Posted by: annie | April 16, 2011

Back To School

Hello again. Looks like I haven’t blogged since the middle of summer which was about four months ago now. I wish I could say it was because I was so busy, I just didn’t have the time. The truth is, I had a lazy, sunny,beachy summer and it was hard to accept its end.

In fact, I was so engrossed in a free-flowing carefree summer that I somehow forgot to enroll in the final year of my degree. In my defense, I did not receive a reminder email from the school. I had a hazy idea of how or when or where I had to be at the end of February, but turns out I was wrong about most of that and going back to school was a bit jarring to my body, mind, and spirit. I’ve been charging through the last 7 weeks of classes and assignments that have been decidedly less interesting or engaging than last year mostly due to my nonexistent interest in anything to do with research (which is the primary focus of this year). I am also struggling with what I’ll just call a personality conflict with the main educator of the year. Luckily, all that has ended for the time being and I’ll be starting a placement in a nearby high school after a 2 week break because the kids are on Easter holiday.

And by the way, you should see the size of the Easter candy these kids will be getting. It’s all giant, giant chocolate bunnies and eggs and various other giant things. It looks like it all came from Costco. At least it’s mostly all made by Cadbury which is a descent chocolate.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned the severe PC bias in this country, but in my class I’m the only one with a Mac and I’m sure when I mention it, people look at me funny. There is no official Apple store in New Zealand and it is difficult to even find the very few stores that sell Apple products. So when I had my first computer related trauma: the hard drive crash, it made it all the more stressful. At this point, I’m sure you’re wondering if I backed up and the answer is nope. One of those things on my list of things I’ll do someday, which at this point of course I do having learned my lesson. In fact, one of the Apple employees said “a person should expect their computer to crash within 3 years”. If that’s true, I think they should put some kind of warning label on the box. It took about 3 weeks and some really crap customer service to get it all sorted and fixed and I ended up losing everything on the hard drive.

Luckily, I didn’t keep anything important on my computer, well other than photos and music. I was gutted (common NZ word) to lose those. My only solace was the burned copy of Mumford and Sons I had recently made for my neighbor. If that was the only music I owned for a while (well aside from a few CDs and an ipod I transferred a small selection of songs to), I was content. It has easily become the one CD I’d take on the island. If you haven’t heard them, here’s a sample:

I have started putting a music collection together using the library ($2 per CD), the second-hand stores, and Sarah’s itunes library (lots of Latin grooves!). It’s actually been pretty fun.

 In neighbor and exciting horse news, we’re getting a new roommate in the front house and she’s a horse owner! She’s offered to be my riding teacher. Needless to say, I am very excited.

I was able to take a little sight-seeing adventure with Sarah and her friend about a month ago to Coromandel. I’ll save all of that for a later post, but I’ll share some photos of a closer to home day trip to Goat Island. I wasn’t aware of this marine reserve until recently which is a bummer because apparently dolphins hang out there and little blue penguins live out in the caves of the island. It’s known for snorkeling and diving because of the fish and marine life. We went on a fairly rough sea day so my attempt at snorkeling was a little comical as I spent most of my time swimming against the strong undertow just to move a couple of inches.  Here are some pics:

The most exciting event of the day was the visit from this little guy or girl:


This is about the most adorable thing I’ve seen in New Zealand. The little penguin stayed right in the safety of this tree all day long. We had our spot on the beach right next door and kept an eye on it. He/She moved very rarely.

*I’m adding these two new penguin pics from the friend I was with.

I’ll have more on my trip to Coromandel soon.



  1. I enjoyed the pics and was sorry you lost everything on your computer, makes me want to back mine up right now……..especially since it is 3 yrs. old!! Oh NO…
    Can’t wait to see how you like working at the school!

  2. I love hearing your updates. Your cool, flowy, out-of-school groove cracks me up-glad you were able to figure it all out and get back enrolled. Sorry to hear about the computer and losing all your files-ugh. What a hassle. That little penguin is so flippen cute! It probably would have taken all my will-power to not want to go cuddle with it. It still want to cuddle with it. I’m happy for your horse news-yeah! Miss you-Julie

  3. Oh, Maryanne, that is so you!! I’m glad you were still able to enroll and are surviving classes. It is difficult when personality conflicts taint enjoyment of the classes. The Easter candy sounds fabulous! The penguin was adorable…I want one 🙂

    Excited to hear about your horse riding adventures!
    love you,

  4. no way joelf, did you just say you wanted to have a bird?

    that little penguin looks so grumpy and cute! i see nothing wrong with a lazy, sunny, beachy summer interfering with computer time.

  5. Tough life, Annmarie (but I really do feel badly about your computer tragedy).

    Miss you!

    Your cousin, Nikki

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