And the winner is… Steele Rudd!

And there was much clapping, standing, fist pumping, high fiving and celebration.  The bards will sing about the glories of this win to many freshers to come.  The news is out, Steele Rudd has won the Residential Shield cup.  What a year – All three colleges consistently impressed me with their skill and commitment in all events.  Short film is one of the more light-hearted competitions between the colleges, and you can re-live the action below.  All videos had to contain items like a Shakespeare poster, Big Brother, Nutella, the Game of Thrones theme, Billy Jean and many others.  Enjoy!

Steele Rudd College:

Concannon College:

McGregor College:

Thanks to Simon Merange for the usage of his YouTube channel!

Music Parodies, Friends and Fun- Just some of the perks of living on College

Living on College really is a lot of fun. Whether it’s playing a game of pool in the Rec Hall, participating in Res Shield events, chilling out with your friends or watching a movie in the Common Room, there is plenty of fun to be had.

Sometimes we forget how easy things are when we live on College. Internet and utilities are provided as part of our rent, we get lots of support and help with our study, our friends live right next door and unless we live in self-catered, we don’t have to cook.

Some of our residents recently put together a parody of A1’s Caught in the Middle and called it I Wanna Go Back Now to highlight how great College really is.

Whether you are currently living on College, or thinking about joining us next year, we can’t wait to see you!

Will we be seeing you in 2015?

Top 10 Student ‘Life Hacks’

When you start studying at Uni it is a fair assumption that you will have a tight budget, but there will still be things that you just can’t go without.

Now that I am at the end of my fourth year living on college, I thought that I would share with you some of the most important college ‘life hacks’ that I wish someone had told me in my first year.

1. Use shower curtain rings on coat hangers to hang your scarves and belts

Shower Curtain Rings on Coat Hangers

2. Use can pull tabs to create extra hanging space in your wardrobe

Can pull tabs to create extra hanging space in your wardrobe

3. Push your leftovers away from the center of the plate for even re-heating

Reheating leftovers

4. Put a small hook near your door to hang your keys so that you always know where they are

Key hook

5. Turn your laptop bag into a back pack

Laptop bag into back pack

6. Fix your thongs with a bread clip and super glue

Fix thongs with bread clip and super glue

7. Use a toilet roll and plastic cups as a speaker for your phone

Toilet roll and plastic cups as phone speaker

8. Use bulldog clips to hold your chargers

Bulldog clips to hold chargers

9. Hang a damp towel in front of your window on hot days to cool down your room

Damp towel over window on hot day

10. Post-it notes are great for cleaning dust from your computer keyboard

Clean keyboard with post-it notes

Do you have any life hacks that aren’t on the list? Let me know in the comments below!

Until Next Time,

Kimberley

Professorial Lecture

Every year, the University hosts an event called the “Residential Colleges Professorial Lecture”. The lecture is a night in which the Residential College students come together in the Allison Dickson Theatre to hear a lecture given by a high-profile member of University Faculty. For many college students, this is an opportunity to come together as a group, excitedly dress in “Harry Potter” robes, and have a few wines and cheeses on the university’s dime.

harry_potter_and_the_chamber_of_secrets_019

For those questioning how legitimate the alleged excitement over the “Harry Potter” robes is, it is worth noting that many if not most students choose to spend the afternoon preceding the event finding sticks from gardens around the university to use as make-shift wands for the evening, only to insist that indeed:

“The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Lyons”

Further, the most overheard phrase of the entire evening 3 years running goes to:

“It’s Wingardium Levi-O-sa, not Levi-o-SAHHHHH”

College Student Shenanigans aside, these lectures tend to have a much stronger impact on the students than we sometimes appreciate. This year, the lecture was presented by Dr. Ken Udas, on the topic of Liberalizing the Corporate University. Purely based on the title, I expected something akin to that one chapter of the History Textbook, which no one managed to finish in High School, much to the dismay of the year nine Social Sciences Teacher. However, despite the use of big words like “Liberalizing”, “Corporate” and “the”, even I, a Creative Arts Student with an unfortunate migraine as a result of the flu, which I was battling at the time, managed to be gripped by the content of Dr. Udas’ lecture.

The long and the short of the lecture is, that Dr. Udas, who has lectured and worked at many universities all over the world, has a lot to say about the purpose to which we run our Universities. He discusses that the purpose of the University, which should be the pursuit of truth beyond all other things, has become a desperate desire to better ourselves in the tangible statistics, employment rates, guaranteed pay for our graduates and similar.

