Anne Hsia Queensland University of Technology, Australia


September 8, 2017

This is much belated because I’ve been busy doing assignments (and procrastinating, not going to lie). I don’t think I’ve procrastinated so much in my entire college career. But then again, I’ve never had so much time to do assignments anyway. I had three assignments due last week (which is a lot by standards here, considering that each unit only has 3-4 assessments all semester), and I realized that I’m more productive academically when I have more to do! Maybe there is still hope when I go back to Santa Clara. But I had less time to FaceTime family, cook, practice piano, and hangout (I still hung out, I was just constantly preoccupied and not completely there).

In the middle of the week, while I was running around (like a headless chicken) being busy, I was asked a very thought-provoking question: “Where is your heart now?” I had once again plunged into busy-ness and was responding to deadlines, not really set on a goal/direction. The closest analogy I can think of is a ship out at sea, responding to the weather just for the sake of staying afloat, and not steering toward a destination. Not that I have a goal I’m striving for (or do I?), but the sermon on Sunday reminded me that where I spend most of my time and money shows where my heart is. Where is your heart now?

It's Week 7 of 13, which means today marks the halfway point of the semester (not counting breaks and exam period. Exams never count). Next Thursday will be the halfway point of my stay in Australia (already?!). As I approach these “landmarks” I’m made even more aware of the fact that my stay here is temporary. I’m not in “normal” life, as this would never be normal life for me. But it’s also a good time to think about what I want my “normal” life to look like in light of what I’ve experienced so far. How much will change?

I came to Australia with many goals, some already accomplished and some soon to be accomplished (or easy to accomplish). I’ve learned to surf, made Australian friends, spent time with my relatives, and become a decent cook (or at least able to sustain myself). I’m making (slow) progress in the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto, am part of a Christian fellowship, and I’ve even found an Ultimate Frisbee community (they’re so fun). I’ve also tried many new things: taekwondo, Kangaroo jerky, dancing, Vegemite, touch rugby, and yoga. I’m studying (kinda, but I did get 10/10 on that mini-exam PTL) and doing the assignments on time! I have yet to hug a koala, attend a Hillsong service, and pick up an Australian accent, but the first two are on the calendar and I’m working on the third.

Last Monday I bought a massive celery because I wanted to eat celery, and I ended up experimenting/looking up various recipes involving celery. I finally finished it today (one week later). It’s like problem solving: how do you use up one ingredient before it spoils but not make the same thing again and again? And then you buy another ingredient because a recipe requires it. Cooking is so fun :)

I learned to play touch rugby last Thursday, and it’s intense (more intense than Ultimate)! There’s a lot of faking out the other opponent and hardcore sprinting, but I enjoyed it and am going again this week. I just keep forgetting to stay behind the player with the ball; too used to running deep for Ultimate.

This past weekend, I played at the Halibut Mixed Ultimate Tournament located 45 minutes north of South Bank. I was drafted because the Burley Griffins from Canberra (the capital of Australia!) needed more girls on the team. It’s my first time playing a competitive mixed tournament and I was caught off guard how fast mixed games are (and how fast guys run, how high they jump, and how far they throw #goals). It was a really good experience and I enjoyed meeting and playing with people from all over Australia. They use different names for some positions and plays but the spirit of the game remains the same. They also fed all the players really well! We had a barbecue for lunch and it wasn’t just sausages; there was steak! And I brought home a whole week’s worth of fruit since all the apples and bananas were just sitting there at the end of the tourney. But now I have a farmer’s tan. :/

After I got back from the tourney, I promptly Googled all the players I played with (this is why I’m not on social media). It’s amazing how much one can learn from the internet. On a related note, I looked up one of my classmates, and he’s a legit musician, as in he gets gigs at local bars and clubs and has produced an album that’s on Spotify. I’m slowly learning what it means to be a musician. Is this what I want to do when I grow up?

More to come, hopefully later this week. But until then, Happy Spring (from Down Under)!


Australia Semester