LYJ

Frisbee in Adelaide

I decided to keep up with frisbee in Adelaide. Actually, to do more than keep up – I want to improve this year. So I joined a social league team as well as a women’s league team with Flinders University Ultimate Frisbee Club. Most of the people on the social team are my classmates and their partners and there’s a good mix of girls on the woman’s team. Everyone is very nice and willing to give advice and be patient as others learn. They also have a good structure running their club, like running different drills and pointing out specific skills that we could be focusing on improving during the game.

Having played a summer team in Saskatoon, I am more comfortable on the field compared to when I first started out. But despite the slightly raised level of comfort, I have a lot to work on, especially when it comes to being on the offence. I never learned what to do when on the offence properly and I’m finding it very useful to play games and practices where there are highly qualified players (some play for the national team) coaching us on what to do. I think I understand what “stack” means now, although putting it into action is still tricky.

I play twice a week, which may be a bit too much commitment but I will probably get busier as time goes by anyways. Shawn bought me a sport shirt and a pair of bright yellow cleats as Valentine’s gifts so that I can work on my frisbee game. 🙂

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Surfari

I think it’s safe to say that Surfari marks the end of med school orientation.

On Friday, I left for Victor Harbour with 1st and 2nd years for a weekend of camping and surfing. Friday night was a BBQ followed by a chilling session, Aussie style. Some guys brought a didgeridoo, djembe drums, and a guitar for a jam session but we got kicked out for making too much noise so naturally, we all moved to the oval, which is just a big open area (like a baseball diamond). Because of fire restrictions in South Australia, campfires are forbidden. So the traditional camping activities that I was looking forward to, like campfires, s’mores and cozying up by the fire, was non-existent. The next morning after breakfast, we took off to the beach for a day of surfing.

The surfing lesson itself was pretty short, probably about 15 minutes or so. I tried for probably an hour to surf but I didn’t really succeed. Most of the time, I was trying to get out far enough to catch the bigger waves, which was basically jumping over the waves with my board. A few times I caught decent waves but didn’t have the guts to stand up so I stayed on my knees, except for once when I stood up for a split second. I didn’t drink a lot of sea water but I did fall fair bit. By the end, I found myself washing up on shore with Jaein and Rachel. Although I didn’t do too well, it was pretty fun and I would do it again.

After dinner at the Crown, I came back home so that I would have Sunday to recoup and study. This week is going to be pretty busy too…school is still very fun though and I do get out to do extracurricular stuffs! The only complaint is that I don’t know if I will have energy mid-week to go grocery shopping at the Central Market with my trolley. I probably will. 🙂

In Full Throttle

I am not “in full throttle”. Life around me is.

My school is easing us into a routine that is still pretty exciting for me. Social events are too frequent and sometimes too wild to keep up with but I do plan to go on a surfing camp trip, 2 house parties and a pyrotechnics display in the next week. There’s lots happening and perhaps too much to keep up with – I missed two dance classes in a row and a frisbee practice – but it’s still a student’s life.

There are others around me who are experiencing babies, caring for sick loved ones, starting their residency training, getting engaged, getting married, getting a divorce, and starting awesome new jobs. All of these are of separate individuals but it’s helped me realize that I am now at an age where I am in the middle of life in full throttle. Big events are starting to happen around me and I feel a little like I’m in a student bubble although I guess going to school itself is a big event. I’m not going to focus on things that I am missing out on and just enjoy the next few years because it’ll be gone in a flash.

Now, here’s a pretty song by Tori Amos, who is my study companion.:

A Free Minute

I’m in second week of school and it’s busy, boring, challenging, and awesome.

They’re giving us lots of info but most of it is just to get us settled into their curriculum format. Flinders does problem-based learning (PBL) so there is lots of student-directed learning that goes on. I think it’s a pretty good program so far!

Boring is well because some stuff has been pretty basic. I swear there is a lecture that felt longer than my first week of school – and that was a long week! But it’s still challenging because of the student-directed learning part. My PBL group comes up with good questions and learning issues and  we each go off and look stuff up before reporting back.