As an aspiring actor, who will have a harder time finding employment than a tortoise that can do a backflip (which would be awesome, by the way), remembering to not always see the world in this light is really important. As young people, we’re often told things like “It’s about the Journey, not the destination”, only to realize that we can, in fact, pass a 3rd year University course by doing the assignments the night before and cramming the week of the exam. Our world, as it would seem, is about the destination. We measure our success by the tangible, the job that we will get, the money we will make and the grades that we got. What Dr. Udas took great pains to remind us is that University is about the pursuit of truth, and that first things first, we need to remember what we’re here to do, Learn.

Seeing the Finish Line

You know your course is approaching the end when you are so busy that you actually look forward to a day where you can just do whatever you want instead of following your strict timetable to ensure that you actually complete everything. Another sign is telling your teacher you won’t be at class this week, not because you’re sick, but because you are actually working on your BCA project in the studio. It’s hard to be in two places at once. You find that 3 subjects now seem to take about the time and a half of 4 subjects from previous years and you realize that you haven’t even considered answering yes to “are you coming out this Thursday night?”

Finish Line Ahead

It’s not all as bad as it sounds. After all, you learn so much about why you studied some of those “pointless” courses from first year. Let me explain. For me in Creative Arts, I have to complete a BCA project throughout my last year. Basically the BCA project is the start of you setting yourself up to be able to finish university as a business on your own and have something to show employers. I have realized though that a little bit of everything I’ve learnt throughout the 3 years has all played a part in my final project. What am I saying? Basically, you know you’re approaching the finish line when all of your courses from previous years are actually proving their purpose, you have absolutely no say in what you have to do in the day, you find you have to say no a lot more, but the best of all, you see the meaning in your efforts and progress.

My BCA project was to write and record an EP. By the way, I will have that out soon. Watch my Facebook page for details: www.facebook.com/kenttonscheckofficial

It’s seeing the results of study and projects like this that make all the busy days worth while. The biggest reward for me is seeing people appreciate my efforts and enjoying the art I’ve made. That’s the greatest upside to seeing the finish line.

Friends Help You Cross The Finish Line

Living on college has a huge benefit when trying to complete your final year. As I’ve mentioned, your last year gets really hectic and sometimes it’s hard to stay enthusiastic about doing assignments. Our minds need a balance of study and social life in order to function efficiently, however, being so busy that you can’t even attend all your classes, there’s obviously no time left in the day to be a social bird. Seeing your friends and classmates around you (also in their last year of study) working through their assessment and making it out alive, it’s actually really encouraging and you feel more positive and motivated to go complete your work.

Also you can all whinge about the same problems, with people who relate directly, around the dinner table – the only time away from the books and instruments… well… books… Us music students will sometimes eat with our instruments at the table. What can I say? It’s a part of our passion.

All in all, seeing the finish line is a time of

  • Excitement
  • Revelation of some early courses
  • Challenge
  • Finding new ways to balance your mind
  • Achievement

Unitl next time,

Kent

Batman and the Bin Bandits

Every Year, as part of the Residential Shield competition, each college is required to submit a short film for judging and comparison between the three colleges. We are supplied with a set of unusual criteria, and asked to devise, write and film an 8-10 minute film based on these. As an Acting student, and someone with relatively few otherwise useful talents, this is one of the only competitive cross-college events that I’m any use in. That said, it’s also quite possibly the most fun of the lot. I’ve attached McGregor’s 2013 video, which consists of all things unusual from Batman to Bart Simpson, to Bandits riding in bins. The criteria for this video dictated that they each video must include:

A Glee Style Music Number

  • The Song Footloose
  • Bart Simpson
  • Brad Pitt
  • The 1950’s Batman theme
  • A dustpan and brush
  • A Cheerleader
  • A scene shot in the new Refectory

Naturally this peculiar mix makes for quite a unique artistic predicament among the creative team for the video, and poses a special set of challenges for us as a unit. We are, however, extremely confident that we effectively met almost all of these terms with our film, and, let’s face it, produced an award-worthy piece of art. We didn’t take home any Oscars, but boy were we worthy.
This masterpiece stars yours truly as Officer Niel Raymonds, and Emily Martin as his partner ‘Happy’. Filmed and Edited by Simon Merange and featuring the supporting Talents of Brendan O’Leary, Jennifer Laycock, Steph ‘Batman’ Piper and Thomas Pitt Hooley. Special Thanks to Steph for the Link.

