First full week of classes but with lots of fun stuff too!

     Hey guys! So I figured I should probably work on last week because I don’t want to get behind on this again. So I’m going to tell you guys about last week which was January 20th until like today January 28!

     So the best thing that has happened this week is that I finally got my computer working. Yay! For those of you that don’t know the details of that issue I can briefly explain it. When I first got here, my laptop would only work in my room if I used the Ethernet cord, it wouldn’t connect to the wireless. So eventually I worked my way over to IT trying to get it fixed. The lady said that she fixed it, but when I got back to my room the wifi wouldn’t work and the Ethernet wouldn’t work either. I walked on back, but they had closed for the day, so I went the next day and no one could figure it out. I went through this process for like two weeks of submitting requests to IT guys, getting like 3 different Ethernet cords, and no one could help me. I finally got on the same page as the IT guy and got my laptop working on like the 22nd or 23rd after like 2 weeks of nothing. It certainly was an interesting experience, as the wifi isn’t great in my building, so my phone doesn’t really work unless I’m in the hallway or stairwell. This is because I am far from the box and there are like 12 brick walls between me and it. I spent a good amount of time in the library, multimedia center, and computer center. I am very relieved to have it back and am enjoying skyping most mornings with friends and family. I’m always available for skype dates, so just let me know when you’re free!

     Another exciting thing that happened this past week is that we signed up to go on a trip to Cairns and I am super excited. We are leaving late this Thursday night (the 31st) and will come back Sunday morning. We will arrive at 11:30 at night at the hostel and then we are going white water rafting one day and snorkeling/scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef one day. It will definitely be a weekend of fun and adventure and we are very excited to check out a different part of Australia and feel that 90-100 degree heat of northern Australia.

     But back to the reality of school, I had my first full week of classes which was good. I don’t have classes on Mondays, so I just hung out, but Tuesday was my busy day. From 10-12 I have my cell biology lecture then 1-2 I have my cell biology small group tutorial. I did so well! I had correct answers for all the questions and spoke up a lot. Go me. I better have earned my full 10 points for the day! Then from 2-3 I have my ethics tutorial where I tried to speak up too. The lecturer is a young PhD student who is very quiet and speaks to his feet which drives me crazy! He is funny though and has the best comments. On Wednesday I don’t have class until 4-7, which is my Australian writing class which is 2 hours of lecture and then an hour of like book group discussion. On Thursday from 4-6 I have my ethics lecture and then I’m done for the week.

     So there were only 3 classes I could take here in Australia because my fourth class, math, met at the same time as my cell biology class, so I had to drop it. Long story short, I decided that I would take my political science, American government class online while I was here. I am taking it through Louisiana State University because they have such a big online and long distance learning program. It is very flexible, you have up to 9 months to complete a class, they are about the same price as a community college, and they have a large variety of courses. This past week, I think Thursday, I got the information for my class and I’m pretty excited. I got official approval to take it by the registrar at school and the political science director at high point as well. Basically the class has 15 “lessons”, each one is based on a chapter in the book. So for example week one, lesson one, is to read chapter one of the book and answer 4 questions, about 1-2 pages a piece. I can do these whenever I want to and have all the flexibility that I want. Half way through, I take a midterm and then a final at the end. So I just have to find a professor who will proctor for me and LSU will mail them my test. It seems really straight forward and I’m ready to get started, but unfortunately my textbook isn’t supposed to be delivered for a month! Ugh!

     On a positive note though I had a freaking fabulous Friday! Kathleen, Hillary, and I were supposed to go with mom’s friend Peter Walker who lives in the area, to the Steve Irwin Zoo but that got cancelled because of tropical storm Oswald. So instead Peter picked us up here at school at 9:15 and he drove us all around the Gold Coast. We were able to get a really good idea of where we are living. We stopped at many good look out points, visited his boat, looked at the multimillion dollar beach house neighborhoods, ate fresh Australian mango, met his friend Elena who sells gorgeous shoes nearby, tried Australian meat pies with mashed potatoes and mushy peas, tried Anzac biscuits (cookies), saw more beaches, drove into New South Wales, and saw laser lighthouse at a place called Point Danger. It was a lot of fun and we got home around 4:30.

     As soon as we got back to the dorm I walked over to the local retirement center, which is a 2 minute walk away. This is because the SPC (student philanthropy counsel) which I am a part of, helped host an Australia Day party for some of the residents. It was a lot of fun and I got to meet some of the residents, I served the sausages, and I got to try lamington cake. It is Australian sponge cake, coated in a thin chocolate layer, covered in coconut. As much as I can’t stand coconut, I actually liked this cake. I had an opportunity to talk to our director/contact person over there for a while and she is super sweet. I was glad I got to go, because I can’t go to the first craft day on Friday since we will be in Cairns.

