Wednesday, April 30, 2008

WINNER... not

So, while I was sitting in the library today I decided to check the messages on my phone in case my bosses left any messages for me. I know how to do that without the screen, so I checked, I had one message. Now, before I go on, a little follow up. While I was in Melbourne on Sunday I couldn't tell whether my phone was on or off cause it was too light to see if the lights on the keys were lit up, and too loud to hear the beeping of the keys, so I just wasn't sure. The message I had on my phone was from Sunday at about 3:45 (while I was still there), it was from a guy from the international student federation or something, and he said that he had tried calling me once before and couldn't get a hold of me. He said I was the regional winner and that if I didn't pick up his next call he would have to draw another name. Well, obviously I didn't pick up cause I'm sure my phone was off or I didn't hear it. So, the only thing I can think that it might have been was this thing I signed up for to win a portable DVD player. That really sucks!!! I never really win anything big, and the one time I do I don't get the message because my bloody phone is on the fritz!! That made me really sad today. Another bad thing that happened today was this: I had $5 left in my wallet (along with a bit of change), and that's all I really have until I get a pay check. I had to print out an assignment due tomorrow and printing is $0.09 per page, so I had a $0.18 document to print (the school printers are my only source of printing). Just then was when I ran out of money on my card, and the machines that take money to put onto one's card take no less than $5. So, just so I could hand in my assignment tomorrow I had to spend my last $5! Now I don't even have enough money to take a bus trip. I was hoping I would get paid today, but I didn't so I called my boss (I found out how to locate their number on my phone thankfully) and left a message asking when I worked next as well as when we got paid. I hope it's soon. Dad sent me a $50 international money order that I went to the bank with today, the good news is the can take it, the bad news is there's a $10 fee and I can't access that money for up to 6 weeks! So, that doesn't help much right now. I am really just hanging on until I get a pay check. Having no money is really stressful, but at the same time I have been without it so often that I'm getting used to it. It's not stressing me out as much right now (probably because I know I have money on the way), but it still isn't a good feeling. I just hope I can get paid the whole amount of what I've earned cause I have just only applied for a tax file number today and they say that without one my employers have to withhold like 46% or something! I just hope that I can get that back once I get my TFN! I don't know, we'll see. Also, I found that there's a Norwegian May 17th shindig (on May 17th of course) in Melbourne, I really want to go, but tickets are $65, so I don't know if that'll be possible. Even if I get paid by May 9th (the last day to buy tickets) I don't know if I should spent that much on something like that, but I would really love to go! My internet keeps going in and out, so it's not reliable, but I just use it at school when it's not working, the worst part is just not being able to use Skype when it goes out to talk to David, but we deal with it ok. :) I've joined a Christian group on campus, they are mostly from the US (CA) but it's good, they're all really nice. They are big on evangelism, which I'm not so much on (I feel like it's better to show than go up and pressure). I don't think they're really about pressuring though, just talking, and I know why, they are trying to get the group to be student run and you can't do that without people, but I am still a little uncomfortable about it and I know that's just a me thing. ;P Naw, it's good.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Treasure Hunt

So, Friday I went into Geelong and am glad I did cause I was scheduled to work at 3:00-9:30 PM. I also worked the next day 8:30-6:00 PM. Allie, one of my bosses, asked me if I could work on Sunday from 1-5 (and if not that was ok) and I said that I had some plans, but that I might be able to come in around 3, so he said that was fine.

My plans were this: I got up early and rode my bike into Geelong to catch the 8 AM train with Loretta, Irene (from Italy) and her boyfriend Sam (who just got in to Aussie that week). We went to this big treasure hunt that was being put on for the international students in Melbourne. We got there a bit early and so ate some muffins that I brought from work. Once we got in and got our stuff a Dutch girl came over to us and asked if she could join us since she was alone, we of course were happy to have her. Her name is Renske, and is really nice; she's over here for a semester doing some research for her masters. This really enthusiastic guy got on stage and asked where everyone was from by calling out countries. It looked as if I was the only American (surprising) and so he had me stand up, and the two Italians with us were the only ones so they too stood up; he didn't call Switzerland or the Netherlands) then he did a little raffle (most of the prizes were either Optus [large mobile phone company here] pre-paid minutes/phones and footy [Aussie rule football] tickets) for an Optus phone. Then he asked for some volunteers who could win prizes. I was surprised no one put their hand up right away, so I did. :) I got called up along with a guy, who turned out to be another American (from NJ) who was just overlooked in the country thing. ;P Anyway, we were sent backstage where I had to dress up as a crocodile and he as a kangaroo. It was so funny! We the went back on stage and were asked Aussie questions, both of us answered all right, so he left it to applause to see which one of us would be the big winner; it was me!!! So, he got some Optus stuff (phone card...) and I got two footy tickets to see Melbourne vs. Northern Melbourne! We stayed in our costumes till after and got pictures taken with the Lord Mayor, it was neat. The best part about the footy game is that it's July 27th, so David can come with me to it!!!

