Monday, 28 February 2005

First Day

Semester has officially begun, with cold weather to suit the end-of-holiday mood. Well, sort of. There are so many people crawling all over campus now and I've just had my first lecture of the year for my psyc paper in forensic and applied psychology. The lecturer informed us that there were way too many of us taking that paper (190 of us) for a 3rd year paper. They like to keep 3rd year classes small so they can give you more attention. Anyway, she said that she's gonna try and scare as many people into dropping the paper as possble...not a very good start for the year.

After attending that lecture, I must admit that I'm a little afraid that I've "bitten off more than I can chew" as the expression goes, what with taking 3 3rd year papers and doing 3rd year psyc before 2nd year. I calculated my expected workload and I'm gonna have to put in about 7 hrs of study per day, not including lectures and labs and tutorials. It's horrifying!

Aside from that, it also dawned on me recently that I'm gonna be taking the same 2nd year psyc paper as my sister next year coz I'm doing 2nd year psyc in my 3rd year and she'll be a 2nd year then. Argh!!! Thankfully I'm only doing 1 paper though and hopefully we won't have the same lab. I can juz imagine what lectures would be like... *shudder*

I hope the day gets better coz things aren't quite on a positive start. I'm also starting to hate the weatherman....he keeps predicting bad weather.

Friday, 25 February 2005

2nd Year

I had my prelim lectures today, which consist of introductions to the lecturers and telling you what's gonna happen in the paper. I can't believe classes start on Monday. Summer vacation is over!!!! I wish it went for longer especially since I only finished summer school exams 2 days ago.

Anyway, it's nice being a 2nd year. You see all these 1st years walking around (some looking kinda lost) on campus. Haha. Ok I'm really not that mean, especially since I'm volunteering with the student support program to mentor a first year. I hope I get a nice mentee who wouldn't have too many problems!!

I got my timetable today sucks. Honestly, I hate my timetable this year. They didn't have the decency to clump classes together, but rather distributed it throughout the day...which means I don't end early. I've also currently got a 3 hour lab from 4pm to 7pm on Tuesday. It's a problem especially coz that clashes with the figure-skating classes I intend to take now that the ice-rink in Dunedin has reopened. There are several other lab times but unfortunately the only other option I can make would be 6pm to 9pm Thursdays, which stink for 2 main reasons. 1) It's so late!!! and 2) It's on Thursday. Reason 1 is not too bad, Reason 2 on the other hand really does need further consideration. Why? Coz of datelines for lab reports. The dateline don't change regardless of when your lab is on and you can't do a lab report first without doing the lab now can you? So if your lab's on Thursday, you've basically got less days to work on the report.....which sucks..

The only passably good day I have is Friday...I end classes at 1pm and I've only got 2 classes. Looking at my timetable, I forsee myself having no life whatsoever this semester...sigh. Not much I can really do though so I guess I'm gonna do all my partying this weekend. We're having a flat party tonight and gonna go clubbing tomorrow night and then it's back to classes. I'm not looking forward to it (well kind of, maybe).

Thursday, 24 February 2005

Course Disapproval

I really didn't know what in the world I was getting into when I decided last year that I'll do a combined honours degree in psyc and marketing. It really hasn't been easy to get the required approval for doing that degree and well, I'm what they call a "problem child".

I have mentioned earlier of all the red tape and stuff I needed to cut through. You'd think after all that trouble and getting a signed approval paper (though not official) things would go smooth. Yeah. Right.

I did my course approval process Tues....started off thinking things wouldn't go too bad until I went to the psyc department to try and get my papers approved... The very first thing they said when I told them I'm doing a combined honours in marketing and psyc was, "No you can't do that!" You would think that after hearing the same lines so many times since last year, I'd be immune to it. Or so I thought. Anyway then came a 1/2 hr of checking with those higher up if it was possible and after much debate, they signed me in...with a whole lot of surprise that I could actually do a combined honours cross faculty. Of course I could have told them that, but they didn't really believe me when I said I'd already seen the people higher up and gained approval.

