As I awake from my slumber in a foggy haze on Saturday, the 7th of September, I look at the time and realize I have no discernable reason for waking up. However, instead of returning to my comatose state to try and get a few more REM’s, I decide to grab my laptop and play a bit of Pokémon: Leaf Green to get my brain active. After exploring the Kanto region for about an hour, I prepare for the day.
With not much planned on this lazy Saturday, my flat mates and I decide to head off for a mission to Shag Point. Upon arriving, we immediately catch a glimpse of a napping furry seal. The nearby sign indicates that they are very territorial, and you should not come between them and the water. Taking these words to heart, we snap a couple pictures before doing some more exploring. Spotting a seal emerging from the sea to get some shut-eye down below, I decide to climb down the rocks to get a better look. As I come within 15 feet of the creature, he lets out a loud bellow, indicating that I should leave him alone. I proceed to sprint away as the noise he made was rather frightening. The adventure soon came to a close as we made our way back to the city.
After waking up at 5:00 am to watch the Detroit Lions play football, I begin class at 10:00 am. I walk to the Castle lecture theater to see another power point presentation on PHSE 202: Movement Analysis and Control. I have a brief break from 11-12 before resuming class in St. David’s lecture theater at noon for HEAL 192: Foundations of Epidemiology. This is the largest lecture theater on campus, yet it is filled for each lecture. I am led to believe there are over 1200 students taking this course, as it is required at this school for anyone who is pre-health. At 4:00 pm, I have tutorial for HEAL 192. This occurs every other Monday, and is basically a workshop to enhance your understanding of the course material.
For dinner, my flat mate Dan and I attempt to make a chicken stir fry/curry type of dish, but our lack of refined culinary skills cause the product to be rather disagreeable. To make up for the poor taste, I finish the meal off with a delicious PB&J.
I begin the day by hurriedly putting the finishing touches on a homework assignment for the 2:00 laboratory I have for PHSE 202. At the start, the lab instructor delightfully informs us that today’s lab will not require the full 3 hours, and shouldn’t be too much of a bother. It turns out to be a rather enjoyable experiment, as we use motion-capture technology to examine stride length during both running and walking on a treadmill.
After class, I return home to see several of my flat mates relaxing in the living room. We decide to spice things up by turning on a kick-boxing workout video to get our hearts pumping and sweat glands active. It’s important to stay in decent shape while in New Zealand, as there are always mountains that need to be traversed.
Having no class today, I took the opportunity to relax, as well as have a nice solo jam session in the drum room of the University music studio. For dinner, we head out to a nice Turkish restaurant for our flat mate Whitney’s 21st birthday celebration. Whitney is a short, blonde Canadian from a small city between Vancouver and Calgary. She enjoys small animals, yelling, and is a fabulous cook. The Turkish meal itself is delicious, and the restaurant provides us with crayons to draw on the table. Still, eating out here is rather expensive, and causes me much grief when I arrive to the cash register to pay my dues. This is the main reason why I have been eating pasta and bread day in and day out. Still, life goes on.
On yet another lazy Saturday, my flat mates and I embark on another mission. This time we head to Mount Cargill, which overlooks Dunedin. On the hike up, there is a place called the Organ Pipes, which are large rocks that form the shape of the previously listed name. My good friend Dan, who is a geology major, is unable to describe to me how they attained that shape. I let it slide, as he often is helpful in teaching us about different geodes.
At the top, we are greeted by a stunning 360 degree view of Dunedin and the surrounding area. To the far west, we can spot snowy mountains creeping over the hills. Down below, we see the Otago Peninsula jutting out into the ocean. A vast expanse of water lies before us. And to our north and south: lush, rolling pastures create a sea of green, a dazzling sensation to behold. Such views have become commonplace during my time here in New Zealand. God surely smiles upon his wondrous creation.
The nighttime brought more fun and games to our complex, as we spent valuable time together creating memories for years to come.
As I reflect on the past week, and the week yet to come, I gaze upon the morning sun, the dew on the grass, the smiles on the faces of my friends, and I thank the Lord above for his gracious bounty. There is work to be done in the coming days. I have a test on Friday for HEAL 192, which I am all but positive I will ace. I also have to complete my laboratory report from Tuesday’s experiment. Furthermore, I have my percussion technical for my music class in 2 weeks. It involves 5, 7, and 9 beat double-hit rolls, different patterns of beats using the entire drum kit, and reading/performing a piece of music. For the latter, the professor selected the theme song from the 90’s show MacGyver. This is one final I am sure to enjoy.
Yet while I’m handed a steady dose of scholastic material to keep me busy, I still manage to find myself whisked away to magical lands each week. I only have 2 months left in New Zealand, but I still have so much to see.
PB&J count: I’m pretty sure I’m closing in on triple digits.