By the way, for those of you who don't know, David's coming to visit me July 18th-August 2nd (he has to be in Ecuador on the 3rd); I am so excited! I just hope we can pile most of the stuff we want to do into two weeks! He was coming until the 9th, but found out he had to be in Ecuador earlier than anticipated. Oh, this is a bit random, but I have to mention it cause I thought it was strange and hilarious! I was this kid in the mall I work in, he was probably 3 or 4 and his dad was with him. He was wearing a t-shirt that said "lock up your daughters." I nearly lost it! ;P

Back to today's venture, before the 4 of us left to the train station we saw a ferris wheel and had to take a ride, so we did. It made us late for the 5:00 train, so we had to wait until 6:00, but it was fun and worth it. When we got back into Geelong we walked back to Irene's house, Loretta got her bike (she had stayed the night there that night) and we biked back to Waurn Ponds together. I was glad to get home. It was actually quite cold out today, but luckily it was nice out. :) Our house is very cold right now and I can't figure out the heater. Oh well. :) Well, I will wrap it up for now.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

ANZAC Day Adventure

As a prequel to this ANZAC Day adventure I must tell of the events that fell post-soccer practice last night. So, I had brought my cell phone with me in case of emergency as usual, it was sitting in the back compartment of my flimsy dance bag. No, I didn't lose it, I found that after practice it wasn't working, and I knew that it had had a good amount of charge left. I worried that maybe it got a bit of a toss in my bag. So, when I got home I found that taking the battery out and blowing on it a bit worked, it turned back on. That's not the end though, it now all works except the screen. So, I can call people, but I don't know who I'm calling! This is a bad thing because my phone is how I rely on info from my bosses as to when I work. I haven't heard anything from them this entire week, so I don't know if I work Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, all of which I need to know. So I tried calling them and got an unidentified answering machine, so I don't know if it worked. This morning (Friday morning) I was going to get a ride to the bus stop on campus from Abby cause she was going to drive her and some other people there as buses don't run that early in the morning (especially on a public holiday). We had made no prior ACTUAL plans or times or anything, so I figured I would wait as long as I could, still giving myself enough time to ride my bike if she didn't show up (since I tried calling her the night before and got my friend Samantha) :). Just as I locked the door and then turned around cause I forgot my bike helmet Abby came up the driveway, good timing!! So, we had to pick some other people up, we did so with one problem, this was her sister's car and so there were two child seats in the back and we couldn't figure out how to get them out, they were really held fast at the top! So, the others had to sit on these/ in the back. Needless to say it was cramped. We were running a bit late, we got to the bus stop and the bus was JUST leaving, they saw us and turned around. Abby went to park the car (in view of the bus) but I think they thought we were in a taxi (cause there was a taxi at the bus stop too and those people weren't coming on the trip) so it started to turn around again, not heeding out yells to stop; we even honked!! So, we all got back in the car and followed the bus to Torquay (about a 20 min drive), it was funny and unbelievable at the same time, we had more people in the car than they had in the bus!! We were all a bit ticked off to tell the truth, they said they would wait about 10 minutes, and we were only 5 minutes late. Oh well, we got there. The dawn service was very nice, there were LOTS of people there though, so you couldn't really see anything. Anyway, long story short, Abby dropped me back off at home and I took a nap. So, now the plan is, since I don't have anything else to do today, to take the bus into town and see if they need me at work today, if not I can walk around the botanical gardens, which I haven't visited yet. Either way, I will be able to explain my phone situation and find out when I am working. I would get my phone fixed today, but I think that will have to wait until tomorrow as most places are closed today. The good news is that my internet is currently working!!!!! I am very happy, I haven't been able to talk to David for a while now (other than via email). I just hope it stays on long enough for me to do so. :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Soccer, money, and fun

