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La Escuela

AUSTRALIA | Tuesday, 7 March 2017 | Views [397] | Comments [1]

WOWOWOWOW. So school started this week. A full load here is considered four classes, and I’m taking 1. The Future of Business 2. Cultural Anthropology 3. Qualitative Business Analysis (Statistics) and 4. Accounting, Business, and Society.


Fun fact about my school, my class has the highest ATAR scores of any other class ever admitted to the university. ATAR is a ranking system for all students applying to university in Australia, with a 99.5 being perfect. It is all merit based, in efforts to get rid of patronage (so I’ve been told at least). The lowest rank accepted in my class was a 97, which I’m assuming was me because I don’t know how I qualified for this! Either way, every professor has commented on it, and said given our scores we should all be more than capable of handling the material.

So I love love love my future of business and anthropology course, so far. The professors are really excited about what they are talking about and I’m already engaged in the material.

We’re doing a live case study with Unilever in the future of business, and I’m excited to continuously apply what we are doing in class to the case study. If you don’t think you know this company, google it. You have probably used many of their products in the past day! The professor is pretty young and got his PhD from Arizona State University. He is actually quite upfront about the difficulty of the course. He told us what will be truly difficult, what type of grader he is, and what material we should breeze through. So far in my studies, I’ve always followed the logic of my business courses well, so I’m hoping it will be similar situation. That being said, I’m going to apply myself more than usual because everyone else is making it seem incredibly difficult…


Anthropology is just getting started, but it is already feeding my desire to travel. Still being in the early stages, we are doing lots of definitions, but the small studies within the readings are right up my ally. For example: Did you know there are tribes in Papa New Guinea that homosexuality is valued over heterosexuality? Heterosexuality is stigmatized and allowed only for reproduction. Or that in some cultures people are taught to defecate while standing? These examples are few of many that makes me want to know everything there is to know about the rest of the world.


My statistics class and accounting class I am less excited for. I am still trying to get my credits from NIC properly applied to my courses, and until that happens I need to be enrolled in these units. I’ve already taken these at NIC, but the university system is choosing to test my patience J. Those classes are also the only units I’m required to buy a book for, and at over $100 each I’m going to postpone that until I know it’s truly necessary (love you Dad).


I am meeting lots of people! The hard part (I’m nice, I promise) is finding people to genuinely want to spend my time with. I took my relationships at home for granted, and forgot how much work it took to have such an amazing group of people surrounding me. I thank yoga for this, but I feel quite capable of identifying people I want to be around. I also have little interest in wasting my time/energy with people I know I don’t “click” with. So of all the people I’ve met, I have hit it off with 3 girls really well. This gives me lots of hope and having that connection has really helped with the “settling into life” phase.


My housemates are lovely. Harry, the cello player in the process of getting his masters, takes me to lots of places I would never see on my own. He took me to a park that looks weirdly like Tubbs Hill, to a hill in Sydney park with incredible views of the city, and to a coffee shop that had an incredible view of the harbor fifteen minutes outside the city. He invites me to gatherings him and his friends are having, and his girlfriend Alicia is so friendly. Emily, Harry’s mother, is quite the lady. She is going back to university to get some kind of art degree. She has been working with glass blowing and clay sculptures, so her stories have been fascinating. She is Dutch, so her general culture and way of thinking has been an adventure to understand. She is very strong willed, and is very educated on world history. I genuinely feel like I learn something from her in every conversation we have, and she makes really funny “off-color” jokes that I’m never expecting.

Jeremy, the PhD student who wants to bring sustainable water to the Pacific Islands, is quite (self admittedly) introverted. He doesn’t usually have much to say, but at the same time is so friendly and I think he is warming up to the house more. Him and I went down to the Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras parade together. SO MUCH FUN. Keeping in mind the festivities that go along with Mardi Gras, the flamboyance and glitter of the Gay & Lesbian themed parade was even more exciting.
Side note* Gay marriage isn’t legal in Australia, but there were government floats in the parade. The police, firefighters, emergency services, and a marines group all walked or had floats in the parade. It’s great that they all support the LGBT+ community, but I just thought that was really interesting.


I found a job! I’m assisting at a hair salon up the street from my house. It’s about a 15-minute walk, and I haven’t sorted out all the details yet. I’m supposed to meet with the owner on Saturday to make my hours and discuss my pay. I have been told to negotiate, but I already can’t comprehend minimum wage is $17/ hour or $21.25/hour (it’s different for the kind of work you are doing, and I’m not sure which category I fall into yet). The job is pretty simple, but the two ladies who own the salon are quite free spirited business women, and create a really fun work environment. I’m going to continue looking for jobs on the university website that will hopefully pertain more to my degree, but I am grateful to have this opportunity as of right now!


Also, I had an interview with a group called Project Everest. In place of an elective, I could do a four week trip with the group to bring a sustainable business to developing countries. For example, they were responsible for the microloans with low interest rates in India or cheap straws that filter water for people who don’t have access to clean water. My phone interview went really well, but I’m not fully convinced if this is something I am interested in pursuing. More research to come though, and I have another interview this Sunday so I will ask lots of questions then! But the trip would count towards my degree and is cheaper than what I pay per class at uSyd, so maybe just to save money? (love you Dad). Apparently it is really competitive though, so we will have to wait and see!


I miss my family every day. It’s unfortunate that I forgot my phone as often as I do, because I could truly be talking to them non stop. It has gotten significantly easier. For about a week I remember thinking how badly I just wanted a really genuine hug! Don’t get me wrong, I could still go for one, but it is less consistently on my mind. My mom mentioned getting my Dad out to see me, and I told her we had to wait. As much as I would kill to hang out with my Dad for a week here, I need to know I’m capable of handling this preliminary process on my own. I’m getting there, but I know having family visit right now could set me back more than help. Otherwise, I would have asked Grandma and Grandpa to visit and I know they’d already be here! I thank my lucky stars for my family every day. They have given me many tools to prepare for this experience, and I’m thrilled to show them, and myself, what I’m capable of.


I didn’t proofread this, so please excuse any grammar/spelling issues.


So much love from Sydney!


Tags: #firstdaysofschool #usyd



Just a note to say I love you and am very proud!
The conversational way you write is perfect for this type of information. it keeps us all informed!
Study hard but remember to have fun too!
Love ACC

  Cathy Heider Mar 13, 2017 10:00 AM

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