Congratulations to all the seniors who have graduated!!! The semeseter here is absolutely flying by. Three more weeks until finals and the pressure is building! It may be me adopting the “no worries” attitude or just my increasing apathy towards school, but why is finding the motivation to study so hard??
Luckily (or unluckily) there are a million things I can distract myself with here. Last weekend I took a little of the pressure off by getting four hours of sleep and waking early for a day of surfing with my friends Elizabeth and Arianna (not to be confused with Arianna “Air” Bohning). Amidst a week of chilly, rainy weather, last Saturday was a beacon of sunshine and warmth – the perfect day to surf! We arrived in the city to catch our 7:45AM pickup to Torquay (pronouced Tor-kee), a little town famous for its surfing. I had only gone surfing briefly once before during the start of the semester welcome event at Lorne, and I was determined to beat my previous record of remaining standing for a whole 3 seconds. Our instructor James was a vision of the stereotypical Australian surfer, you know, long, wavy blond hair. The works. He took us to Point Addis, a beautiful and secluded spot to surf where the waves aren’t too big. We donned our wetsuits, applied sunscreen to the face and feet, and departed down the steps to the beach with big foam boards under our arms. I’d like to say I was a natural, but in all honesty I have trouble keeping my balance on solid ground so doing so on a board in the undulating ocean is…a tad more difficult. But we were there for the day and after a few hours I think I began to get the hang of it. Toward the end of our lessons I was able to stand up and ride to shore on maybe 1 out of every 4 waves I tried to catch – success! Surfing is addicting, it is full of wipeouts, gagging on saltwater, and failure, but when you catch a wave you feel so accomplished! Before we headed back to Torquay we stopped by a lookout over Bell’s Beach, famous for hosting the world’s longest running surf competition annually. Also as a fun fact, the final scene of Point Break (1991) was filmed here. It was a fantastic day and one train and tram ride later I was in my bed by 9:30PM. I slept VERY well that night. Sorry I don’t have any surfing action shots, but it probably looks cooler in your imagination.
Whenever I go to the grocery store here I try to keep my eyes open for new things to try. Well this week I happened upon patties of kangaroo meat. As the old saying goes: when in Rome try their weird meats. Verdict: it tastes like a regular hamburger, except denser and chewier.
O.K. now to address the enigmatic title of this week’s blog. Two days ago there was an event for us International Students at Bounce, a popular trampoline and obstacle course facility. There’s something so freeing about bouncing on trampolines – it takes you back to memories of childhood when times were simpler. Remember eariler when I said I have trouble balancing on solid ground? Well that also applies to trampolines and padded surfaces. Not but 15 minutes into my joyous romp I descended down an incline in a miscalculated manner and ended up with a sprained ankle. Many an ice-pack and compression bandage later I am still lying on my back with an inflamed ankle high above me on a stack of pillows. At least it made for blog content.
O.K. those are pretty much the more exciting things that happened this past week. I’m heading to Sydney this weekend (hopefully not in crutches) and I am so excited! Stay tuned for picturesque opera houses and disappointed looks upon finding out 42 Wallaby Way doesn’t actually exist. Cheers!
This week, in honor of my lunch, the animal we will be covering is none other than the iconic kangaroo – specifically those in the genus Macropus, which are the big ones.
The word “Kangaroo” comes from the Guugu Yimithirr word “gangurru” and was first recorded by Captain Cook’s fleet in 1770. Species within Macropus include the red kangaroo, antilopine kangaroo, and eastern and western gray kangaroo. As I’m sure you know, kangaroos are marsupials meaning females have a pouch called a marsupium where their offspring (joeys) complete development after birth. The reason why I chose kangaroos this week is that they can be potentially dangerous. Large males can grow to over 6.5 feet tall and weigh over 200lbs. There are very few records of kangaroos attacking humans unprovoked. Most cases were the result of bugging them or them expecting food only to receive none. Coming across an aggressive kangaroo can be dangerous as they may scratch and kick. You wouldn’t want to get kicked by the powerful legs of an adult kangaroo. During mating season males may compete by “boxing”, usually linking forearms and using their muscular tails to balance them as they deliver powerful two-legged kicks. The kicks can cause internal damage and broken bones. More of a threat to humans is hitting a kangaroo on the road. These animals can be big and heavy and can move at 30mph mid-bound. In many places around Australia you will see roo-crossing signs – their basically the deer of Australia.