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PUBLISHED BY THE CURTIN STUDENT GUILD

ISSUE #3 - 2013


CELEBRATING

•NO CAPS ON PLACEMENTS •RAISE STUDENT WELFARE •REINSTATE START-UP SCHOLARSHIPS •MORE INDIGENOUS GRADUATES - RETENTION AND COMPLETION •CONCESSION CARDS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

CENTRAL RALLY 1PM FORREST PLACE


ISSUE #3 2013 CONTACTS Editorial - 9266 2806 Advertising - 9266 2908 Email - grok@guild.curtin.edu.au EDITOR - Scott Donaldson LAYOUT - Rozanna Johnson cover artwork - Vanessa Gurung

Grok exists for entertainment purposes only. The views expressed therein are not necessarily that of Curtin Student Guild.

CONTRIBUTORS Grok would not exist were it not for the generous donation of time and effort from it’s contributors, to whom we are eternally grateful. (in no particular order) Jarod Rhine-Davis Athina Mallis Anika Rodgers Anthony Pyle Jessica McGovern Danielle Le Messurier

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Sarah Wood Ciaran Johns Stephanie Lyon Belinda Teh Matt Vassiliou Sarah Wood Chloe Macri

GROK

Brooke Hunter Michael MacKenzie Daniel Juckes Ashley Westwood vanessa gurung


GUILD EXEC PRESIDENT p: (08) 9266 2934 e: president@ EDUCATION VICE PRESIDENT p: (08) 9266 2920 e: educationvp@ ACTIVITIES VICE PRESIDENT p: (08) 9266 4578 e: activitiesvp@ GENERAL SECRETARY p: (08) 9266 2918 e: generalsec@

FACULTY REPS HEALTH SCIENCE FACULTY REP p: (08) 9266 3392 e: health@

A few weeks ago I replaced my social media accounts with Japanese lessons. Violent shivering fits and cold sweats notwithstanding, I’ve found the language pretty tough to learn.

INDIGENOUS DEPARTMENT p: (08) 9266 3150 e: indigenous@ INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS COMMITTEE p: (08) 9266 2910 e: isc@ QUEER DEPARTMENT p: (08) 9266 3385 e: sexuality@ WOMEN’S DEPARTMENT p: (08) 9266 3386 e: women@

STUDENT ASSIST OFFICERS

And so now here we are with issue #3, celebrating (and occasionally criticising) that which is simple, and criticising (and occasionally celebrating) that which is complex. Fed up of simple social acts turning into nightmares of Home & Away proportions? Want to be cool without taking up socialism? Ever wondered how lady parts actually work? The simple answers are inside. Ed.

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GROK MAGAZINE

p: (08) 9266 2900 e: grok@

GUILD ADVERTISING & EVENT ENQUIRIES p: (08) 9266 2908 e: advertising@

GUILD CLUBS

p: (08) 9266 2900 e: rec@

p: (08) 9266 4465 e: cupsacouncil@

My working solution is to break the words down into their (segue into issue theme incoming) most simple parts - to break words into letters, and letters into sounds, and sounds into animalistic grunts and whistles. Doing so, while making progress painstakingly slow, has really helped. And with only six million characters remaining, the Japanese alphabet will soon be stored, in all its glorious pronounceability, in my head, ready for swift deployment at but a moment’s notice.

p: (08) 9266 2900 e: reception@

HUMANITIES FACULTY REP p: (08) 9266 2764 e: humanities@

CUPSA

And so the problem of pronunciation. I’m cool with having a weird accent (right now I’m running a Scottish/Australian hybrid that, I’ve been told, sounds like a demented mix of Canadian and US American), but not actually being able to say words correctly, at all, isn’t something I’m cool with. I don’t want my Japanese pronunciation to be so bad that I sound like I’m having a stroke whenever I speak the language.

GUILD FOOD OUTLETS

p: (08) 9266 3087 e: clubs@

GUILD DEPARTMENTS

Which sucks, because I really want to spend some time in Japan. I could of course travel there on the back of my English and currently limited Japanese, as I hear it’s not that difficult to get around equipped with this level of knowledge, but I’m much too socially inept to be comfortable with being that guy. You know, the one who heads off backpacking and spends ten minutes holding up the queue in an Italian café because he can’t find the part of the phrasebook that contains their word for “macchiato.” If I’m all sorted in the language department, that’s a huge tick on the “stuff I don’t need to worry about” list.

THE SPOT/SPOTLIGHT TICKETS p: (08) 9266 1797 e: spot@

BUSINESS FACULTY REP p: (08) 9266 2764 e: business@

SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING FACULTY REP p: (08) 9266 3392 e: science@

Since finishing my compulsory education I’ve made failed attempts at both French and Spanish, and they’re peachy in comparison (although I still don’t understand why the French think tables are female). Japanese sentence structure isn’t all that hard to grasp, nor is the vocabulary, but the problems I’m having lie in pronunciation. It’s the first language I’ve ever come across which contains sounds that my mouth seems physically unable to produce.

BOOKENDS (GUILD SECONDHAND BOOKSHOP) p: (08) 9266 2909 e: bookshop@

GUILD REC THE TAV

p: (08) 9266 2904 e: tavmanager@

All guild email suffixes are: @guild.curtin.edu.au

UNIVERSITY CONTACTS GRADUATIONS p: (08) 9266 7115

HEALTH CENTRE p: (08) 9266 7345 HOUSING p: (08) 9266 4430 INTERNATIONAL OFFICE p: (08) 9266 7331 PARKING p: (08) 9266 7116 PHYSIOTHERAPY CLINIC p: (08) 9266 1210 SCHOLARSHIPS p: (08) 9266 2992

SECURITY

p: (08) 9266 2900 e: reception@

p: (08) 9266 4444 Emergency dial 5 from any campus phone (24h) or 9266 5555

RETAIL OUTLETS

STUDENT CENTRAL – BLD 101

GUILD COPY & DESIGN p: (08) 9266 2925 e: copy.design@

p: (08) 9266 3399

STUDENT FEES

CURTIN CONCEPT p: (08) 9266 2828 e: concept@ www.curtinconcept.com.au

SWITCHBOARD

IT WORKS COMPUTER REPAIRS & STORE p: (08) 9266 2902 e: itworks@

p: (08) 9266 7166

EDITORIAL / CONTACTS

p: (08) 9266 3500 p: (08) 9266 9266

T.L ROBERTSON LIBRARY UNI COUNSELLING p: (08) 9266 7850


Contents 2 3 5 6 7 8 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 24 26 27 28 29

Welcome back for semester two! Students and universities are back in the news thanks to the cuts to university funding announced in April. It’s not all bad news, though: the angry response from students and staff across the country has actually forced the government to respond. We now have Rudd saying that he is looking at repealing a section of the cuts and we have overtures from Kim Carr (the fourth education minister since December!) that the quality of university education has to be looked at. While I don’t think any of the statements are even close to good enough and I completely disagree with Carr that university places should be limited, we do have acknowledgement from the government that the cuts are unpopular. They are trying to smooth things over. They don’t want this to be an election issue, but we have made it one. The mantra of ‘gonski, gonski, gonski’ just isn’t enough to drown out the anger of students and staff anymore. This is good, and it is why in the context of the upcoming federal election we cannot let up our opposition. The National Union of Students has called a protest for Tuesday August 20, and student organisations across the country will participate. This is important because we are stronger when we stand up together. Our demands are simple:

Curtin, UWA, ECU and Murdoch Guilds have come together to organise a protest in the Forrest Place (Perth CBD) at 1PM on Tues August 20. We want to build on the energy of the May 14 protest at Curtin (which was the biggest protest on campus in 25 years). On August 20 there will be a rally on Curtin Bentley campus and buses will be available to drive us into the city to join other students. Stay tuned for details. In the context of the anti-cuts campaign the facts about the state of education continue to roll out. According to a recent report by Universities Australia, two thirds of students have reported incomes below the poverty line, and the situation is even worse for those from low socioeconomic backgrounds and Indigenous students. This isn’t good enough. The government has relied on students being silent for too long. Make sure you take a stand on August 20 to demand fully funded, quality public education.

editorial / contacts your guild pres your vps your faculty reps Guild news / the goon bag guild equity departments/clubs what have we learned? how the simple things become un-simple

abhorring academia student assist: conditional status get natural national student strike report

GUILD ELECTIONS!

how to gross out a guy in ten seconds the key the cheesecake chase simplifying study 2013 tax return supplement for tertiary students to be completed by tertiary students as part of their 2013 tax return

31 a beginner’s guide to the resource economy 32 slow food 34 the phantom interest 36 how paris hilton broke my heart 38 poetry 38 i wish i’d thought of that! 40 homegrown 42 fast loud v8 sunday 44 album reviews 45 book reviews 47 movie reviews

Jess McLeod

No cuts More funding

3 - editorial

Education for all

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GUILD PRESIDENT / CONTENTS


Experiences that mean the world The Melbourne JD Law degree

Experiences that mean the world The Melbourne JD Law degree www.law.unimelb.edu.au/jd www.law.unimelb.edu.au/jd

www.law.unimelb.edu.au/jd


Wow, first semester really flew by didn’t it? On the events side of things first

semester was classically filled with our bigger events such as Beach Bash, HvZ, Easter Bash, and Zombie Crawl. Now that these are all done and dusted, second semester allows me to focus on some small events as well as more non-alcoholic events. Here are just some of the events to keep you guys busy in second semester:

Guild Day - August 7th National Campus Band Comp - August 16th (heat one) and August 23rd (heat two) Club Olympics - August 28th Mid Semester Bash - August 30th Curtin Carnival - September 25th Pasar Malam - October 25th End of Semester - November 8th

IMPORTANT DATES to remember NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION •No Cuts to Universities •More Funding •Education for All 1pm August 20, Forrest Place, Perth CBD Protest for Marriage Equality 1pm September 7, Stirling Gardens, Perth CBD

Quiz Night - TBA Plus lots, lots more! I also want to remind everyone that it’s not too late to start a club. If you feel there’s a need for a club and have a couple of like-minded mates contact us at the Guild about registering. On that note, it’s also not too late to join a club - head to the Guild website to get a full list of affiliated clubs. Who knows, maybe you will be rocking it for your new club during Club Olympics? Apart from that, I just really want to remind returning students (and inform new students) of the importance of getting involved on campus. It will honestly make your experience at university so much richer and is a great way to make new friends. Not only that, but social experiences at university could potentially help land you a job! It’s never too late to start getting involved. Like the Guild’s Facebook page to keep yourselves informed and I look forward to seeing you all around in second semester.

to oppose their party they do not want to be implicated. Another major development is of course the leadership spill and the reinstatement of Kevin Rudd as PM. I believe that this change of face will have little to no positive affect on our education. The Labor government still plans on cutting funding to higher education. We need to continue our campaign against the cuts regardless of who is in government. This will not only mean we can continue to put pressure on the Labor Government to better fund Higher Education but it will also put students in a stronger position to fight against the cuts to funding that inevitably go part and parcel with a Liberal Government.

As this is the first issue of Grok since the National Student Strike I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you who came out on the day to make it into the huge success that it was. The protest attracted a crowd of over 700 people, which was the biggest protest at Curtin University for decades. Since then there have been quite a few developments both nationally and at Curtin.

If Tony Abbott is anything like the Liberal Prime Ministers before him, students will need to get ready to fight for their rights. John Howard not only enabled university fees to increase by 25%, he attacked student and staff organisations. This was an attempt to take away the power of students to collectively fight against his agenda of privatising and corporatising education.

The university has been pushed back in its agenda of course cuts. Although the university still has plans to cut whole chunks of courses and units, many of them, which were on the chopping block before the National Student Strike, have been saved. Literary and Cultural Studies and Librarianship and Information Studies were two courses the university administration slated to be cut; however, through the concerted effort of students and staff, they have both been saved.

Tony Abbott has already pledged his support for the cuts to higher education and said that if elected he will go through with them. For us this means the only choice is to stand up against the government, Labor or Liberal, to ensure that we retain quality education as a right for everyone and not a privilege for an elite few.

On a national level recent polls have shown that cutting education is an unpopular move. The parliamentarians clearly know this, because a motion condemning the cuts saw the majority of Labor politicians conveniently making themselves scarce during voting. This is indicative that the Labor party is feeling the pressure, and while they are too gutless

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VICE PRESIDENTS

On August 20 join thousands of other students across the country for the upcoming National Day of Action. We will be protesting against the cuts, for more funding, and for the rights of education for everyone.


Health sciences Fac Rep - audrey gunawan

Humanities Fac Rep - Cameron Thorn Hey there Humanities, hope you had a good holiday. For those of you who didn’t go to Europe, thank you for keeping me company here in Perth. It was cold, dark, and occasionally mild. I got myself an ‘89 Landcruiser and spent a long time working out what the second battery was for. After mastering auto-electrics, I spent a bit of time planning out my summer holidays and how I would test the limits of my new old car and my driving ability. There is one more semester to get through this year though, and I thought it would be good time to let you know about a few up and comings for this semester. We will be launching an exhibition of Curtin’s entrants into the National Campus Art Prize; nominations must be submitted by the end of August. This is a National Competition open to all students anywhere on campus. Search NCAP and follow the links. There will be posters around campus shortly about this. Otherwise, please contact myself for more information and submission details. Watch out for the first event of the School of Education Student Association “Back to School” at the Tav. Ed club has been working hard over the Winter break on organising professional development classes for any student in the School of Education. Look for posters and information around the School for more information on all of these events. There will also be the annual Pirate Party held by Curtin University Boat Club at the Tav within the first few weeks of semester. This event has been held on campus for the past two years, and is bigger and better each time. Tickets are a must. Check out the posters for more information, or look up Curtin University Boat Club on Facebook. If anyone else in Humanities is looking to start up a club or get involved with one, send me an email at humanitites@guild.curtin.edu.au and I’ll help you get it going. And a South Park paraphrase to finish off: If you don’t talk to your Guild Rep, you’re gonna have a bad time. Whether life’s getting hectic

Have you ever been lost in a foreign city? I have. Though, granted, it was Adelaide, and you would think that a city smaller than Perth would be impossible to get lost in. Well, you’d be wrong. A number of us from the Guild were in Adelaide during mid-year break for the NUS Education Conference, and though we were there for five days, by the time I left I still had no idea which way I should have been walking. This is disconcerting because I tend to be a gun on inner city directions in Perth (if I may say so myself), but Adelaide (which is basically Perth-lite) remains an enigma - perhaps my disorientation came from its facing south as opposed to west. And I wasn’t the only one confused. But eventually, thanks to Google Maps (and

or going way too slow, we can teach you the art of Pizza vs French Fries. Feel free to drop in at any time to see any of us or the fine people from Student Assist. Peace XXX Cameron Thorn

Science and Engineering - Fletcher Pym OK. So I admit getting something decent and entertaining down here will be a bit of a mission, but here we go! I guess I’ll start with the serious stuff this time. The faculty and university are undergoing a process they are calling the “Transformation of Learning.” I will be working hard throughout the semester for you to make sure these changes make a difference for us and that systems here at Curtin improve over the coming semester. Wow, that was really boring, but that is half my job. The other part of my job involves telling awesome stories around the guild and generally having a good time. So like many of you, I struggled with what to do over the break apart from filling in vac work applications forms and feeling really bad about my grades! I began an attempt to read Lord of the Rings again which, needless to say, is going badly. I also went to see as many movies as I could handle for $8 on Mondays. And I must say, what the hell happened in Superman? There were so many holes in the plot! I mean yes, let’s send General Zod to the Phantom Zone knowing he will be let out when the planet is destroyed but at the same time let’s all stay on the planet and die? Who thought that one out? Maybe they should have more SciEng students reading the plots! Anyway, a guy put up a great article about it on i09.com. Check it out if you’re bored. Live Long and Prosper Fletcher Pym

Shauna), we found where we should be going and spent an intriguing and informative halfweek learning about national education issues and potential solutions. Glad to be back, though. On a completely unrelated, but more important note – folks, it’s almost that time of year again! Guild elections are approaching and it’s your opportunity to make yourself heard on campus. Included in this edition of Grok are the forms you need to fill out if you’re interested in becoming a student rep in 2014. It’s a rewarding job, and if you think you have something to offer your fellow students, why not have a crack? If you have any questions, I or any other member of Guild Council would be very happy to have a chat to you. Don’t forget, nominations close on September 2, 2013. We’ll have information sessions before this date – just keep an eye on G-News! GROK #3 2013

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faculty reps

Congratulations to each one of you for finishing first semester! You did it! I am sure there were times when you had enough of studying, and were up two days straight doing your assignment/s with your beloved coffee or energy drinks. But you made it through! Speaking off energy drinks, I found the tastiest one ever. It’s called “Rehab” by Monster. But anyway, back to a healthier topic: I hope you enjoyed your well-deserved break. By the time you read this, you will have received your semester one results. I hope you did well and met your expectations. If you are not too happy with your results, you can always ask your unit coordinator for your exam result and perhaps make an appointment to see him or her to discuss your paper in detail and gain some useful feedback to increase your mark for next semester. Of course, we all want to do well and pass all the units but sometimes things don’t go according to our plans. Don’t beat yourself up, I know it’s upsetting but I am here if you need someone to talk to, or you can make an appointment to see one of our student assist officers to appeal your marks. Remember, failing a unit doesn’t mean you are a failure as a person. Take care of yourself and feel free to contact me by email at health@guild.curtin.edu.au or by phone on 92663392. Kind Regards, Audrey Gunawan

Business Fac Rep - Roshni Shah A big welcome to another exciting semester! For those who are just beginning your university experience, there are a lot of fun things to do on campus such as joining some epic clubs, volunteering, and networking with people from different countries, etc. Last semester, the Guild fought against the cuts to university funding and will continue this semester. One of the major issues we are facing at Curtin is the move towards online learning which reduces contact hours and face-toface interaction with lecturers. It also gives students less opportunity to think creatively in an interactive learning environment. The result of this, as you can all see, is a decline in quality education. I encourage students whose units have been pushed online to please get in touch and have a chat with me. On to the more exciting stuff now! Make sure you check out the National Campus Band Competition happening in August. Pasar Malam is also on its way and for those who don’t know about it, Pasar Malam, hosted by the International Students Committee, is a night market with a great variety of multicultural food and entertainment put together to finish off Multicultural Week at Curtin. Our lovely Activities VP is also working on yet another awesome Mid Semester Bash and an End of Semester Bash both of which will definitely be worth attending. Lastly, if you have any queries or issues concerning your units/classes, please drop me an email at business@guild.curtin.edu.au or feel free to drop by the office in building 106F. Love, Roshni Shah


Breaking news that absolutely

no-one has

heard about OMFG STOP THE PRESS THERE’S A RABBIT ON CAMPUS. Just in case you hadn’t heard

there is apparently a mysterious white rabbit lurking on campus looking to feast on first years. No but seriously if one more person mentions the rabbit or takes a picture of the rabbit the hopes and dreams of a million children will be dashed, or something like that.

