November 16, 2012

My gun had no trigger.

I am CJ Curry. This is the Experience. And it's over for another season.

EPISODE ONE SIX ZERO: RETRO SPECS IV

Might I point out that you can find a lot of numbers in my blog posts this semester? Seriously. The more agile-minded people among you will find the following numbers in my posts:
--In post 141, you should find the first few Fibonacci numbers (except 1).
--In post 142, you should find the number 69.
--In post 143, you should find nine instances of the number 3.
--In post 144, you should find a reference to the number 144, and its corresponding unit of measurement.
--In post 147, you should find out why the number 41 appears.
--In post 148, you should find what time 66 days in the future will be.
--In post 150, you should find a 150. Easily.
--In post 153, you should find a long string of numbers and explain what the story is.
--Post 154 is full of numbers and figures.
--In post 156, you should find an NP-complete puzzle and solve it. You should also tell me where my stats come from.

As I approach the final days of college, I've decided to look back on them. Mostly by taking fragments of my memories, photos and old blog posts and piecing them together in what I think and hope is a quasi-coherent and possibly clear retrospective of my college life. For your big fat information, of course. The final entry is from this year and (not) beyond.

2012 was again going to be the Year Of The CJ, though it seems to have turned into anything but. At least, for a while it did. But then it rollercoastered again. After my disappointment in December, of course I felt pretty appalling for a while. Having said that, January was probably one of the better months I had this year. Back to my home town every weekend for cricket, plus being more social it's crazy. I rounded January off with a trip to the cricket, and a trip to Big Day Out. I'd write more about it but I've already pretty much said it all in this article here.

February was mostly a carbon copy of 2011's February. I got trained in the Student Leadership arts again (three times and counting), then unfortunately had another disappointment by again wearing my heart on my sleeve. A little dejected, I turned to my good friend sleep deprivation to get me through the first few days of O Week, and it did so admirably. I pushed through, started getting help, and made a bunch of new friends in the process.

Late Feb and early March I had possibly the biggest mindfuckery ever. Relationship-wise. After a big scrap with a good friend, I found myself unable to settle down until I'd killed a few demons, one of which being the very short-sighted decision to dye my hair green for Leukæmia Day. Once I'd killed that demon, and others, I decided to jump in headfirst, and found myself a new group of people.

For the rest of the semester, nothing much especially good happened (apart from time with my new friends, and Supanova). I was somewhat of an eye-catcher on campus because of the green hair - I even went to a ball with green! - and I was doing fairly well with my assessments, but other than that there's not much else to say. The end of May is when it all started going appallingly - I went through another crisis (though this one was less traumatic), I nearly lost my job, and I started hitting the booze. Not alcoholic levels, mind - just enough to cause me to stop and think. Masterchef and the ball both saw me through to the end of the semester quite fine.

June exams were dealt with as best I could, given the circumstances. That said, in late June I jumped in to things headfirst - again - and in retrospect it probably wasn't the smartest choice. As such, most of my July holidays were spent doing exactly that - jumping in headfirst. Again, not the smartest choice. In August, the workload increased as I started to prepare for Extra Life, the college play, and Open Day. It ended up becoming a case of "tackle them one at a time", so I did, killing another demon in the process.

The college play was a blast, despite the fact that I was just tech. Open Day was fun, despite the fact that I spent six hours on my feet and had an atrocious week thereafter. Extra Life was really bloody amazing, and I am so glad I did it. In fact, I'd do the whole thing again in a heartbeat. I also discovered Slender Man, and have dressed up as him three times. The second time, I got the Hollywood treatment (at the Zombie Shuffle); the third time, I won an award.

Alas, all good things must come to an end, and so did semester two of 2012. Exams are now over, and I think I did reasonably OK. So, huge thanks again to the following folk for making this a fun year: Paolo, Anna, Lucas, Tom (both of you), Ben, Natt, Kez, Katie, Fin, Jordan, Kat (both of you), Lucy, Kimberly, Megan (and Meagan), Miranda, Trickey, "Switzerland" (i.e. Chris), "Sweden" (i.e. Martin), Chantal, Liz, Rhys, Ali, Emily, Steven, Nicole, Brad, Sam, Neigh, Purcey, Trez, Chelsea, Campbell, George (both of you), Stacey, Laura (both of you), Jo, Lucy, Liam, Ellen, Jenny (both of you), Stuart, Fi, Lee, April, Hubert, Wayne, Sophie, Krish, Nadia, Alice, Caity, Tabin, Matt, Mike, Alex (three of you), Leslie, Nick, Dan, Sam, Jen, Miles, Darren, Kylie, Jenn, Millie, Kitty, Anika, Diana, Leisa, Tiff, Bill, Ryan, Jasmin, Si-Eun, Parker, Ed, Bathie, Mackie, Marthe, the other CJ, Will, Charlotte, Maddy, Minette, Michelle, and about three others I can't write down here for one reason or another.