It’s also awesome because it’s pretty chummy around the school. I’m still meeting new people – or re-meeting people that I have already met but don’t remember. There are all sorts of people like in undergrad so it’s going to be interesting. There are lots of social things going on. Meet-&-greet, pubcrawl, BBQs, quiz night, housewarming, etc. I have had more alcohol in the past week and a half than the last few years combined.

Shawn and I are going WCS dancing tonight so I gotta get some work done before we head off! 🙂

Update: Boo, boyfriend sick so no dancing. 😦 Missing it two weeks in a row!

Twas the Night Before Med School

And all was exciting!

I had my international students only orientation today, which was somewhat informative but really was another excuse to see the international students. There was a guy who had been in Adelaide for the past month but missed out on a lot because he wasn’t on the mailing list, a girl who arrived just yesterday and many usual people that I’ve seen already. We have our own winery tour on Saturday so that should be fun times.

I got my eyes checked and ordered glasses for next week. My right eye is the “bad eye” and if I was to get contacts, I would only need one for my bad eye. I think I will get used to wearing glasses first then move onto contacts or something. The optometrist was very nice and said that my English sounds funny – he was Asian so I wasn’t offended but maybe I would’ve been if he was white?

Tonight I took Shawn to Third Foot Adelaide’s West Coast Swing dance lesson and social dance. He had done WCS before but I am pretty sure he learned it wrong it Saskatoon because his counts are off. Other than that, he’s a fairly strong leader and gentle enough too. Many women were thrilled that there was another young guy with potential and very glad that he would be around for the next 4 years. Shawn enjoyed it a lot too so we’ll be going back as often as we can.

I gotta get up bright and early tomorrow and make my way to school to get my locker and start orienting. After a full day of orientation is a pre-drinks party at a second year’s house then a meet and greet at a bar. It’s going to be awesome!! 🙂

Visas and health issues

At the internationals’ dinner last Saturday night, I spoke to some second years who strongly advised me that getting Shawn onto my visa would be very helpful for his job hunting in Australia. Given that he hasn’t had any luck yet and thinking out the logic behind it, we decided to do just that.

Because of internet technicalities, we have to lodge paper applications for our visas and I noticed that on the paper forms, it asks me if I will be studying to become a doctor and if so, I would need a medical check done!! Online forms just asked if I would be working as a doctor so I didn’t need a medical check for the student visa I got back in October. Some second years thought it was weird that some of us didn’t get a medical check but I guess now I need to have it done.

I went to the medibank office for my first appointment where they do screening, bloodwork and x-rays. During my screening, I flunked the eye test with my right eye. It was pretty pathetic. I couldn’t make out even the single biggest letter on the wall – I guessed an H, it was a T. Although U of Saskatchewan med students were in awe of my apparent 20/20 vision by their ways of testing eye sight, today’s eye exam revealed that I am almost blind in one eye. This would explain why the other eye twitches and I get massive headaches. Shawn thinks that this would also explain why I sometimes think that he is making weird faces at me.

So I booked an appointment with an optometrist this Thursday after my orientation. I’ve been here for a while, enjoying a leisurely lifestyle and just as school is about to start, I have these errands and issues pop up. That’s the way it goes!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love. Love. Love.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all! 🙂

I slept in after staying until midnight at last night’s dinner at Dr. Tony Edwards’ house for the international students. I gotta get my social fitness on. I met some very lovely friendly people and the food was amazing. It was a great opportunity to meet and greet and mingle. I can’t wait until O-Week activities and school starts!! It’s going to be so much fun!!!

Shawn and I had lunch at Sushi Train on Grenfell St. I’ve been having sushi quite often because it’s relatively cheap and pretty good quality. We picked up some chocolate at Haigh’s and headed up to Adelaide Zoo.

We saw lots of animals at the zoo and I was surprised at how much fun it was. There were some native Australian animals like koalas, kangaroos, wallabys, etc. and the zoo just got two giant pandas in December so we went to see them too. For a zoo that’s within walking distance from downtown, it was impressively big and entertaining.

