Review – Six Characters in Search of an Author

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In the play, Six Characters in Search of An Author,  it’s impossible to discern where illusion began and reality ended on stage. Only a few questions were answered and many still remain…Were they actors or characters? Does reality truly exist? Are we only acting ourselves? Why does no one like writers? (Everything will make more sense once you’ve seen the play!)

Tickets are still available for Friday and Saturday night. Consider inviting your friends or family to see it with you. Though it’s recommended that they are 15+.due to one of the themes not being very appropriate for children. Tickets can be purchased here from as low as $10. Asking someone helping at the door  for a program  before the show  is always helpful too.

Top and Tail Theatre company invited the audience last night to see what an average rehearsal looks like. In the middle of rehearsing a scene from Sean Wcislo’s play Roommates Live from Apartment 19, six characters suddenly appear and demand for their story to be staged. Beginning as a comedy, the play quickly became a melodrama. Even though the company eventually lost control of the stage, I thought the lighting, sound and set were brilliantly eerie. This had the intended effect on the audience and certainly added to the ‘dramatic action’ of the play. The characters were very realistic, while the actors were consistently in character even if the characters wished to deny it! You’ll be left wondering where lost characters end up, and will also receive a quick education of theatre.

The adapted script remarticle2.jpgains true to Pirandello’s ideas on dramatic creative writing, stagecraft, the rehearsal process, characters and the various perspectives that create a story. It also critiques playwrights on the many characters they create but never use, who might be condemned to living through their life story, eternally suffering. Part of the dialogue was rejuvenated and modernized from Moulds’ adaptation to suit the Top and Tail Theatre Company. (This script change was encouraged by the ‘Hypocrites’ for future performances)  While I did take a look at the original adapted script, I was really surprised and intrigued by the unique choices Top and Tail Theatre made in creating their production of Six Characters. 

Details

Play: Six Characters in Search of An Author
Venue: Studio 411 (Murdoch University, South Street Campus, Carpark 4, near the gym)
Showings: Thursday night, June 16th, Friday night, June 17th & Saturday night, June 18th
Genre: Absurdist meta-theatrical, around 80 minutes
Director: Nick Morant
Theatre Company: Top and Tail Theatre
Script Written by: Luigi Pirandello, Adapted by: Steve Moulds (Playscripts Inc.)
Starring: Tay Broadley, Mike Casas, Claire Tebbut, Jonathan Maddocks, Leigh Fitzpatrick, Abbey McCaughan, Sean Wcislo, Clare Talbot, Brianna Lea and Jordan Baynes.

Extra Info

Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936) was a dramatist and novel writer from Sicily, Italy. He studied Languages and dialectology in Sicily and Bonn before moving to Rome. He wrote poetry, short stories, and novels. The main highlight of Pirandello’s writing career was the 44 plays he published. Pirandello wrote ‘Six Characters in Search of an Author’ in Rome 1921. The play has been performed and adapted several times since then. This particular adaption was produced in Chicago, Illinois by ‘The Hypocrites’ and first performed between February 1st-March 11th 2012.

The Hypocrites are a company that was founded in 1997 by the artistic director, Sean Graney. The company’s main aim is to stage deeply engaging plays which the audience can connect to and have a role in the performance. While they are known for staging adaptations, they also sometimes work on new plays. Steve Moulds wrote the adaptation for The Hypocrites. The script and cast was altered to suit the Hypocrites’ company mission in their 2012 productions. Steve Moulds studied at the University of Texas at Austin and has an MFA in playwriting from the Michener Center for Writers. He has worked for theatre companies in Louisville, Minneapolis, Saint Paul and Denver.

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Relevant Links:

Six Characters FB Event
Top and Tail Theatre
Luigi Pirandello
Steve Moulds
The Hypocrites
Playscript Inc.: Six Characters in Search of An Author

 

METIOR is looking for a new editor

Become the 2016 METIOR Editor!

We need a current Murdoch student who is passionate about journalism to become our 2016 METIOR editor and lead the student publication into a new era.

Last year METIOR moved from print to an online-first platform and it needs a leader to rebuild the presence the mag in the student eye while protecting the strong ethical and moral integrity of the publication.

METIOR needs an Editor with strong language skills, relevant experience in writing and editing, excellent time management and great social skills to take the helm. The successful applicant will have experience in journalism and writing, basic marketing, and know their way around WordPress.
Interested?