Oasis fails at life yet again

(the site not the band)

Guess what? Oasis, E-student and IT in general failed once again as uni results were released. Shock horror. Students would like to inform the IT department that yes 50,000 students will be

trying to access their results on the same day like they do every semester every year and yes if you don’t change something the system will crash each and every time. Got that? Mmmmk thanks. Phew glad we’ve got that sorted. I’m sure next semester will be completely hitch free…

Curtin makes the

news again - but not for good shit (again)

No, because that would be too handy and make us think that we go to a decent university. This time the media-enticing issue was just some casual explosives from the 70’s found in a lab. We thought shiz on campus was about to get really interesting but in hindsight apart from an appearance from the bomb squad nothing much happened and we weren’t even allowed to evacuate the Guild building. Damn it. Next time something like this happens we’ll be sure to ask that it’s around the Guild area, during the semester to allow for the most slacking by the most people possible. Imagine how many people would end up the Tav? Good times.

So back in the day (circa 2006), every Grok edition used to include a short segment filled with goon facts and trivia. It was written by a gentlemen whose nickname was, in fact, Gooner. While the Guild no longer has any staff with such a nickname, the general consensus is that goon is just as relevant to students as ever. And so, the 2013 edition of Grok is proud to bring back ‘The Goon Bag.’

National Campus Band

Comp

Calling all musically talented people!

If you’re a part of a band and you’re a student on campus then the NCBC is for you! As the starting point for bands such as Jebediah, The Vasco Era and Eskimo Joe it’s a great opportunity to get your music out there. Rego closes on the 8th of August and the first heats are the 17th and 23rd of August at the one and only Tav.

Head on over to aaca.net.au or www.guild.curtin.edu.au for all the details. If you’re thinking you’re not quite at NCBC level yet never fear! G-Music will be running at the end of semester. Email activitiesvp@guild. curtin.edu.au for more info.

#11

Hot water bottle….to keep you cold on those long, warm, lonely nights…

#12

Anger management. The legendary goon bag makes a pretty convincing head-sized punching bag.

#13

Children’s flotation devices. Some masking tape and an empty goon bag. Voila! One semifloatable individual.

#14

The goon lie down. Kind of self-explanatory really. If it’s not google it. Trust me, it may just change your life.*

#15

To become more attractive. Because fruity lexia makes you sexier. Fact. *not in a positive manner GROK #3 2013

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GUILD NEWS


queer department Khyl Hardy - Queer Officer

Cuts to higher education always disproportionately harm students facing discrimination. The latest round of cuts announced by the now-dethroned Gillard government especially seem designed to cut deep. It is already hard enough for the majority of students who don’t come from rich backgrounds. Having to deal with the financial burdens of student life with only minimal support from your family can and does drive students out of higher education. When you’re Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and/or Intersex (LGBTI), and at risk of being kicked out of home and cut off entirely by your parents, the danger is of this is even greater. Turning student start-up scholarships into HECS loans - adding the burden of providing for ourselves to our already massive debt-load - is exactly the kind of attack you would expect to see from a government that prioritises opening universities to market forces over equality of access for all. As if LGBTI students needed some special extra reason to take an interest in the largest cuts to university funding and student support in 17 years! The Queer Department has been heavily involved in supporting the May 14th National Day of Action, and the next NDA coming up for Semester 2. Keep a lookout for the posters and fliers advertising the August 20th action here at Curtin - education should be a right for all, not a privilege for a few! In other news, we have in the last few weeks seen Kevin Rudd become the first Prime Minister in Australian history to at least rhetorically support equal marriage rights. This is a massive gain - but we can’t let Rudd lull us into a false sense of security. Whoever comes out on top in the federal election this September - whether it be the ALP with their useless “conscience vote” or the Liberals with their open homophobia and contempt for LGBTI people - we are going to have to fight for our rights. As always, here is the Facebook page info for Equal Love WA, the equal marriage rights campaign here in Perth: www.facebook.com/ EqualLoveWA See you all at the NDA and the upcoming demonstrations for equal marriage rights!

women’s department emily kingsley and juliette rose - women’s Officers Hi All! For us, the semesters seem to be rolling by more quickly each year. However, we at the Women’s Department have planned a bunch of activities in the hope that together we can stop for a while, reflect, enjoy, and make semester two a memorable one! This semester sees the exciting return of the theatre production The Vagina Monologues. The production was developed by Eve Ensler as an initiative to both raise awareness of and prevent violence to women and girls internationally. The monologues were produced from interviews with over two hundred women who share their true stories of joy and heartbreak, making for a singularly and sincerely moving text. The work not only helps raise awareness about violence against women and children, but directly acts to combat it. Proceeds collected are donated to local charities dedicated to this purpose. And if you want to be involved you can! Whether that is acting in the piece (applicable to female and female identifying students), or working backstage, as an usher, or in promotions, etc. To register your interest you can email us at women@guild.curtin.edu.au. Alternatively, you can keep a look out for our posters around campus or check out our Facebook page (Women’s Department, Curtin) for dates and locations. This collaboration is a really enjoyable way of supporting a serious cause, so show your support for the cessation of violence to women and girls around the world. Make a difference by helping us all move together towards that end. Blue Stocking Week this year is from the 12th – 16th of August. This is a week during which to honour women in higher education and there will be lots of informative and positive events. The theme for this year is ‘Holding the Line’ and you can check out details here: http://www.nteu.org.au/bluestockingweek Other events that you should look out for are the upcoming Women’s Department movie night and quiz night! We hope this semester enables you to create you some wonderful lasting memories.

mature age department

jodie best and kate farrell - mature age officers

A huge hello to everyone! First semester is done and dusted. We hope you enjoyed the couple of coffee mornings we had, and that all first year students have settled in well. Coffee and cake will again be a part of this semester along with the successful parents with children morning tea. Our first coffee and cake will be held on the 21st of August in the Equity space at 12pm. A night out is being planned at The Classroom for the start of semester two! This is being coordinated with MASNA (Mature Age Student Network Australia) and we hope to have MA students from other WA universities attend. So keep your eyes out for details via our Facebook page, your inbox, and posters around campus. We hope to see everyone old and new at these get-togethers; it is a great and relaxed way to meet new people! Feel free to drop in and say hello, or shoot us an email at mature@guild.edu.au!

psychology student council

Looking for a fun night out without having to sell your grandma? Looking

to meet new friends? Well look no further than the Creatures of the Night Student Ball! The psychology clubs of Curtin, UWA and Murdoch are joining forces to bring you one awesome night for students of all disciplines full of dancing, mingling, and ridiculously good looking people. The theme of this monumental event is Creatures of the Night (don’t worry, it’s only black tie, no special dress-ups needed) and will be held on Friday the 13th of September at the Hyatt Hotel. Tickets are the cheapest of any club ball year $120 for Members and $125 for Non-Members, which will grant you access to unlimited drinks and dinner on the night. Unfortunately this means the ball is 18+. You can get 15% off rooms at the Hyatt for the night and discounted entry into Connections nightclub for the after party! To buy tickets for the ball, search for Psychology Student Council on Facebook and find the ticket link on the official ball event page (and while you’re there, give the psych student council page a like!). For any further inquiries about the ball please email psychologystudentcouncil@gmail.com. Hope to see you all there!

GROK #3 2013

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EQUITY DEPARTMENTS/clubs


Work & play in the USA nt e c e r r dent o you u t s e ll tim u f a u know rtunity s o y A d i ppo ate d o u d e v a i r s g es to xclu t e a t n S a e have to th r e v o d to hea work? s and e i s s u to A e l b a l i do a ava o t y l u n o o It’s llows y anywhere in a d n ths. Kiwis a ge of jobs n o m 12 an wide r f A for up to o the U S ap g a g n y taki c n in the r a f a u e y o lk to So if y pending a a t e t a u rs year o fter you grad a States IEP. at e r o usa m k r t u o o w / d Fin m.au o c . p e i www.

www.iep.com.au 03 9329 3866


What have we learned? Jarod Rhine-Davis

GROK #3 2013

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“I’ve been making a list of the things they don’t teach you at school. They don’t teach you how to love somebody. They don’t teach you how to be famous. They don’t teach you anything worth knowing.” - Neil Gaiman. While trawling through Google Images to find an image that encapsulated “simplicity,” I stumbled across this gem. It made me stop, and stare, and think, and wonder, and regret, and a million other things. It’s a powerful image indeed.

We’ve all been there. Being told we weren’t good enough for A when our talents lay in B. Having your talents left uncultivated in B and loathing A and ending up being mediocre at both. I think this image is extremely pertinent to a modern society where we are only deemed smart if we jump through a series of rigid hoops in school. Though answers like the one given in the image show a lot of ingenuity and creativity, a normal answer merely demonstrates the ability to rote learn some data. And that is why it is a symbol of simplicity – a symbol of those who think outside the square by saying “why not that?” and are then reprimanded for it. It seems that schools always seem to get the really convoluted facts and figures right while failing with the simple stuff. Ever heard of the hierarchy of needs? If not, it’s a psychological theory invented by Abraham Maslow in 1943, and kinda looks like a food pyramid - the only difference is that it is about what we put into our entire bodies, not just out mouths. Selfactualisation and esteem sit at the very top, and includes things like having creative outlets and being well respected within the community. Schools work two-fold to screw students over in this regard. They deem intelligence to be

about these facts and figures alone, thereby knocking a lot of self-actualisation out of the way – freedom of expression is considered a waste of time. Street-smarts – embodied by the lower half of Maslow’s pyramid - are also summarily ignored by the school system. But surely in many cases theoretical knowledge is less effective than practical knowledge. A rather morbid example would be of an engineer, who understands exactly how a car works, but gets run over by one regardless. Under this category, the pyramid includes things ranging from having a roof over your head, to having no fear of being in mortal danger, to having a close family/friend network. According to Maslow, these are much more important than the upper two layers, and should be fulfilled before the other two are.

Does school care that despite getting good grades you are having huge financial difficulties? Or that you just found out you were pregnant and have an abusive boyfriend? Or that you are a kleptomaniac and was just charged? Have you ever been in a situation where your life feels like it’s crumbling in on you, and the only thought keeping you going is that as long as you keep up with your school work everything will turn out okay?

Ever thought, “how dare schools teach me calculus and yet not teach us to be kind to one another?” Perhaps

I’m a cynic but I get the feeling that the school system doesn’t genuinely care about its students. (Oh, and just for good measure, here are a few other things I found schools fail at teaching you: how to use a copy machine, how to wash your delicates, how to say “I Love you” and “I’m Sorry,” how to pay your taxes, how to sell yourself, that friendships often sink, manners. Not to mention things that you learn in school that aren’t necessarily true, such as: the people in charge have all the answers, learning ends when you leave the classroom, the best and brightest follow the rules, what the books say is always true, there is a very clear single path to success. Etc.) As the old story goes, the bird, fish, and koala all go to school. They each have their own respective talents, but are forced to learn how to walk instead. So rather than excelling at one thing, they ended up being mediocre at

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another, just like everybody else. They all pass their tests, and the teacher doesn’t have to personalise the course. Children aren’t taught to strive for excellence – and if they are, it’s only excellence within the classroom. Either way, their uniqueness is suppressed. Education consumes us, breaks us down to our essence, and then spits us back out. Few may succeed, but for the majority, our talents have been deemed a waste of time. Our originality has been ridiculed. And that trumpet, or art brush, or basketball, is exchanged for a 6am alarm, an employee login code, and a ticking clock. We shouldn’t have to have to anaesthetise kids to get them interested in education. Let the bird fly – don’t try to make it walk. The end of the song “My Psychopharmacologist and I” from the Broadway show Next to Normal is, I think, very apt here. Diana, a middle aged women, has taken many different chemicals to ease her mental state. Eventually, after months of trial and error, this conversation transpires between her and her doctor: DIANA: “I don’t feel like myself. I mean, I don’t feel anything.” DR. MADDEN: “Hm. Patient stable.” Chilling. Schools are industrialised to no end. Among other things, they are organised by different subjects, and there are separate facilities for each. Classes are distinguished via bells. And most terrifyingly, children are educated in batches – divided by age. The thing that they all have in common - what is deemed the most important thing about them - is their date of manufacture. If that doesn’t sound like factory production, I don’t know what does. When will the conformity end? When will the system start to genuinely care about us? Lots of great work has been done in this field in recent years, but we’ve only scratched the surface. For now, at least, we can all take a moment to revel in the gloriousness of the student’s work above. The only student the marker will remember. The only student who with an irregular circle scrawled on his page, and some text, showed that they had more inside of them than the majority of the other students taking the test. But nevertheless, they will still get a zero for that question.


HOW THE SIMPLE THINGS BECOME UN-SIMPLE. Athina Mallis

Have you ever had one of those days where everything is going well until one tiny little thing happens and tips you over the edge? Or when you say something to your friend and they take it completely different to how you intended and then end up hating you? It’s always the simple things that make a difference, and it’s always the simple things that turn into the biggest complications. We try really hard to avoid complications by making little gestures instead of large, obnoxious ones. Yet somehow it’s these actions that end up causing fights, hurting ourselves and others, or sometimes, on the off chance, killing puppies.

Getting a compliment What it means: Saying

What other people think it means: Pausing before answering a question you know the answer to: What it is: An accidental pause. What other people think when you do it: You were about to answer the question and now you’ve changed your mind with the answer so obviously what you were about to say was going to be mean and spiteful so I want to know why you paused and what your original answer was.

Calling someone skinny What it means: Your body shape is small. What other people think it means: You are fat

Liking a photo on Facebook What it means: I like this photo. What other people think it means:

as hell. Go on a diet. Size 10? I’m size 8, I win. Check out my thin-spirational blog for hints and tips. Don’t you have a gym membership? EAT LESS.

you’re hot, you’re pretty, I want to sleep with you, your tits are huge, your ass is big, nice outfit, you’ve lost weight, you’ve gained weight so I’m liking this out of sympathy, I can’t be bothered messaging you so I’ll like this photo instead.

Thumbs up What it means: General positivity. What other people think it means:

Please go away; I don’t care about what you said/have done/are about to do.

Saying “hi” instead of “hey” or “hello” What it means: A greeting to someone; a way

something nice to

another person.

Being nice to the opposite sex What it means: Being nice to the opposite sex. What other people think it means: You have a crush on him/her. You want to touch him/her.

to start a conversation or a shortening of hello.

What other people think it means: I’m mad at you. I don’t want to talk to you; I don’t even want to look at you so please piss off and leave me alone. You obviously cannot be bothered with me so I won’t bother with you. I don’t want to communicate with you today, tomorrow, or the day after that. GROK #3 2013

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I like what you’re wearing but I don’t like you, I’m sucking up to you because I want something and you only respond to people that are nice to you, I have a crush on you, I am hitting on you.

Getting called curvy What it means: Being appreciated for not being a size 6.