Goodbye, college. I will miss you.

Also: I have a new house! Time to look forward to blogging adventures in Season Nine!

Y.

Go fly a kite, and be happy.

November 11, 2012

From one to another...

I am CJ Curry. This is the Experience. And you're getting bored shitless.

EPISODE ONE FIVE NINE: RETRO SPECS III

As I approach the final days of college, I've decided to look back on them. Mostly by taking fragments of my memories, photos and old blog posts and piecing them together in what I think and hope is a quasi-coherent and possibly clear retrospective of my college life. For your big fat information, of course. Here is my account of 2011.

From the New Year's party, I knew that 2011 was going to be The Year Of The CJ. I also decided to log the year by making a 365 Project - a photo a day for a year - so this is probably the most coherent year in my memory. Indeed, January is still crystal clear. Couple of hot tub parties after my New Year's bash, then work for two weeks. Cricket on the weekends, and visits from some Tasmanians, followed nicely by a drunk Australia Day and a Ratatat gig.

The shortest month of the year was mostly taken up with student leader training. It being my first time in the top job, I was understandably nervous. But I pushed on, and entered my third O Week. Again, I had the most fun at Moat Party, and again, lost my inhibitions. For the first time, I was stared at. Not necessarily a good thing.

Early March, I built the Hungry Beast. Late March, I got into Minecraft. Early April, I bought a Nintendo 3DS. Late April, I took a trip to Tasmania. It was quite literally the first time I'd visited Tasmania in my entire life, and ditto for Hobart. So that made it the only state of Australia I'd never been to until that point (I still haven't hit Brisbane yet, but I have hit Queensland). The trip was amazing and eye-opening, but I still want more. Some day.

New to 2011 was Masterchef. This was a program that the Study Support team had tried to kickstart in 2010, but it fell through for various reasons. So Jenn and I decided to kick it into high gear and turn it into something new and different. Jenn was the brains behind it all, I was the brawn executing it all. It went down an absolute treat, and I was asked to repeat it in Semester 2 and beyond. I loved it, and I obviously wasn't going to say "no".

Another ball and a Cut Copy gig later, it was exam time again. I spent just as much time socialising as studying, but I got some good marks. July was possibly the worst and the best month for me - I had my wisdom teeth taken out, so I was holed up for a while with StarCraft II, but after that healed I was all "movie movie movie". I made some pretty damned good friends working on Isidore and I've kept most of them. I am very OK with this.

One Re-O-Week later, classes kickstarted again. I also got first-hand experience with census collection - not something I want to repeat in a hurry - and kickstarted Masterchef again, this time with feeling. Unfortunately, something was wrong. The unthinkable happened in mid-September - so few people saw it coming, but in hindsight, most people saw it afterwards.

I had decided that I wanted to do the job again, because there were so many unanswered questions in my head about who I am, and what other people are like. So I lined up another interview, and got the job again for 2012. Time for a rinse-and-repeat - except for the fact that instead of 9 mentors I now had 16. Let the fun begin!

After October, I met so many new people in one way or another. I met some of Mike's friends, got to know Minette and her friends more, became crazy close with a girl (but had no attraction to her - and vice versa), jumped into my fifth college ball and met people there, and met my new mentor team properly. Sadly, the last event of the year was cancelled for me as I fell very very sick... but that didn't stop me Zombie Shuffling again!

November exams whooshed past, and I elected to stay at college for the second summer in a row. Things got fairly boring around college, so I opted to spend as much of it as possible off campus. I found a semi-good hangout place in Boldrewood Pde, another in the heart of the city, a third back in my home town, and a fourth in Preston. Exactly what I needed, when I needed it most.

All this is not to mention all the other awesomeness that happened this year: a Disney marathon, several IT Crowd outings, college sports such as cricket and squash and the ring road relay, the college play, Nerd Party, various Nazi Zombies sessions and the awesomeness that was Jenn's 21st. Also, buying a ticket to the Big Day Out in 2012!