Your application must consist of:

  • A CV with at least one relevant prior writing position.
  • One to three clippings of your previous work.
  • A cover letter (maximum two pages) demonstrating why you would be the best person for the job.

The successful application will show:

  • How a diversity of viewpoints will be sought and represented.
  • The ability to innovate and tackle difficult problems
  • How you plan to grow METIOR’s readership and contributor base.

Email your application to metior.editor@student.the-guild.com.au, CC president@student.the-guild.com.au by 5pm, 20 January 2016.

Feel free to send us any questions you might have.

Major changes made at final Guild Council meeting

Madura McCormack

The final Guild meeting for the year has yielded some major changes for Murdoch students, with the axing of some Guild positions, changes to the Clubs Room and tough financial decisions.

The outgoing guard, helmed by Raeesah Khan, have removed a number of Guild Council positions, including the Rural Regional and Interstate representative and closed the Rockingham Student Association (RSA).

The RSA was considered obsolete in a campus that has less than a dozen students.

No RRI representative had been elected in the recent elections, a position last held by Alex Knoop.

In a move that has been floated for several months, the five Guild Councillor positions of Sports, Clubs and Socs, Events, Sustainability, and Social Justice have been axed to make way for seven ‘Ordinary Guild Councillors’.Screenshot 2015-12-04 14.25.18Screenshot 2015-12-04 14.19.14

These positions, according to the agenda, will be ‘voted by quota to council’, similar to voting in the Australian Senate.

Students seeking election as an Ordinary Guild Councillor will need to attain 12.5 per cent of the vote after preferences, with portfolios allocated to them by Guild Council.

“It means duties can be flexible with the changing times,” says outgoing Education Vice President Roland Belford.

“In 20 years who knows what the important values to the student body will be.”

Guild President Guy McDonald says the changes will need to go through Senate, and will affect the election scheduled for late 2016.

Room swap

A unanimous motion was passed to reallocate the Clubs Room to the Indigenous Collective.

Outgoing Clubs and Socs officer Brodie Skalko says the Guild wants to build up the Indigenous Collective, who before this did not have a room.

“The Indigenous Collective have a hierarchy structure that they can use to ensure the room is looked after,” she says.

Located in the Amenities block, the Queer and Women’s Collectives will also swap rooms, giving the Queer Collective three square metres more room and wheelchair accessibility.

“We’ve got a large number of active members and until now have had a space that was far too small, so it’s great that we’ve finally been able to expand a little,” says outgoing Queer Representative Ash Spring.

Bookshop to stay open

At the meeting held on November 30, the council opted to keep the loss-making Guild Bookshop open after heavy discussion on cost-cutting measures.

Although the closing of the bookshop would have saved almost $50,000 in SSAF money, the risk of losing vital services such as the sale of second-hand books, Guild sticker distribution and Student SmartRiders proved too high.

In order to keep the bookshop open, the positions of Guild Shop manager and assistant manager have been made redundant, while the Tavern assisting manager will be made a casual position.

The operating expenses for the bookshop is budgeted at $230,000 for 2016 but revenue should offset a bulk of the cost.

The Clubs and Socs Room now for the Indigenous Collective. Photo by: Madura McCormack

The Clubs and Socs Room now for the Indigenous Collective.
Photo by: Madura McCormack

Student Hub

Council has also offered guidance to the architects of the planned student hub.

In what is described as an ‘ambitious’ plan, the Student Hub is expected to take over much of the Refectory side of Bush Court and is slated for 2017.

The Guild passed a motion to endorse a dedicated spaces for Indigenous students close to Kulbardi, queer-identifying students and women.

Murdoch’s student representative body also wants “the entire student hub project to utilise best practice in accessible building design” for inclusion of students with disability.

METIOR Policy

In collaboration with the current editor, outgoing Education Vice President Roland Belford wrote a new METIOR policy to reflect the publication’s move to online.

Changes were made to the selection process of future editors; with the new policy ensuring the next person “shall be appointed from among the Murdoch student body by the Guild President and outgoing Editor”.

In the old policy, it was “recommended” that the METIOR editor be a current or previous student of the university.

The magazine is in the process of securing at least one print run, with the edition out by February 22, 2016.