What other people think it means: You are fat as hell. Go on a diet. Size 10? I’m size 8, I win. Check out my thin-spirational blog for hints and tips. Don’t you have a gym membership? EAT LESS. Asking to get your photo taken What it means: Can you please

capture this

magical moment via camera?

What other people think it means: We look hot so take a photo, I need a new profile picture, I haven’t updated Instagram in a while, I’m drunk and won’t remember this so I have to take photos.

Having 92.9 on the radio What it means: Listening to shit music. What other people think it means: Listening to shit music.

So say “hi” instead of “hey,” look at someone the wrong way, and compliment your friends - you have the power to make the world feel terrible or fall in love with you.


Abhorring Academia Anthony Pyle

Academic writing has for many years been a detriment to my well-being and has led to many, many wasted hours. Why is this, you ask? To

answer, let me take you on a journey, to the time of the Greek philosophers. I wonder if Socrates got a hard time for only citing his own works on ancient philosophy, or, as it was called at the time, philosophy. Was Socrates allowed to form his own ideas without citing relevant sources? If he’d just been your average Joe at university today, creating his own backing for a modern new way of thinking, his lack of references would likely land him a fail or two (or nine). But somehow it’s fine for us to use his work – I guess philosophical ramblings gain significance when they’ve been aged a couple thousand years. Is it possible that universities believe that most ideas have by this time already been conceived? That there is no new material and that we should just continue to rehash alterations of old scripture until we either run out of paper or people? Maybe that’s why academic writing is so popular - it allows us to avoid thinking for ourselves. If we list ideas and attribute them correctly, then we’re already halfway to the word limit. Oftentimes I’ll use a quotation just because it sounds vaguely relevant, even though my own ideas on the matter are more apt, or at least more on topic with what I want to discuss. But the important part of that quotation is that it was by a different author - an author whose work is apparently top quality stuff that students should be using as referential material. It’s not like I can really object, though. Just like many of my peers, I went with the flow throughout my course. My essays were made up of compulsory long, meandering sentences, followed by a bunch of definitions and then some citations. The worst marks I ever achieved actually came from a lack of referencing, even when I thought my own ideas were sound. The fact that we’re graded so heavily on referencing only suggests that grading isn’t about the quality of your writing and your paper, but the quality and correct attribution of the thoughts of others. What annoys me most is that the university setting is the only one where source citation is so incredibly important. Other establishments don’t implement such rigorous guidelines when you are required to give somebody else information . Your boss would never ask you to write an email with a reference list of previous bosses who had a similar idea to your own. If you casually remember a

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particular efficiency-increasing technique that was used by Steve Jobs over at Apple, there’s no need to find that particular press release and attribute it. There’s no way anybody could get accused of corporate plagiarism on the allocation of biscuits in the break room. The only thing that academic writing has increased over time is the share price of Nurofen. It is most definitely the death of original thought, at least as its first conceived. One day somebody might reference you referencing someone else, and I won’t extend to you how many people they must have referenced, but let’s go ahead and assume that it’s a fair few. But at least you’ll be a true academic - a true rehasher of ideas. All valid statements do have their concessions, so let’s have a crack at finding them. Academic writing is good, and fortunately there are now large online databases to make it easier to find the exact material you need information on. Nowadays, students don’t have to make their way through mismatched libraries searching for that fine old printed text only to find that it was taken out two years ago and never returned - or

There’s this great online journal which contains all the information in the world (or thereabouts), and in its sheer, blinding amazingness it has but one flaw: universities really hate you using it. So much for learning I

do they?

suppose, and while Wikipedia is out, we’ll just have to pick from the footnotes of Wikipedia, because Wikipedia actually references, just like any other academic source.

The point I’m trying to reach here is that the internet is a fantastic resource that universities seem amazingly fearful of. How will we ever excel as a critically thinking species if we don’t validate all forms of information, even if we risk some being untruths or mostly established in opinion? After all, most things start with an opinion or theory and become fact over time, or at least notable falsehoods. Academic writing is pointless when it actually detracts from someone trying to establish their own thoughts on a subject. There are plenty of people who wrote great things in history and didn’t need to reference. So that’s why I didn’t reference anything here. Well, that and I’m lazy.

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Student Assist Student Assist is the welfare department of the Curtin Student Guild. Simon, Juliana, Olivia, Jo-Ann and Jess are there to support all students, both postgrad and undergrad, with any personal, welfare, or academic issues. Their services are free for all Curtin students and cover things such as:

Leaves of Absence Assessment Appeals Appealing terminations Withdrawing or Changing Courses Finances Time management help Tenancy advice And more…

Deferral from Study Complaints and grievances Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct Discrimination and harassment Health and wellbeing issues Study skills advice Career and resume help

Student Assist is completely confidential and will help make your life at University that little bit easier. If you happen to find yourself in need of help, then drop by Guild Reception (Building 106F), or you can make an appointment at a time that is convenient to you. Call Reception on 9266 2900 or email reception@guild.curtin.edu.au

conditional status.

What is it and what does it mean to me? Oh no! You’ve just found out that you’ve been placed on Conditional Status. Say what? What IS THAT? Well, in short, conditional status happens when the... “Student is at risk

of not achieving satisfactory course progress but is permitted to continue in the course and to reenrol under such conditions as may be determined by their Head of School” - Curtin’s Assessment & Student Progression Manual. Basically, to be placed on Conditional Status in the study period just ended one or more of the following must have happened: • You failed 50% or more of enrolled units or • You attained SWA of less than 50 or • You were placed on conditional status at the discretion of the Board of Examiners because you failed a core unit in the study period just ended. Unfortunately, if your results do not improve, you can run the risk of being terminated from your course. Eeek! Student Assist can provide in assisting you to identify the root of the problem and help you get back into Good Standing using the following steps:

Step 1.

Identify what issues have been affecting your academic performance, for example...

• Career choice, e.g. finding it hard to balance work and uni life • Adjusting to university and adult learning e.g. still deciding if this is the course for you • Study Skills, e.g. still learning your study style • Personal and health issues e.g. having an existing health issue • Transition to a new Country or location, e.g. first time living away from home

Step 2.

Identify what you can do to address these issues and what support services you may need to access. (Below is a list of some services available to Curtin Students.)

Faculty Student Services - Discuss possible reduction in workload, change in major, study plans, withdrawals. School Student Advisor

- Discuss possible reduction in workload, change in major, study plans, withdrawals.

Course/Unit Co-ordinator - or other Academic staff member for the unit(s) you are having difficulty with Academic/tutorial support in school, course queries, discuss study plan, need for additional resources.

higher degree by research students through the provision of a range of free seminar and workshop programs.

Step 3.

Just thinking about what you can do is ok – but to really make changes happen you will need to develop an action plan to set goals and timescales to assist you in improving your academic performance. Some students might find their action plan is quite complex , so it may be helpful to produce a written version. The following link http://unilifeapps.curtin.edu. au/ can assist with this.

Step 4.

Review your action plan and complete your written report for your school. Sometime before the end of the next semester, you should take some time to reflect back on your action plan and review your progress. Doing this in the form of a written report which you can send to your Head of School is useful. If things have not gone quite to plan during the semester, this step will at the very least show your HoS that you have been attempting to deal with the issues which placed you on Conditional Status, thereby reducing the likelihood that you will be placed on Terminated Status.

Guild Student Assist Office – Help with appeals,

misconduct issues, student rights and general tips for making your study experience a positive one.

University Counselling service – one to one support as well as group programs Exam/ presentation anxiety, depression, poor motivation for study, family loss/bereavement, disability needs, equity considerations. The Learning Centre –Academic guidance and support for undergraduate, postgraduate and GROK #3 2013

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STUDENT ASSIST

For more information or advice:

Student Assist Contacts call Reception on 9266 2900 or 1800 063 865 for country callers. email: reception@guild.curtin.edu.au


get natural anika rodgers

“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.” These wise words were spoken by my favourite poet and philosopher, Henry David Thoreau. He was a believer in simple living and so am I. Sometimes we get so caught up in life’s little details and the need to make things perfect that we forget how to enjoy the simple things. This is especially relevant in the world of food - with so much information about health available to us it’s a little difficult to know what to do. When we eat food we should always go for quality over quantity. The body responds more effectively to food that isn’t processed or refined. However, deciding what is quality can be hard, as societal pressures leave us questioning our innate instincts.

When did ‘diet’ become a dirty word? It’s time to let go of fad diets, and get back to basics. Food is fuel for the body that allows us to heal, grow, and feel good. Simply put, food nourishes the mind as much as it nourishes the body. But if we spend too much time analysing every detail of the foods we eat and our level of intake, we risk taking away the pleasure of eating. Our ancestors were onto a good thing with the hunter/gatherer philosophy. If you can grow it, pick it or catch it, then you can eat it. I recommend trying to stay away from processed and refined foods because they tend to lack essential nutrients and they are full of nasty chemicals which can create free radicals in the body, damaging healthy cells.

These days most of us feel pressured to eat certain foods to look a certain way but we don’t actually end up feeling good about ourselves. A diet is simply the total sum of foods we consume. My Beagle dog Oliver has no problems with the word ‘diet’ - in fact, his diet consists of everything and anything he can get his paws on. He has eaten the carpet, plants, shoes, clothes, and even walls. The reason food tastes good is because we are meant to enjoy it! That doesn’t mean going out and stuffing your face with anything and everything, however Oliver would definitely join you if you did. It means eating healthy, wholesome foods that nature intends for us to eat without stressing about every morsel you put in your mouth. Taking a simplistic approach to your ‘diet’ is the best approach.

Simple Natural Health Advice for the Mind/Body/Soul • Try to include lots of fresh fruit & vegetables (organic if possible but this can be expensive so just hit up the markets for locally grown produce instead). This is a great way to get your daily intake of vitamins, minerals and fibre. I love to make fresh juices using fruit & veg. Add a bit of the pulp back for the full benefits.

honey in my tea instead of sugar, and it even tastes great in coffee. Stevia is another great natural sweetener that is low in GI and it has fewer calories than sugar. • Try to include protein at every main meal because the body needs it to build and repair muscles/tissues. It also stabilises blood sugar levels, and helps with energy production. Adults should consume approximately 1 gram of protein for each kilogram of body weight every day. Great protein sources are: fish, shellfish, chicken (free-range), meat, lentils, beans, eggs, nuts & seeds. • If you are going to have dairy in your diet try to use natural sources and only have small portions.

A Simply Natural Diet Example: Breakfast:

Oats cooked with rice milk and a small handful of natural almonds and cinnamon. I like my breakfast with a cup of green tea & mint (or a cup of coffee). I prefer green tea because it contains more antioxidants and has less caffeine.

Morning Tea:

Freshly squeezed fruit & vegetable juice and some natural popcorn.

Lunch: Tuna and salad topped with a bit of olive oil, squeezed lemon & pepper. Afternoon Tea:

Vegetable sticks (chop up celery & carrot) with natural hummus dip.

• Avoid white rice, bread and sugar because they are devoid of any nutrients. They increase blood sugar levels too quickly and then cause them to drop. Use whole grains instead as they have a low Glycemic Index (GI) and won’t cause the dramatic rise and fall in blood sugar levels.

berries (this is a great winter warmer).

• If you want some sweetness in your diet (I have such a sweet tooth so I am always looking for natural sweeteners), try honey. I love

www.naturestemple.org

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Dinner: Spicy chickpea & pumpkin soup After Dinner: Cooked apple slices with mixed Want more simple health and dieting tips? Check out Anika’s blog at


National Student Strike:

largest protest at Curtin Uni in 25 years! The worst cuts to education funding in 17 years were announced in April. A reduction of $2.8 billion came on top of $1 billion cut from research funding in 2012 – so that’s $3.8 billion lost in two years. Cuts to start-up scholarships mean a HECS increase of 2137% for new students! It is also sets a dangerous precedent for income support in the future – is the government planning to turn all student welfare assistance into debt? The cuts will further push low-income students out of the university system, making university education only accessible to those who can afford it and not a right for all. At Curtin we already face course cuts, overcrowding and a massive push towards online learning that has left many students without tutorials or lectures. Staff are under pressure and a user pays system has been embraced by the uni with PAYG parking.

Quarter of a century milestone The demonstration on May 14 was the largest protest at Curtin Uni in 25 years! Not since free education was abolished in 1988, when Curtin students played a significant role in the fee boycott campaign, has there been such a big protest on campus. Reports indicate that the Curtin protest was the largest single campus demo in the entire country, with 700 attendees according to event staff. The focus of the day was on fighting the cuts, but there was a festive atmosphere with entertainment, club stalls and food. Our protest coincided with rallies in Hobart, Canberra, Darwin, Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne – in Melbourne over 3000 protesters took over the streets. We received national media coverage, linked up with overworked staff, and pushed the education cuts into the public debate. It was important day as students across the country found their voices again.

Literary and Cultural Studies saved! Only three days after the student strike it was announced that Literary and Cultural Studies had been taken off of the chopping block!

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This came from a combination of the Curtin Uncut and Guild campaigs, and of course the great work of the staff and students in the ‘Save LCS Collective’. It’s a great precedent for the other courses we want to save. This means we can’t be complacent and drop the pressure around the course cuts – or anything else for that matter.

We need to rebuild campus activism What we need now is an ongoing campaign against the education cuts. The Guild is here to give a lead in defending students’ rights, but we need as many students as possible to get involved, because our real strength is in our numbers. We need to continue to organise to put pressure on the government to fully fund public education and to stop the cuts being rolled out on campus. We need to maintain that education is a right, not a privilege.

Where to for uni funding? The education cuts are now a federal election issue, but it is clear that we will have to fight regardless of who wins. Our protests have already pushed the government to acknowledge how unpopular the cuts are. While the Labor Party are the architects of the cuts, the Liberal-Abbott government support them and will not restore the funding. In fact, under the last Liberal government $6 billion was cut out of university funding. Our demands are put on the agenda when we do it ourselves. Come along to the next national day of protest on Tuesday August 20 when students and staff will demand: No cuts; more funding; education for all!

Campus rally at 12pm and buses will leave at 12:30pm, venue TBC. Cross-campus protest 1PM, Forrest Place (Perth CBD)

Jess McLeod Guild President 2013

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GET INTO ELECTIONS Now is your chance to have your say as to who will represent you and your interests at uni. Think you’d make a good student rep?

NOMINATE NOW!

Prefer the behind the scenes approach?

MAKE SURE YOU VOTE! GROK #3 2013

(details coming soon)

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CURTIN STUDENT GUILD

ELECTION NOTICE

In accordance with regulation EO501 of the Curtin Student Guild Regulations

2013 Annual Guild and NUS Elections Nominations are invited from interested and eligible persons for the following positions in the 2013 Annual Guild and NUS elections:        

Guild President Education Vice President Activities Vice President General Secretary Business Faculty Representative Science and Engineering Faculty Representative Health Science Faculty Representative Humanities Faculty Representative

       

International Student Committee Convenor Curtin University Postgraduate Student Association (CUPSA) President Guild Councillors (9) Queer Department Officer Women’s Department Officer Indigenous Department Officer Mature Age Department Representative National Union of Students Delegates (7)

Nomination forms will be accepted from 9:00 am on Friday, 9 August 2013. Nomination forms, group registration forms and voting ticket forms are available during business hours from the Curtin Student Guild Office at the following location: Building 106F, Curtin University, Kent Street, BENTLEY or online at www.guild.curtin.edu.au . ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA Candidates shall be Financial Guild members at least seven (7) days prior to the opening of nominations and not otherwise disqualified. A nomination form shall be signed by one witness who has sighted the nominee’s Curtin student identification card; this witness must be either a member of Guild Administrative staff, the Returning Officer or a Justice of the Peace. On satellite campuses, University staff members on that campus act as acceptable witnesses, in the absence of Guild Administrative staff, the Returning Officer or a Justice of the Peace. Guild Administrative staff may not sign nominations forms if they are enrolled Curtin students. Electors shall be students enrolled in an award course at Curtin University of Technology at close of rolls and not otherwise disqualified. CLOSE OF ROLLS Roll close for the 2013 Annual Guild and NUS elections is Wednesday, 31 July 2013 at 5:00 pm. LODGEMENT OF NOMINATONS Nominations, completed in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Guild, must be lodged in a sealed envelope with the Returning Officer in person, or by placing into the locked nomination box located in the Curtin Student Guild Office or posted to the Curtin Student Guild at the above address, to be received not later than the close of nominations, 12.00 noon, Tuesday, 27 August 2013. Prospective candidates wishing to nominate outside Curtin Student Guild business hours, must first contact the Returning Officer to arrange a suitable time to lodge a nomination or other prescribed form. No nomination can be accepted later than 12.00 noon, Tuesday, 27 August 2013. You may include a policy statement of up to 500 words on a CD or DVD in rich text format. You may also include a recent passport size head and shoulders photograph. The photograph must have the nominee’s name, student number and signature on the rear of the photograph. A digital photograph on a CD or DVD labelled with the nominee’s name, student number and signature will be accepted. A nomination deposit of $10 per candidate is required, payable in cash and must accompany the nomination(s) form(s). No nomination deposit is payable for NUS nominations. A refund of the deposit will be made to all candidates elected. LODGEMENT OF GROUP REGISTRATION FORMS Group Registration forms shall be lodged with the Returning Officer in person or by placing into the nomination box located in the Curtin Student Guild Office to be received not later than the close of Group Registration, 12.00 noon, Wednesday, 28 August 2013. DRAW FOR BALLOT PAPER POSITIONS AND ALLOCATION OF COLOURS The draw for ballot paper positions and allocation of colours will take place at 9:00 am, Thursday, 29 August 2013 at Curtin Student Guild Office. VOTING PREFERENCE FORMS Completed Voting Preference forms shall be lodged with the Returning Officer in person or by placing into the nomination box located in the Curtin Student Guild Office to be received not later than the close of Voting Preference forms at 12.00 noon, Friday, 30 August 2013. POLLING Polling will take place at the Bentley campus between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm on Tuesday, 17 September 2013, between 10.00 am and 8.00 pm on Wednesday, 18 September 2013 and between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm on Thursday, 19 September 2013. POSTAL VOTE APPLICATIONS Postal vote applications may be made to the Curtin Student Guild Office on the form available from the office and published in GROK. Postal Vote Application forms can also be downloaded from the Guild web page. A completed signed and witnessed application form must be received by the Returning Officer not later than 5.00pm on Friday, 13 September 2013.

