Tony’s Going Away

Well, today was the last day of exams – ever – as well as Jess’ birthday (and Kate’s), and also Tony’s going away. Phew, that’s an awful lot to fit into one day. :D

The exam was at 2pm, two hours. I’d been working most waking hours on the thesis up until yesterday, which I took finally as time for ACS study. That went reasonable well, although as always it took longer to read through all the lecture notes than expected; I think I finished those at around 1am or so. Reading through lecture notes is actually pretty involved, because it requires a lot of outside research to find more detail on things that aren’t properly covered, the meaning of acronyms that are never explained, and proper explanations of things which just aren’t explained properly, or at all. Luckily, Wikipedia has pretty good coverage on a lot of the stuff I was studying, and is a pretty easy site to find stuff on – infinitely better than general Googling, which wasted a lot of time before I gave up on it entirely.

I went into the exam study session at uni, where Michael Feramez (our lecturer for ACS) was available to answer questions. Since I hadn’t studied anything at this point, I didn’t have any questions. I listened in on a few for a while, which was fine, but then things digressed into irrelevance as a few stubborn people pressed questions with answers as obvious as they were pointless.

Anyway, that’s usually the way such things go. I had my Powerbook with me, so I start reading through the lecture notes, but didn’t get too far; not a good environment for study, a talkative lab. Plus, Rob & I spent a lot of the time just chatting and whatever… unwinding a bit from the previous few days thesis work. We did get to speak to Michael a bit at the end, once most people had left, so it wasn’t entirely pointless. But it probably would have been better, all in all, if I’d skipped it and just studied alone.

Anyway, after that I returned home and studied the night away. I’d joked sadly with Rob that Travis finished exams yesterday, so there’d probably be 500 people at our place by the time I got home. I thought I was going to be right at first – the bench was strewn with bags of chips and bottles of coke. As it turns out, they were just for Travis and his friend. Together with Aidan they stayed up until the wee hours (at least 2am) watching some miniseries with the volume way louder than necessary… pretty standard fare here. I mean, really it’s not that bad here, but I’m looking forward to moving out and being able to go to bed before 2am.

So, while I went to bed at about 2am – I stayed up as late as I could, hoping they’d all bugger off or go to bed, but it wasn’t happening – it took a while to get to sleep. Luckily I find that turning on my heater’s fan produces enough ambient noise to drown out the TV entirely, without seriously disturbing my sleep – and more importantly without preventing me getting to sleep to start with, which is the main problem.

So that worked, although I woke up again at 4am or 5am or something, having got very little decent sleep, and turned the fan off. Things were then quiet, so I slept pretty well until 9am. I woke up then, and figured I’d had enough sleep to get me through to 4:15pm, which was what mattered.

I was very tired for most of the day, though. I studied from the outset, the pace of which went from sturdy to somewhere close to frantic as 1:30pm drew nearer. I was reasonably confident though – quite a bit of the material overlaps with NET, which I had studied well for, and some things – particularly the details of the GPS – I’d researched for the thesis. I was still pretty stressed by the time I go to uni.

Luckily, once we sat down and reading time started, I was able to relax. There were a lot of questions on the exam, but worth only a few minutes each, so short answers were expected and easy to provide. I knew everything at least well; I had to stop a few times on some questions to paraphrase instead of copying from the lecture notes verbatim. :D

So I think the exam went well. I wasn’t really feeling any great sense of finality about this exam, despite it being my last… walking out of it was calming, but no great epiphany. And while I was quite bouncy through the exam and walking out, thanks to a healthy and steady dose of adrenaline, that quickly passed and turned to lethargy. But, with a birthday or two to celebrate and Tony to entertain for one last night, there was work to do!

Which, ultimately, consisted of food, then bowling, then a movie, then goodbyes. We grabbed pizza and fish & chips and sat in Bundoora Park eating those.

[Sidenote: they have, some time in the past year, installed apparatus in Bundoora Park which have the apparent function of teaching children to pole dance. Really… that seemed to be what they were about. It’s most disturbing. 8| ]

After that, we went for a spot of bowling. It’s what we did last year prior to me leaving for the U.S., and seemed a relatively safe activity for Tony to engage in just 36 hours before departure. That was surprisingly fun – we all had some bad luck, but overall did pretty darn well; plenty of strikes and spares all round. I think in the first game Rob scored 143 or so, which is pretty reasonable for someone who probably hasn’t been bowling since we went last year, and for who knows how long before that.

So after two games of that, we headed off. There was constant uncertainty as to what to do, and it took a while – chatting in the parking lot – before we finally up and went to Greensborough to see what movies were showing. None, as it turns out. Well, there was “Borat”, but Rob’s description started with the words “Ali G”, which was more than enough to turn everyone off unanimously. So, defeated by the angry gods of session times and night-life-killer, we instead swung by Michael’s place to watch a movie, or whatever else could be found. Tony had taken a number of pictures during the afternoon and evening, which he wanted to get out to people there and then, given he probably won’t have the opportunity later, and so he did that, with Michael’s aid, while we all watched Shanghai Noon. Unfortunately, it was a mediocre copy from Thailand which died completely half way through. D’oh. But by then it was – surprisingly – already after midnight, so while I did pop in Final Fantasy, we all figured it’d be good to call it a night. Tony was heading for Frankston, while Rob & Jess had some lunch thing to go to (and aren’t used to this crazy, up-past-10pm lifestyle :P ). So, we departed.

It was kind of strange then to say goodbye to Tony… I guess I only really realised at that late point that it really was the last time I’d see Tony for at least three months. And, depending on when I move over to the U.S., potentially much longer. It’s pretty scary; there’s no more inevitability in us seeing each other again; no more university to tie us together. It’s been five years since this sort of moment – the end of the high school being the last – but I think things will turn out better this time around. Rob & Jess I’m sure I’ll see again in the next few weeks – in all likelihood I’ll see Rob on Monday or something, just for the irony of it – and Michael most likely too… still, after that, who knows.

Well, anyway, it’s now past even my bedtime, and with Aidan already in bed (or out; in any case not around) I’m able to go to bed myself. I don’t know what I’ll do today, Saturday… there’s the eGames & something expo in the city, which seems like it’d be pretty cool… but it involves a tram or two, most likely, which I hate, and is $18 or so to get in… maybe I’ll feel different after a good long sleep, but right now I’m really lazy and tired, so I’m not all that motivated. :)

‘course sometime today or tonight I’ll be heading down to Mt. Martha, with as much of my crap as I can fit in my car, as I begin the laborious process of moving out. I need to be out by the end of the month, when my rent runs out and I believe someone else is moving in, but that’s still two weeks away. And I still have to sort out a few final bits for uni – get in the final paperwork for my industry experience stuff, and get my full mark for DIS into the online system so that I can get the necessary credit points from it. That should be all that’s needed; I’m set to graduate otherwise. I’m certainly not expecting to fail anything (although it sadly wouldn’t surprise me if there were yet more unseen hurdles waiting to crop up; it’s been the pattern of things for the last few weeks).

Results come out on the 11th of December, I believe, so I should know for sure then, anyway.

So, bed time for me. A good day, all in all…. and it’s going to be rounded off with a most needed good night’s sleep. :D

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