Guild Election 2015: The Numbers

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Guild_Elections_2015 (1)The votes have been counted and the winners have been announced, but before Murdoch University’s 40th Guild take office, here is the breakdown of this years numbers.

This year a total of 4113 votes were cast, marking a staggering 471 percent (yes, that’s right) increase from 2014, when only 720 votes were cast. 

Judging from the sharp decline between 2011 and 2012 however, it would be premature to call this year’s election a revival in Murdoch student politics.

It is important to note that 4113 votes does not mean 4113 people voted. A total of 505 votes were cast for Guild President, which gives a good estimate of the the number of actual voters. This is still pretty low considering the number of students enrolled at Murdoch University.

Whether or not voter count could have been higher if elections were not postponed to fall during study week remains up for speculation.

[Read more: Guild-splainer: Unofficial Guide to who does what in the Murdoch Student Politics]

With such a small cluster of votes, it is inevitable that some candidates won their seats with less than a breath of air between them and their opponent. Lauren Hodson of the ACTION ticket trumped TMNT’s Coraline De Zilwa by only five votes.

Bianca Talbot, TMNT’s candidate for Sports Officer comes out of this years race with the largest majority of any ballot, garnering 216 votes over Megan Bilney’s 128.

Events Officer Rachael Davidson would have claimed this title, however TMNT’s candidate Daniel Puls was disqualified after polls opened for not being a registered Guild member and it is unclear what the vote division would have been had this not happened. The final count for Events Officer was 208 votes for Rachael Davidson and 55 for Adrian Gallo.

Better than 2014

Apart from the large increase in votes, 2015 also sees the number of vacant positions drop to 13 out of 45 positions compared to 2014’s 20.

The number of candidates elected unopposed also fell 20 percent from last year, but a majority of student politicians are still taking their positions without a fight.

Disability Representative Megan Browne reclaims her seat for the third consecutive year along with Indigenous Representative Ashleigh Lindsay who is on her second term.

Positions that remain vacant include:

  • Murdoch University Post Graduate Association President
  • MUPSA Vice President
  • Rural, Regional and Interstate Representative
  • Mandurah Student Association President
  • Rockingham Student Association President
  • Academic Council: Regional Student
  • School Board: Arts

Any student interested in these positions may approach the Guild.

See who won the Guild Elections here. Check out Roland Belford’s Google Chart of the elections here.

Cowabunga! TMNT takes majority of Guild Council

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By Madura McCormack

The Murdoch Now Team, headed by Guy McDonald, has emerged as the overall winners of the 2015 Murdoch student elections.

This year marks the largest voter turnout since 2011, with 4113 votes across 15 ballots.

The new Guild Executive, which will take office from 1 December, will be headed by Guy McDonald as President and Andy Hunter as General Secretary.

“We ran with a positive policy platform for making university life here more engaging, fun and vibrant and I look forward to working to continue the great work of previous Presidents like Raeesah Khan and Roland Belford,” says McDonald, paying homage to his predecessors.

“Between our two active campaigns we’ve more than quadrupled the number of votes cast in the student elections. I think that’s a huge win in and of itself.”

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Guild President Guy McDonald. Source: Supplied

Brodie Skalko, from ACTION, will be the new Education Vice President. She won the position by 30 votes to oust Dean Wicken.

“She bucked the trend and won an executive spot despite her ticket not taking out the election majority. She is obviously hugely deserving and I look forward to working with her on council next year,” says Wicken, who will join council as External Representative.

Skalko says she is ‘gutted’ that Troy Treeby from ACTION has not been elected, calling him an ‘inspirational influence on council’ this year.

“I endeavour next year to fulfil my personal promise, which was also a priority of TMNT; to reboot Education Council,” she says.

Other elected members of the ACTION ticket are Sustainability Officer Lauren Hodson and Events Officer Rachel Davidson.

TMNT’s candidate for Events Officer was disqualified when polls opened because he is not a registered member of the Guild.

“Congratulations to the incoming council, regardless of the political differences I would hope that everyone can work together to do the right thing by students,” says Troy Treeby, who has been elected together with Guy McDonald as student representatives on Senate.

Out of the 9 ballots contested for Guild Council, 6 have been filled by TMNT candidates.

Independent presidential candidate Ferhan Siddiqi retains his president of the Murdoch International Student Association.