Until Next Time,

Josh

College Upcycling 101

Have you heard the one about the recycling bin that said ‘Empty Water Bottles Here’? Soon it was filled to the brim with water.

USQ Colleges are known for fun times, shenanigans and attractive residents (but we all know the real studs live at Steele Rudd). What you may not know, however, is that the USQ colleges are at the forefront of interdisciplinary collaborative frugal upcycling. We combine feats of engineering, science and creative arts to synthesise ways to save money and the planet at the same time. What’s not to love?   See below for some classic college examples which may or may not improve your life.

Bedside Table: Can’t waste that quality cardboard box.

Beer Carton Bedside Table

Bedside Table: Stackable Milk Crates

Milk Crate Bed Side Table

Stool: I never get tyred of this

Tyre Stool

Cardboard Shelves: Stay Classy

Cardboard Shelves

Record Bowls: Just pour boiling water on the record and bend into your preferred shape

Record Bowls

Anti-Procrastination Hats: Just Kidding, these were the biggest procrastination ever

Cardboard Box Hats

But seriously though, the USQ Environment Society and the Lily pad (next to Subway at the Toowoomba Campus) are the go-to for recycling, local working bees, bush walks and environmental projects.

Did you know that if you take the sustainability pledge you could earn yourself a Keep Cup? Pledge here: http://www.usq.edu.au/about-usq/about-us/environment-sustainability/pledge

The USQ Environment Society would also love to have you as a member. USQES does some fantastic work on the Steele Rudd community gardens and run monthly bushwalks. Check out their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/USQES

Have a great week! And remember…

The Power is Yours

R U OK Day

R U OK? These three simple words could potentially save a life. When was the last time someone asked you, “R U OK?”, When did you last ask someone that same question?

Thursday the 11th of September is R U OK day, an Australian suicide prevention initiative that encourages people to ask their family and friends if they are OK. Suicide is a very real issue, often linked to depression, and it is a sad reality that many people know of someone who has lost their battle with it.

Depression and suicide can affect anyone, young or old, rich or poor, male or female, famous or not. It is a difficult issue that no one really wants to talk about, even though the conversation could save a life. Having that conversation can be quite difficult so the R U OK foundation have developed four steps to make that conversation a little easier.

R U OK day

The steps to asking if a person is OK are to Ask, Listen, Encourage and Follow up. Check out how to start the conversation and ask someone if they are OK at https://www.ruok.org.au/how-to-ask

In Australia, we consider ourselves to be quite tough and so we don’t really let on to others how we are feeling. Remember that it is always OK to ask for help if you are feeling down or having a difficult time. If someone asks you if you are OK, tell them the truth, maybe talking things through will make you feel better, and if not, your friend or family member might be able to tell you where you can get some help.

So, on Thursday the 11th of September, turn to the person next to you and ask those three simple words, “R U OK?” Always remember to look out for those closest to you, sometimes knowing that there is someone there for you really makes a difference.

If you would like more information about the initiative, I encourage you to check out the website https://www.ruok.org.au/

R U OK?

Until Next Time,

Kimberley

Time Management (From a Creative Artist’s Perspective)

Yes I know, there are millions of these “Time management” things on the web and probably several scattered throughout this very website. But how many are specifically focused from a Creative Artist’s point of view? We all have our unique methods of dealing with time management and I’m going to share with you some of my particular struggles and solutions.

Time Management

Uni is a lot different to high school, as we aren’t forced by the threat of punishment for wagging a class. Some lecturers mark an attendance role in certain classes just to ensure that people aren’t missing out on important information, however, for the majority of the classes, it’s entirely up to you to attend class and get your work done. The difference I guess is that you are studying one course that you are interested in unlike high school where there could be 5 other subjects that you are doing purely because they’re compulsory. Thus you become self-motivated to attend classes. Thankfully, you can log onto study desk and get a weekly refreshed timetable of the classes for that week. This helps a lot for planning and is a very good place to start.

Now, if you’re in creative arts, here’s where things get tricky. Be it Music, Theater, Creative Media or Visual Arts, there is always rehearsal or work to do outside of the timetabled classes. I study Music major with a minor in Creative Media so I’m specifically speaking from my experiences with these. I am involved with several ensemble groups with music and within creative media I have had to spend many late hours forfeiting sleep to get projects done.

Somewhere in there I need to do my own personal practice, actually get some sleep (I’m not invincible) get outside-of-class work done, do gigs, live the social side of college life by getting involved in the Res Shield events and simply live life.

