Saturday, March 5, 2011

Surfing, Forest Gump, and Classes

Over all of my life there have been several things I have always wanted to do, such as swim in the Devils Pool on Victoria Falls, and surfing has always been near the top of that list. Yesterday, after many years of waiting, I finally got to learn.

Everyone says that surfing is really really hard, so I came in prepared to fail miserably. I had a two hour lesson on Bondi Beach, a beautiful, famous, and packed beach in Sydney. We only rode already broken waves (didn't catch any barrels or anything, sorry to disappoint), but i was able to stand up 15 or so times, which is a lot considering we were only out there for 2 hours. And let me tell you, it was great. The ocean is such a strong force, fighting it to get out was hard. But harnessing that power just to ride a wave is freeing. So much fun. Hopefully I will take some more lessons and learn to ride bigger, unbroken waves, and such. 

Oh and my butt is super sore. Not the muscle group I was expecting to get worn out from surfing, but it is what it is.

Later last night I watched Forest Gump on TV. First a little bit of my first impressions on Australian TV. They have a lot of american programs, but none of the ones I really want to watch. Like the Ellen show is on, and Criminal Minds, and other programs that I have never watched. And just about all of the commercials are the quality of your local stores commercial. You know, people yelling, poor visuals, the actual store owners standing around making bad jokes, nothing well produced. I thought this was really interesting.

Anyways, Forest Gump is a brilliant movie. I've seen it multiple times, but I really appreciated last night. The idea of a single man being throughout all of the major cultural events of the 60s and 70s is brilliant. And the way the place him in real videos of real events with real famous people (Lennon, Nixon, Kennedy, ect.) is done exceptionally well. 

Forest's dedication to Jenny also reminded me heavily of God's pursuance.

Finally, for those of you who think I am just on vacation, here are the classes I am taking:
1. Mathematical Computing - an in-depth study of Matlab and its use in solving mathematical problems, especially linear and nonlinear equations and systems of equations.
2. Australia: Representations, Identity and Culture- a study of how Australia is represented in the media, literature, music ect. Deals heavily with Aboriginal peoples history and how they are (or aren't) included in history. Also discuses Australiana and stereotypes
3. Microeconomics 2- standard second microeconomics course
4. Science and Religion- online class that addresses the compatibility of science and religion with each other, asking questions like 'can they coexist?', 'do they support each other?', and  'how do they relate?'. We will be working through topics like evolution, scripture, ect. Should be a blast.

Oh and tonight was Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival. There was a big parade and stuff, and is supposedly lots of parties. But of course I went and saw Bear Grylls talk instead. That was ok. But afterwards, some locals and another study abroad student and I went and got Chinese food then McDonald's (called mackers here) shakes. Such a good night.

Song of the Moment:
Pacific by Sleeping at Last

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