The positions of MUPSA, Mandurah Student Association and Rockingham Student Association President remain vacant.

“Thanks to the students of Murdoch for putting up with us campaigning this last week. Big thanks to those who engaged with us and voted. Bigger thanks still to those who are voted even though they’re about to leave Murdoch- people voting entirely for others than themselves was actually quite touching,” says McDonald.

Position Elected Ticket Stupol Experience
Guild President Guy McDonald TMNT 2012: Sustainability Officer

2015: General Secretary

Education VP Brodie Skalko Action 2015: Clubs Officer
General Secretary Andy Hunter TMNT 2015: President of Murdoch Student Law Society
Murdoch Post Grad Student Association [MUPSA] President Vacant    
MUPSA VP Undergrad Samuel Edge (unopposed) Independent
MUPSA VP Postgrad Vacant    
MISA President Ferhan Siddiqi (unopposed) Independent 2015: MISA President
Clubs Officer Darian Whyte TMNT  
Events Officer Rachel Davidson Action  
Social Justice Officer Carmel Hooshmand TMNT  
Sports Officer Bianca Talbot TMNT 2015: Women’s Representative
Sustainability Officer Lauren Hodson Action  
External Representative Dean Wicken TMNT  
Disability Representative Megan Browne

(unopposed)

  2014 & 2015: Disability Representative
Queer Representative Jacintha Kenny

(unopposed)

Action  
Indigenous Representative Ashleigh Lindsay

(unopposed)

  2015: Indigenous Representative
Women’s Representative Claire Brodie

(unopposed)

TMNT  
Rural Remote and Interstate Rep Vacant    

No quendas running for 2016 Guild Council

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By Madura McCormack

Murdoch student election nominations are in, with two official tickets and what is slated to be a three-way fight for Guild President.

After running mostly unopposed in the last election, the ‘Action’ ticket is back for another political season, this time with outgoing Sustainability officer Troy Treeby at the helm.

‘Action’ faces some actual competition this year, in the form of the ‘TMNT’ or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ‘The Murdoch Now Team’ ticket, fronted by outgoing General Secretary Guy McDonald.

There appears to be a few students running independently, with current MISA [Murdoch International Student Assoc] President Ferhan Siddiqi taking a stab at the Guild President role and relative unknown Adrian Gallo running for four different positions.

This election season will see 38 per cent of positions being filled unopposed, a massive swing from 2014, where 73 per cent of student leaders ran without a fight.

Unfortunately, there are no quendas or other marsupials running in this year’s election, a blow to the critters that are actually on campus.

The 'Action' Team. Source: Supplied

The ‘Action’ Team. Source: Supplied

The main promises

The ‘Action’ ticket includes outgoing Clubs Officer Brodie Skalko as EVP hopeful, with the team looking to re-launch ‘Education Council’ which has been inactive for four years.

Running alongside Guy McDonald will be Andy Hunter for General Secretary and Dean Wicken for EVP.

The ‘TMNT’ ticket intends to install a ‘Guild Treasurer’, who will be in-charge of publishing the yearly budget. There is also talk by TMNT to bring puppies and kittens on campus for Stamp Out Stress Day.

Guy McDonald from TMNT. Photo by: Madura McCormack

Guy McDonald from TMNT. Photo by: Madura McCormack

Both tickets are promising to extend library hours during exam time.

In other positive news, there are actual people running for the School Boards seats, with 9 out of 16 positions having at least one candidate. This is up from the 4 positions filled in 2014.

Check out the full broadsheets here and stay tuned to METIOR for election updates.

Voting opens October 5 and closes October 8.

 

 

 

 

Guildsplainer: The un-official guide to who does what in Murdoch Student Politics.

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There’s less than a week to go until nominations close and #MUpol kicks into high gear. Which means campaigning and sledging and all that fun politics stuff. Onions anyone?

Unlike our brethren in UWA, Curtin and everyone else who actually rank in some chart somewhere, Murdoch tends to not give a shit. Last year, 73 per cent of student representatives were elected unopposed. That is a Distinction for the unit of zero fucks given.

But what is stopping Murkids from being MurPollies and running for office? Probably because no one knows it’s bloody happening and what the positions entail.

So here’s a breakdown of who does what, and where they stand in the hierarchy of things.

