Sunday, September 13, 2009

B13: Mt. Hotham and The Great Alpine Road

[The runs were a little slushy but the rides were awesome. Uncle Mike - Not as fun as Colorado, but I didn't fall on my face on any of the jumps this time! [Mt. Hotham, The High Country])


I will refrain from putting up too many pictures until I get the ones Brian took. Check back on Wednesday!

School - From what I heard back home, Australians are super difficult on grading essays, so I put a lot of time and finally got my result back last Friday. I got an H2A (B) and some very encouraging comments (Kimmy and dad, thanks for all the help with the essay!):
"Great work, Mike. Your rhetorical flair makes this essay a pleasure to read. Structuring your essay around the what, where and how points demonstrates an independent approach to the material. Your solid summaries of the articles and clear, independent argument demonstrate a good understanding of the key issues in the globalization of food and cultural imperialism more generally. A more nuanced analysis of Watson's argument would have articulated the complexity of cultural hybridity and strengthened the focus on how we eat through the analysis of cultural practice."
I have a mid-semester test that I have coming up in Biology and have been listening to lectures on my iPod on my way to class, and have been attending extra tutorials for Statistics.

The week - Monday I tried Eritrean (African) food and Tuesday I scored 2 goals, but The Jersey Boys tied, 7-7. The fire lit inside me and by the end of the game, I was yelling at the referee in Spanish with sweat dripping down my face. Wednesday at baseball, I got to touch the Uni Games championship trophy and lamented over the fact that I wouldn’t get to help Melbourne defend their crown. Before I knew it, it was the weekend.

[My friend, Dawit, took my housemate and I to try food from the country he grew up in, Eritrea. The bread was citrus-like and this lamb meat was tasty. I admit, that the best part was the baseball game (Arizona v. Colorado) playing on the big screens. [Footscray, Melbourne])

On the weekend, Brian, Mari and I went snowboarding up in the “High Country”. Taking the Great Alpine Road (not as magnificent as the Great Ocean Road), Mari and I held on to the car handles as Brian recklessly took hairpin turns up to the top of the mountain. We arrived at Mt. Hotham, rented our equipment and hit the mountain. For the second half of the day I wore jeans because ski pant rentals cost $46 for a half day… When you are the only ski resort in town, you can charge an arm and a leg. I did my jumps, didn’t break an arm, watched Brian yell at Mari (“Mari, put your skis back on!”) and explored the runs lined with Eucalypt forests and weird insects embedded in the snow.

Sunday was all about seeing the Great Alpine Road as we took 4 short hikes and a 4 wheel drive excursion. Tons of feces littered the road and we took note of the fact that we need a scat book for the next time we go hiking. I ran from plant to plant spewing useless information about the genus and special adaptations of the fauna. I was able to identify most of the plants and feel that this should substitute for my review for my mid-semester test. Mari asked if I was “this energetic as a kid”.

I also learned some things from my trip. Back to the bullet points.
I learned that…
  • I don’t always need to be over prepared. Packing light and taking what I need is more important than bringing everything. This weekend we used a wood stick as a knife for our peanut and jelly sandwiches!
  • My first car is going to be 4 wheel drive, not an Acura (like Uncle Ed’s).
  • I should appreciate flora more. Even though plants don’t move, they are still amazing.
  • The reason that mom and dad forced me to go on hikes was not to cause me pain. They just wanted me to appreciate what they always have: enjoying the outdoors with people you love to be with.
  • You don’t need ski pants to ski. Jeans work fine… if you don’t fall.
  • Don’t drink beer after snowboarding all day. Drink water instead.
  • Australians aren’t that different from Americans. I thought that Australians were all about the outdoors and having fun. In reality it isn’t a race or sect of people that can offer me what I want, but individuals. The people I have met here, Australian and American alike, are outgoing and by being outgoing myself, I am making the most out of my experience.

(They ended up closing many of the runs because of the wind. [Mt. Hotham, The High Country])

(Brian and Mari wrestling over a tim tam. I told you those things cause problems! [Porepunkah Caravan Park, Porepunkah])
(Venturing from the trail in front of The Lady Bath Falls. Mom - Hiker Rick would be proud of me! [Eurobin Falls, Mt. Buffalo])

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