Ok so maybe a small hiccup and things would go smoothly. Haha, wrong again. When I went to submit the form to complete course approval, the computer refused to register me and the girl doing it had to call for help. The first thing said when the administrative officer saw my combined honours degree form was...not too hard to guess...."No you can't do that!" Honestly, I was ready to cry. I mean how many rejections can a person handle? Well, it all got sorted out eventually when she made phonecalls and checked with people higher up and stuff. But the computer still wouldn't accept it so they had to do it manually later on.

Sigh...the only good thing is that I'm probably gonna be the only person graduating with a combined honours in marketing and psyc coz from all looks, nobody has done it before. At least that's what they keep telling me....

Monday, 21 February 2005


I've got an exam today! ARGH!!! Ok actually it's french so it isn't too bad...I think. Marketing is on Wed & that's one nasty paper. So dead so dead so dead.

One piece of good news in the week...I've finally got all my furniture installed in my room!! Got my new mattress too!! Say goodbye to backaches from a way-too-thin-you-can-feel-the-bed-slats mattress. Got my dresser which has a humongous mirror...a gigantic step up from de tiny make-up mirror I was using b4! It's a really pretty dresser....if only it wasn't bright orange. When I say bright orange I really mean bright bright orange. I'll take photos of my room after exams & post them here...I'm rather happy with my room.

ARGH!! Exams!! Ok I'd better go study....

Thursday, 17 February 2005

Examen Oral de Français

Aujourd'hui matin, j'ai un examen oral de français. Cet examen a été quinze minutes et il a allé très rapide. Il n'a pas été très difficile. Ma professeur de français s'est renseignée sur ma famille et l'avenir, ce qui été un peu difficile mais j'espère je ferai bien! L'examen final français vient, donc je pratique parle en français. Désolé pour mon français mal...


I spent almost $300 today purchasing a new mattress for my's a nice spring mattress, but there's now a hold in my pocket which hurts. I wonder if I could have gotten somthing cheaper. Argh! Why are beds so expensive here? My furniture all in all has cost me just about $600...everything is 2nd hand aside from the mattress. I'm quite happy with all the stuff I've got although my account is being bled dry.

I've also just realised that technically I'm no longer being supported by my parents. Gosh, I feel so old... My tuition fees and textbooks are being paid for by the student loan I applied for from the NZ govt & the govt also gives me $160 per week (which thankfully I don't have to return!!) for living expenses. It's enough to pay for rent, food, electricity with a bit to save. I can see why there's no way you can't survive in NZ coz as long as you get about $160 per week of income, you'd be sweet. Obviously though, you're gonna have to do without extravagant luxuries, but it's possible.

I was thinking of getting a job though, but I've yet to find one that suits me...I need a solely weekend job although I wonder if I would be too busy when semester starts to juggle study and a job. Wonder if I could get a part-time job in'll be good to earn in euros considering that living costs are really high there. I just might have to borrow $$ from my much for independence.

Tuesday, 15 February 2005

Trash Day

It's a deceptively warm day today (i.e. it looks warm but it's cold) & it's also trash day. You can tell some of what the occupants of a flat are like juz by looking at their trash...or rather what they dump in their recycling bins. Like you know who are the party people...highly likely students, coz they'd have heaps and heaps of beer bottles in their recycling bin. You also know which is their favourite brew... As each flat is only given 1 recycling bin, those with more than 1 stole bins from the neighbours. Actually ours got stolen by someone & we took someone else's & labelled it ours with a permanent marker.

I had to get up pretty early this morning to take out the trash before collection time and it's not because we forgot to put it out last night. We found out the hard way that if you put your trash out the night before, some miscreant come during the night and rips a hole at the bottom of your trash bag to look for food, then your trash doesn't get collected. The city council is pretty fussy about how your trash is presented for collection. They don't collect it unless it's properly tied up in one of the council trash bags you purchase for about $1 per bag at the supermarkets. Beside this, the bag can't have a hole, if it does they don't collect it. If it's not tied, they won't collect it.