The Big 4

There are four major divisions in the Murdoch StuPol [Student Politics] world; Academic Council, Senate, Guild Council and the Murdoch Uni Post Graduate Student Association [MUPSA].

In total there are 46 positions that need to be filled this year [including student reps on School Boards], and like a game of chess, certain people will wield more power than others.

One kickass Venn diagram explaining the MUpol universe, made by MS Word whiz kid Madura McCormack

One kickass Venn diagram explaining the MUpol universe, made by MS Word whiz kid Madura McCormack

Senate

“If the University were a company, the Senate would be its board,” says Returning Officer, Trudi McGlade.

Basically the Senate is the Big Boss, the Supreme Overlord of decision-making that takes advice from Academic Council.

Two students are elected to this role, and their main task is to make sure shit doesn’t hit the fan when people with power make all encompassing decisions.

When asked what Senate members achieved last year, outgoing Education Vice President and 2014 Senate rep Roland Belford says, “Uhhh… we sacked the VC?”

Damn straight. Senate members are involved in the appointment and performance management of the Vice-Chancellor. Murdoch is currently looking for one after the last guy was reported to the Corruption and Crime Commission.

catvoteAcademic Council

The Senate governs, but the Academic Council is where all the action is. These guys deal with academic matters, which in a University, is basically what makes it function.

Kind of like the butter on Vegemite toast, student representation is spread thick on Academic Council because it’s needed.

Apart from the one undergrad and one regional student that is elected straight into Academic Council, Murkids can get on it by being:

  • Guild President
  • Education Vice President
  • General Secretary
  • MUPSA Pres
  • MUPSA Vice Pres 1
  • MUPSA Vice Pres 2

Which brings us to the next lot in the mob, who juggle the never-ending list of students needs and 50 per cent of the entire SSAF budget. [Note: The Guild has a whole fleet of permanent staffers who deal with those touchy corporate things, Student Politicians don’t actually move money around, they allocate.]

Guild Council

Within Guild Council live its slightly more powerful head-honchos called the Guild Executive.

By and large these positions are the most sought after and are arguably the most visible MurPollies on campus. Fun fact: Federal MP for Melbourne, Adam Bandt was Murdoch Guild President in 1994.

The Guild President, Education Vice President and General Secretary are the only 3 paid positions in the whole Murdoch StuPol universe.

Belford, who was Guild President in 2014, says the pay rate is equivalent to the “people cleaning toilets in Parliament House”.

Student positions in The Guild. Graphics: Made in Inforgram by Madura McCormack

Students who are elected into these positions need not do any units, but that’s not a rule or anything. Basically it’s hard work that takes up a lot of time outside of the maximum hours you can actually get paid for each week.

METIOR understands there is no such thing as a ‘Guild Executive Pension’.

Joining them is a motley crew of student representatives and officers, each with their own portfolio.

There’s the Guild Officers;

  • Social Justice
  • Events
  • Clubs and Societies
  • Sports
  • Sustainability

Together, they form SECSS. But don’t forget the Reps;

  • Queer
  • Disability
  • Indigenous
  • Women’s
  • Rural, Remote and Interstate
  • External

BUT WAIT, there’s more. The Murdoch International Students Association President, currently Ferhan Siddiqi, also sits on Guild Council. As does the MUPSA President we previously met on Academic Council and their not-at-South Street friends Rockingham Student Association President and Mandurah Student Association President.

Due to the dwindling student numbers at Rockingham Campus — student Population: 7– there is talk of removing the position altogether.

How do I nomz- (1)Good lord, are we done?

No. Sit down and be still. There are also 16 positions to be filled on the 8 School Boards.

These are the positions that go unfilled year after year after year. Apart from the School of Law, who actually has its shit together, no one nominates themselves for the 1 undergrad, 1 postgrad position.

School Board Student Representatives, or SchoBoStuReps as they are now called, are the ones responsible for recommending units and courses to be offered within the School and have academic oversight of the units.

They are the ones who can actually do something about the shithouse unit that has three essays with no actual direction and a lecture at 8:30am.

Damn son, I better do something

Hells yeah you should. Nominations close 4pm September 23 and campaigning will begin at 10am the same day.

To nominate yourself, grab the forms online or in person and hand them in with a 400 word bio and a snazzy headshot of your gorgeous face.

