First Day of School! (Sort of)

Raechyl Thieringer University of Melbourne, Australia


February 27, 2017

I wasn’t planning on making a blog post for today because, while it was the first day of school for pretty much everyone at Melbourne Uni., I am one of the few exempt from that list because I don’t actually have any classes on Mondays.  With that being said, however, I just could not resist.  So here’s how day one went and, if it is any predictor of how the semester will go, it will definitely be an interesting few months!

I woke up around 9 am to get to the tram stop at 10.  The other girls in the house had a class at noon and wanted to arrive early, and I had rehearsal from 12:15-1:45, so I decide to join them.  On our way to the tram stop, one man who was clearly high decided that I talked too much, and wanted to make sure I knew it.  This was after me saying about 10 words after about ten minutes of silence. So he said I was clearly Irish and he wanted to see me drunk, hinting that I should just shut up.  So that was fun…  Eventually we got on the tram, at which point we realized the lady sitting behind us was either also extremely high or terrible schizophrenic, as she screamed and yelled and laughed and talked to herself the entire time she was on the tram, which luckily was only about half of the ride.  It was also about 90 degrees today, so it was hot and humid in addition to having the lady yelling at me, none of which is an ideal way to start a semester at a new school.           

Eventually we made it to campus, where I parted ways with the girls so I could get my college ID.  Of course, since it was the first day on campus, the wait for my ID was nearly 45 minutes, so I was extremely grateful I had come to campus as early as I did.  Then I went out to find all of my classrooms, which luckily was immensely easier than I thought it would be.  Finding the room of my first a cappella rehearsal, however, was much less graceful, even though I was warned that it is a difficult room to find.  I look through what I thought was the entirety of the Student Union Building, without succeeding at finding the room.  I finally went outside, regrouped, and was a giant, human-sized poster labeling the door to enter and leading to the room which somehow I had missed in my 20 minute endeavor to find the room. 

I finally made it to the rehearsal about ten minutes before it started.  I talked to a few people, one of whom is from Pennsylvania and actually knows a girl in my Women’s Choir at home.  Small world…  Eventually, rehearsal started, and even from the first clapping game we did, I knew this would be my home away from home.  Something just clicked, like it was where I was meant to be.  As rehearsal went on, each hand clapped and every note sung made me realize just how much I have missed singing in an a cappella group these past two years.  It has a completely different feel than singing in a choir.  It feels, at least to me, like coming home.  I think I smiled more in that hour and a half than I have in the past few years combined.  We learned on full song— How Far I’ll Go from Moana.  It sounded amazing from the first few chords we sung, and I just melted into the music.  There is also a solo for the piece, which I am strongly considering auditioning for, if for no other reason than why not.  I left rehearsal feeling lighter, freer.  I felt like I skipped to the tram stop, where my tram came about ten seconds later (which is impressive because I have waited fifteen minutes for the right tram to finally pass).  I sat, smiling the entire ride, thinking about the music and how awesome this semester would be. 

What felt like five minutes later, I realized I no longer recognized what was passing the tram.  At the next stop, the sign said stop 41 (I get off at stop 33).  Apparently, my glee about singing had been a serious distraction, and I had been on the tram almost an hour.  I jumped off the tram and looked up where to go on my phone.  I rode the tram fifteen minutes too far, so I waited in the hot sun another fifteen minutes for the tram to come to take me back the way I had come.  Eventually, I made it home, where I ate lunch, watched Moana, taught myself the solo, made dinner, and helped two girls I live with plan and book their spring (or I guess fall…?) break trip to Cairns to explore Northern Australia and the Great Barrier Reef. 

So yeah, it has been an immensely eventful day, but overall I’d have to say it was a pretty great one.  Hopefully my first day of actual classes is less eventful.  And it would be great if my weekend in Tasmania was less eventful as well (at least in terms of getting lost and being yelled at). 


Australia Semester