Hey all,
So, I have been enjoying soccer practice, and last night Sam (my room mate) let me borrow some of his old soccer shoes, so now I have some to use... for now. My right quad has been bothering me the past two practices, so I have to keep and eye on that. I asked my bosses if I could get some money in advance cause I didn't actually have enough money to catch the bus to come to work anymore, so they very kindly let me have $40, which I plan on reminding them to take out of my pay check. With that money I was also able to get more milk, OJ, bread and cheese! Those are some of my essentials here, as well as rice, but I won't run out of rice for a while yet, a 10 Kg bag goes a long way. :) So, it looks like I don't have work today, so I plan on going to bible study and meeting some of the people there. It should be good. For soccer we are having a game on Saturday, but I'm not sure if I can go or not yet as I don't know if I will have to work, but it's not a big deal if I can't be there (however, it is more desirable obviously). I still don't have shin guards though, so we'll have to see. :) The internet isn't working at the house again, Sachi and I have both been using it, so we have decided that if it doesn't come back soon we'll look into getting internet to share. I am wanting to wait until the end of the month, just in case it just had to be renewed. I had my Physiology midterm on Monday and my Animal Bio today, I think they both went ok, but I didn't get to study as much as I would have liked. I ended up working on Saturday, and I didn't think I would be, and I couldn't make myself study much on Sunday, which was bad. I hate that when you know you really need to study, but you just can't concentrate, so it's essentially useless to try. I think I'll be ok though. I have a presentation to do tomorrow in Australia Today on Aboriginal diversity, that should be good. I have to organize everything tonight, but I have all of my info, so that's good. Oh, and Friday is ANZAC day, so we don't have school as it's a public holiday. It's essentially like our Memorial Day, but it's more specific. It's remembering the soldiers who were sent to Galipoli (Turkey) in WW1, and who were essentially massacred. For my Australia Today class, for those who want to, the teacher is getting people into her car and we'll drive down to Torquay for the dawn service. It'll be an early morning, but I am looking forward to it cause this is something very Australian. :) Oh, and last Thursday we went to Narana, an Aboriginal info center. The guy told us about the different weapons (by the way, you are NOT meant to catch a returning boomerang, that's possible suicide!) and he also played the didgeridoo. I am a little torn cause I really want to get a didgeridoo, but they are a man's instrument and women were only allowed to play them (possibly, only in some tribes, and it's not a for sure thing if this is true) if they were having fertility problems. As a didgeridoo symbolizes a penis is was sort of view like if a women played one, she would get pregnant. Anyway, I still want one and want to learn how to circular breathe (I'm working on that now, and am doing alright) cause it's just such a neat instrument! Anyway, we got to go outside and throw some boomerangs (small touristy-sized ones, not real ones) and then we got to try some kangaroo and emu. both were very good (I couldn't tell the difference) but it tastes a lot like venison, so a taste I am very used to. :) I would like to have more kangaroo! ;P Well, I'm going to go and get a bit to eat, talk to you all later!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Soccer club

So, I, Cassie Novak, who has only played soccer in gym class and messing around with friends, is in the soccer club! I am actually really excited! There seem to be some really nice people on the team. Tuesdays are girls practices and Thursdays are the boys, but the other are encouraged to come to the other. ;P I am going to go again on Thursday with the boys; I will get my ass kicked. ;P I really liked it and got a good work out, a muscle in my leg started hurting so I didn't join in at the end, but most others had left by then anyway. I look forward to going back. I was actually surprised at how well I did, good for me! ;P I was planning on going to bible study tomorrow (Wednesday) at 3, a girl contacted me about it and I found out that she is also from the US (California... everyone seems to be from CA!). I was looking forward to it, but I got a call from my boss tonight asking if I could come in for more training from 3-5, so I can't go to bible study. I am not too sad cause I have also been looking forward to going into work again (I really enjoy it so far, the people are great!). I have to go buy some black non-slip shoes tomorrow before I go, so it's credit card time since I have no money, but that should hold me until I get my first pay check and can pay it off. :) I was invited to go into Melbourne this Saturday and catch up with some of the Tasmania trip group with dinner, dancing and footy. Sadly, I am not going, I am pretty sure I will be working then for one thing, and second, I don't have money to be spending on that sort of thing, but it does sound like heaps of fun. :) Oh well. :) Well, I'll sign out for now, YAY FOR JOBS!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Yay for jobs!