Huge appreciations are to be made to the following people: Nicole, Paolo, Lucas, Jess, Jenn, Bella, Aldo, James, Kieran, George, Maeve, Natt, Kez, Katie, Stacey, Minette, Michelle, Megan, Charlotte, Liam, Tom, Ben, Rachel, Kasey, Annemarie, Holly, Caelan, Emma, Mike, Leslie, Rishi, Ebony, Erin, Steph, Dan, Sam (three of you), Alex, Jen, Nick, Amber, Sean (three of you), Theresa, Meg, John, Anna, Carl, Cass, Mackie, Ronnie, Livy, Mia, Kirsten, Mel, Bridgett, Stuart, Lewis, Josh, Nick, Maike, Kamilla, Daniel, Campbell, Chelsea, Eshan, Portia, Jansu, Chris, Simon, Josie, and about three others I can't write down here for one reason or another.

P

November 6, 2012

The champ was here! You missed him.

I am CJ Curry. This is the Experience. And we're nearly there.

EPISODE ONE FIVE EIGHT: RETRO SPECS II

As I approach the final days of college, I've decided to look back on them. Mostly by taking fragments of my memories, photos and old blog posts and piecing them together in what I think and hope is a quasi-coherent and possibly clear retrospective of my college life. For your big fat information, of course. I'll continue the theme and jump into 2010.

Summer of 2009/2010 sucked. That's all there was to it. I had to work, my car busted, and so on and so forth. Nothing special, apart from cricket (love!) and re-reading House Of Leaves.

So, I'm now a study mentor. I got back to uni the day before training started, and I can recall spending a lot of time with a friend prior to the year starting. Not many others were around, but we became closer. Almost brother-and-sister close. Almost. We got there by the end of the year, though. Regardless, newbies came and we had fun introducing them all. Again, the best part of O Week was the Moat Party, but I also did some amazing stuff with friends during non-O Week events.

I'd also obviously moved rooms. No longer did I have the one with the weird geometric layout - this one was more square. But, I'd found the perfect spot for everything this year - swap the bed and desk, and go with that. Settling in to this routine wasn't difficult, and I still had awesome (albeit different) floormates. I sometimes wish I still had them.

My first big task for the semester was to apply for a scholarship to spend a semester in the UK. Though I didn't get it, I did learn from the experience, which is more than a lot of others can say. It eventually went to a guy who grew up in the same home town, with the same first name, studying the same degree, applying for the same university (and our sisters' names are the same, too).

If last year was a social life kill, then this year was anything but. I started losing a lot of interest in things that had previously been central to my life, and became more social. I started playing a lot of Nazi Zombies with Paolo, going out more on Thursday nights, and generally being more fun. It helped too, because it boosted not only my rep but also Study Support's. Which turned out to be a great thing, especially for my mentees for the year. I am still in regular contact with a couple of them.

During the winter holidays (exams flew past) I mixed music for the first time since 2008, had a visit from my then-girlfriend, and just generally had as much fun as I possibly could. Would I have known what was to come, I would probably have been a bit more morose.

The second semester was the one that changed my college experience forever. I had already decided to apply for Amy's job in 2009, and I applied for it. Nervous as anything, I went into the interview, knowing that some days before I had won the award for "Most Outstanding Student Leader" at the college. I was surprised as anything, because I really had not done too much beyond doing my job and working hard. The snowball had lived in Hell. It kept living in Hell, because I got the position. Amy was ecstatic. I was over the damn moon.

The rest of the year was full of up-and-down, but mostly down. The game of up-and-down started when we held a surprise party for Amy's then-boyfriend, and I had a talk with Amy that changed my perspective on one aspect of my life. As things went back and forth I tried to hold everything together, but ultimately it became too much of an issue. It all culminated, finally, one Thursday afternoon.

I had made the decision to stay at college for the summer, and moved in to the flat in late November. After that, realistically, things didn't happen much beyond just chilling at the flat and a December disappointment (though I did throw one heck of a New Year's Eve party).

Many thanks to the people who helped me survive 2010, in one form or another: Paolo, Jenn, Amy, Navin, Sam (both of them), Tom (all three of them), Mirosha, Marian, Raghav, Ben, Lucas, Clo, Christelle, Gen, Mia, Natt, Kez, Katie, Nicole, Annemarie, Kieran, Emma, Holly, Sammie, Kasey, Rishi, Rachel, Matt, Mike, Leslie, Ebony, Ellen, Stuart, Josh, Bridgett, Mel, Nick, Sarah, Kirsten, Lewis, Bowen, Jansu, Mandie, Bex, Portia, Ness, Elissa, Cass, Kylie, Darren, Mackie, Ronnie, Nadia, Ricky, Jack,  Elise, Eshan, Travis, Joe, Campbell, Leo, Jess, Abs, Mehdi, Shelby, Simon, Chris (all three of them), Sean (all three of them), Bathie, and about three others I can't write down here for one reason or another.