If being in a leadership position does not sound enticing at all, remember that voting is still muy bueno.

Source: University Secretary's Office. www.murdoch.edu.au

Source: University Secretary’s Office. http://www.murdoch.edu.au

In order to vote or nominate, you must be a Murdoch University student and cannot be an employee of the University. Anyone going for a spot on Guild Council must be a Guild member.

Congrats you made it to the bottom of the post, go grab a cookie.

Remembering the legend

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by Conrad Maclean

The man was nearly seven feet tall and skinny as a joint, with dark hair and a smile on his weather beaten face. His accent was the child of the many countries he’s lived in. He reminded me of Struwwelpeter, that boy you get told about as a kid who never washes or cuts his nails and hair.

If the local cricket team was playing near his house, he’d sit at home and shoot potatoes onto the playing field with his homemade cannon. It was his way of showing team support. He’d been known to sit on an aeroplane with a bag of fruit, and if the airhostess told him ‘you can’t take that through customs,’ he’d go from seat to seat offering his fellow passengers a piece of fruit so it didn’t go to waste.

Planet Earth never produced a nicer guy.

When we met him he had swum the darkest swamps of the human psyche, lost most his family and danced with some pretty awful demons. Though personal horrors had left scars, he had amazing positivity, wisdom and a never ending stream of bawdy jokes.

“Hey Conrad, why didn’t Snow white go to the ball?”

“I don’t know,” I’d say. “Why?”

“Because she’s fucking Dopey.”

**********************************************************************************

The year was nineteen eighty-something.

What had started as a protest over municipal housing had collapsed into street fighting between the police and protesters, whose demonstration had been hijacked by local anarchists.

The anarchists were brilliantly strategic. This was an era before mobile phones and the anarchists realised that the police were communicating with vans with satellite dishes attached to them. All the anarchists had to do was take out the vans and dozens of police officers would be immobilised.

My friend’s job was to walk up to one of these vans wearing a trench coat. He’s have a chain wrapped around his waist, under the coat. He’d clip one end of the chain to the door of the van, walk a lap around the vehicle and clip the other end of the chain to that same door. My friend would yell “NOW!” protesters would charge at the van and push it on to its side. The chain would stop anybody in the van escaping. Police communication was quickly crippled.

The battle raged for days. Rioters blockaded the areas of the city they controlled by stockading the streets with junk. They created walls with any crap they could find. By the light of bonfires they sat and guarded this fortress into the night, smoking reefer and playing music.

What happened next came out of nowhere. My friend would later say, ‘They must have been kept hidden under the city.’ His theory was that they had been hidden underground, after the Nazis had been pushed out at the end of World War 2; a secret weapon to defend the city in case of another invasion. Nobody really knows where they came from but it sure wasn’t from outside the city.

What were ‘they’?

Leopard Tanks. They smashed through the barricades as if they were butter, ending the protest for good.

My friend skipped his native country after that, he said they were onto him and his phone was being bugged. He needed to lay low.

Eventually he drifted into Australia.

I never met somebody who had so many adventures, so much joy and so much pain. It’s been nearly two years since he passed on. We’re sorry to have lost him but even luckier to have known such a great guy.

R.I.P mate

Ascending the Mountain

by Maddison Coonan

The first time I attempted to ascend the mountain it was a trying experience. It may not have ended in an avalanche, but it certainly began with the checking, double-checking and triple-checking of the supplies and safety harness. I suppose I can be slightly overcautious, but when you engage in an activity such as mountain climbing it is of the utmost importance to feel reassured.

After all, plunging to your grisly death down a blizzardly rock is perhaps not the best way to find out that your safety equipment is older than the mountain itself.

I made my first attempt on a Thursday afternoon. Gloomy clouds were murmuring to each other in the sky, but that was to be expected. I began my mental preparation. I envisioned myself sprinting to the summit in a day, my supplies ricocheting off my back, the people of Australia cheering me on from their lounge rooms.

Then there was reality. It turns out I could barely walk three steps. I was persuaded that if I thought positively, inspiration would soon gush out of the soles of my boots and lift me up to the peak. Well, I did receive some inspiration, but it was more of an ooze than a gush. Maybe it can still be an adventure, I thought to myself hopefully.