     Then once I got home I had my interview for my summer internship. For those of you who don’t know, I found this organization in the fall called Breakthrough Collaborative, while I was looking for summer internships. I was instantly hooked because it was exactly what I wanted to do. The easiest way to describe it, is by saying that it’s like summer school for smart inner city kids. The program sponsors college kids to come in and run a school program for the kids, to keep them focused, having fun, and give them good role models. In November I applied to three different cities, Philadelphia, Norfolk, and Minneapolis. On January 11th I found out that I had been selected for part 2 of the application, which meant that I had to submit a 5 minute video of myself teaching to my friends about a middle school topic. I chose to do mine on writing hypotheses for a science class. Then on the 23rd another woman contacted me to interview with her on Friday the 25th at midnight, which was 9 am her time. The interview went really well and I couldn’t fall asleep until 2 am because I was so excited. Then at 5 am, she emailed me and offered me a position at the Philly site. I will most likely be teaching science, but I don’t know which grade or which school. I’m thinking it will probably be animal science to rising 7th graders and then I will do earth science as my academic elective, but I will definitely keep you in the loop. I won’t be able to find out more until they hire their entire faculty which won’t be until the end of March. I am hoping to get a homestead, so I can stay up there during the week and then come home for the weekends. I will be in training from June 10-21, teaching from June 24-August 2, and wrapping up from August 5-9.

     This made my Saturday extremely long because I was so tired from not getting a good nights sleep. Unfortunately it was Australia day and everyone was very excited for partying and celebrating because it is their equivalent of July 4th. I have my book presentation to do on Wednesday, so instead of partying I had to read. So I woke up and skyped with Steph for like 3 hours and then spent the rest of the day reading. About 7:30 that night I quit, got some dinner, visited with friends, and went over to a local bar called 360. I stayed there for an hour and got to watch girls wrestle in jello…I think my book was better haha and then crashed early that night.

     Part of the reason that Saturday, January 26th was pretty calm was because cyclone Oswald made his way down Queensland this weekend. It was coming from the north which is why we couldn’t go to the zoo on Friday because it is an hour and half north. By Saturday it was getting super close to us. On Sunday the storm really hit and it just poured and poured all day long, so I did homework with friends and then watched bones with another friend. Today has been much of the same, since the storm is still close by. Even though I don’t have classes today, they were cancelled because the weather and flooding has been so bad. I stayed in my room and just hung out all day, but I should start my homework soon. We also just found out that classes are cancelled for tomorrow January 29th too because of the weather.

     As always feel free to contact me anyway that you please, skype, imessage, email, letter, facebook, etc. I love hearing from you all. All my love!


4 thoughts on “First full week of classes but with lots of fun stuff too!

  1. Auntie L.

    Hi Kaitlin, I am enjoying reading your weblog so much.Not that I have so much experience with international travel but it sounds like you are having a wonderful experience-some structure with classes, new foods, exploring different settings nearby like the retirement center, the Gold Coast, and some more extensive travel such as your trip to Cairns beginning on Thursday! I am delighted to hear that your summer plans are consolidating very attractively around your goals. I wonder, does the Homestay occur with a family that the program identifies or do you find a family?

    January here has been relaxing and homey. I traveled a lot in the autumn and I was ready for a full 6 weeks at home. I’ve been doing some sewing at home, library work of course with the kidlets that I am connected with at an elementary school and the day care at the JCC.Nothing unusual, but comfortable and rewarding.It’s been changeable weather here-hot then cold but overall muddy which Charlie the dog especially has been tracking into the house on a regular basis-usually an early spring attribute!

    I will keep in regular touch through your weblog.

    With Love to you, Auntie L.

    1. kaitlinbonner Post author

      Hey Auntie,
      Thanks for getting back to me. It has been a great trip so far full of lots of good up’s and downs. Speaking of my internship, the program selects families for us to homestay with if you are not local to the area. I really don’t know who the families are, but I believe it can be anyone from professors to a student’s family. I know that they hire 36 college age teachers for three different schools throughout Philly and have approximately 10 homestays available. I won’t know many more details until March which is when the regular application process will be over. I did the early decision application. It sounds like your January has been quite nice, doing the familiar homey activities. Even Charlie seems to be having a good time in the mud. Talk to you soon!

  2. Lisa

    So according to my sense of your travel calendar, you are now in Cairns. I was at the Botantical Gardens tonight for the opening of the orchid show (theme this year is Madagascar) and got talking with a gentleman who is on his way to Australia and New Zealand in just a couple of weeks.I told him of your study abroad program in Australia as well as Grandma Barbara’s trip to New Zealand some 11-12 years ago now!

    Enjoy Cairns!

    With Love, Auntie L.

    1. kaitlinbonner Post author

      Yes I was in Cairns! It was incredible I can’t wait to write about it, so all you guys can hear about how much fun I had. A Madagascar themed orchid show seems so exciting. I would have loved to see it. I will have to see if there are any nice gardens up in Brisbane or down in Sydney. I don’t think that I am going to get a chance to go to New Zealand this year, but would love to hear about Grandma’s trip some time. Home and back to school again.


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