"Boon er... say that again?"
"Er, sorry I don't think I can pronounce your name."
"Never mind. just call me Boon."
"Boon! How are you?"
"Why don't you get an English name?"
So officially in this campus, my name is Boon. Unfortunately, Phiaw seems to be a little bit too difficult for their cultured Aussie tongue to pronounce.
Oh well, it was something unforeseeable. In hindsight, I should had figured out a good English name before I came to Melbourne like most of the Chinese students.
First year was all about the 20 minutes walk to Uni. HB, KY, LZ and me, the 4 JPA kids all live in college square. 8.30a.m. lecture means leaving college square at 810a.m. If someone is late, it will be frantic telephone calling to say "fast, fast or we will be late!"
Back then we don't have lectopia, a fancy name for recorded lecture. If you missed the lecture, you missed everything. Come to think of it, that kind of "don't be late or you'll miss out" culture seems so far away now, even though they only have lectopia from last year. Nowadays, lecture theatres are only half full and there are some students who just disappeared from Uni.
First year lectures stood out for their dullness. I think my first-time-ever doze off is in Pharm Chem lecture about isotonicity. It was basically about chemical calculations and was as dry as sandpaper. Not every lecturer prepare lecture notes for us to print out - some like the bald headed Maths lecturer, prefers us to write everything down. So it was 3 hours of copying everything down neatly on pieces of foolscap paper every week. Nowadays, students complain if the lecture notes are uploaded late. Time had really changed a lot within four years.
The most interesting lectures were the psychology series given by Louis Roller. For one thing he is a good lecturer, for another, I love psychology. Psychology stuffs also stick well in my brain, especially his favourite catch-phrase "perception is reality". In fact, the one and only book I brought in first year is the psychology text book.
There was also a lot of pracs in first year. The first one was the most senseless I guess, as all we do was pipette and measure water again and again. But I remembered the Indian demonstrator saying my handwriting is the neatest guy handwriting she had ever seen. Funny how things like that tend to stick in my mind.
Other pracs that I remembered include the physiology prac where we had to carve out a mouse to study their anatomy. It was fun until I severed a blood vessel and the whole body cavity of the mouse was flooded. Another prac is where we had to extract caffeine crystals from tea leaves. That one I recalled because my partner didn't turned up and I had to do it individually - and I was the only one in the whole group that was able to grow the crystal. It was a proud moment.
It was fun reminiscing these moments. I guess I will keep the rest of the first year memories for my next post.