Adrian Malkovic RETURNING OFFICER Mobile: 0428 888398 Email: adrianmalkovic@iprimus.com.au


NOMINATION FOR 2013 ELECTION BY CANDIDATE Curtin Student Guild In accordance with regulation EO503 of the Curtin Student Guild Regulations POSITION Candidate Details Surname Given names Student number Name on ballot paper No.

Street name

Residential address Suburb

Postcode

Contact number

Mobile

Fax number

Email

Photograph:

I have provided a photo (a recent passport size head and shoulders photo – I have written my name and student number on the back and signed it). A digital passport size head and shoulders photograph on a CD or DVD labelled with nominee’s name, student number and signature will only be accepted if it is on the same CD or DVD as the candidate statement.

No, I don’t want to include a photo

I am qualified to hold office in accordance with the rules of the Guild and agree to be bound by the Guild regulations. I consent to the nomination and also consent to act in the position nominated for, if I am elected. Signature of candidate

Date

/

/13

Date

/

/13

Name of witness Signature of witness

In accordance with the Curtin Student Guild Regulations Division 2 - Elections, Regulation EO503(b), the witness must sight the nominee’s Curtin student identification card and watch the student sign the nomination form; the witness must be a member of Guild Administrative staff, the Returning Officer or a Justice of the Peace. On satellite campuses University staff members on that campus act as acceptable witnesses in the absence of Guild Administrative staff, the Returning Officer or a Justice of the Peace. If you do not plan to register as part of a group you may wish to indicate a colour preference (to be selected from the list provided by the Returning Officer in the Election Handbook 2013) 1st Preference _______________ 2nd Preference ________________ 3rd Preference _______________ Completed nominations, including a $10 nomination deposit (cash only), must be lodged in a sealed envelope with the Returning Officer in person, by placing into the nomination box located in the Curtin Student Guild Office or posted to the Curtin Student Guild, Building 106F, Curtin University of Technology, Kent Street, BENTLEY and received not later than the close of nominations at 12.00 noon on Tuesday, 27 August 2013. You may include a policy statement of up to 500 words in rich text format on a CD or DVD (labelled with your name, student number and signature). Adrian Malkovic RETURNING OFFICER Mobile: 0428 888398 Email: adrianmalkovic@iprimus.com.au

Note: Candidates cannot withdraw their nominations after the close of nominations.


Important Notice to prospective candidates for the positions of:    

Queer Department Officer Women’s Department Officer Indigenous Department Officer Mature Age Department Representative

In accordance with Curtin Student Guild Regulations Division 1 - General, Regulation RO502 - The position of Department Officer shall be held by no more than two people who nominate together. Two prospective candidates wanting to nominate together for the Department Officer single vacancies must nominate together on the same nomination form. Regulation RO643(b) The Queer Officer/s shall identify as being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex or questioning; Regulation RO647(b) The Women’s Officer/s shall be female;

Regulation RO651(g) The Indigenous Officer/s shall be Indigenous;

Regulation RO655(b) The Mature Age Student Officer/s shall be enrolled Mature Age student as defined in the definitions of the Curtin Student Guild regulations. For information regarding a joint nomination please contact the Returning Officer.


Date

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To the Returning Officer

We (Print Names) 1.

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and agree that once a colour has been allocated by the Returning Officer it cannot be changed

1 Preference ____________________ 2 Preference ___________________ 3 Preference ___________________

st

(e) make a claim to reserve the following colour, selected from the list provided by the Returning Officer, for campaign material (please refer to the Election Handbook 2013)

to be secondary group agent

Contact phone number(s) ______________________________________

of _________________________________________________________ (address)

(d) authorise ___________________________________________________ (name)

to be the primary group agent

Contact phone number(s) ______________________________________

of _________________________________________________________ (address)

(c) authorise ___________________________________________________ (name)

(no more than 7 words or 35 characters)

(complete a separate form for each election)

(tick one box only)

(b) authorise application for the following group name

Curtin 2013 Group Registration

.

NUS Delegates

Guild Councillors

(a) consent to the grouping of candidates in the order indicated above

candidates in the election of

Date Date Date

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Curtin 2013 Group Registration

This form must be lodged with the Returning Officer NO LATER than 12.00 noon on Wednesday, 28 August 2013.

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In accordance with regulation EO601 of the Curtin Student Guild Regulations

1.

(Signatures must correspond to, and be in the same order as, names on the previous page)

Signature of Candidates

NOTE: Only include candidates who have nominated for Guild Councillor or NUS positions respectively.

2013 Annual General Election

GROUP REGISTRATION FORM


VOTING PREFERENCE FORM 2013 Annual General Election In accordance with regulation EO701 of the Curtin Student Guild Regulations Division 2 Elections

Election of Guild Councillors

or

NUS Delegates

Group Name Order of names to be placed on the voting preference list 1

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/ Signature of Group Agent

/ 2013 Date

NOTE TO CANDIDATES Fill out the section clearly so that preferences can be accurately distributed. All candidates in the group must be listed in the same order as they appear on the Group Registration Form and will appear on the ballot paper starting from position one. Thereafter any number of candidates not in the Group may be listed in any order. A Voting Preference Form must indicate by consecutive numbers commencing with the number 1, the preferences for all the candidates in its Group in the precise order on the ballot paper. A Voting Preference Form that fails to comply with the precise numbering shall be rejected (regulation EO701 (3)). A Voting Preference Form may indicate further preferences for all or some of the candidates not in the group. Completed forms must be lodged with the Returning Officer by 12.00 noon on Friday, 30 August 2013.


APPLICATION FOR POSTAL VOTE 2013 Annual General Elections In accordance with regulations EO305 and EO306 of the Curtin Student Guild Regulations Surname Given names Address Suburb

Postcode

Phone

Mobile

Student number

I declare that I am a student enrolled in an award course at Curtin University of Technology and entitled to vote in the Curtin Student Guild Elections and qualified to receive a postal vote because I am: Please tick one

     

An external or part-time student Disabled or incapacitated Undergoing study vacation/exams Not within 8 kilometres of the metropolitan campus polling place(s) throughout the hours of polling A carer, or someone who is ill, infirm or pregnant Precluded from attending a polling place throughout the hours of the polling or throughout the greater part of those hours because of membership of a religious order or religious beliefs  Serving a sentence of imprisonment for an offence or otherwise being in lawful custody or detention  Travelling under conditions that will preclude attendance at the polling place or  Required or on call for emergency duty or employment Signature of applicant Name of witness Signature of witness

Send completed applications to: The Returning Officer Building 106F Curtin Student Guild Kent Street, BENTLEY WA 6102

OR

Mr Adrian Malkovic Returning Officer Curtin Guild Elections c/- Western Australian Electoral Commission GPO Box F316, PERTH WA 6841

Note: Completed applications must be received by the Returning Officer not later than 5.00 pm on Friday 13 September 2013. To be included in the count, completed ballot papers must be received by the Returning Officer by the close of poll, 4.00 pm Thursday 19 September 2013. OFFICE USE ONLY Application Received:

____/____/____ (date)

_______________________ (initial)

Ballot Paper Sent:

____/____/____ (date)

_______________________ (initial)

Ballot Paper Received:

____/____/____ (date)

_______________________ (initial)

Application Number:

_____________


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How to Gross Out a Guy in Ten Seconds Jessica McGovern

Woah baby! GROK #3 2013

24

FEATURE


The female anatomy is a mystery and has sparked many questions amongst men throughout the ages (e.g. Can you pee with a tampon in? You have TWO holes there? Your period lasts more than a few hours? HOW ARE YOU NOT DEAD?!). As the owner of a vagina, and therefore total expert in this area, I think it’s time to clear some stuff up with a simplified guide to the menstrual cycle. I know nothing about human biology and may have gotten my information off Google, so think twice before using me as a source in your health science assignments.

DAY ONE:

Congratulations, lady! You’re not pregnant! The body celebrates this by POURING BLOOD EVERYWHERE. The egg that was lurking in the fallopian tube never met any nice sperm, didn’t get fertilised and is now kamikaze-ing the fuck out of there and taking all that bloody gunk with it.

DAY TWO:

More blood today. A LOT more blood. You know that scene in The Shining when the elevator doors open and the hallway floods with blood? The vagina is doing a one woman re-enactment of that scene. Times a thousand.

DAY THREE:

Sadly for us womenfolk, this is a really drawn out process. And the uterine lining sheds at the same speed as a turtle marathon. So yeah, more blood.

DAY FOUR:

Mmmmm….looks like things are chilling out. Schweeeet. Wait? What’s that? More blood. HAHAHA tricked you!

DAY FIVE:

DAY SEVEN:

And that’s a wrap folks! During those past seven days roughly 5-20 cyst-like follicles have been growing on the ovaries (creepy, right?) and each of the follicles have a little baby egg in them! They keep growing until ovulation.

DAY EIGHT/NINE:

As above. The uterine lining starts to thicken, getting ready for some baby-growing.

DAY TEN

The follicles have a battle to the death. Only one will rise victorious! This follicle is now a mature egg and that bitch is keen to meet some sexy sperm.

DAY ELEVEN -THIRTEEN:

The Uterine lining continues to thicken into a big gunky mess ready for implantation.

DAY FOURTEEN:

The remaining follicle has burst, and like a butterfly emerging out of a cocoon it slips out of the ovary and begins to travel along the fallopian tube, waiting to meet its Prince Charming. This is called ovulation. If the egg is fertilised within 24 hours it will try to stick to the uterine lining. This is known as implantation.

Is that blood?

DAY SIX:

If the woman is unlucky, she’s probably still period-ing. If not, whooooo! You’re free!

DAY FIFTEEN:

PREGNANCY ALERT! PREGNANCY ALERT! But seriously, wrap it up kids.

GROK #1 #3 2013

25 FEATURE

DAY 16:

The egg wasn’t fertilised. Bye bye, egg! See you next month suckaaaa.

DAY 17:

So, around ovulation the follicle that the egg came out of turned into something called the corpus luteum. This thingamajig releases hormones, mainly progesterone and a dab of oestrogen. It does this so if the egg does implant the lining remains thick and juicy to keep it all tucked up and warm. Right now, even if there is no implanted egg, the corpus luteum is still there doing it’s thang. If the lady that this thingy is inside of doesn’t get pregnant then it too will die. There’s something strangely morbid about the menstrual cycle, isn’t there?

DAY 22:

The corpus luteum dies. All those hormones it was producing are gone, gone forever (until next month) and the body reacts to this change. It’s what triggers the period to begin with and it’s also what turns your girlfriend into a total bitch.

DAY 23-28:

The egg breaks down and gets ready to flee with all that blood. Time to stock up on feminine hygiene products and chocolate.

…and then we’re back to square one! Rinse and repeat for 30-40 years.


The modern 21st party: the first night of somebody’s adulthood that often leaves us broke, burntout and with the mother of all hangovers. Long gone are the days of

the ten o’clock finish, where the evening was a classy soirée spent over expensive cheese and a few cheeky glasses of Moët. The modern 21st is off the hook. It’s an orgy of girls and man-children getting tanked on slushies and Export, enjoying the refined musical talents of

The 21st birthday is no longer a simple celebration. It’s often (quite unashamedly) a competition of how big a bar tab we can put up. It’s ironic that the traditional notion of becoming a legal, responsible adult has evolved into how wrecked we can get ourselves and our guests. It’s currently the ‘year of 21sts’ and arguably the most social year of my life to-date. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an epic year - it’s one of the few times in life that you can make zero effort to see people because you know you’ll be with someone pretty much every weekend. It’s the lazy socialite’s dream. However, there’s definitely a certain pressure that rolls around when it’s your turn.

The Key Danielle Le Messurier

Ke$ha and Pitbull. It’s a night where you go to all that effort to prepare a costume only to throw it away after spilling red wine on it in a dancing frenzy. You speak to all those people you haven’t seen in ages: find out who’s pregnant, who’s wildly successful, who’s on the street, and then try to recall it through the gaping void of memory the next day.

I supplied alcohol for my 21st and felt like I had to keep up with the standard that had been set at previous parties. Being a broke student and supplying enough alcohol for 60 bingeing youths isn’t easy - it felt a little like herding cats. But there comes a certain point when the staff at Dan Murphy’s start to call you by name and you have to remind yourself: since when did a lack of inebriation equate to a lack of a good time? We all got horribly drunk anyway, but that’s beside the point.

Another stress-inducing facet of a successful 21st birthday celebration is themes. Theme parties

Yes, there’s no doubt that theme parties can be a tedious exercise, but when they do come together, they’re pretty flipping amazing. I had a circus theme for my 21st and was pretty chuffed with the level of commitment people made. There was everything from lions and tamers, clowns, cigarette girls, ringmasters and bearded ladies to the Romanian quintuplets from South Park. Only one guy rocked up as a ‘spectator’, and he was booed accordingly. And what about presents? I’ve found there’s a loose rule regarding the giving of presents: if they didn’t get you anything, you’re under no obligation to get them anything. But when the person is more friend than acquaintance and they’ve helped you out at times, it’s a different game. You know you should go to the effort of buying a jumbo cocktail glass or some other shitty trinket but when you’re still broke from the last 21st and get paid fortnightly, it’s becomes a pretty big deal. Let’s face it – you’re mainly there for the free booze anyway.

“We’re 21 today! 21 today! We’ve got the key to the door. Never been 21 before!”- Toy Dolls Hell, most of us don’t even know the significance of the key. The giving and receiving of the key actually dates back from an old tradition where the 21-year old was deemed mature enough to be the key holder in the family home: a far cry from what the key signifies today. It’s always a great moment when you witness someone receive one of those jumbo ones and you see that mingled look of excitement and confusion on their face. They say something like, “oh wow, a key!” and proceed to balance it precariously in the corner and admire it only in passing. What they’re really thinking is something along the lines of this is so not going to fit on my nightstand and/or why do I need a key to get drunk, anyway?

Turning 21 is exactly what you make it.

Whether it’s throwing a raging twenty-onesie party or simply having a classy dinner with family and friends, it’s bound to be a night that you’ll remember (at least the beginning, anyway). It’s easy to get so carried away in the hype around parties that we forget what the day is truly about: finally being able to get drunk in the USA. It’s even worse for the birthday guy/gal, who is gifted an exorbitant amount of alcohol and made to ingest (usually by physical force and the presence of funnels) as much as their liver allows. Only when they have reached a sufficient level of inebriation are they permitted to stumble to the bathroom, have a tack-yack, and re-emerge for the second round of Tequila Suicides.

always seem like the greatest idea at the time until you find yourself spending more money at Spotlight than on alcohol and becoming too invested in what fabric is most enjoyable to stroke. And what theme can you pick that hasn’t been done a million times before? Is doing that gangster rendition of Pimps ‘n’ Hoes really going to cut the mustard?

