Pierson’s third post from Launceston, Tasmania

On Tuesday we had an Athletic Carnival, which is basically an all-school track and field day. There are four houses which compete for house points, similar to Hogwarts in Harry Potter. Of the four houses (Fox, Briggs, Nance and Dean), I am in Dean. The day started out with some early morning sunshine at around 8:15. I threw discus as my first event, about 20 minutes after getting to the track. I remembered Ray’s training and did the South African and the 1.5 spin throws and placed 5th in the Under21 Division A heat. Like always, I was the smallest discus thrower, but I earned a few points for Dean House. Since I’m an exchange, I wasn’t on the official roster for the races so I just filled in for two boys who were injured. The two boys were two of the most athletic boys in Dean House, so the events I was placed in were all in the highest division of competition. I did the triple jump, 200 and 400 meter sprints, and the 4 x 100 meter relay race. Although I was not nearly close to the fastest, I never came in last.

Wednesday was a national holiday called ANZAC day. ANZAC day stands for Australia New Zealand Army Core. It was a day when many Australian and New Zealand soldiers and marines fought and died on Gallipoli Bay in Greece during World War I. It is a day meant to remind Australian citizens about the horrors of war. I woke up at 4:45am to go to a dawn service in Launceston honoring lost Australian soldiers. After the hour-long service, I had the rest of the day free to relax and catch up on homework.

On Thursday I had my first Australian rules football practice match. I played wing, which is the player that runs across the long edge of the oval field, defending players and catches. I made it through the game with a couple of touches and a few penalties because of me accidentally doing illegal moves. By the end of the game, I knew most of the general rules of football. Friday was just a normal day of school.

On Saturday our boarding house hosted a dance with a couple of other Launceston private schools. The dance had a flappers and gangsters theme. I wore a denim shirt, denim pants and a red plaid tie with red suspenders to match. I took a week of swing dancing lessons a couple of summers ago, so I was well prepared. I danced like there was no tomorrow.

The next day I went to my first professional Australian Football game. The Hawthorne Hawks (home) were playing the Sydney Swans. I went with the female captain of the boarding house, a ninth grade boy, and a few middle school girls that we were in charge of. I got to see how professional football is supposed to be played and learned more rules about footie. The Swans ended up scoring 3 goals in the last 7 minutes of the game to win it.

Yesterday I got to speak about this Australian book (The Crossing) that I read and about how it depicted Australia from an American’s perspective. The next day in English I had to speak about one of the characters and his participation in the Vietnam War. I went on to explain the Cold War (thanks Cold War Paper). I then learned some about Australia’s participation in Vietnam and the close Aussie/American military relations. Today in footie I got tons better at running and passing under pressure, but I still make the occasional illegal tackle.