So, I have had two training sessions so far, Friday night from 6-9 was the first one. I took the bus to Corio (Northern part of Geelong...just for the training) and I was told by my boss that if no one else could give me a ride home they could, which was really nice of her. The buses don't run that late, but luckily two of the others (both 20 years old) live in Highton, near Waurn Ponds, so I got a ride home with AJ. We learned about making coffee, it was a lot the same and a lot different than at the CCC at the same time. I really enjoyed it. The best part is that everyone that I've been training with is awesome and I really can't wait to work with them all. I really think I will have fun working here! I know it will be a challenge cause I've never worked customer service before, but I am prepared to take that challenge, and it will only help me grow as a person and give me even more experience! I drank a hot chocolate that night and we got to try a bunch of the coffees we made (I just had one sip, cause as many of you know I'm not much of a coffee drinker anyway ;P) Also, we found out that three days a week they give all of the day old products (muffins, slices, quiches, pies...) to a homeless shelter (who love them of course!) and the other days the rest of us have to take the stuff if we don't want it thrown out. :P We all took a heap home that night, I got a bunch of muffins, a pie, a quiche, and two different kinds of wraps (I like the wraps the best, which is funny cause usually wraps aren't my thing). We had to come in again Sunday morning 9-12, so AJ came an picked me up. We went through the different types of products and some customer service basics. We also got a hot drink of our choice when we got there. :) Just a little note, when you finish drinking out of your cup there is a smilie face at the bottom. ;P Also, on the hot chocolates, with powdered chocolate on the top, they did it in the shape of a smilie too, very cute! Anyway, so I am very excited and excited to start working. I know that I won't be working Tuesdays or Thursdays, but other than that they are still working on our itineraries and they said they might change a bit in the first few weeks as everything is so hectic.

Also, on Saturday Laura (another US exchange student) invited me to her soccer game (soccer club) and said that I should join cause they need more people. I have been wanting to get involved in something but haven't cause I was waiting on a job. They practice Tuesdays and Thursday, which is perfect cause I don't work then! It'll help me get into better shape, and to meet more people. I am not worried about being very good cause she said I didn't have to be, and by watching their game I believe her. ;P Anyway, so I am going to practice on Tuesday! I think I will have to buy cleats, but David said you can get like $30 pairs, plus I have a $5 discount card to a sport store, and now that I will be making money, I don't mind the buy. I also have to get black shoes for work, but that is going to come before the cleats definitely.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Muffin Break job!

I GOT THE JOB! I am so excited! They are opening a new Muffin Break store in the new mall that is being built in Geelong central, so the actual store won't open until the 17th of April, but this week and next week will be training sessions at the store in Corio (a Northern suburb of Geelong). I let my boss know the what size I am for my uniform (we guessed a lot ;P) and what times I was available for training, so I have yet to hear back about when I will come in for training. I am very excited to start for numerous reasons. I think that having something else to do ( a job) it it help me be less bored for sure! I am also excited to start because the bosses (a young married couple) are very nice and I think it will be fun working with them. Also, I think this will help me meet people, and the other people I interviewed with seemed very nice. Once I get a solid schedule going, if I have time, I am also looking into getting more involved on campus (maybe joining netball or water polo or a club), so overall I think this will help me to meet people. Of course I am especially excited to be making money, I know now that I will survive and I can stop borrowing money from David to pay for my rent! I will be making $15/hour, which is like minimum wage over here, so I am very excited for how much money I will be able to save up! Tonight I am going to a free movie with some friends. I am a DUSA member, and every so often they give us vouchers to go see a free movie, tonight's movie is Prom Night. I am not especially excited for the actual movie (I wouldn't see it if it weren't free) but hey, it's free! It should be fun, I don't get to hang out with people very often right now. :) Anyway, I am very much looking forward to getting out of this funk I'm in and start getting off of my butt and doing stuff!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Daylight savings

So, I find out if I will get the Muffin Break job on Monday, it was a group interview. They broke us up into juniors, college age, and older. So, the juniors went before us, then we were at 2:00, there were 6 of us. The owners said they narrowed it down from 80 to 30, and now they will pick like 15-18 of us, so we have about a 50% chance. Literally everything is riding on me getting a job, so I really hope I get it! Also, I put a little widget up (as you might have seen) for you to be able to see what the weather is like over here, I put it in Fahrenheit to make things easier. So, now you can see what sort of weather I'm dealing with. Another new bit of info is that Australia does have different daylight savings times from the US, ours is this Sunday, and since it's fall over here we still "fall back" an hour. So, David and I were talking about this, we went from 5 hours apart when I left to 6 now, and after Sunday we'll be 7 hours apart! But, in the spring (your fall) it should go back to 5. :) It's kind of weird and interesting huh?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


So, I got called in as one of the 80 people picked from 180 to attend an information session for Muffin Break (a coffee place). They are opening a new shop in Geelong central (there's also one by my house, but they aren't hiring) and need a complete staff. They said at the info session that if we made the next step (an interview) they would contact us within the next week. So, I got a SMS message on my phone saying that I was called back for an interview on Wednesday at 2:00!!! I am so excited, I have been studying my types of coffee and I really am excited to possibly get a job with them, the owners are really nice and I think it would be a fun environment to work in. Wish me luck!!