Classes, duties, and responsibilities came flooding back in two-folds after Easter break. I didn’t have the time to go anywhere exciting, and in fact most of my time this week was spent attending practicals and writing up reports. Nevertheless, the commonplace of day-to-day routines can bring you to some interesting places.
I had a short field trip this week where our aquaculture class visited the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and got to witness the much talked about research hub that many JCU marine graduates choose because the resources and expertise AIMS has are amazing. On that day, our speaker Mike Hall was telling us about AIMS’ work in closing the life cycles of commercially valuable crustaceans. We got to see SeaSim, an indoor sea simulator that lets researchers control water quality down to a T, and a tank area where people acclimatize corals they pick up from the field.
Despite SeaSim costing much more money to build and a huge achievement in engineering, the colourful tank area drew everyone’s camera attention (and my own, sorry to say). We weren’t allowed to enter SeaSim so I couldn’t take any pictures inside, but it really was an amazing plan they had. There were experiments showcasing, that were mimicking environmental conditions from even the Pre-Industrial era!
I’ve also been volunteering to help a PhD student with some of her work on corals and I’ve seen the inside of a lab a lot more while I was measuring coral volume. Research requires a lot of repetition and I’ve seen the insides of a lab a lot more…oh wait.
The casual job I have outside of the university does bring me to an interesting place as I work at the local rugby stadium! Townsville is home base for the North Queensland Cowboys, the National Rugby League team, and I usually have a shift once a fortnight during rugby season. I sit outside with the audience when I have my 30 minute break. It really is respite when your workplace can be described as a big oven where you stand and serve chips to crowds of people and they get annoyed when your stall has run out of hot dogs. Nevertheless, it’s fun to see families out with matching painted faces during the weekend games.
Once a month, the University has Free Lunch Fridays and they prepare, as per usual Aussie style, a sausage sizzle! There are also mini activities set up for students to try so that people don’t just leave immediately after getting food. There was once they got an acrobatics team to try and teach us how to spin plates and juggle. This time, there was a drum circle set up and everyone could sit down together and play the drums in unison. Tip #2: If free food is your thing, check the Student Bulletins that the University sends out by e-mail, they usually have a list of the week’s events posted there.