It has been almost 4 months since my last entry, talk about an extended and unprecedented absence; with valid reasons, nonetheless.
After a long spell of writer’s block, contributed mostly by my hectic academic schedule and my uncanny ability at procrastination, I finally coerced myself to actually sit at my desk and pen an entry to catch up with everyone.
So, what ‘major’ changes have transpired since my last entry? To state the obvious, it was summer 4 months ago and now it’s winter over here in Middle Earth. Snow? None in sight! Well, at least not in Dunedin. Although there was one day when the weather forecast predicted that there’ll be snow in the Otago region but alas, it was a false alarm!
My first semester in Otago officially ended about 3 weeks ago. While everybody else was killing brain neurons, bent over lecture notes and burning a hole in their pockets due to the sudden surge in electricity consumption as a result of staying up late for revision, I was gleefully enjoying my winter break up North, at Auckland & Rotorua. Oh yes, we postgraduate students DO NOT have final exams! All hail the internal assessments conducted throughout the semester!
I must confess that I have travelled to many places this semester. I have virtually toured most of the notable tourist attractions in the North & South islands. I should postpone any travelling plans for the time being considering the fact that I will still be here for another year. I never travelled back in Malaysia. NZ is indeed a good country to satisfy my insatiable wanderlust. Next on my list: Aussie & Fiji? Fingers crossed! I will write separate entries about my road trips, here’s a rough outline of my travel itinerary for the first semester:
1. Easter break- South Island road trip (Invercargill, Stewart Island, Te Anau, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Wanaka, Mt Cook National Park & Twizel)
2. Glenfalloch Garden, Larnach Castle & Tunnel Beach outing
3. Moeraki Boulders, Elephant Rocks & Oamaru day trip
4. Winter break- North Island road trip (Auckland, Rotorua & Coromandel)
I will be heading to Lake Tekapo, Oamaru and possibly Timaru & Mt Cook National Park tomorrow. That’ll be the final road trip before the new semester commences. There shall be no more road trips till the second mid-semester break!
It has been such an eventful semester that it’s an impossible feat to summarise everything in one post. I’ll just come up with a list of random statements which will give everyone a rough idea about what I have been up to throughout the semester
1. Volunteered twice for OUSA- ANZAC day Poppy Appeal & the 2012 Capping Show: Capocalypse
2. Submitted 3 research proposals, 3 research projects, 2 assignments
3. Survived a 2-hour individual presentation on the Dependency Locality Theory
4. First ever live rugby match at the brand new Forysth Barr Stadium
5. Spent an average of 5 hours at the Central Library every day, extended hours during weekends
6. Staple food: Peanut butter & chocolate sandwich, Cookie Time cookies, Coupland’s mince pies & quiches, yoghurt
7. Turned on the heat pump less than 8 times throughout the semester! Amazing! Tips or survival: sweaters, socks, woolen gloves & blankets
8. Bluebird potato chips=comfort food
9. Grabone NZ=favourite site to snag good bargains for virtually anything imaginable
10. Participated in 3 psychology experiments and was remunerated for all 3
11. Sabahan Kaamatan Gathering/IMP Food Testing & Movie Night/Malaysian Food Festival
12. Watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy after visiting some of the filming sites
13. Witnessed the annual Midwinter Carnival parade
14. Learned how to operate an EFTPOS machine
15. Jumped off a high-rise building (AWESOME!)