Thursday, February 24, 2011

OMG !!

What am I doing here? I don’t belong here! Can I still withdraw ? Will there be a penalty? .. these were the thoughts that were running through my head as I entered the waiting area for the orientation session for new students of MBA at the University of Queensland Business School.

As I entered there were three men and a lady all suited up to kill and typing away on their PDAs. One of them glanced over as I entered and sized me up with a what are you doing here look. May be I should mention that I was in a pair of jeans and a shirt but I think I was presentable. Hmm.. I felt intimidated at their corporate like activities and was wishing deep inside that they are not my co students. Should I shake hands? Say hello? I really didn’t know – so I let it be and when and sat down in the waiting area cursing myself for not dressing appropriately.

My thoughts immediately turned trivial as the lift opened and in came a spikey haired 20 something guy with jeans well below his bum and a shabby T-Shirt and more like announced to the secretary that he is here for the orientation. *phew* At least I have a proper shirt on :)

More students strolled in all casually dressed and towards the end it was the suited up corporate wannabees that felt out of place :) .. And the classes got away, a lot of mingling, chit chatting etc etc went on for a whole two hours and all of a sudden I felt a lot more comfortable. We talked about work and family and travel and rising expenses. Most of the students were sponsored by the company except for me who might get approval for expensing my car parking charges let alone my tuition fees. Yes I am paying through my @!@#hole for this over rated course. Really hoping to god that this is worth the time, effort and money.

J has been all supportive of me doing a part time course and made sure I had a new notepad and pen and she even gave me her HP Mini for my classes. Last night we called up her parents and my parents and my grandmother just to let them know that tomorrow is my first day back to Uni after eleven odd years. Granny as usual already set her hope high all over again asking me to top the class and bring glory to the family. I wasn’t surprised. But then what caught me out was that when she was speaking to J ( oblivious to the fact that she was on speaker ) she mentioned to her that I am a total bum when it comes to studying and to keep an eye on me. J agreed trying to suppress her giggles. Hmm.. I guess granny just wanted to encourage me with all this talk about ranks but she knew exactly what I was capable of.

Anyway I thought I’ll just blog about this special day. Two years from now I shall post a picture of me from my graduation ceremony :) and secretly hoping to prove granny wrong as far as my performance goes!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

wet wet wet

Ever since we landed in Brisbane people at work has been telling me about the great floods of Brisbane over the last century. On one instance they even showed me the flood lever marker showing the level of water reached at each of the floods. Most of the conversations ended up with ..”oh well we won’t have to worry about them floods anymore .. cos we have the Weivenhoe Dam..” and since I have heard that statement over and over I really didn’t worry much even on the morning of the day when the floods actually hit us.

The floods covered the basement, ground and the first floor of our apartments, but we were safe and sound on the fourth. Although at that time we didn’t feel all that safe as we saw the water rising up by the hour. Just when we thought it had stopped rising and things are going to get back to normal soon – the power went out and warnings of a king tide was out. But luckily we had seen the worst of it by then.
Here are some pictures from our suburb – luckily no one was hurt and during the whole “flood” experience, we made some new friends in our apartment building and learned to support each other during the testing period. Thanks also to our friends with whom we spent a few days till the flood waters receded.

Now Brisbane is almost back to normal thanks to a no holes barred effort from the Queensland government and more importantly the helping mentality of fellow Queenslanders. I was completely taken out by the amount of voluntary workers that registered and showed up for cleaning up the city.. “our city” as I would now like to call it. We did our part too we were out cleaning up the basement with the rest of the tenants, also donated a decent amount for the Premiers Flood Donation.

This is the first time that I have seen a whole country come together for help when it was needed. And it was not just talk but actually coming out and getting their hands dirty so that your neighbour has an easier time cleaning up his backyard.

As I am writing this post there are cyclone warnings out in the north of Queensland – but I am not a least bit worried. When you are in a community like this there is nothing to worry. Cyclone ?? I would say “bring it on...”