The previous 2 weeks we ended up having to use another bag to put the trash in because of the hole...which meant we ran outta trash bags fast. So I guess our choices are to wake up early or to pay (in trash bags) for extra sleep!! Now, if I had a gun and caught that animal who has been making those holes....

Monday, 14 February 2005

Happy Valentine's Day

Once again it's the florists and gift store proprietors' favourite time of the year. It's horrendous how much they're charging for flowers and gifts. I walked past this florist yesterday and 2 roses cost a whooping $25!!! Do you know how many meals you could buy for that amount?

My flatmate basically went crazy...she went all out to make this choc, lolly, biscuit house for her bf and was up till like 5am for a couple of days making it. She also spent alot of money on it. The result looks fantastic, but unfortunately it can't be eaten despite being made out of edibles...coz well, she used superglue. But anyway, I think she'll be pretty glad that vday has finally arrived and all considering the amount of time and money she threw into making the perfect present. In any case, we won't be seeing her around the flat till really late tonight.

This is a perfect time to spend with friends and all for those who are single, I reckon. Unfortunately for me, I'm gonna be spending time with the textbooks...or rather lecture notes since I have no textbooks for marketing, what with the exams being next week and all.

People are starting to return from the summer break and it's kinda weird seeing so many people around campus now and the computer labs pretty much filled. I really need to get that internet connection so I dun have to rely so much on the filled computer labs!!!

Friday, 11 February 2005

Degrees & Red Tape

It's another nasty dreary rainy cold day...and exams are in 2 weeks...well less than that. I wonder if they'll kick me out of the honours program if I don't do well in my marketing 202 paper. That would be a disaster considering all de trouble I went through to settle and get approval for my degree. The uni is pretty flexible especially since I wanna do a combined honours but there's alot of red tape and paper work to go through. I've had to see alot of 'high-ranking' people in both the departments of psychology and marketing and have spent hours talking with them...

Lots of stuff can go wrong with a complicated degree that requires special permission for practically every paper. I wonder sometimes why I'm making life difficult for why don't I just do an ordinary degree? I start panicking every time something goes wrong...I think my lifespan has been shortened by quite a bit since.

Life-shortening Experience 1
Last year I emailed the psyc HOD to ask for special permission to do 3rd year psyc this year and do 2nd year psyc next year instead coz I wanted to go on exchange in 2nd semester and so I couldn't take psyc papers in 2nd semester. Anyway I mentioned I intended to do a combined honours degree in marketing and psyc. To my horror, he emailed back saying I couldn't do a combined honours degree in marketing and psyc coz it was 2 different faculties and u can only do a combined honours within the same faculty. Well if you had planned out your entire degree and took papers towards that degree you would have panicked like I did after being told that you can't do that degree. I emailed him to explain my "special situation" and arranged to see him and we managed to work something out so all was good on the condition that I maintain my grades and get admitted into the honours program for both marketing and psyc.

Life-shortening Experience 2
As I said my degree was conditional on my getting into honours for both marketing and psyc. So when I got an invitation to apply for psyc but not for marketing I panicked. I emailed the marketing department and asked why I didn't qualify. Anyway it was some time before they emailed me back to say that I did meet the criteria and they didn't know why I didn't receive an invitation, but I could download it off de school of business website and post it. So I did.

Life-shortening Experience 3
I wanted to do a combined honours with psyc as a science subject rather than an arts subject. However, this year the honours coordinator for psyc send me a letter saying that I've got into honours, but it would be under arts coz I didn't have enough points worth of science papers. Yep it's true I didn't have enough, but there was no way I could have had more science points given that I had to do marketing papers as well and I was taking the maximum course load. I emailed the honours coordinator to ask how I could get into the science honours roll and she had to check with the head of science faculty to see if they could make a special exception. And they did, but it took some time.

