While the final exam period at The University of Florida marks seven sleepless nights of panic and cramming, at La Trobe University it is a month long vacation, sprinkled with a few days of review and testing. Such a system has been a relief and provides the opportunity for international students to further explore their surroundings. It also, however, possesses drawbacks. While classes end this Friday, my last exam isn’t until the 26th of June. This gives me ample time to prepare, but it also draws out the semester and prevents me from fully relaxing as I travel. Like at the University of Florida, some professors present their exams in the last week of classes. This past Monday, after finishing my first exam, I curled up in my bed with a chai latte and watched The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. In a battle of riddles with Gollum/Sméagol (I ‘m not certain if there’s a difference between the two) and Bilbo Baggins, the deranged creature presented the following brainteaser:
This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.
The answer, as many of you can guess, is time. Nothing can escape the influence of time; and studying abroad has made this fact more apparent than ever before. It feels like I arrived in Australia yesterday, and yet I only have one month left in this beloved country. Before my study abroad experience began, I was urged to narrow down my desired excursions, as there would not be enough time and money to do everything. While I understood that money would be limited, I thought five months would be a sufficient amount of time spent here. Over the past fifteen weeks, I have come to view Melbourne as a second home and cherish the remaining time I have here, knowing it will run out quicker than I expect. I am narrowing down my final adventures abroad, and am excited for the one waiting for me when I return, with memories and new friends, to Florida.
Next week, I am heading for the O U T B A C K!