Archive for December, 2005

Goodbye, Monash

Saturday, December 17th, 2005

Now that I’ve officially finished at Monash, I feel like it’s time to say goodbye to the place that, for better or worse, has been such a part of my life for the past five years. I have this kind of tremendously loving ambivalence towards it, which doesn’t make any sense but means that my feelings towards it are at least cohesive with the rest of my emotional life. Plus, I finally got around to updating the About Me bit in the sidebar, so now is as good a time as any.

Goodbye, Union Building! I look forward to not having to battle my way through you at peak times. Also, I look forward to not having to evacuate you because someone burned toast or some funster phoned in a bomb threat.

Goodbye, Menzies Building! The site of debates, arguments and astonishing feats of wankery, I will miss the way you sway in the slightest breeze, and the way in which that forces me to contemplate my own mortality.

Goodbye, Bus Loop! We didn’t have much to do with each other after second year, I guess, but you’re still a major part of my Monash “experience”. Although, looking back, it was probably a bit rude of me to have sex in you.

Goodbye, Rotunda! I had some great lectures in you, but honestly? Your seats are really fucking uncomfortable, and your restroom facilities inadequate.

Goodbye, Monash Library Document Delivery Services! I would never have gotten my thesis written if it weren’t for you guys. Stupid obscure research.

Goodbye, Rare Books Room! Oh, I probably spent too much time in you, and I had a habit of bringing people to you like I was ushering them to the Promised Land, but seriously? You rock. So much time spent in you, in the company of wonderful people. So much time spent pawing through your collections of zines and lesbian pulp fiction. So much time spent awed in your collection of Swift first editions. So much time spent badgering the poor Rare Books Librarian, who is probably terribly pleased to see the back of me.

And on that note, goodbye, Rare Books Exhibition Space. A source of much wonder and learning in your own right, you were the place in which I attended more than one exhibition opening, and witnessed firsthand the horrific feeding frenzy that occurs when English academics are given unrestricted access to free alcohol. I will never forget my first attendance at such a function, where my normally mild-mannered Lit tutor from first year expounded on the difficulties of finding permanent work in academia while severely invading my personal space, shaking his finger around in an alarming manner, and loudly slurring. “You carn geddany work! I gotsh a PhD and exshperience! Whammore do they want? Ish, ish…ISH UNFAIR, THAT’SH WHAT IT ISH!”. Happily for him and for my personal space concerns, he found work overseas and is by all accounts happy with his lot, although probably still an opportunistic lush. I imagine that’s one thing that doesn’t change, and it kind of really makes me want to become an alcoholic English academic.

At any rate, it’s mostly been a good half-decade (sheesh, I wish I hadn’t just thought of it like that). I hesitate to say that it’s goodbye forever, because I don’t know what’s in store for the future and let’s face it, I’m a glutton for punishment.

S-M-R-T

Friday, December 9th, 2005

Holy fuck. I got First Class Honours.

I am over the moon and possibly a couple of planets. I never expected to do this well; I was hoping for Second Class, Division A, and expecting a lot worse. I was really worried how my thesis would be received, as it doesn’t adhere strongly to any particular theoretical framework, although given the subject matter and the person who wrote it, it does borrow heavily from feminist theory. It’s just not, strictly speaking, a feminist literary theory kind of thesis.

After I found out, my friends Mairghread and LJ found me in the Union building, tearful and smiling inanely. Hugs were given and received. Reactions from my friends and family have generally been of the “Congratulations! Also, duh” variety. My brother-in-law asked who I’d bribed, because he’s a sweetie like that. Stuart, when I rang him at work, shouted “HAHAHA! In your FACE!”, which probably destroyed his reputation as a quiet, well-mannered young man. He has no time for my self-doubt. My favourite reaction, though, was from my father, the blokey-bloke working class hero: he burst into tears.

I’m on a high, and while my cynical inner voice is already trying to point out that it doesn’t necessarily mean anything, I am going to ignore it and spend the next little while telling myself that the world is my slimy mollusc.

And You Smell Like One, Too

Thursday, December 1st, 2005

I had a birthday on Saturday. It’s the kind of thing I try to avoid, but it tends to roll around once a year anyway, like a gigantic and persistent night soil cart.

You might gather that I hate birthdays. You would be correct. I don’t like having them, and I don’t like celebrating them. It’s not an age related thing, which would be laughable at my age anyway. I’ve had one age-related birthday freakout, and that was when I was going on nineteen, of all things. It was really just that eighteen was a very good year for me and I didn’t want it to end. Then, on my nineteenth birthday, I was involved in a hit and run car accident, so I was RIGHT to dread the damn thing. That philosophy has pretty much stuck with me.

This year’s was pretty good, though. I visited my immediate family, complete with their offspring. My nephew Myles and niece Alexandra were disgustingly cute as always, and Baby Harriet’s present to me was avoiding spitting up breastmilk all over me, although she did start crying when I tried to sing to her, which puts her in a class with all the people who go to Extreme Karaoke.

My net friend Katie has also been in Australia, and hence my absence (also, I am lazy). We hung out and I tried to convince her to play Stupid Texan for me, but she refused to put out. Honestly, what’s the point of having international net friends visit you if they refuse to stand in the middle of the Queen Victoria Market on a busy Sunday afternoon loudly exclaiming “Golly, this here sure is different from how we do it in Houston!”? Some people are no fun. Also on her visit we learned about Ye Olde Worlde pimps at the Old Melbourne Gaol, and photographed ourselves doing rude things in front of Parliament House. Upon seeing Jeff Kennett’s portrait, she correctly identified him as an evil, snake-eyed man, at which I may have emitted a small squeal of delight. Sure, she may not have lived down to my ideas of how an American tourist behaves, but I think I’ll keep her.

I topped the weekend off by having a lovely barbecue which was nice and relaxing and was almost enough to make me decide that celebrating my birthday is actually a pretty fun and nifty thing to do. Almost. See, it was a great barbecue and I had a lot of fun, but I’m not entirely sure I’ve made it clear here just how deep the birthday celebration hatred runs.