I am hoping that all will go smoothly from now, but it prob won't. I, however, now know why so many people choose to do med, or dentistry or's have your whole degree planned out for you...

Oh wait! There's a moral to the story...and the moral is: Email is the most wonderful invention for helping to ease life-shortening experiences pertaining to complicated degrees. 8p

Thursday, 10 February 2005

Happy New Year Zzzz...

I am sorely in need of sleep. Last night I couldn't get to sleep till 2am despite not sleeping the whole night before. I was lying in bed trying to sleep and counted de number of hours I've been awake...and de lucky number was 41.

For those who are wondering why in the world I didn't sleep, blame the marketing department and the fact that I don't have a printer at home. My assignment was due this morning, but I had to finish it by yesterday morning so I could print it out before my classes and drop it off on time...wouldn't have had time to print it out and get it in this morning otherwise.

Ok, so maybe it was my fault too for procrastinating. But well the assignment was soooo boring and I believe it took me far longer to complete than the other coz I had to draw like 7 charts and even with Photoshop's ability to record actions it took hours. I think I spent on average about 3 hours per chart and I've not even counted the writing of the report!! I hope I made some sense in it coz you never know what weird stuff you might end up writing when your brain is fried.

The funny thing was that despite not having slept for so long, I was kinda perky albeit a little lightheaded de whole day. I stayed awake during both my lectures (had 4 hrs worth) and I think I even did retain some of de lecture material. I was quite amazed since the previous times when I pulled all-nighters to complete assignments (marketing of course!) I was zombified the next day. Strange...

Anyway it was CNY yesterday and there wasn't anything special really. It was juz another ordinary day here in Dunedin...aside from the fact that the weather has turned foul again. But well Happy New Year to those who had a celebration. I'm hoping that they celebrate CNY properly with all de foodstuffs in Milan next year, otherwise 3 years without CNY food is quite terrible to comtemplate...

Tuesday, 8 February 2005


We had a really heavy downpour which went on for quite some time yesterday. Actually it should probably be called a storm. The glass roof of the commerce building where I had my marketing lecture leaks like when it rained yesterday you basically needed an umbrella just to cross inside the building!! The leaks were so bad, at one part a mini-waterfall had been established coz the water was coming through as if someone was standing on de roof pouring buckets of water down. It was that bad. We also literally had rapids (no kidding) down the wide flight of stairs between the third (on ground level) and second floor. Honestly I've never seen anything like that before...within a building too!! They had to shut off that entrance coz there was way too much water at the steps and gushing from the "waterfall" near the entrance. I doubt any sane person would actually want to use that exit anyway coz there's no way you could have stayed dry.

This morning a lot of shops have closed for the day (possibly the week)coz it flooded pretty bad in town yesterday. Quite a few of them are also offering jobs for helping to shift stuff and dry out de carpet etc. Lectures and tutes held in the commerce building have been moved to other parts of de uni for de week coz the building got flooded...surprise surprise. The ironic thing is that the commerce building is one of the most modern buidings (and ugliest) on campus. Doesn't say much about modern architecture aye? Especially when the 136 year old buildings are still solid and don't leak. The commerce building is famous for leakages and broken limbs (from people falling down de stairs which gets very slippery when wet...a leaking roof doesn't help keep it dry in de building)'s a pretty dangerous place. Too bad though that rain doesn't cancel anything....I dun suppose you could get rained in...unlike snow... 8p

Monday, 7 February 2005

Thin Walls & Flatmates

It's amazing how thin the walls in my flat are. You can hear everthing going on in de adjoining rooms. My room is beside de bathroom and I can hear everything anyone does in there...pretty much. It's not very pleasant really coz it means that if one of my flatmates chooses to take a shower at half past 7 in de morning I get woken up by de sound of de shower...which has happened a couple of times.

I suppose it's worse for my sister though coz her room adjoins my other flatmate's room and her brother moved in with us over the weekend and is sharing her room till the end of the year. Basically my sister is kept awake by the conversation between de 2 of them in de next room should they decide to talk while she's trying to sleep.

