Townsville Twist

Thursday, 16 February 2006

Welcome to sunny (one so true) Townsville!

Townsville, Townsville, Townsville. What is there to be said about this sleepy little town where all the shops are closed on Sundays, where petrol is 10c cheaper than Sydney and where multi-laned roundabouts pollute the streets like toxic prawns in the Harbour? Well, that's about it actually.

James Cook University is a diamond in the rough of Townsville. One could quite happily live there and not need to venture outside the campus, as long as they didn't have various college activities requiring purchase of outrageous costumes. The Douglas Campus, as it is known, is quite small in comparison to many universities in Sydney. The med students complain about the ten minute walk from the college to the faraway Medical Sciences building. Of course, this arduous trip can be made in two minutes by car, which is an option a number of students choose.

The university is in the middle of a national park, meaning that a great variety of animals can be found mingling with the students. Bush turkeys are apparently quite fond of the smell of the refectory and can be found outside fairly often. Curlews, birds that look like kookaburras with stilts, enjoy late-night shrieking just outside the dorms and are thus the natural enemy of pre-exam students. Besides the birds, it is not uncommon to see kangaroos eating the grass next to your dining hall, butterflies trying to rape your sparkly fresher hat and cane toads hanging out in the puddle of washing machine water. Ahhh, such are the delights of nature.

Among the bizarre trees that congregate in the university grounds, there lie great tombstones...or at least, that's what the buildings look like anyway. There are a number of questionable architectural ventures, for example the Chemistry building

Can't even begin to imagine what they were thinking. Probably about lunch. We can't forget these beautiful window shades adorning several Humanities buildings. Note that this is the closest area to the colleges and takes a horrendous 3 minute walk from door to door.

The two general main lecture theatres are the HLT and CLT. The big sign outside the HLT says "Sir George Kneipp Auditorium" and the CLT hardly even has a sign, so it is only by word of mouth that we know where and what either actually is. Then there's the matter of what HLT and CLT really stand for. Most people get the 'Lecture Theatre' part out, but the H and the C are still a mystery even to the uni admin staff I asked. Upon asking a second year I solved the dilemma: "Huge Lecture Theatre" and "Crappy Lecture Theatre".

That's the uni sorted, what about the colleges? There are seven on-campus colleges and anyone who lives off campus wants to live on-campus. Until this week, I thought the movies had hammed college life up. I was wrong. It's even more crazy.

For example, take my college: The John Flynn College. John Flynn has its foundations based firmly on Christian values, and last year's fresher shirt read "Flynners do it like ANIMALS!". I've never come across the terms 'fresher' and 'fossil' in Australia until now. A fresher is a brand new shiny uni student and a fossil is a returning student. Upon arrival at John Flynn in 2006 all the freshers are greeted by the student executive committee and given a sparkly hat with their name on it. They are not to remove the hat unless showering or sleeping - it is to be worn at all times. Punishment for not wearing it varies from standing on a chair and singing Mary had a Little Lamb to pushups and having to introduce yourself to everyone with a megaphone, among others. There are many variations of the sparkly hat in evidence. Showercaps, stripey bibs, foam visors, bandanas and dorky caps with the peak pointing up have all been used by the different colleges over the years.

Further analysis will be given to life at JCU and JFC a little later, as they are playing Madonna's Hung Up and I must go out and do the fresher dance to it.

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  • those buildings are soooooo queensland but at least the main building at your university isn't a big phallic symbol the tower at uts has been described as a giant ribbed condom by more than one person i know. do you start lectures next week?

    By Blogger Jam-Head, at 6:07 pm  

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