Experiencing the Big "O" at University of Melbourne

Orientation Week has just concluded at the University of Melbourne, and all self respecting students should have got to know every square metre of the campus, every lecturer or tutor that he or she is supposed to be acquainted with, and every single prize winning opportunity available. Hordes of freshmen and women thronged the age-old campus, signing up for various activities, clubs and societies while learning about the various facilities available such as the libraries, computer labs, seminars rooms and so on.

Here are some brief snapshots of my experience this week, focusing in particular on the "Amazing Race" which I undertook this afternoon with three other friends. That got me totally winded and I am "amazed" at how I could still blog after that most tiring (but fun...okay somewhat fun) experience.

The tar roads and concrete pavements were used as signboards with coloured chalk scribbled on them during Orientation Week.

Masses and masses of freshmen flesh thronged the various stalls on display during Orientation Week. Most were obviously undergrads judging by their relative youth.

The Melbourne University Overseas Student Society was pretty popular in recruiting international students. They were the ones who organised the "Amazing Race" which we participated in. More of that later.

Another crowd puller was the Melbourne University Students Union. Their main USP seem to be 15% discounts offered for book titles at the bookshop in return for an annual fee of about A$99.

Lots of commercial companies got into the act, including Commonwealth Bank with their whimsical free-bee campaign.

Apple Computer, with a lucky draw that gives people who leave their particulars a chance to win an iPod Touch. Not sure how many they were giving away though, but I scribbled my name just to try anyway.

The most popular was this Ikea booth, where instant lucky dip prizes could be won just by picking the right coloured balls. Now, who said that only Singaporeans are very "gian png"?

Some of the companies offered welcome relief from the summer heat, like these stalls offering free Lipton Ice Tea. My only feedback though was that the drinks were a little too sweet for my liking.

These four dudes played a light ditty with traditional Australian instruments. Unfortunately, not many seemed to be paying attention.

Of course, some of the grand prizes were awesome. Like this car here. Wow, I didn't know students were such an important target group for marketers in Melbourne!

Some of the stalls were less commercially motivated, like this unusual guy in a bubble igloo house inviting others to join him.

As well as these students petitioning for the cause in Gaza.

As I mentioned, we (that's Masatoshi, Dong Geun, Inho, Renshao our leader and myself) participated in the Amazing Race. This took us to various points of interest for a student (ie cheap furniture, cheap food, cheap groceries etc). The tiring 5 hour race included rides in trams like this...

...the solving of puzzles like Sudoku (which I am totally ignorant about)...

...snapping of photographs like this...

...dashing through supermarkets like this (and getting the prices of specific items)...

...as well as using chopsticks in one's mouth to pick up rubber bands in flour. Well, at least for us post grads (especially me the oldest), it was quite a rejuvenating experience!

OK, time to rest these old creaking bones of mine.... Groan!

Labels: , , ,