My SOLUTION! Here’s what I have found to be the most effective method. You need to get your hands on a massive wall calendar, whether it’s a Redfrogs or a USQ one, get yourself a calendar. When I’m emailed about events to play at or workshops to prepare for, when there are important events to attend, when assignment due dates are released, WRITE THEM ON THE CALENDAR. The lie people always tell themselves is “I don’t need to make a note of that. I’ll remember it.” Seriously the calendar will help you remember and plan.

Redfrogs Uni Planner

This leads me to my next method. Get yourself a little “Things To Do” whiteboard. There is nothing more satisfying than wiping off reminders as you finish tasks. Your trusty calendar will show general big reminders but your whiteboard will help you remember the specifics for each day.

Things to do planner

With the possession of these two items, you are bound to be more productive and remember a lot more important dates. You’ll find this really helpful and important when doing assignments and being seen as a professional and turning up to rehearsals.

How do you manage your time?

White Powder Specialists – Ski Trip 2014

Ski Trip 1Ski Trip 2

Photo Credit to Luke Diezmann

“…Do you wanna build a snowman?”

“…no.”

Operation Ski Trip successful. Don’t tell anyone, but I recently escaped my honours project for a week to go to Queenstown for some fully hectic extreme skiing.

Just kidding. My version of skiing for the first few days was less upright and more like horizontal stationary skiing. Following in the footsteps of Jon Snow, I knew nothing.

In fact, my third trip on the chairlift at Coronet Peak was a bit of a whoopsie. To set the scene: Skiing involves strapping two long, flat sticks to your feet and using them to slide down a snow-covered mountain. Early skiing pioneers realised that climbing up the mountain was lame, so they devised the chairlift. To embark from the modern chairlift, a conveyor belt slides you into position so the chairlift does not have to stop to pick you up. This is where my troubles began. I did not get on the conveyor belt fast enough. Now imagine, in slow motion, the following events playing out. Myself and a fellow USQ student Tayla are on the conveyor belt. Our troubles began when we realised we were a few meters behind the rest of the team. A local New Zealander notices, and quippes “I wunder what’s guing to happn nuxt”. The chair swings around the bend and knocks me over. I knock Tayla over. I get sucked under the chairlift, skiis flying all over the place. The long line of onlookers waiting for the chairlift admire the spectacle, wishing they had their gopro’s turned on. The staff member in charge of the chairlift realises that we aren’t going to recover without his assistance, and he reluctantly turns off the chairlift, and begins to pull us out from underneath the chair. We awkwardly get up, put our skiis back on under the heavy stares. #embarrassing #sillysausage

It wasn’t all bad times on the chairlift, though. A few days into the trip I’m back on the chairlift striking up a conversation with a fellow traveller.

“So where are you from?” I begin the conversation with.

“Australia.”

“Me too! I’m from Toowoomba”

“…Me too, I study at USQ”

“No way, I study Biomedicine” I hesitantly responded. Damn, I thought I had escaped Toowoomba.

“I study Nursing… Hey wait a minute. Take off your Ski goggles for a sec.” Well, this conversation is either going to take an interesting or a creepy turn, I thought. My inner voice said YOLO. I took off the goggles.

“Yeah I remember you from an O-week orientation session. It was Steph, right?” And he was right. Small world.

Other than Skiing adventures, we also had plenty of time to explore the glorious Queenstown.

Ski Trip 3

For those who might be keen to come along on a future ski trip, it included the following at a student-friendly group price:

  • Return Airfares from Brisbane Airport to Queenstown (direct), including 23kg luggage & air taxes
  • Chartered coach for all Brisbane International Airport transfers to and from USQ Residential Colleges, Toowoomba Campus
  • 7 nights accommodation @ Base Backpackers, in the heart of Queenstown
  • Breakfast daily
  • 4 dinners at various famous restaurants and eateries around Queenstown
  • 4 Day ski pass (2x days @ Coronet Peak, 2 x days @ Remarkables)
  • 4 day bus mountain transfers
  • 1 Day Activity Pass (includes the shot over jet boat ride, Skyline Gondola, hot buffet lunch & 1 Luge Ride)
  • 4 days of Ski, boots & poles/or snow board & boots hire
  • 4 Days of jacket and pants hire
  • Ski Trip merchandise – personalised ski jacket to use on the trip!

Let me know if you have any questions about Ski trip!