Adventure it was not. I slipped and slid toward the base of the snowy protuberance, my heart racing, my eyes screwed shut by fear. I could feel my back aching from my attempt to shield myself from the soul-piercing cold, and my stomach whining due to lack of nutrients.

I began to question why I even wanted to do this in the first place. This was a momentous climb; perhaps I should have chosen Mount Kosciusko instead of Mount Everest. After all, it would be safer, less daunting.

NO! I told myself firmly. I just needed a new strategy, a change in technique. Now, I thought, why would I do that? I could always just try again. I suppose I could wear a red jacket. Red is the colour of confidence, right? Yes, but this is not a self-confidence issue, I told myself scathingly, this is a question of mentality.

Back to the lodge I went. While sipping a steaming mug of hot chocolate in front of the roaring fire, it struck me. No harness! I could do the climb without a harness! OK, OK, I know; it was not the safest route, but I was convinced that if this new method was to work than I would at least be able to actually begin ascending, rather than descending the landmark.

Not snow. But cold and pointy so you get the point. Photo by: Madura McCormack

Not snow. But cold and pointy so you get the point. Photo by: Madura McCormack

The next morning, I rose early, admiring the beauty of the snowflakes that floated like angels across my window, obscuring my view of the mountain. I suppose I should have seen that as a warning, but I had come so far, I wanted to at least enjoy it while I could. Harness or no harness, I needed to at least try to climb the tallest mountain in the world.

I ate my breakfast in a hurry, not too concerned by the fact that the other climbers were huddled around the T.V in the living room. They were whispering frantically, looking at each other with grim expressions. I thought their favourite programme had been cancelled; they were always very serious.

After breakfast, I dressed, collected my supplies and trudged toward the mountain. The sky’s expression had darkened and the snow had thickened like ivy, but I was ready. I decided to acquaint myself with the terrain first before I embarked on the steeper parts of Everest.

This is just a practice climb, I told myself, nothing wrong with stumbling and stalling. The first 100 metres took me almost two and half hours to complete. I felt the weight of my decision manifest in the burning sensation in my calf muscles.

Suddenly, the beauty of the snowflakes melted into the fury of winter as the avalanche’s roar echoed. My heart pounded against my brain. I was frozen. I tried to morph my body into a cocoon, but it was too late; masses of snow were stampeding toward me.

I screamed. I was suffocating in a sea of slush, my body was being spliced. My skin became paper as it was torn to shreds. My blood became ink as it splattered my skin. I kept tumbling and tumbling and tumbling, until…silence.

I opened my eyes. My breath came in rasps and my vision was blurred, but I could feel a breeze wafting around my being, gently tickling my skin. My skin! I started, remembering the heavy injuries I had sustained. I glanced down anxiously. The joints in my fingers were tingling with pain and my arms were an inky black, but apart from those minor annoyances I was unharmed. At least, I was physically unharmed.

Starting at the screen in front of me, the cursor was was flashing violently, gloating at my failure. I looked nervously at the notes that I had abandoned. They stared at me in disgust.

‘I know, I should have trusted you,’ I said half-apologetically, half-wearily to the scribbled paragraphs. My fingers began to ache again. I sighed. Writing really was hard.

Reaching the top. Can I rest now? Photo by: Madura McCormack

Reaching the top. Can I rest now? Photo by: Madura McCormack

Elections postponed due to Student Announcements glitch

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by Madura McCormack

UPDATE: Election season will resume on Wednesday September 9, with nominations lasting for 2 weeks until September 23.

__________________________________________________________

Murdoch student elections have been postponed due to a glitch within the Student Announcement Systems.

The Returning Officer is expected to release a statement tomorrow, September 8, detailing when nominations will open again.

Murdoch Student Announcements, which are sent every Tuesday via email, has allegedly been down for almost a month due to a glitch within the Office 365 script.

METIOR understands that while the system did not go down entirely, a majority of students have likely not received a Student Announcements email since the start of semester.

Education Vice President Roland Belford suspected there was a problem last week and the Academic Registrars office has since confirmed this with him.

Under election regulations, students must be notified by email or post that nominations are open. This glitch has forced the entire process to be moved back and the new dates will be released soon.

METIOR is currently seeking comment from the Academic Registrar regarding the email kerfuffle. This story will be updated as new information becomes available.