I was pretty tired from walking around and got a few mosquito bites including one on my foot!! So we ordered great Indian food from Raj on Taj – Hyde Park instead of going out for a Valentine’s dinner. This week is going to be pretty hectic. Some housekeeping errands to run and orientation activities begin! 🙂

Thursday Nights

I now know what I will be doing on Thursday nights when I don’t need to be studying or other school-related things.

West Coast Swing at Third Foot Adelaide!!

I have known for a while that there was a WCS group in Adelaide but kept forgetting to go check it out. I’m so glad that I went. People were very friendly, welcoming and quality of instruction was impressive. There are some good dancers and lots for me to learn, which is great!! I got a concession rate for a lesson, which is 45 minutes long followed by 30 minutes of dancing. Some dance studios offer classes and dances that run way too long that you become a sloppy tired dancer but I think 1.25 hours of dancing is perfect. They even did a warm up sort of line dancing! After learning all 14 moves of the beginner course, you can enter a competition and get a medallion that puts you on the international swing something registry (I think it’s like Taewondo). At the end of the night, I met a few people during the class and afterward at the bakery, and was given a ride home by a complete stranger. I am so happy that I went there and I will try to go as often as I can. 🙂

No More Melting!!

I bought a portable air con today at The Good Guys – Edwardstown from a Canadian salesperson, Paul W. He offered a great deal on a unit that was already on sale and now my lounge is at a cool 24 degrees. 8)

The hot weather in Adelaide comes in waves. There are warm days where temperatures linger at high 20’s during the day and it’s cooler in the mornings and evenings. Once in a while, there are cool days where temperature “falls” to low 20’s and you see a few people wearing sweaters and jackets. Then there are 3-4 days of heat wave, where temperatures spike up to above 30’s and reach even over 40’s. It’s not too different from severe heat wave days in Toronto where people are encouraged to stay inside and drink lots of fluid and tele-commute to work, except that people here go about their own business like it’s another day. Some even wear jeans – full-length!!

Thankfully, the next few days will be cooler. I hope there won’t be too many more heat waves for the rest of this summer.

Waiting Game

So it’s been a month now since I’ve been in Adelaide. Now that I’m pretty much all set up, I need to think of ways to fill my days because internet can only entertain me for so long.

I made an eye pillow from scratch. I went to Lincraft (kind of like a mixture of Fabricland and Michael’s but more chaotic and less pretty) and got fabrics and a sewing kit. I picked up some linseeds (flaxseeds) and dried lavender flowers from health food stores in Central Market. When I was in Toronto, I really enjoyed restorative yoga classes at Kula yoga and I have been wanting to get an eye pillow ever since. I was so surprised at how relaxing it is. Now that I’ve made one with the help of internet, I can relax my eyes any time I want. I plan to make one for Shawn too.

I’ve been to the library, the beach, and I don’t want to go to my school because I will be there plenty later on. International and interstate students are arriving now to settle in before school begins. I went out for a meet and greet dinner and drinks with them last Saturday and there were about 20 people who showed up. We ate at a nice Thai restaurant called Lemongrass, then moved a few blocks down to Belgium Beer Cafe where I had a glass of Stella Artois. Maybe I’m going into student mode (and I usually hate beer) but I enjoyed my beer very much. Some second years came by to meet us and lead us to a place with cheaper beer across the street, called Electric Light Hotel. Thinking back, I can’t remember many people very well but there will be lots of time to be spent with each other in the years to come.

One thing I took away from the beer night is that people in Adelaide dress up to go to the bar. Like clubbing dress up. So yesterday, I went to the Marion shopping centre to escape the heat and to pick up a pair of heels. It’s been pretty hot the last few days and although there are many great things about my place, air conditioning is not one of them. So I am wondering now if I should get one because I can’t focus enough to make food, let alone study, when it’s hot. I will probably buy one tomorrow.