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image: www.modelinia.com


The Cheesecake Chase Sarah Wood

A

lice placed the phone back on its stand, took a deep breath, and rubbed her temples. Then she turned, her expression brightening, as she considered the cheesecake in the middle of the table. Pristine and perfect, its creamy centre lay within a thick buttery crust, decorated with a scattering of lemon rind and sugared orange. The church ladies certainly could not fault her this time. She had outdone herself. They would enter with their colourful hats and immaculate floral dresses, wicker baskets filled with tightly bound fruitcakes, and faces marred by distaste. Then they would taste her cheesecake. The cake watched as alice turned away, wringing her hands about the disgruntled tea towel, who expressed its protest by dripping tepid dishwater across the gleaming floor. Slowly, the cake inched across the chequered table cloth, suppressing a squeak of delight as it found the table’s edge. On the windowsill, the

jelly quivered, restrained within its tupperware prison by plastic clamps. ‘Oh bugger,’ muttered alice, tossing the tea towel into the sink, and rushing from the room to grab the exhausted mop. The cake saw its chance, and leapt from the table. It scurried across the tiles, took a wide berth around the beady eyed cat, and used the bin, the kitchen stool and a half open drawer to climb up onto the kitchen counter. With a cheeky salute to the cat, it disappeared out the open window, cheered on by the jars of pickled olives lined up on the bench. Returning from the laundry to find it gone, alice cursed that she hadn’t had the forethought to lock the windows, and ran to the screen door to glimpse it disappearing out the front gate. The cheesecake must be caught! She ran down the street, passing old Mrs Harris, who appeared to be wrestling with a half-cooked cold chicken, one drumstick thrusting out from beneath a chequered cloth. GROK #3 2013

27 CREATIVE

Alice leapt over a bed of pungent lavender bushes and chased the cake through Mr Simmons’s garden. ‘Catch the little bugger!’ he cheered, from his porch chair, as they disappeared out his side gate. Alice stopped briefly to catch her breath. I really must cook less-robust food! She thought. A crème brulee would never have gotten this far. When she rounded the corner, she found the cake strolling along the top of a picket fence, apparently content that she had given up pursuit. Ha, now i have it! Alice thought, creeping forwards. Just as she was about to pounce, the cake turned, grinned at her, and leapt onto the back of jimmy the mailboy’s bicycle. Blissfully unaware, he continued at break-neck speed down the street.


Since you started at uni, you’ve probably been bombarded with information on how to make your life easier.

Your tutors tell you to stay up to date with all the online information so you don’t fall behind; the Guild loads you with problem-solving pamphlets and posters; and clipboard-wielding folk claim that signing a petition will help (could I please just eat some lunch without saving the world first? Class is tiring enough). The truth is, uni isn’t meant to be easy. Aside from difficult classes, you need to worry about things like a lack of money, impermanent friendships, and whether or not Red Bull and Doritos is in fact a “proper breakfast.” However, solving these problems becomes a lot easier when your studies are running smoothly. Here are some relatively easy, semi-bullshit adjustments you can make to your life to make things simpler.

Know what is expected of you Okay, let’s get the preachy part out of the way. In my first few weeks of uni, things were going great. I had learnt which classes I could skip, found the cheapest lunch menu and had even made a few friends. Then out of the blue, one of my tutors said “Just a reminder guys, your first assignment for this unit is due Friday!” What… the… FUCK!? I wasn’t told about this assignment! What’s it even on? Semester just started! I, like many of my new colleagues, had failed to a) read the unit outline and/or b) take note of when my assignments were due. I hate to be that guy who says “tutors aren’t going to hold your hand, you have to take responsibility for your own work,” but tutors aren’t going to hold your hand, you have to take responsibility for your own work. But this goes further than knowing when assignments are due. I had a friend who failed a unit because he forgot to get a police clearance. As a result, he lost his scholarship. It is important that you know what needs to be done long before you start your units, it will make things so much simpler in the long run. Do not pissfart around when it comes to planning ahead. Which brings me to my next tip…

Find time to pissfart around Coming back to a point I made in the introduction, university is difficult - not necessarily because the classes are difficult, but because many of you, are at a point in your life where you’ve never worked so hard. I hope that mature age students and other people in similar situations can forgive me this is predominantly aimed at students who have come straight from high school, many of whom will be juggling their first part-time job, gatherings with friends, driving lessons and possibly a relationship.

Ciaran Johns

Sometimes we get so caught up in our hectic work/social/love lives that we forget to take time to just mess around. While many people thrive off the business of their day-to-day

GROK #3 2013

28 FEATURE

uni lives, it is still important for them to get a chance to let off some steam. Going to a party, where there is pressure to socialise, meet new people and make a good impression is very different to catching up with friends to have a drink, or play elephant polo (I don’t know what kids get up to these days).

Make friends in your classes This one seems like a no-brainer, but it surprises me how many anti-social people I meet in my classes. There’s always that one loner who sits at the back, not talking to anyone but the tutor. Why would they bother making friends? They’ve got plenty outside of class and adding more to the pile will just cause confusion, am I right? No. The truth is, classes are so much more enjoyable when you have friends. You can help each other study, discuss worries you have with the unit, and some third thing. While it is a great first step to make friends in your course, having at least one pal in each class will ensure you hate your units that little bit less.

Get a hobby I used to study a course called Occupational Therapy. I would explain what it is, but I spent most of my class time in a drunken stupor and still didn’t quite understand what it was by the time I left. However, the key message of it seemed to be that people are happier and healthier when they do something they find meaningful. A hobby is a great way to make your stay at uni a lot easier to cope with. Stuck on a huge assignment where everything you write is drivel? Go shoot some hoops to clear your head. Sick of studying inside on a rainy day? Draw a picture of a sun and feed off its warmth. Tutor getting you down? Put a picture of his face on a dartboard and go nuts!

Find your own pace I’m the sort of guy who likes to do his assignments weeks in advance. I used to be the sort of guy who liked to do his assignments months in advance. When I was this sort of guy, I was sort of getting terrible results, even failing some of the units. I had a friend who would leave all of her work until the night before it was due, and get high distinctions every time. So I tried her method and failed even harder than I did before. What this demonstrates is that people work at different paces and have different ability levels. It’s important to find a pace that works for you. You think about what you are hoping to achieve in uni, and whether these goals are realistic or not.


2013 tax return supplement for tertiary students to be completed by tertiary students as part of their 2-13 tax return M26.1b NATURAL DISASTER LEVY EXEMPTION REFUND-REFUND SURCHARGE AND SENIOR DEPENDENT ESTATE NON-REFUNDABLE TAX CERTICIFATE EXEMPTION SURCHARGE EXEMPTION ELIGIBILITY This item is designed to determine whether you are exempt from the natural disaster levy exemption refundrefund surcharge and/or the senior dependent estate non-refundable tax certificate exemption surcharge. If you do not complete this item you may be charged the full natural disaster levy exemption refund-refund surcharge and/or the senior dependent estate non-refundable tax certificate exemption surcharge. If you do not complete this item correctly you may be charged the full natural disaster levy exemption refundrefund surcharge and/or the senior dependent estate non-refundable tax certificate exemption surcharge. If you complete this item correctly using anything other than a DARK BLACK pen you may be charged the full natural disaster levy exemption refund-refund surcharge and/or the senior dependent estate non-refundable tax certificate exemption surcharge. 1. Are you a senior citizen?

Yes

No

2. Were you, at any point during the last financial year, living in an area that had been, at any point during the last financial year, affected by a natural disaster that you were also affected by?

Yes

No

3. Are you or any of your dependents or de facto spouses currently being affected by a natural disaster?

Yes

Record all relevant information (dates, times, burn severity, etc) to be used in section M26.1b (pending) of the 2013 Tax Return for Individuals.

No

4. If any, how many of your dependants or de facto spouses are not exempt from the senior dependent estate non-refundable tax certificate exemption? 5. Are you living near a river – but not in a house situated on a piece of land no greater than 240m² – whose banks have not broken within the past 186 days, not including public holidays/February 29th/Tuesdays, unless during those days in question a fire-based natural disaster occurred which destroyed no more than 50% of your property and/or dependents who are/were not exempt from the senior dependent estate non-refundable tax certificate exemption AND the natural disaster levy exemption refund-refund OR did not have access to an acceptable standard of public transport (definition of “acceptable standard” can be located in section 196.3a of the Public Transport, Aircraft Management & Roadworthiness Dependency Measurements Manual) during peak business hours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during the Summer months?

6. During the past SIX (6(half-a-dozen)) months how many times, if at all, did your real estate property/properties experience slight rainfall? (If this amount is greater than the amount of complete breakfasts (e.g., full English breakfast, sausage and egg McMuffin WITH hash brown(s), regulation size pancake stack (definition of “regulation size” can be found in the Australian Food and Drink Regulations for Taxation Purposes Booklet)), you ate during the period between the opening of The Dark Knight Rises in cinemas and its subsequent release on DVD and Blu-ray, you may be eligible for the The Dark Knight Rises Superannuation Breakfast Completion Rebate (section 56.3c))

Yes

No


7. Are you ONE of the following: train enthusiast, radiator collector, Zimmerman supporter, Marvel super-villain, grout examiner, door-hinge specialist, asbestos removalist, butcher, baker, candlestick length preciseness examiner, perpetual commuter, time-traveller (please also complete Special Tax Analysis for the Chronologically Indifferent and/or Hearing Impaired (section 103.16h)), Special Tax Analysis for the Chronologically Indifferent and/or Hearing Impaired item layout manager, head janitorial assistant, Apple criticiser, apple criticiser, the left or bottom half of Siamese twins, or somebody who has never seen James Cameron’s Avatar? 8. Since your last dental check-up, have you been within 200m of an active volcano, blizzard, or seagull congregation that was in any way associated with the Australian Government, any of your immediate family members, or your dentist, unless he/she, since his/her last dental check-up, whether self-performed or otherwise, has been within 200m of an active volcano, blizzard, or seagull congregation that was in any way associated with the Australian Government, any of their immediate family members, or their dentist, unless at some point(s) during that same period of time they were not party to murder/ arson/robbery where the amount stolen did not exceed their gross annual income, unless their gross annual income was higher than your gross annual income average between 2003-2011, unless during those years you did not participate in a street parade (defined as a gathering of more than 300 people who are concentrated to such a degree where there are at least 2.3 people per square metre and those people are moving at least three kilometres per hour in a southerly, easterly, or northerly direction, unless said parade took place on a Wednesday, Thursday, or Sunday, in which case they may also be travelling in a southerly direction) that ended with fireworks OR the presentation of the world’s largest cake OR a Subway platter and did not take place within 200m of an active volcano, blizzard or seagull congregation? 9. Has your current employer not put in place safety precautions against sudden heatwaves, droughts, zombie apocalypses, etc? Description of Precaution

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

No

Do you, at your place of work, have in place personal safety precautions against sudden heatwaves, droughts, zombie apocalypses, etc?

Cost Yes

You may be eligible to claim a portion of your tax back as a part of the Taxation Elongation Assuredness Rebate by recording the nature of each precaution and its cost here.

10. If a tree falls in the forest, and you AND your dependents AND de facto spouses are not around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Yes

No

No

No

Note: if you answered NO for the first two questions of this section, you are automatically exempt from both the natural disaster levy exemption refund-refund surcharge and the senior dependent estate non-refundable tax certificate exemption surcharge. If you are automatically exempt from both the natural disaster levy exemption refund-refund surcharge and the senior dependent estate non-refundable tax certificate exemption surcharge AND you have completed questions 3-10, you may be charged the full natural disaster levy exemption refund-refund surcharge and/or the senior dependent estate non-refundable tax certificate exemption surcharge.


A Beginner’s Guide to the Resource Economy Stephanie Lyon

Today our world is complicated by money - our lives are shaped by interest and exchange rates, inflation, profit, and loss. We are all hungry for money, not only to buy the food, shelter, and water required for our individual survival, but also to claim success and hold power. So are these dollar signs, digits, decimal points, pieces of metal, and bits of paper actually good for society? In workplaces, employees are seen as payroll numbers instead of people - they are disposable if managers and executives can see a greater profit by purchasing a machine that can do the same job, or another individual they can pay less to do the same job. Around the world wars are breaking out over money and the ownership of natural resources while poverty and financial crimes are on the rise. Over the centuries we have been conditioned to enter the workforce when we reach maturity or a certain level of qualification to an extent that we are enslaved by unnecessary debt, and pay highly inflated prices for natural resources that should be free. Money has not always complicated human existence. I wonder whether the simplicity of the economic systems used by ancient civilisations were better than the complicated ones we use today. Alongside the Nile, the ancient Egyptians traded goods, placing greater value on the items necessary to sustain life, while employees were paid for their work in rations of bread, vegetables, clothing and tools - the amount received was determined by their job position. In Europe, beside the river Tiber, the Romans used a barter system

between merchants and citizens exchanging goods and services. In the rainforests of South America the ancient Mayans were relatively self-sufficient a the majority of the population was involved in basic agriculture other necessities were crafted in homes and community workshops. Rare and prestigious items used as status symbols for the upper class were traded with other villages and increased in value as they got further from their original source. The processes of the ancient civilisations may not be completely in the past, however. As Jacque Fresco’s “The Venus Project” gains a larger following in social media, the idea of a resource based economy (RBE) has resurfaced. An RBE is an economy in which individuals own nothing, but everyone has access to everything from food, clothing, housing and, travel. All resources are provided in abundance, there is no government or private body that holds ownership of resources, and technology is designed to benefit everyone. Potential benefits of a RBE include the following: • Man will no longer be competing with machines for work - instead, machines will enable shorter work days. • Unemployment will not exist as all individuals and families will work together and trade the resources required for their survival, giving everyone purpose. • We will only be using enough resources to create the amount of product required instead of wasting resources creating bulk produce, thereby conserving natural resources. • Everyone will have more time to pursue the things they want, spend quality time with families, and have a higher quality of life.

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• Anti-social behaviour such as crime and violence will decrease as everyone has a place in society; and nobody will live in poverty or go hungry. • A RBE is the society where we all have the opportunity to look after each other, and have equality for all, instead of a small group of people holding the power while the rest of us work long hours while struggling to survive.

But the question is, will a RBE work in the modern world?

Certainly nothing is impossible, and an RBE is one solution to today’s economic crises however, it feels a little too much like science fiction for immediate implementation on a world scale. In the near future it’s possible for small populations to trial a RBE lifestyle, but it would take an extremely long time to take it to a larger scale. There will be many challenges convincing the elite to lose their power and become equals with the rest of civilisation. A further complication is in the form of new technology, as online shopping continues to grow in popularity - there needs to be some form of currency to trade online as I see it highly unlikely that someone would send a cow overseas in exchange for a dress or a pair of boots. A RBE may be a dream for an environmentalist or a sociologist but it will likely only take place immediately due to a post-apocalyptic event or political uprising. Will we see one emerge in our lifetime? Only time has the answers.


“I dream of a world where fruit is cheaper than Froot Loops,” proclaims Josh Viertel, President of Slow Food USA. “Where there are more school gardens than McDonald’s has franchises.” And when you put it like that, it does sound a bit ridiculous. How can it be that ultra-sugary cereal which only vaguely resembles fruit has become cheaper to buy than a bag of fresh apples? This is just one example of the modern-day irony that we have found ourselves in: a world where fast food, industrial food production and globalisation are robbing our society of good, simple food. As life gets faster and time becomes scarcer, we are becoming more and more inclined to look for food that is quick and cheap. Unfortunately, this choice inevitably leads us to eat and buy food that has been transported over several continents, is packed with additives, produced unethically, and probably contains as many nutrients and vitamins as a rubber duck. Unfortunately, this is the way our food production system has developed in order to feed our growing population and its need for speed. It is to this epidemic of fast food that the “Slow Food” movement responds. Started in 1986 by Carlo Petrini of Italy, Slow Food now has more than 100,000 members in over 150

countries. Their mission: to lead everyone back in the direction of “good, clean and fair” food, and to highlight the inextricable link between food and the environment that has been overlooked for too long. Viertel phrases the situation like so: “Every problem… whether it’s environmental degradation, or social injustice, a problem of the global economy, or a problem of education, has at its core issues linked to food and farming. And if we’re going to address those problems in ways that are meaningful, we have to transform the way we grow and share food together.” The Slow Food organisation is split up into “conviviums” - regions within each country that are responsible for their own food scene. Their job is to promote the local food industry through supporting fresh food markets, local farmers, and products that are unique to the region. Larger culinary events are also held throughout the year, such as Salon Del Gusto, the world’s biggest food and wine fair held in Turin, SlowFish, a fish festival held in Genoa and Terra Madre, the annual summit of the international food community which brings together chefs, farmers and artisans from all four corners of the globe. Slow Food is also very active politically, lobbying against forms of food production that are destructive and unethical, such as: use of pesticides, genetically modified crops and “Land Grabbing” (when multinational entities exploit large tracts of land purchased from local communities). They also call upon governments to include organic farming concerns within agricultural policy, so that wholesome methods of farming are fostered through legislation. One major goal

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is to preserve foods that have become “endangered.” Carlo Petrini explains:

“In the past hundred years we have lost eighty per cent of the world’s biodiversity. So we had this wonderful heritage built up over thousands of years and in 100 years we have destroyed it. Every day we lose five to six species of fruit and vegetables. In Italy, where I come from, we have lost three breeds of milking cow, four breeds of sheep, and two breeds of donkey. The only breed of donkey which keeps surviving is the one walking on two legs – that one never goes on to extinction.” Slow Food is also fighting for Mother Nature with an incredibly effective weapon: education. Campaigns are run throughout the year to raise awareness about the consequences of commercial agribusiness and fast food. Even more hands-on are projects such as “A Thousand Gardens in Africa”, which has resulted in 782 school gardens being completed in Africa since 2010. Slow food has even opened a University in Northern Italy, solely devoted to the study of Gastronomic Sciences. Alumni will graduate equipped with knowledge on how to develop a sustainable future for food in their area of expertise, and will go on to become the new leaders of eco-gastronomy. The Slow Food movement is also alive and kicking right here in Perth. Current projects include a WA Producers and Food Directory, a collection of traditional recipes from West Australians that reflect our rich multicultural heritage, and ongoing support of Perth


farmers’ markets. In the metropolitan area, there are farmers’ markets in Mount Claremont and Subiaco every Saturday from 8am – 12 noon. So why not check one out this weekend, instead of heading to Coles and lining up for 20 minutes? You will find some amazing local produce, a relaxed atmosphere and a small community of the Slow Food world that can only get bigger. One thing we can take away from observing these enlightened foodies is this: we need to get back to basics. We need to stop loading up our food with additives and preservatives. We need to cut out the middle man and start buying straight from the farmers, or as close to local agriculture as possible. We need to stop importing orange concentrate from Brazil to Australia just because it’s cheaper than getting a delivery from Harvey, just 2 hours away from Perth. And we need to realise that eating food that isn’t good, clean and fair has consequences. Picking up a fresh, organic apple grown in the South West of WA, and eating it? Now that’s what I call efficient.