All in all though I suppose it isn't so bad. Could be worse, like if you had a sexually active flatmate...and paper thin walls. Last year, one of my flatmates flatted out with a sexually active friend. Let's just say she heard lots of stuff through her walls that she really didn't wanna hear and heard enough to know that her flatmate wasn't getting much sleep.

Anyway, Peter arrived this morning so de flat is full now. It's gonna be interesting with so many people in de flat. He didn't cut his hair and with his beret-cap and his red hair, I told him he looked like a typical English kid...except you can't really call him a kid at 1.8++m. But he looked like an English newspaper boy...all that was missing was a bicycle. He doesn't intend to cut his hair throughout the year...I really wonder how that would turn out...I might make him cut it if it looks too horrendous, but we'll see...

Friday, 4 February 2005


Weather seems to be pretty crazy lately. It was really foggy all over the whole of yesterday, not juz up in the hills where I am, but also in town which is at de very bottom. You can juz see the fog swirling about and it's kinda depressing.

Anyway, got my furniture yesterday thanks to my sister's homestay, or should I say, ex-homestay parent. She really a darling, borrowed the yewt from her workplace to drive down and help move all our furniture...well what we bought anyway. Then came the arduous process of carting all the furniture pieces up the stairs to my room and then re-assembling them. Had some trouble with the screws on the bed coz some screws got mixed up with those my sister had, resulting in missing screws for mine. The bed was relatively easy to assemble though. It was my desk that gave quite a bit of problem...mainly coz de pieces were heavy and there are some weird cams that don't tighten very well. I also didn't have a big enough screwdriver but thankfully de screws mostly needed an Alan Key so it wasn't too bad.

My room now ooks a whole lot better, aside from de fact that I have to get a new mattress for de bed coz the one that came with it was far too thin. But the room's a whole lot neater with furniture in. Now I'll juz have to go about procuring a dresser, some drawers and a bookshelf for myself and then ask my sister's homestay parent for help...again. Oh well, it's fortunate we know some nice people who can drive stuff that can carry furniture.

Thursday, 3 February 2005


Juz got my marketing assignment yesterday. Whoopee...another 10 page report, another 1 week dateline. Isn't it juz fantastic? This one's harder (why am I not surprised)'s some research thing where we need to come up with de research ourselves from de case. Gave us like 3 pages of stuff...bah!

On top of that, my furniture is ready to be moved in today. Guess when I got notice? TODAY. Great! Brilliant! What in de world do they expect me to do on such a short notice? I need to go rent a trailer, get someone to drive, people to help carry de furniture etc. Sounds like I've got it all worked out aye? Yeah right. These things need time and I can't quite go out and settle all this when I've got classes till 6pm. Argh!! Stupid stupid people.....

Wednesday, 2 February 2005

No Life!!!

Last night it occurred to my flatmates and I that we were really in a pathetic state of having nothing better to do. The days have been consumed by work, but at night there isn't much to do unless you go out clubbing and stuff (which is more appealing now that smoking in clubs has been banned. In any case, we're not really party people so mostly nights are spent sitting around in the kitchen after dinner talking about random stuff and laughing our heads off. There's this chair in the kitchen we're convinced has something in it. The pattern has been that whoever sits in that chair becomes crazy...

Anyway, the night before, 3 of us were sitting in front of the tv watching Extreme Makeovers: Home Edition with our dinner on our laps....and crying over the programme coz it was so touching. My sister was crying so hard she couldn't eat. We used up like 50 pieces of tissue.... Last night we sat in the kitchen for hours practicing tying a knot with the cherry stalk in our mouths. We had a whole bagful of cherries (most of which were stalkless as of this morning) and pawed through the bag looking for longer stalks to use. The result? Yep managed to get the stalks in knots although the stalks came out black from being mangled rather than the green they originally were. One of my flatmates also accidentally chewed a stalk into half. Well now that makes for a very interesting night huh? Sigh....