their papers, and it all culminated in one hectic, final day of furious typing and frantic scrambling to print off the last pages before the deadline. Thankfully, everyone survived and it appears that this weekend will be one grand celebration for us all to rejoice. In addition to the relief of no longer having our assessment hanging over our heads, this weekend is also a celebration of 5 birthdays (3 this weekend, 2 last weekend) of students within the P and O (meaning it’s only fair that we show them a good time!) so it should surely be a fun-filled weekend of festivities. Thankfully the paper itself really wasn’t too bad as it was surprisingly interesting to research and write, and the class is easily my favorite class that I am taking; the teacher is the typical history professor in that he knows EVERYTHING from dates of obscure events to inner workings of Australian culture. However, he is also very engaging and personable (I went and met with him to discuss my paper and he not only gave me several valuable recommendations, but also was genuinely interested in how my experience in Australia was going and how I was doing). Definitely a great guy.
-Much to the delight of my goofball older brother Michael, I have decided to allow my curly mane of hair to be untamed and uncut while adventuring down under. Time will tell if my new ‘do can match the afro of old, one can only hope! I’ve also attempted to cultivate some form of facial hair to complete the ongoing hippy look, but thus far have only managed to scrounge up a few grungy patches of white/blonde hairs… not sure how much longer I’ll be keeping up the whole no shave thing!
-The nearby market sells lamb brains. To eat. Icky.
-Footy has continued to be something that we look forward to every Wednesday and Friday night. Not only is it a great way to unleash some competitive energy, meet and mingle with the other study abroad students from the different residence halls, and learn and participate in a fantastic part of Australian history, but our coach Tony has established a ritual of post-practice hydration sessions on Friday nights immediately following our footy session. These gatherings promote team bonding, plus it’s always his “shout” (meaning that he buys all the beer. Awesome.)! No better way to rehydrate after running your butt off than guzzling a few free barley pops!
-Another unfortunate but rather comical recurring theme of Footy practices are bizarre injuries suffered by yours truly. I seem to be taking after my basketball playing father in that weekly injuries are now viewed not as unusual but are to be expected (sorry to call you out pops!). My thumb is on the mend but now I have another battered and bruised body part to restore. During a drill today, I collided heads with a fellow teammate. Unfortunately he caught my eye rather than a more durable area, and I immediately had some swelling. I didn’t think too much of it as it wasn’t particularly painful and it didn’t affect my play, but when I began struggling to see out of my eye and started receiving looks of horror from passerby on the walk home I figured it might be worth looking into. I took some lovely, flattering pictures so you can all see how handsome I am.
Later that night, after my eye had continued to swell and began looking like a sweet tie-dye shirt, I went to have a chinwag with my resident supervisor who is studying medicine and attempting to become a doctor. He had a long look at my shiner and told me to wait until morning to see how the eye reacted to more time and make a plan of action then. Welp, sure enough, I woke up the next morning with the eye swollen shut so I decided to make a little trip to the hospital (even though I have a long history of despising hospitals and avoiding them at all costs). When I first arrived, it took approximately a billion hours before they even took me in, and they spent large portions of that time asking me hundreds of questions, some of which seemed to be the first random thing that popped into their heads (i.e. do you have a religion?). It was at this point that I looked around the empty emergency room and thanked God that I did not have a gaping and gushing flesh wound or any excruciatingly painful injury, as I do not think I would have had much patience sitting and waiting for such an infuriatingly extended period of time undergoing such an arbitrary inquisition. After the wait, I was led into a room to wait a little longer to see the doctor. The doctor arrived and asked me another series of questions and conducted a thorough examination on my eye. After what seemed like an eternity, she put on a puzzled/concerned face and informed me that she was going to have to go consult with her superior, the head honcho of the optometrist department. Several minutes later, “Captain Eyeball” walked in with several other doctors who all crowded into our tiny room. At this point my heart began racing a little bit and worst case scenarios started racing through my head… The new doctors began poking and prodding (not so much fun as you can imagine), and conversed in hushed tones about my eyeball as though it were an inanimate object. They then instructed me to take a seat while they applied some local anaesthetic, which also did not feel like a bundle of roses when applied to my pried open eye (which put up an impressive, swollen fight and resisted most attempts to be forced open). After looking for anything further, they decided that more tests were necessary, so they trickled a few drops of this orange substance that dyed my entire eye orange. It was like someone had magically conjured some yellow sunglasses and placed them on my face, because soon as the drops began to take effect my entire field of vision on the right side of my face looked like a crazy LSD trip. (Random NASTY fun fact: later in the day I blew my nose and the entire tissue was stained orange. Gross!) Anyhoo, after some more tense minutes of careful inspection and muted conversations with vocabulary that sounded suspiciously like a foreign language, they told me to return to the hospital in a fortnight (two weeks), said that if anything drastic happened before then to come in immediately, and gave me several prescriptions for drugs to take to help minimize any side-effects of having only one usable eye (dizziness, nausea, headache, inflammation, pain, etc…). Morals of the story: 1) my eye will most likely be fine, although until it heals I will look like a gangster thug who gets in crazy street fights 2) the hospital SUCKS!
One positive that emerged from my prolonged visit to the ER was that I got the chance to walk back home by myself at a leisurely pace and explore parts of Fremantle that I hadn’t really inspected thus far. I stopped at the markets as well as other quaint little shops around Freo and thoroughly enjoyed seeing more of this wonderful place.
Lastly, last night we received V.I.P. entrance to a massive club “Metro Freo” to celebrate multiple birthdays within the P and O hotel, and wild, extravagant shenanigans were had by all during the festivities.
Sorry to belabor and overstress my rather unfortunate trip to the hospital, but rest assured (mom) all is well and life down under continues to be full of fun and frolic!!!
Much love to all the Zags starting up school soon, keep Spocompton classy