"How you going?"

When y’all think of me and my Aussie activities, you’re probably picturing a just as carefree, but slightly more tan version of US Claire swimming in Sydney’s seas by day, and drinking too many mojitos by night. Because it’s an unwritten (or sometimes hilariously written) rule that study abroad programs are blow-offs, right? WRONG, FOLKS.

But N.B. You will catch me at Bondi instead of in a classroom every now and then, as soon as the weather heats up.

First off, let me say that I didn’t expect to breeze through my classes here. I didn’t expect a learning environment identical to the one I had back in Dallas either. Plus, I know everything ;). So I’m not surprised by the differences of this uni across the globe, but you might be! And what’s the purpose of a blog if not to inform its readers of such stuff? You’re welcome.

Preface: I am obsessed with the content of my classes. This is my last semester in school (*temporarily suppresses panic attack*), so I'm just finishing up some rando electives that seemed interesting to me: Researching Cultural Experience; the Psychology of Addiction; Gendered Worlds; and Literary Animals, Monsters and Machines.

In Australia, the lecturers and tutors don't make sure their students have done the readings. They don't spontaneously demand answers about the material in class. There's no tangible pressure to do work, which, to me, is even more frightenting than the possibility of being called out in front of hundreds of prepared peers, because that threat is what typically keeps me caught up in school. As a result, my stress induced nail-biting habit has resurfaced. Love me anyway?

The entire weight of my grades here depends on about three assessments per course, which means I best stay on top of my ish. If you know me, you know that staying on top of my academic ish is not a strong suit. It requires, among other things, discipline, responsibility, and good time management skills. I’m determined to boldly possess all of the above by the time I hop on that flight home to my Thanksgiving dinner in the States.

Something I have accomplished: convincing (or teaching, rather) my friends that “y’all” is truly the most efficient plural second person pronoun

Next step: feed them Texas BBQ.


Regarding the too few and too random photos below, I promise I hang out with human beings?


Sydney_Balcony Birds_ClaireKelley.JPG

These cute guys (gals? I don't know) were big chillin' with us for a while. We had cupcakes and tea. They had stale bread. Unfair, perhaps.


When I do the walk from Coogee to Bondi, it takes me approximately seven times longer than it should because I can't help but stop and climb down into all these cool rocky coves. There's too much strange earth and life in them to ignore. As always, photos do no justice.



The earth made a staircase and left some saltwater footprints.

Sydney_Centennial Park_ClaireKelley.JPG

Centennial Park! It's great. It's close to campus. It has yelllowy trees.