Well tonight will be my second night in Pymble (the suburb of Sydney where I’m staying), and internet has semi-successfully been installed at the house. It’s brand new, practically still in the wrapper so a lot of details are still left to be finished. The house itself is beautifully modern though, like something out of a magazine. All the floors are some sort of sparkly, polished cement. The walls are all white. And by all the walls I mean ALL THE WALLS. The baseboards, the doors, the inside of my closet, everything. Maria -their current Italian Au Pair- has been a huge help in showing me around. My host mom gave me a lot of written information today that we will go over later, but Maria has been really friendly in showing me how things work. She will be here until the end of the week, when her parents come and they will tour Australia for a month. I am starting to get a little stir crazy. Maria said she would show me how all of the public transport works this week, but until then I am stuck in the house with no television, no people, and up until very recently- No internet. Thank goodness the man came and installed it late last night. I’ve been catching up on Parks & Rec while the family was gone today. Normally I won’t be stuck in the house this much on weekends, but until I get a handle on their schedule (and Maria shows me how to get around on my own) it’s me and Amy Poehler.
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I went to my last Royals game for quite a while this week. Jeff, Will, & Newman went with me to observe, in true KC fashion as we let victory slip from our grasp. It was college night, so tickets were only $7, and we got to sit four rows back in the lower part of the outfield! I always have fun at Kauffman Stadium. It’s one of the few places where I have so many memories with my family early on, and then with my friends as I grow older. Sports in Kansas- and Missouri, whatever- will definitely be one of the things I’m going to miss the most. I can’t even begin to talk about KU Basketball, because that deserves its own post later on and I don’t feel like weeping in front of my laptop at work.
Today is my last day working at the KU Natural History Museum, which is crazy to think about. It’s been almost exactly two years since my I hung up the phone with my Dad, who had just told me he lost his job, and got online to apply for anything and everything. It was scary, but I operated under the “At least one of them will like me, right?” theory that I also applied to the Au Pair search. I applied for 12 positions at KU, in varying departments. I wrote cover letters for the two of them that I really wanted, the ones that actually applied to my major, and paid better. I didn’t get calls from either place, but I did get an email from the Biodiversity Department about an interview.
I had no idea what the Biodiversity Department was, I figured the job was in a lab. I had to ask him where the Natural History Museum was! The interview went pretty well, but I knew there were over 60 applicants, and he told me he interviewed 12 people for 7 spots. I’ll never forget a couple days later, I got out of the shower and had a voicemail from Thomas to call him. I did, and he offered me the job on the phone! I was running around the basement of ADPi in my towel, so excited that I did this all on my own. And now, after two years, three bosses, multiple co-workers come and gone, and countless papers written behind the desk, I’m on my way out. I had started the process of naming every animal and skeleton here, and I made it through a lot, but not quite all. I will miss this place, I learned so much about Dinosaurs and bats and Kansas History. I learned about how to actually wake up for my alarm, and how to set up 50 chairs in ten minutes. Most importantly I had fun at work. Unlike other jobs, I never woke up dreading being at work. Sometimes I dreaded the walk, in the snow, uphill, both ways. But it was almost always a good time at 1345 Jayhawk Boulevard. One time I laughed so hard I cried. One time we had a polar bear stacking competition. And one time I walked in to the sale room to find a Mosasaur eating a Panda.
And even though today is my last day at KU, tomorrow is my little brother’s first! So it’s time to pass the Jayhawk torch on to yet another member of our family. And it’s time for me to start new firsts, and a new job I know basically nothing about. Over the next ten days I will have lots more lasts (for a while). I’ll have my last Winsteads burger, my last day with all four wisdom teeth, my last night at the Sandbar, and my last time driving on the right side of the road. But the best part about lasts is that they bring even more new firsts! I may not know what all of those will be, but I know that they’re waiting for me across the Pacific! So here’s to firsts and lasts, and the promise that both will be remarkable in their own way.
I’m definitely making progress! My car has been fully unloaded (except for the trunk), which I thought was completely impossible based on the state it’s been in, well… forever. I discovered that I apparently haven’t thrown away a McDonald’s reciept for three years. There were also an alarming amount of socks and deodorant in my car. All of my laundry has been brought inside to my room, which I now lovingly refer to as “the staging area.” I don’t even have enough laundry bags to keep all of my summer clothes contained. This whole “one suitcase to live out of for a year” thing is going to be a challenge to say the least. How am I supposed to decide between my five pairs of wedges?! I went through all of my books and old toys and am donating a LOT of stuff, as well as donating some things to the garbage. I said goodbye to the backpack that I bought at the union bookstore my very first day of classes freshmen year. It was only slightly devastatingly symbolic.
I also started writing the letters to my friends and family that I will deliver/mail the day that I leave. I think it’s important not to leave anyone out, so my list is always growing and I need to get started early. Still researching families to start with when my time with the B family is over in early December. I’ve been talking to one from Melbourne who seem really great! Their house backs up to a beach, and they also have a pool and kayaks and all kinds of outdoor things to do. The mom loves that I’m from Kansas, because The Wizard of Oz is one of their favorite movies. She asked me if I was “a country girl.” To which I responded, “uhh… I’ve been camping before?”
Also, this picture just belongs on my blog:
The countdown has officially begun. My visa was granted in only five days, my plane ticket has been purchased, and I am nowhere near ready to go. Today mom and I went through all of the books on my shelves and tomorrow I will go through knick-knacks and get started on sorting Laundry. The list of things to do is always growing; separate clothes by season, clean out my room at Dad’s house, get all of my prescriptions renewed, cash any and all checks, etc. It seems like everytime I get something done, an even more daunting task at hand appears. I only have two weekends left working at the Natural History Museum, and I can’t believe how fast the two years I’ve spent there have flown by.
Today was move-in day at the ADPi house, and it’s hard to explain just how strange it was not to be packing up my little car and unloading at 1600 Oxford Road. I think what will really get me is seeing everyone at mock recruitment. Am I really an Alumnae? Is that a real word? Doesn’t sound like it, but they’re sending me magazines that say I am, so we’ll go with it for now.
I’m so excited to start this new chapter in my life, that I’m sure the next few weeks will speed by faster than I can imagine. I’ve already had to say a few goodbyes to people leaving town before me- Danyelle, Derek, & Dayna (woah, just noticed the alliteration there)- and I know there’s many more to come. Just as bad as those goodbyes, I will be bidding my wisdom teeth adieu in just two short weeks, because apparently now is the perfect time for mouth surgery.