P

November 1, 2012

The looney uni bin

I am CJ Curry. This is the Experience. And you will probably be bored shitless over the next four posts.

EPISODE ONE FIVE SEVEN: RETRO SPECS I

As I approach the final days of college, I've decided to look back on them. Mostly by taking fragments of my memories, photos and old blog posts and piecing them together in what I think and hope is a quasi-coherent and possibly clear retrospective of my college life. For your big fat information, of course. Let's start with 2009.

The first memory I have of college precedes 2009 - Open Day in 2007. I was walking down the path towards the uni from the bottom of the college. To this day, when I hear Push Push (M.A.N.D.Y Remix) by Rockers HiFi, I still think of it. This is in no way relevant to 2009 but I figured it'd be a neat little factoid.
So. Applied, got in. Packed all my shit into a few boxes and came to college. Normal college story. Trick is, though, I moved in a day late. I was met by the social club person from my tower pretty quicksmart, and to be honest, I never felt more nervous. But she was warm and inviting, and she said "welcome home" upon arrival to my room. I immediately loved it for its unusual geometric layout. Bit squashy, but I figured I'd make it work. Which I did.

O Week killed any semblance of inhibition I had previously had - in fact, I blame O Week almost solely for turning me into an extrovert (from the introverted fool I once was). It also turned me into a raging alcoholic (THREE drinks in one night! Yowza!) and I blame mostly that night's Moat Party for it. I also met up with a girl I had previously met on enrolment day, and we became fast friends. The rest of O week was me getting shoved in mud and scavenger hunts where the tasks I did were dictated by the tasks done by the only other male in the group. I loved it. And I met people.

The first week or so of classes passed without a hitch - in fact, I started learning some amazing things about computers and mathematics that I never thought were possible. Of course. But I also learned that learning comes at a price - HECS, a social life kill, and of course, time management. I quickly defined and developed my own time management, which consisted loosely of going out Thursday nights and no other nights, shopping on Saturday afternoons, talking to my then-girlfriend at 8:30p until she went to bed, and trying hard not to miss Good News Week or Spicks & Specks.

Really, the only major hiccup in my system was when I (possibly) contracted piggy flu. I don't know and I never will for certain, but I was hit by something in the middle of the year that didn't quite amount to a common cold. Everything else happened almost exactly like a dream. My first round of exams came and went, and I passed everything with flying colours. Discrete mathematics, calculus and number systems, beginner's Java, and statistical science. So many numbers, so much learning, and so many people that I met along the way. What a journey.

So. Come the holidays, it was time for the Ashes. Faithfully, I stayed awake until 4:00am each morning the Ashes were on. I also watched the Aussies take a crushing defeat - but only 2-1, unlike what was to follow in eighteen months - as I eased into second semester. To my surprise, I was invited to the Academic Dinner, given "the Geek Award", and went out that night to celebrate. I was also approached by the residential supervisor and asked if I had considered going for a mentor role. I replied that I hadn't, but I'd stick an application in anyway.

I'll never forget it. My floormate Amy was selected for the role of mentor co-ordinator, and she pulled me aside one night in September to say that my interview was successful, and I'd been offered a position. I responded with absolute delight, and stopped only to say that I was going to hunt down Amy's job next. She laughed a little, then was all "Well, I'd kinda like to hold on to it for a bit!"

August and September truly were the best months of that semester, despite being the coldest. I always hated the cold, but come October and springtime, I started perking up a lot and having an absolute ball. The college ball, in fact. I had declined the first one, but the second one I had a good time at. I decided to be sober for the night - to practise, as it were - and I ended up needing it. I had a nice night, though, on a boat going up and down the Yarra.

Following that, the semester breezed by. I bought a Wii, my non-Mac laptop broke, the tower took a trip to Whittlesea, I passed the second semester, and with a tear in my eye (I'm dead serious here) moved out of college for the summer. I shouldn't have. I went stir crazy back home over the summer.

Huge awesome respect to the following peoples: Mia, Natt, Kez, Katie, Paolo, Amy, Tim, Mandie, Jenn, Abs, Eshan, Sam, Ben (both of them), Lucas, Tom, Beth, James, Chris (all three of them), Daniel (both of them), Sean, Bathie, Simon, Nick, Josh, Stuart, Bridgett, Mel, Kirsten, Ellen, Meaghan, Rachel, Leigh-Teagan, Mackie, Millie, Kat, Kitty, Matt, Robert, Elissa, Leo, Nikhil, and about three others I can't write down here for one reason or another.

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