Pierson Tan at Scotch Oakburn in Tasmania – week 2

By Tuesday I had become much more accustomed to the daily schedule of Scotch Oakburn. Breakfast went much smoother and getting ready for school was much more relaxed. When I got to school, I had my first Physical Science class. Most of the things they are learning, I learned in Chemistry and Physics at Athenian, but it should be a good review for me. At lunch I ran the 3000 meter race on the school’s Australian football field. I ended up finishing sort of close to last but nevertheless it was still fun. After school I went to my first Australian football practice. I got some great one-on-one lessons from one of the boys that was a bit injured, and improved heaps. I learned how to knock the ball to other players with my hand and how to drop kick the ball with the proper reverse rotational spin. By the end of the day I had run and sprinted quite a few meters and my legs were exhausted. I had no trouble sleeping that night.

I went through a normal day of school on Wednesday and got back to the boarding house at 4pm. I needed some football equipment and a milkshake, so a couple of friends and I skateboarded into town. When I got back to the boarding house, I was asking one of the other footie players named Will about how much footie boots (cleats) cost and which pair I should get. Will told me he wasn’t going to let me buy a pair of footie boots for such a short time in Australia.  He got up and grabbed me a pair of essentially brand new Nike cleats that he didn’t prefer. When I offered to give them back at the end of my stay, Will told me to keep them as “a souvenir or somethin’ like that.”

Thursday I had my second footie practice. A photographer from the school took some action photos of me passing the ball, kicking the ball, and catching. Having not played any competitive ball sports in the last five years, I was terrible at catching the ball. One time I jumped up to catch the ball and it fell through my hands and hit me in the head. Another time I jumped up to catch it and stubbed my right ring finger, swelling it up to about twice its normal size, and ending that day of practice.

On Friday I had the opportunity to go to the Global Leaders Convention hosted by World Vision. When we got there, about 125 kids total were sitting in an auditorium watching an episode of Iron Chef. The ingredient was truffles. We did a massive simulation to experience the way trade affects the many people involved in growing, farming, distribution, and selling of goods. I learned how farmers who grow the actual food get paid less than .5% of the final selling price of the good and how poor they are forced to become. We watched numerous videos of first person perspectives of hunger in Ethiopia. The six kids from Scotch Oakburn that went to the Conference got a much better understanding of the very real problem of worldwide hunger.

Later that day I went took a three hour long bus ride to St. Helens, which is in North Eastern Tasmania. Jye, Julian, and I were heading up to Julian’s mom’s beach house. When we got to the house at around 9pm, I was absolutely shocked at how beautiful the house was. Lynn, Julian’s mom, was an interior designer, and had coordinated every item in the house together. The wood-themed interior, soft angles and glass walls created an absolutely amazing house with an unaltered view of the ocean. That weekend we went to the beach in the rain and spent many hours in the hot tub observing sunsets and stars alike.

On Monday I had my first real footie practice where I got to participate in drills with the skills I had learned last week. I managed to get a couple of good kicks and passes in and received a few complements from the coach. Footie is definitely the second best sport I have ever played–next to wrestling of course. Tomorrow is the school’s athletic carnival, which is essentially a track and field meet between the four houses in the school. I am in Dean House, which consistently does the worst in athletic events, but I plan on racking up a couple of points for our team tomorrow!