Sunday, March 7, 2010

What culture have you engaged in?

I'm writing my First Report for my Rotary scholarship, which mostly involves discussing what Rotary-related activities I've been involved with since I got here, and also how I have a) learned about Australian culture, and b) shared my culture with Australians. Unfortunately, they don't mean things like figuring out what "half a rabbit" means, which is too bad, although I suppose I could count that towards my degree. So here are some of the cultural things I've been involved with since the last time I posted:
  • Went to the Perth Writers Festival. This was actually quite amazing; held on the UWA campus, it featured panel discussions with all sorts of authors, including American ones and, fabulously for me, Garth Nix, which made my geeky, YA-loving heart flutter. My notes for the session on landscape in literature and art, which I took on my cell phone, since I didn't have any paper, say: "the inutility of hierarchy...the intimacy of landscape" and "i-thou relationships with land...congruence/consistency." I was quite struck by that talk, actually, and stood up at the end to ask a question about why landscape seems to act as a narrative character more often in Australian media than in American ones, which caused several people to come up to me afterwards and question ME. I also really enjoyed what the panelists said about, if you could express landscape perfectly in words, it would have been in words to start with, which is what I always tell my students about dancing.
  • Went on a Rotary river cruise. I mostly, unsurprisingly for me, spent my time talking to the hired help, who told me about how hungover they were. One did, anyway. the other one wanted all my notes on Laos.
  • Had my first week of school. It was largely uneventful, except for talking about penises in class, for credit.
  • This Monday, we get to watch penises.
  • I dressed up hilariously to go see Alice in Wonderland.
    I never dress up to go to movies. Cat was sort of the March Hare. I, as housemate Jason pointed out, resembled a Fruit Tingle.
  • I read poetry at an open mic night. It was my poetry (sharing culture), and I listened to a poem about RAIN in Australia going down the DRAIN (receiving, unfortunately, someone else's culture.
Culture has been spread. You can tell cause I used the passive voice.


Eric McDermid said...

OK, I have to ask, since even Simone's never heard of this one. What's "half a rabbit" refer to?

Claire said...

Apparently it means "a partial erection." I'm starting to think the guy who told me made it up, though, because even Australians are confused by it, so far.

Sharp11Girl said...

Claire, since you are now going to school for this very subject, I expect nothing less than the whole hare. :)