Monday, October 14, 2013

Back From Unofficial Hiatus

So it's confession time for me.

Are you ready for it?

Are you sure?

Okay, well here it comes...

I haven't written for a very long time. If I had to offer a rough guess, I'd say I probably haven't written a post here in 5 months. If you really want, you can check that for me and let me know how accurate my brain's in-built concept of time is. There's a reason that I haven't written in so long and it is this: I very seriously considered killing this blog.

Initially, I created this as a way to document my adventures and experiences as an exchange student and in the year that followed my exchange. The intention there came in three parts. I wanted to create a collection of my own thoughts and experiences for my own future reference and so that I could have a hope of showing anyone might have wondered, a glimmer of what being an exchange student was, is and continues to be for me. Secondly, I wanted to provide somewhat of a resource for other exchangers in the hope that through reading about me, they might be better equipped to cope with their own roller coaster experiences or at least feel a little less alone. Also, and this is probably the weakest of my three major motives, I wanted my friends and family to be able to keep in touch with what I was doing when I lacked the time or inclination to communicate with them regularly.

Today, as I write my first new NZ Blackhawk blog post in 5-ish months, I do so for two reasons. I am no longer an active exchange student, in so far as I completed my exchange and survived the re-assimilation process into New Zealand culture and life. As such I do not write this blog any more for the benefit of other exchange students. I write this to keep anyone who is interested in knowing what I'm up to in the loop. I write this also because I'm now at an incredibly exciting time in my life and I want to remember as much as I can as vividly as possible.

With that said, I'm going to use the rest of this post to go through some significant events of the last few months and hopefully get you caught up on exactly where I'm at.

In June, I had the wonderful experience of traveling to Washington DC with my best friend Beckett. We made somewhat of a road-trip out of it and over 4 or 5 days we made it to and from Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin to DC with the main focus of the trip being to watch a football (soccer) game between the USA and Germany.

Along the way we visited National Mall, became well acquainted with the DC metro system and found an interesting little cigar shop somewhere near Chinatown. We also made an unexpected and never to be repeated trip into Gary, Indiana and later accidentally drove to Michigan. I had the presence of mind to take a camera with us and documented parts of the trip over a 3 video series which you can watch here:

In early July I also had the good fortune of being able to venture away from Wisconsin with another trip to Copper Harbor, this time to celebrate the 4th of July. During that trip, I got to experience Copper Harbor at the height of its busy season, full of tourons (what the locals call the tourists). For such a tiny town they put on a stunning fireworks display, very nearly on as grand a scale as the Guy Fawkes show put on by the city of Wellington every year (Wellington is bigger than Madison while Copper Harbor has somewhere around 50 permanent residents).

Aside from those two trips, I was introduced quite by accident to an interesting school here. It's a Media school with a really cool video and motion graphics programme. In one visit it got me excited and energised enough to apply for a change of status in order to attend. So as soon as the USCIS approves my change of status request (which I filed on August 27) I'll be attending school at Madison Media Institute studying towards an Associate's Degree in Video and Motion Graphics. I'm excited to study videography and learn more about the technical side of film and video production.

That covers the main plot points of the last 5 months of my life and concludes the return from an unannounced and unintended hiatus from blogging. I shall endeavor to write a new post somewhere in between bi-monthly and monthly from this point on.

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