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THE PHANTOM INTEREST Matt Vassiliou

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... To some, these words will bear no meaning. To others, they preface three of the greatest films of all time, and also three of the worst. With the looming release of a seventh Star Wars instalment, I think it’s about time that everyone who hasn’t seen them was brought up to lightspeed. So, in diegetically chronological order, here is a brief run-down of each of the films so far.

The Phantom Menace was released in 1999 amid a state of fanboy hysteria. It was the first Star Wars film to be released in over fifteen years, and even regular movie-goers were queuing up on opening night. The film begins with a Republic Cruiser requesting entry into a Trade Federation warship. Aboard the ship are two Jedi Knights: Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. The Jedi seek a diplomatic end to the trade blockade imposed by the Trade Federation upon the peaceful planet of Naboo. (Wait a second: an organisation whose business is trade is stopping trade? I know they’re bad guys, but does anybody else think this is weird? Couldn’t they just declare war like normal bad guys?) The ship is granted access, and the Jedi are ushered into a small sitting room and told to wait. They are brought tea, which they promptly drink, despite the fact that they are on the warship of some very untrustworthy folk. Poison in the tea? Nah, probably not. The scene then moves to a control room where some Neimoidians, led by Nute Gunray, are in uproar at the sight of two Jedi, despite no-one having said that they are Jedi. The assumption is likely based upon their robes (even though everybody in the Star Wars universe basically wears some kind of robes. This is kind of like saying that anyone who wears a Tapout or Hayabusa shirt is an MMA fighter). The Neimoidians then consult a hologram of an old guy in a black cloak whom they refer to as “Lord Sidious.” (They don’t know his identity, yet they take orders from him. This is of course rational, logical behaviour.) He tells them to kill the Jedi, so they do. The Republic Cruiser is blown to pieces and gas is pumped into the sitting room. Gas is a good way to kill somebody, provided that said person remains exposed to the gas. Locking doors usually achieves this. Unfortunately, no-one on the Federation ship has any common sense, and the two Jedi just walk out of the room. Fortunately, a crack–squad of battle droids wait outside, and they are able to trap the Jedi for exactly one eighth of a second before they are cut to pieces. The Jedi then charge toward the control room containing the Neimoidians, which for some reason is right next to the tea (AKA murder)room. The Neimoidians seal themselves behind blast doors and the Jedi escape up a ventilation shaft. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan find themselves in a massive hanger in which a droid invasion army is being prepped. Qui-Gon, in his infinite and possibly questionable wisdom, decides that GROK #3 2013

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they should stow away on the invasion ships in order to warn the Naboo of the imminent invasion by the exact same invasion ships that they’re going to stow away on. So the Jedi stow away on separate ships. (What happens if they each fly to a different city? Or, you know, continent?) The ships, of course, land on the opposite side of the planet from Theed, the capital city, and so we are inflicted by a pointless scene in which QuiGon is being chased through a random forest by the droid army. He then saves the life of a native Gungan, Jar Jar Binks.

Tatooine is a remote desert planet, and QuiGon decides to land there to look for spare parts. In his infinite wisdom, he takes with him one of the Queen’s handmaidens, a droid, and Jar Jar (none of whom actually do anything), but leaves behind Obi-Wan and Panaka (two characters who would be quite useful on such a cut-throat planet). The gang travel to one of the smaller junk dealers, Watto, who, conveniently, is the only one with the part they need. Qui-Gon, in his role as moral paragon, tries to cheat Watto out of the part by giving him worthless money. Watto, who is resistant to Qui-Gon’s mind control, laughs in his face.

Anyway, at this point Obi–Wan conveniently shows up and is all “Hey guys, how’s it going?” Jar Jar offers his life in exchange for Qui–Gon saving it, and offers to take them to his underwater home city. Qui-Gon agrees, because hey, why not, right? After entering the city (bone-dry, I might add), Qui-Gon exhibits his first immoral action by using his mindcontrol powers to steal a submarine from the Gungan leader, in order to travel through the planet core to warn the Naboo. So if the droids actually landed right in the city they’re trying to capture instead of pissing around elsewhere for no apparent reason then we could have avoided all this nonsense and-

Qui-Gon then leaves the junkyard. Due to an impending sandstorm Anakin, Watto’s assistant, offers them shelter in his nearby home. Qui-Gon then discovers that Anakin is a super Jedi destined to fulfil a prophecy and restore balance to the force. A clever plan begins to hatch in Qui-Gon’s mind when he learns that Anakin is a skilled podracer (a popular sport on Tatooine). Qui-Gon tells Watto that he will enter Anakin in the race, and if Anakin wins, Qui-Gon will give Watto the winnings (But since Anakin is a slave, doesn’t Watto have a right to the winnings anyway?) less the cost of the spare parts and the entry fee. Don’t worry, I don’t understand it either.

Parallel to this crap, we are introduced to the young Queen of Naboo. She sits in her throne room at Theed and debates the situation with her advisors. Apparently, the planet is unable to survive without supplies from space, and people are dying despite the fact that Naboo is a lush and fertile land. Captain Panaka (her head of security and one of the only two level-headed characters in this movie - the other being Obi-Wan) tells Queen Amidala that the security forces cannot repel a droid invasion, to which Amidala then replies “I will not condone a course of action that will lead us to war.”

On the day of the race, Qui-Gon enters another bet with Watto, wagering the pod against Anakin’s freedom. Eventually, after another mind-numbingly boring CGI scene, Anakin wins the race. Watto then refuses to pay, saying Qui-Gon must have cheated. Qui-Gon then threatens to set the local crime lord on Watto for not paying. (Holy shit Qui-Gon, have you no conscience at all?) However, Watto caves, Anakin gets his freedom and Qui-Gon gets his spare parts. Finally.

Nute Gunray then shows up and reveals his plan: to force Queen Amidala to sign a treaty to make the invasion legal. Forcing someone to sign a treaty kinda defeats the purpose. After she refuses to sign (big surprise), Gunray sends her to “Camp 4,” instead of keeping her locked up and in his sight at all times. He sends her with a whopping total of eight battle droids (the same ones that the Jedi can plough through without even breaking a sweat) as an escort. Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon then appear and promptly plough through the droids without even breaking a sweat, and free the Queen. Gunray is shocked that this has happened. The Jedi, along with the Queen and her advisors, waltz into the hangar bay, plough through more battle droids without breaking a sweat, and then escape on a ship. Gunray is once again shocked that this has happened. We are then treated to a pointless blockaderun scene devoid of any tension. Conceivably, the point of any blockade is to block ships, but for some reason, the thirty-or-so gigantic battleships just don’t cut it. None of the main characters even look worried until the deflector shield is knocked offline, but then it gets repaired, and the battleships stop shooting for some reason. Anyway, the only point of this scene is to damage the ship enough so the gang have to land on Tatooine.

Also, as the ship is about to leave, Qui-Gon barely escapes an attack by a mysterious Sith Lord. More on this later. After all this, the Amidala Gang end up on Coruscant. Coruscant is the capital of the Galactic Republic, and where the Galactic Senate comes together. (It’s basically the Roman Republic, but less interesting and more confusing.) Here Amidala speaks up about the “horrors” her people are facing. The Supreme Chancellor asks her to allow him to send investigators to determine the validity of her accusations (a totally reasonable request). Amidala is all like “ain’t nobody got time for dat!” and calls for a vote of no confidence. The Chancellor is removed from office and replaced by the Naboo Senator, Palpatine, who is obviously not Darth Sidious. And now, finally, this movie starts to make sense. Parallel to this, Qui-Gon approaches the Jedi Council and tells them that he was a) attacked by a mysterious Sith bloke and b) wants to train Anakin as a Jedi. The head of the Council, Yoda, refuses Anakin on the grounds that he considers him too volatile. And so, instead of heeding the word of the nine Jedi masters who refuse his request, Qui-Gon decides to train Anakin himself. In regards to his attacker, Yoda tells Qui-Gon to take Obi-Wan and accompany Amidala back to Naboo whilst the Council meditates on the Sith Lord’s identity. Despite the fact that Maul almost killed Qui-Gon, Yoda GROK #3 2013

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offers no backup besides Obi-Wan, who, at this point, is still in training. Soon after, everybody goes back to Naboo (somehow avoiding the blockade again). Amidala’s brilliant plan is to use the Gungan people as a distraction whilst her people infiltrate the palace to try to capture Gunray. The Gungans oblige, and their army soon assembles on the fields outside the city. (“I will not condone a course of action that will lead us to war.”) The numerically and technologically superior droid army falls for the trick and meets the army in the field, despite the fact that they already have a superior fortified position. Amidala uses the distraction to infiltrate Theed with the Jedi and a bunch of pilots. They secure the hangar bay and the pilots commandeer small space fighters - their mission being to attack the giant warships of the blockade, even though their fighters are only equipped to fight other fighters, not giant warships (which carry hundreds of fighters of their own). QuiGon (who for some reason has brought Anakin into the city) tells Anakin to hide, because it is dangerous. Anakin then chooses to hide in a fighter. Anakin then manages to start the fighter. Anakin then ends up in the middle of the giant space battle. Darth Maul is also conveniently placed in the hangar bay, and is standing behind a door looking all badass, waiting for the door to open so that he can look even more badass then the door opens, which it does, and he looks badass. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan engage him (could have used that backup now, huh?) and the trio begin a highly technical fight, which, thanks to the elaborate choreography, is devoid of any and all emotion. Darth Maul eventually gets the better of Qui-Gon and stabs him in the chest. I got excited at this point, because Obi-Wan is pissed, and it shows - I thought that I would finally reach an emotional connection with one of the characters, but instead it returns to the same choreographed crap. After what seems like an age, Obi-Wan manages to cut Maul in half and push him down a chasm. He then runs over to Qui-Gon’s dying body and for no logical reason (considering he was opposed to the idea from the start), agrees to train Anakin. While this is happening, Amidala manages to reach Gunray, who then turns the tables by releasing a hidden team of droids. (The same kinds of droids that Amidala has been killing for the past nineteen hours. Oh, and the Gungans are still dying outside, but no one really cares.) Then, Anakin somehow (I actually have no idea what happens) manages to destroy the droid control ship which conveniently shuts off all of the battle droids on the planet, allowing Amidala to capture Gunray. After this, there are massive celebrations, from both the citizens of Naboo and the film’s audience.

Attack of the Clones begins ten years later, in a time of turmoil for the Galactic Senate. Anakin Skywalker is now a (Sorry Matt, word limit reached – Ed.)


How Paris Hilton Broke My Heart Scott Donaldson

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There have been some absolutely rubbish birth years in the past century or so.

Take 1898, for example - if you were a) male, and b) British, French, or German, you were ripe for the Somme. 1930? You got to experience the joys of not eating for an entire childhood. Hiroshima, August 6, 1945? Yeah, you get the picture. Some years were very bad years for babies. But let me tell you: those born in 1991 had it roughest. We missed grunge while arriving just in time for the puberty-destroying aural nightmare that was nu-metal; the decade’s action films of choice were Batman Forever and Batman & Robin; and we were about five years too late to understand Daria. The Great Depression doesn’t sound so bad now, does it? But anyway, if there was one thing that we arrived just in time for, it was the great, souldevouring beast of reality television. The year was 2002, and we were growing up. Pokemon didn’t cut it anymore, but we still didn’t quite understand why Family Guy was so funny. We were finally bored of the Dragon Ball Z theme song, but Rage didn’t have enough explosions and yelling to satisfy our lust for mindless action. We, and our naïve, malleable, and entertainment-hungry brains were in television limbo. And then, suddenly, reality television crashed into our living rooms. We were spoiled for choice with Survivor, Big Brother, Idol, and more - all of it was so new and cool, and just the ticket to bridge the metaphorical gap between eternal Aaahh!! Real Monsters reruns and the 6 o’clock news. It provided eye-glazingly-good entertainment (A clearly mentally-challenged girl destroyed by Simon Cowell for simply following her dreams? A thousand times yes!), whilst always being centred around adults and real life – perfect for the growing mind and its transition into real life. And for me, as I’m sure it was for many of the strapping young lads of ‘91 in the middle of the reality TV stare-fest, The Simple Life was where it was at. For those of you who missed out, The Simple Life was the jewel in reality TV’s crown. An as-yet-not-quite-a-household-name socialite named Paris Hilton (you may have heard of her), and her less attractive friend, Lionel Richie’s Daughter, were ripped from their respective comfort zones and sent to live with regular people and do regular people jobs and eat regular people food.

(NB: Yes, I’m sure many people saw TSL as the zenith of hilarity, and that’s cool. The great thing about reality is that it can be marketed to several different demographics simultaneously. There was us, the naive kids who believed it was all actually happening - and them, the adults who, in their cynicism and natural disdain towards those who don’t also 9-5, thought TSL was the funniest show out there.) The first season documented the duo’s stay with a regular, middle-class Arkansas family and if that wasn’t tough enough for the luxuryaddicted heiresses, they were also prevented from using mobile phones, credit cards, or basically anything that would make their lives easier. In addition to this, they were to take on various menial jobs, such as dairy farming and drive-thru operation. Needless to say, they failed at every job, and were always fired after some wacky accident or gross oversight on the part of the girls. Season two was more of the same, but this time the duo travelled across the US mainland, giving the show a much larger scope and increased episode-to-episode variety. Similarly, they took - and were subsequently let go from - a variety of jobs, including crayfish catching and sausage-making. Think Dirty Jobs, but a little less serious. Suddenly, the untouchable, transcendent celebrities who lived in a beautiful fantasy land were transported into our living rooms and the connection we felt was unreal. There was no longer an invisible divide between our lives and unattainable ones of the untouchable celebrities - they had the (somewhat limited) capacity to do what we do and live how we live. They were Earthlings after all, and they were right here, spending time with us. It was almost like being told a secret that nobody else knew - except everybody did know, because TSL’s ratings were bonkers.

The implied mission statement of the show was simple - to give the girls a reality check, and get them to appreciate all the regular folks that do regular jobs for regular incomes.

We kept expecting the girls to shed their ditzy personalities, to turn to us, to apologise, and say “we don’t think we’re better than you.” But it never happened - scoldings, firings, and serious interventions were met with stifled laughter and empty promises. The girls simply refused to change, but we kept watching anyway - we truly believed that they would eventually swallow their pride. Every episode brought with it a promise of redemption for the girls, but the redemption never came. Reality TV never changes. Advertisements may bombard us with promises of surprise twists and massive bombshells, but we all know reality TV is reality TV is reality TV. It’s ironic that a genre touting so much innovation actually has so little of it, and TSL was no exception. People, however, change a lot. When reality exploded, we, the 91ers, were the perfect audience - we had never seen anything like it before, and we were yearning for new and exciting forms of entertainment. Nowadays, kids grow up with Idol and Masterchef and GROK #3 2013

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The Real Housewives - there’s nothing special about something you’ve spent your whole life with. Same goes for the adults - they didn’t want to have faith in Paris and LRD, because they were too far gone. It was more of a hilarious expose than an epic tale of rebirth.

