Newsletter 2: Dorm Life, Social Life, Billabong Sanctuary, Magnetic Island
August 14, 1999

Hi! It's me again....still having a wonderful time over here on the
other side of the world! Not much has really happened, but I'll update
you on the little that has. I started my classes 2 weeks ago. As I
said before I'm taking intro to exercise biology, animal behaviour,
international history--the rise of Europe, and marine invertebrate
diversity. My classes vary in difficulty. Some of them will be really
easy, but I think my marine biology class is going to prove to be very

As for dorm life here, I couldn't be happier. I live on a mostly boy
hall...that is I don't see the girls very much at all, but the guys are
great! I hang out with them all of the time and they are so much fun.
At first the girls were a little stand-offish, but we've talked since
then and I find them much more friendly now, although I still don't hang
out with them as I do the guys. And boys are so helpful to have around,
for instance in cleaning dead birds off of your balcony!:-)

Right before we started classes we visited a place just down the road
called Billabong Sanctuary. Basically we got to see a lot of cool
animals there! I got to play with kangaroos, pat a koala, hold a
python, and pat a wombat. It was a lot of fun! The animal here are so
adorable! One of the kangaroos even had a little joey hanging out of
her pouch!:-)

I'm finding that people here do not study very much at all. They really
do just socialize at night and it's very rare to see them actually
during work. Occasionally during the day people can be seen doing work,
but that's still rare. I find that if I do try and do work, I can be
assured that someone is going to come and bother me and want to chat.
They are into bonding talks over here, which is still cool at the
moment!:-) Thursday nights are also real big nights to go out over
here. Everyone heads out to the club on campus. It's a lot of fun, but
then everyone is tired for their morning classes on Friday! And if you
are me....then you are blessed with a 4 pm class Friday

Last Sunday, I had a biology field trip with my marine biology class.
We went out to Magnetic Island and went walking on one of the reefs out
there at low tide looking at the invertebrates and worms. It was an
interesting experience, but it ended up being such a long day in the
sun! I'm worried about that class because everything relates to drawing
and I seem to have been blessed with no artistic ability at
all....unlike my brother!:-)

I'm beginning to really like Tuesdays over here because I have no
class! This Tuesday, my friend and I just went to the beach all day and
got work done there. That's probably the most productive I've been all
week! Probably because no one was there! Next Tuesday though I think
I'll have to spend in the library because I have 2 papers coming up at
the end of this month. No fun at all!

I'm beginning to get used to the idea of sharing a bathroom with boys.
It's amazing how much people bond in the bathroom. I don't know what it
is, but I've had some of my most interesting conversations in the
bathroom....oh well. That's just one of the weird quirks of life that
is being here in Australia!:-)

Today we went to the Cultural Festival in town, but it ended up being
not exciting. There really wasn't that much to see or do, so we were
kinda disappointed and just went walking around downtown instead. Now,
I'm going to go and attempt to be productive the rest of the afternoon.
Tonight we are going out to a Thai restaraunt in honor of one of my
friend's birthdays today. I'll write more later! I hope all of you are
having a great time back in the States! I know I'm having a wonderful
time out here! I'll talk to you soon....I hope!

Love, Michelle