So my increasingly melodramatic point: TSL and Paris Hilton stayed the same, but we changed. We became teenagers, and discovered a new and interesting way of looking at the world - naïvety went out the window to make room for inquisitiveness and good old teenage cynicism - reality TV’s greatest adversary. I was around fourteen when I realised that TSL was a load of crap. Every amusing bungle on the part of the rich girls was set up, or worse, forced into play by the duo who clearly knew what they were doing; every camera shot and angle was carefully planned - you could almost hear the word “action!” before each scene; and the ‘normal’ people who played host had clearly been discovered by extensive searches on the part of the network (and those who weren’t just had to be aware of the boom mics, cameras, crew, and the release forms they had to sign before appearing on camera). Paris Hilton was just an actress, playing the part of a stupid rich girl - and I was just another schmuck. I genuinely pitied Hilton - I thought TSL was the right medicine, the one thing that would change her, thus finally uniting the normal and the celebrity. But there had never been a connection to begin with - there was just another gap, just as impossibly huge as the ones that separate us from film stars and pop artists. Reality TV wasn’t special - it was just another form of entertainment. And the cynicism spread from there. Even Big Brother, the realest of the real realities, revealed itself to me as a massive load of bollocks selection, omission, and the undeniable power of the cutaway shot were the only keys to that show’s success. Even the Idols and Factors became transparent - whoever is the most popular amongst the target demographics gets the highest screen-time, and, ironically, the most fame. Remember the guy who beat Adam Lambert on American Idol? Yeah, me neither. And need I say anything about Survivor? All this was a matter of timing. We were the generation unfortunate enough to be sucked in, and subsequently spat back out by the reality TV doom engine. The sweet memory of those two years of blissful ignorance has been made sour by the simple process of growing up. And maybe that’s why the big US realities have seen declining ratings over the past few years. Reality was only truly exciting once, and it was only truly exciting for one single demographic - us.


in this liminal space sarah wood In this liminal space the water may be stagnant, While the sand flows liquid about your bruised feet. Faded wooden steps lead you towards memories; Moments passed.

I Wish I’d Tho of That! Chloe Macri

Eyes raised to the bluff, you glimpse The fleeting image of a girl, arms flung wide. She screams guttural freedom to the wind. The sea revels in her joy, in her letting go. In this place, you cease to exist, Embraced by the outward breath Of those who have gone before you And gifted their thoughts to the sea.

a still conversation between heifer and hill sarah wood In fading pastel light, Heifer sits, waiting for darkness to fall. Tree shadows call from atop the hill, far away. The wind pulls a plaintive song up from the dry grass, And golden farewells drift away with the ripples of the day. Night approaches. Beside dry pickets, A solitary tree shakes in the afternoon bluster. Lonely heifer watches, in the shadow of the hill. So close, yet an eternity away, She stills, slowly breathes out her solace. Softly around, the valley retires to the embrace of the night.

home time

You know the little girl in the taco commercial? The “why don’t we have both?” kid, who always manages to solve those all-important taco debates? Well, I have a theory that deep down, everyone wishes they were her. Everyone wants to be the taco girl - to spot something so obviously simple and then rake in glory, fame, family pride, and copious amounts of cash.

matt vassiliou Winter; a car comes. Is it for me? The doors, they welcome, promising warmth, ease. But the car passes me; I must remain seated.

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Every single thing we commoners use in our everyday life has been invented by some smart so-and-so, sitting comfortably somewhere, sighing gleefully every time we buy their product. What if that was you? How grand would that be.

Some inventions are mind-numbingly obvious - like shoelaces, for example. They’ve been around for ages, although the ones we know today were invented in 1790. Surely everyone has a pair of lace-ups sitting out the front of their house or fermenting in gym bag. I mean, it’s not a hard thing to think of - shoelaces are literally just a few pieces of string. So why did they take such a long time to come about?


ought Take doorknobs for example. Little did you know that they were actually invented in 1878? What the shit! Why did it take so long? I bet when Osbourn Dorsey (get it, Dorsey, doorknobs...) figured it out, everyone else shook their uninventive, flabbergasted heads in disbelief and thought, “How come I didn’t think of this? I could have been rich!”

Facial tissues

found their place in a similar manner. Not really selling well as a cold cream remover, people started using the paper sheets as things to blow their noses into. The year was 1924 and the life of the male teenager was forever changed.

You all know the saying, “the best thing since sliced bread” right? Well, bet you didn’t know that the first sandwich was recorded around 200 years before sliced bread came about. Yes kids, that’s right! John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich was such a gambling addict that he refused to break for meal time, opting instead for slices of meat between two pieces of bread. What a pleasant person he must’ve been. I guess “get back to the kitchen and make me a sandwich” had to start somewhere.

I wish I had something cool named after me. An object, or a food, or a planet - I’m not fussy. Some handy inventions are simply made by accident. The Post-it Note was invented in 1968, by accident, as Dr Spencer Silver was just trying to make a super strong adhesive. Superglue was all he wanted, and yet he got a world famous stationary product, all because some clown used the adhesive as a bookmark. You want to know why they’re yellow? Convenience - yellow scrap paper was what was at the factory at time of production. 45 years later, these items have been used and abused by students everywhere. Thank you, Dr Silver.

Incredible inventions can be born out of a fat man’s laziness, a silly man’s greed or both. Mr Thomas Sullivan invented tea bags in 1903, not for the greater good of tea drinkers everywhere, but so he could better rip people off if he sold the tea in small bags instead of large tins. T2, that one’s for you.

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What about you? It’s easy, just get out and get inventing - there are probably so many stupidly simple things staring you in the face, right this very second. I can’t think of any myself, and if I could, well I wouldn’t be sharing them with you anyways. I’m far too competitive. It’s a dog eat dog world out there, and I just want to eat my taco. I want to be the one carried around on people’s shoulders, sombrero dancing in the dry wind, throwing money into the air.

I want to be the taco girl.


Homegrown Brooke Hunter

images: ashley Westwood

Since collaborating as a form of escapism in the small town of Northam in 2006, punkrock band The Novocaines have come quite far on the international music scene. The band has appeared in films such as Scream 4 and toured with the likes of Spiderbait, The Living End and Tame Impala.

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Recently, I sat down with lead guitarist Jay Marriot to talk about the music industry, the drawbacks, the gratuities and the downright bizarre experiences. What prompted you to get out there and form a band? Steven, Corey and I went to the same high school in Northam and started the band seven years ago. When we were younger, music was something we could kind of rely on. I guess it was escapism to some degree, so it felt like a natural step to start pursuing it. Liam joined the band five years ago, just before we wrote and recorded our first EP, ‘Ragdoll’.

What was it like trying to get recognition in Northam? It was pretty difficult, but we invited a lot of Perth bands to perform with us in Northam long before we started gigging in the city. Bands like The Dee Dee Dums (now Tame Impala), The Floors and Timothy Nelson were all regulars at our shows.

Why do you think energetic punk rock is so popular especially in WA? Is the scene growing? I’m not sure if we’re really part of the WA punkrock scene enough to be able to comment of why it’s popular or if it’s growing, but for us the appeal of punk-rock has always been in the live show and the DIY ethos of a lot of great bands. There has been a lot of attention on Perth music over the past 12 months, which we’re really happy to see. Bands like Foxes, Foam and The Love Junkies have been working hard for many years, so it’s always great to see their popularity grow the way it has.

What do you bring the WA and Australian music industry that other bands don’t? We are certainly making music that isn’t what you would generally hear in the mainstream. That has plenty of drawbacks, but we just focus on writing the music that we want to write. Any sort of recognition for it comes as a bonus.

Can you explain to me what ‘Freedom Please’ brings to the music scene? What about ‘Til Death’?

Have you always been interested in alternative, grunge and punk?

‘Freedom Please’ and ‘Til Death’, are two songs about our frustrations working in an industry filled with disposable music.

We all have a pretty broad taste in music, but generally speaking we listen to rock, punk and metal. It’s taken us a long time to learn how to be influenced by the sort of music we enjoy listening to, without becoming a direct rip-off.

How do you think you work well together?

You say you are influenced by modern contemporaries like Fucked Up and Pulled Apart by Horses, why is that? Those two bands have really revitalised the punk/hardcore genre. Their style of songwriting influenced us immediately. We caught Pulled Apart By Horses’ set at South by South West in 2011 and it was very obvious how big they were going to get. Since then, we’ve started listening to a lot more modern hardcore music.

I think it comes down to over six years of hanging out in vans, hotel rooms, at home and how ever many venues we’ve played. We’ve learnt to not take things personally, have a dig and cop one back.

What is it like to be featured in films and TV series such as Scream 4, Californication and Shameless? I went to see Scream 4 with my mates as a joke and when our song played, it didn’t really seem right at all. It’s a lot weirder than it is cool. That being said, it does allow your music to reach audiences that may otherwise be unaware of you.

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What was it like touring with the likes of Them Crooked Vultures, The Living End, You Am I, Jebediah and DZ Deathrays? Who were the best to tour with? Those bands are extremely professional, hard-working musicians, some of which we’ve admired since before we played music. I think my favourite tour was with Kram from Spiderbait.

What have you witnessed on tour that you might never forget? Our guitarist throwing up in an L.A cemetery after a show sponsored by Bacardi.

What is the most interesting place you have performed in considering you have travelled quite regularly recently? Japan, hands down. Most of the venues are tiny, crammed in the middle of huge city blocks. The people who work there are so efficient and professional, it’s hard to have a bad time. Also, all of the Japanese bands we played with were extremely proficient musicians with a bizarre take on punk rock.

What’s the craziest thing a groupie has done? One of our long-time fans has our artwork tattooed on her leg. That’s pretty full on.


When I agreed to cover the Chill Perth 360 V8 Supercars event for Grok & Red Bull Racing Australia, I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know the names of any of the drivers, I didn’t know who was winning and who was losing, and I really didn’t know what I was going to write about - I figured I’d just put it in the back of my mind until the day of the event.  So when Red Bull’s Student Brand Manager Damo turned up to my 10am class, posing as a courier with a crate of Red Bull especially for me, I just kinda stared blankly and frantically tried to explain to the class that I had no idea what was going on either. It was only after he left that somebody noticed an all-access media pass hanging out the side of the crate. This is all part of the ‘Red Bull experience.’ Chill Perth 360 is a 3-day event held at Barbagallo Raceway, and hosts the 10th, 11th, and 12th races of the 2013 International V8 Supercars Championships.  I head up on the Sunday morning, wanting to cover the final two races and podium finish. When I arrive, after the painfully long and built-up drive to Barbagallo, somebody tries to sell me a weekend program for $10.  I text Damo and we agree to meet near the Nismo merch tent and the Bratwurst Van. I wander through the crowd, where almost everybody is sporting at least one piece of

Holden or Ford paraphernalia - shirts, caps, jackets, chairs, stubby holders, picnic rugs, plastic cups. I eventually find Damo (who I only now realised was the “courier” who came into my class) and get given my own RB team cap and shirt and then climb into a RB branded golf buggy. Upon arriving in the pits, I’m offered a can of “the Bull” from the team marquee, where there are two pretty serious looking pieces of V8 machinery, and at least a dozen monitors with charts and graphs I don’t even try to understand. I wander around the pits for a while until the race starts, at which point I head back to the Red Bull marquee to watch the team operate. There are around a dozen mechanics in fireproof suits and helmets, eyes fixed on the monitors. They sit perfectly still, using tires as seats, until around lap eight, when they all stand up in unison. Craig Lowndes’ VF Commodore pulls up, gets its tires changed, and leaves so quickly that if you looked away to get your camera, you wouldn’t have even realised it was there. Within three seconds, all four wheels were removed and replaced. Even with the thousands of dollars of mechanical ratchets and hydraulic jacks, this is an impressive sight. The cars - mostly Commodores and Falcons, with a few Nissans - corner at well over 100km/h, but the precision with which they handle makes

Fast Loud V8 Sunday Michael MacKenzie image: Ashley westwood

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it look much, much slower. The drivers are all highly trained athletes -  in preparation for the championship, they go through heat resistance training (the temperature is an average 25 degrees higher inside the vehicle than outside), core muscle workouts, and obviously track practice. The professionalism was most obvious when I ask one of the drivers how many gear changes he did per lap, and he counts all 13 changes on his fingers without pause. The two Red Bull cars, driven by Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes come in 1 and 2, and the entire RB team claps as Whincup pulls up. I ask mechanic Peter Jameson about the cars, and he tells me all Commodore based vehicles use an identical design called the “future chassis”. They all use a 640 horsepower 5.0L Chevrolet V8 engine, which takes the cars from 0km/h to 100km/h in 3.7 seconds (we’re talking full-sized 1.4 tonne touring sedans). The racing shell is carbon fibre, but most of the internal components are metal.  The vehicles, while based stock Holden Commodores, are basically nothing like them.  The bodies are shortened to meet race requirements, and the engine alone costs $50,000, while the vehicle costs $250,000. They’re about as precisiondesigned as a car can get while still looking like a car. As I’m talking to Peter, two time MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner walks through the Red Bull trailer, and we’re told not to talk


to him as he “doesn’t like to be disturbed.” I’m told by a Red Bull rep that he comes to almost every event with his wife and child, but just likes to enjoy the races and doesn’t want to be a celebrity there (which seems somewhat ironic, since he’s wearing full Red Bull Racing Australian sponsorship gear and has a private sleeping area in one of the team semi-trailers). Towards the end of the day, before the second championship race, I’m invited out onto the grid. Here there are hundreds of people, all trying to take photos of anything they can see.   Most cameras are pointed towards Lowndes in the 888 car, while some are pointed towards grid girls (most of whom are wearing tight leather shorts and tank tops and seem to be around 16 years old), and some are pointed towards other cameras.  We shuffle off the grid, and the flag waves for the race to start. Again, everybody is tense in the marquee.  After 43 laps, Whincup and Lowndes again take the first and second positions, and everybody seems to be sighing with relief rather than cheering.  With so much sponsorship money riding on the championship, it seems to most people in RB shirts more of a successful business investment than a good race result.  But regardless, the result is a positive one, and so everybody stumbles up to the Red Bull corporate tent in the middle of the pits and has a glass of white wine as a DJ blasts dance music.

The Short Story Extravaganza Returns in Grok #4! Grab your MacBook Pro, buy a beret, and scope out a trendy-looking Café, because it's time to show the world (of Curtin) just how brilliant your storytelling skills are. Entry is open to all students, and there are no restrictions on theme or genre. Gory violence? Fine. Richard Dean Anderson fan fiction? Easy. Historical erotica? Uh, you betcha. Word range: 500 - 2,500 Deadline: August 16

Please direct submissions to grok@guild.curtin.edu.au


ALBUM REVIEWS theme, which is made evident by its title Sleep in the Water and also the track titles, which include “Deep” and “Feel the Ocean Hold me Under.” The album also has a calm, chilled out vibe as if they’ve created their songs around the notion of ‘if water was a song, what would it sound like?’ If you enjoy the sounds of the XX or Beach House, have a listen to these Australians.

Bernard Fanning - departures REVIEWED BY Matt vassiliou With a title like Departures, one could safely assume Bernard Fanning’s second solo work would exhibit, quite literally, a departure from the sound of his old band. But alas, the funky, guitar-driven vibe that is the opening track, “Tell Me How It Ends,” would not be out of place on a Powderfinger recording. Gone are the softer, folk-infused sounds present on Tea & Sympathy. Instead, we are treated to padded choruses, thick bass lines, and even a bit of a soul feel with some horns thrown in. Unfortunately, this album lacks the emotional undercurrent of Tea, and while the songs have a catchy, stadium-rock hook that make for a pleasant first listen, upon the second goaround they appear shallow and empty. The sound is too slick and measured, and it lacks the rawness of the rock ‘n’ roll it emulates. First single ‘Battleships’ is catchy, but it’s really the kind of song that I might tap along with to pass time in traffic, and I might even hum a few verses, but it’s forgotten almost as soon as it finishes. The one exception is the title track - I loved Tea & Sympathy, and here Fanning really captures that vibe whilst singing of his Brisbane family ties. Overall, I feel this album is a mediocre output by a talented singersongwriter.

disclosure - settle REVIEWED BY athina mallis Settle is Disclosure’s debut album and it has definitely been worth the wait. You have probably heard of them; one of their tracks, “Latch,” was number 21 on Triple J’s Hottest 100 for 2012. Disclosure consists of two English brothers at only 22 and 19 years of age, and for such young musicians they have really created a sensational album. To sum up the sound of Settle it is EDM with a funk vibe it’s not something like Knife Party or ShockOne but more like SBTRKT or Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. From track one they bring great melodies and once you start playing you can’t stop moving. Every track is great, there are no ‘filler’ tracks that you can skip; each is fantastic in their own way. Opener “When a fire starts to burn” is the first taste of the goodness of what is in store for listeners even though only one line is sung throughout the whole song. “Confess to me,” featuring Jessie Ware, is a good example of the quality EDM these brothers are producing in this album, and this is one song of theirs you will soon be hearing plenty of. Settle is a must-have album for any fan of EDM.

snakadaktal - sleep in the water REVIEWED BY athina mallis Given that their name is snake crossed with pterodactyl (without the silent p), you would expect Snakadaktal to play some sort of tribal music, very heavy and very loud. But you’d be wrong - in fact it’s the exact opposite. Snakadaktal is a Melbourne band made famous through winning Triple J’s Unearthed High competition in 2011. They have released a few singles here and there but this is the bands first LP. This album has adopted a water

same, maybe with different lyrics and a slightly different rhythm - it’s especially disappointing given the amount of hype this album has received. The duo’s sound is still the same, and is still the unique amalgamation of their respective musical backgrounds Luke Steele was the front man for the indie pop band Sleepy Jackson and Nick Littlemore was a part of PNAU. Empire of the Sun definitely has an influence on the mainstream charts so you’ll definitely hear them around. They may be repetitive but they still stand out from the majority of EDM artists mostly because of Luke Steele’s unique voice. A few tracks to listen out for are “DNA” and “Celebrate.” Not a ground breaking album, but if you like their old stuff definitely have a listen.

empire of the sun - ice on the dune REVIEWED BY athina mallis It seems as if 2013 is the year of EDM and Empire of the Sun’s second studio album just reinforces that. Every song sounds the GROK #3 2013

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jinja safari - jinja safari REVIEWED BY athina mallis Jinja Safari is known for their tribal tunes and Indian-eqsue sound, which been labeled as ‘Forest Rock.’ Either way, it’s not a sounds you would expect to hear from a bunch of white boys, but they definitely nail the genre. This album has been highly anticipated ever since their previous album, Locked by Land, made a huge impact on the Australian music scene. The songs flow into each other, so the album does seem like one long song but who cares, because it’s the best 50 minutes you’ll hear from a genre like this. Their first song, “Apple,” gets the ball rolling with their signature sound, setting up the rest of the album for new listeners. “Just One Thing” is quite a slow song yet you could still do some sort of spirit dance to it. This album is very mellow and chilled and could be the next essential background EP for any gathering. Tune into these guys if you like Tame Impala or San Cisco. I would just like to know why they haven’t changed their name to Jinja Sari yet?


book REVIEWs

Inferno by Dan Brown /The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri and Clive James reviewed by Daniel Juckes There’s something about Dante. There’s probably, since the fourteenth century, always been something about Dante. The Divine Comedy is a foundation text, brought out of Florence just before the renaissance kicked off; it’s influential across disciplines and cultures and time and you don’t need me to tell you it’s important. This year, two very different writers decided to give it a crack, or more correctly, one devoted 30 years of his working life to the poem, and another wanted a holiday in Florence paid for by his publishers. The two writers concerned are Clive James and Dan Brown, and I hope you’ll be able to work out which is which.

dictionary, twice, on the first page! One of the dictionary words was chthonic, and it surprised this reviewer to learn that H.P. Lovecraft didn’t make that up. It’s a real word, and it “designates, or pertains to, deities or spirits of the underworld, especially in relation to Greek religion.” That’s according to Wikipedia, anyway. But more of that later. As I said, it started well. Inferno has the obligatory mysterious prologue and then puts the reader straight into Florence, where Robert Langdon is recovering from a gunshot wound in a small hospital. Things don’t get any better for the Professor of Symbology, and he escapes chaotically, just, with the pretty and intelligent Doctor who has just saved his life. It was about then that I started to notice the interrobangs.

So, what about the actual words? I’ve read all of Dan Brown’s books, for whatever that’s worth. I’ve liked most of them, but I haven’t loved many of them. I know enough about the books he writes to sense a little bit of potential: Dante and Brown’s (he’s probably also Tom Hanks’s) Robert Langdon seemed like a pretty good combination for a thriller. Potential can be a dangerous thing.

Things started to unravel, and not just the plot. There is a lot that is irritating about Inferno, not least the forest of exclamation marks crossed with question marks that speckle every other page. There were so many annoying things that I couldn’t really concentrate on the story, which wasn’t bad, but basically a retelling of The Da Vinci Code. Here are some of my grievances: there were too many words; there was an arrogance about the writing, fuelled in part by reflections on other ‘great’ (read ‘actually great’) artists who took on Dante; and there was something smug about the narrator. Brown likes to drop in little factoids, things that seem too blatantly googleable and too much like (I promised I’d get there) a Wikipedia entry, written boring and popped into the text seemingly at random. Bits from Langdon’s ‘lectures’, or little asides about ‘Langdon’s’ favourite paintings or coffee shops or brand of clothing just feel like Brown is trying to impress. All that he actually accomplishes is the creation of a little, bobble-headed version of himself jumping up and down shouting, “Look! I researched this!”

It started well, fast-paced, not like his last book, The Lost Symbol, and I had to use the

But, perhaps the most irritating thing about Brown’s book is a plot point. When you read

The first thing you should do when reading the new Dan Brown novel, Inferno, is remove the dust jacket. Then people might not realise you are reading the new Dan Brown novel, Inferno. A dust jacketless copy of Inferno is also covered in a gorgeous Gustave Doré illustration, one that the publishers have cleverly hidden with a horrible looking cover. Underneath it’s beautiful, and dark, and it captures a mood that is missing from the rest of the book.

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a thriller it’s important to be able to piece together what is happening by the known details: there’s a sort of unwritten contract between the reader and writer that says, “Here are the clues, use them to solve the mystery.” Good readers of thrillers are good at picking up the twists and the ebb and flow, but to do that all the relevant details should be present, somewhere, in the text. It takes a clever writer to do this, no matter how one feels about the relative cleverness of most thrillers. What Dan Brown does is completely ignore one key detail, one that I won’t divulge here, but it is one that, simply by its lack of inclusion, makes you feel angry and frustrated and lied to. And this is without mentioning the genocide thing. There’s a peculiar philosophy running through Inferno, one that the author gets more than a little preachy about. I don’t want to be made to think complicated things when reading the latest Robert Langdon adventure, and I especially don’t want to be made to think depressing things. Eugenics and Malthusian population control measures are not something I like to contemplate in my down time. What I definitely don’t want to consider are far-right policies presented as reasonable possibilities for future of the human race - there’s enough of that in The West Australian. In summary, if you feel like reading a book that is a cross between The Da Vinci Code, Mein Kampf, and Wikipedia, be my guest. But if you don’t, and you can’t be bothered wading through pages and pages of extra punctuation and adverbs, here follows an alternative review of an alternative interpretation of Dante. I don’t know much about Clive James. My dad is a big fan, and is always trying to get me to read his T.V. criticism from the seventies. I know right! I’ve got a collection of essays of his on my bookshelf that is pretty interesting but definitely not cover-to-cover material, and I’ve seen a few of his poems, which are good (Dan

(cont.)


book REVIEWS (inferno/the divine comedy review cont.) Brown could certainly learn something from a close reading of “The Book of my Enemy Has Been Remaindered”). But this was virgin territory, even though it wasn’t really James’s poetry: it was Dante’s Divine Comedy, newly translated. This wouldn’t be my first time with the first book, “Inferno”. I’d read it before, primarily to impress some of the hipsters at my old job, and didn’t understand much. All I could remember, in fact, were the horrible punishments doled out to sinners in the more interesting parts of hell. This would be my first time with the whole thing, and I was excited. That stopped quickly: it was hard work. This isn’t a book to polish off in an afternoon: it’s a book to think your way through over many, many afternoons. It’s a book you start off reading in your head, you then reread the bits that don’t stick, and then you start to whisper, because the words seem to go everywhere. And then, before you know it, you’re reading out loud and trying hard to stop because the words just keep coming and there aren’t very many places to take a breath, even at the end of cantos. There’s a quote I underlined in a book about books by Nick Hornby. It’s from a novel by Charles Baxter. “We talked about books,” it says, “how boring they were to read, but how you loved them anyway.” That was kind of my experience with The Divine Comedy. Whilst I don’t think I was actually bored that often (there are extended chunks of theology, especially in the opening cantos of Heaven), I can say that the reading was, at times, a little torturous, or maybe purgatorial: there was definitely a very real reward at the end. I loved it, but I had to work hard for it. I hope this isn’t just the me who wants to tell people I’ve read Dante talking, but the me who likes to read things. It’s a book with so much in it: there are beautiful passages, such as Dante looking back on the journey he’s taken and seeing the world and the heavens hanging behind him; there are crazy, fantastic passages, and not just in Hell. In Purgatory the myths and legends of the ancients are carved near lifelike on the floor of the great mountain that the souls of the dead march up, bent-backed and plodding through their own chunks of eternity. At the top, past a stream that is two streams, in a forest of fruit trees, a giant and what was a carriage pulled by a griffin, then a monster, now an ‘ungirt harlot’, fuck until she catches Dante’s eye. Then the giant gets jealous, beats up his conquest, and drags her into the woods. Legit. This is poetry at its most specific and its most layered. And layering and specificity seem to me to be two of the most important things for poetry to contain. It’s also poetry built of vital language, words that dribble onto the next line, and the next line. This is the effect James was going for, and he achieved it: the introduction gives insight into his process and motives (his wife, Prue Shaw, is a Dante specialist).

James shucked the traditional rhyming pattern in favour of something more suitable to the rhythm and rhyme of English. This gives the work a “tempo and texture” that stretches through its entirety. The poem is, to use James’s words again, a “force of both meaning and sound”. He’s talking about the original, but he manages it in translation. He has also managed to make something readable, which is tough in the field of medieval poetry: no footnotes, simple language, and it all makes something powerful and evocative and is a piece of art unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I didn’t want it to end, when it did. The last cantos were spread thin over days, eking all that I could from the text. Perhaps the thing that surprised me most about The Divine Comedy was what seemed (to this non-academic, layman reviewer) the driving force of the story. It wasn’t the allegory, it was the love story. Dante seemed to be writing so he could write about Beatrice, and even in Hell, led by the constant and loyal Virgil, there is a yearning for where she is, and who she was. It may be a little soppy, but I’m fine with that. There’s a great force of feeling through the poem, and that feeling is generated by the poet’s love for his muse. James has drawn the old Italian into something I can get the gist of, even without the need for footnotes. It’s a version of Dante designed to be read, and it is a version of Dante designed to be kept and read again. I like to imagine piles and piles of Dan Brown, enough to build chairs and tables, even a little fort made of old copies of Deception Point. But I think there will be a few bookshelves that keep, between all the books that can’t, ever, be thrown away, James’s translation of Dante.

It’s been a long time between drinks for Mr Gaiman, especially the adult sized ones that are distilled and make you laugh a lot. For nearly the last decade he seems to have spread himself between children’s books, introductions for other people, and Doctor Who. I used to think Neil Gaiman was the most popular author that people have never heard of, but, in the time between Anasi Boys and now, if you haven’t heard of him, then you mustn’t know what an internet is. This is a novel about childhood, memory, and monsters. It’s well written in lyrical prose, and has the feel of a short story. It doesn’t go into needless detail, leaving just enough for the plot to work (we never find out the name of the narrator). There’s a mood that works, something melancholy and lonely, and the narrator seems caught in the grey space between then and now: “Memories were waiting at the edges of things, beckoning to me. Had you told me that I was seven again, I might have half believed you, for a moment.” What Gaiman could work on is the obviousness of his monsters. This is subtle fantasy, cleverly spun, but it needs subtle monsters, not the (albeit scary) Things that Gaiman creates. This “Adult” novel is peopled by a cast of characters who could easily find a home in Gaiman’s Young Adult fiction. Having said that, his YA output is bloody good, and so is The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I’m just not convinced it’s an entirely adult novel. There’s bits that are, and bits that aren’t. A bit like the narrator, really.

I’d be lying if I said I got everything, but I didn’t need to. That’s for the next time I read it, when I’m old enough to tell the children I have about the books on my bookshelf. But the story was there, raw and magnetic, and the words pulled me along, through the bits of odd theology and medieval Florentine gossip. Hell is just a part of the story, and what goes on in the next two books is just as impressive and just as readable.

the ocean at the end of the lane - neil gaiman reviewed by Daniel Juckes A nameless narrator travels a well-worn path back to the early places in his life, the fields and farms that have become housing estates. He finds his way to a farm he remembers, but he is not sure why. After meeting a familiar old woman he sits for a while by a scum-lined pond; it’s then that he remembers. And, whilst what follows is not exactly Proust and the madeleine, it’s an entertaining, thoughtful, and gripping story. GROK #3 2013

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Neil Gaiman is cross-hatched in a way that many writers can’t manage. He splits himself across genres and styles in impressive ways. That’s a theme of the novel: the narrator splits himself across time and space and snips and chooses what to tell and how to tell it. There are other characters who snip and rip in the same way. It’s a dark story, with an ordinary sort of light at the end, one that’s true and powerful. It’s about change, and time, and the strange flickers of memory that we all keep in the backwaters of our own heads. It’s very good.


moviE REVIEWS you aint seen nothing yet reviewED by matt vassiliou “Wow,” I thought, as I left the cinema, “that could possibly be the worst film I’ve ever seen.” I had been apprehensive walking in as, for me, seeing a foreign film usually means choosing between reading subtitles or actually watching the pictures. Additionally, I’ve always found French cinema to have a level of subtlety too obscure to penetrate, and You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet doesn’t disappoint in this department. Directed by Alain Resnais, the film loosely follows the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. For those who don’t know the myth, Orpheus is a musician who marries a beautiful girl, Eurydice. When she dies, Orpheus travels down to the underworld and plays for Hades. The god is moved by the music, and so tells Orpheus that if he turns and walks back to the edge of the underworld, Eurydice will follow the sounds of his music and return to life. Orpheus also must not look back or stop playing, and he must trust that Eurydice is following. However, just as he reaches the gates of the underworld, he looks back, and Eurydice is lost to him forever. So, in the film, playwright Antoine d’Anthac dies, and as part of his final wishes, his dearest friends all gather together at his house to watch a recording of a play. The play they watch is a version of Eurydice, d’Anthac’s signature piece, something each of his

we steal secrets: the story of wikileaks reviewED by michael mckenzie We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks is a shallow documentary on the already wellknown history of Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange. It begins by talking about Assange’s dubious history as a teen hacker, and from there builds the narrative of a

friends had once starred in. d’Anthac asks his friends to determine whether the young theatre group (in the recording) should be allowed to publicly perform his work. As the recording progresses, the actors each begin to speak the lines of the character they once played, and eventually get so caught up that they begin to act out the play themselves (as though the events were actually happening to them). This is confusing enough, except the roles of Orpheus and E u r y d i c e each have two actors performing them, and the film cuts between the two pairs, and it’s difficult to keep up.

friends to say hello after the recording is over. To make it even worse, he then actually kills himself at the end. Then, the young actor who played Eurydice in the recording appears at d’Anthac’s funeral. She hides from his friends, which leads me to believe that there was some sort of romance between them, but the idea is never once hinted at in the film.

I don’t get why this film isn’t just a modern reinterpretation of the myth – why include the convoluted business regarding the recording of the play? To make things even more confusing, it turns out d’Anthac just faked his own death, and then appears amidst his

I don’t get it. I just don’t get any of it.

power-hungry genius. It’s around halfway through the documentary when it turns all its energy towards throwing Assange under the bus, with snippets from the co-founder saying the message of Wikileaks had been lost with Assange’s own lack of transparency. Whether or not the allegations against JA are true, the distinct lack of a second perspective impedes the viewer’s ability to make an informed decision.

treatment of Manning in the years leading to his trial, which is perhaps the most controversial component of the Bradley Manning/US Government narrative. Much of the dialogue between Manning and Lamo is simple white on black chatspeak, emulating the communication channels the two were using at the time. The raw footage of Assange’s life post-fame/fall makes the latter part of the film seem rushed and amateur - which is saying something since it was directed by Academy Award winning documentarian Alex Gibney.

The documentary does have its moments, however, most of which focus on the relationship between whistleblower Bradley Manning and “friend” Adrien Lamo. Bradley Manning is the only real hero of the Wikileaks narrative exposing government and military secrets despite some very serious consequences and having little to gain. Even still, the documentary mentions very briefly the unconstitutional

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The one thing I did actually understand was why half the audience left after an hour. If I wasn’t reviewing this, I would have joined them.

The film could’ve been a really interesting and exciting history of one of the most controversial public developments this century, but instead it is two hours of talking heads calling each other names, and offers no information that hasn’t already been given to us in thousands of newspapers. The documentary has no deeper conversation about the importance of transparency or the consequences of it, and spends most of its time looking into the personal traits of the story’s heroes and villains. We Steal Secrets is best viewed as an entertaining introduction to Julian Assange, Wikileaks, and Bradley Manning, and should not be regarded as a comprehensive or serious case study.


Australian Association of Campus Activities presents

registrations open now hurry, they close on Mon aug 8

head to aaca.net.au or www.guild.curtin.edu.au for all the details

THIS IS AN 18+ EVENT. APPROVED FORM OF ID WILL BE REQUIRED UPON ENTRY. PHOTOS MAY BE TAKEN AT THE EVENT FOR GUILD PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL. CURTIN STUDENT GUILD SUPPORTS THE RESPONSIBLE SERVICE OF ALCOHOL AT ALL TIMES.


Big weekend. Pulled an all nighter. Can’t get into it. Whatever the deal is, nothing can kick-start your day like the full flavour and irresistible aroma of a SuperBarista Coffee by Braziliano. Available from Curtin Student Guild Catering outlets across campus.

Grok Issue #3 2013  

Theme: Simplicity