Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring Practice Game

I have been busy with the final projects over the past few weeks but thought I must share this with you.
The only game of football for the spring semester was held ove the weekend; as I was not here for the football season it would be the only game of football I would see, I was also lucky enough to go on a tour of the football stadium during the week. The pictures below are of the tour and game.
 Death Valley
Locker Room
 Weight Room
 Howards Rock
 Game Day Action
 Game Day Action
Game Day Action

The tour was a real eye opener for me to see how much resources are actually put aside to a college sport in America. The facilities of the Clemson football team rival and exceed most professional sporting teams from Australia and it’s a college team not a professional team, to me that is crazy and also shows how much football means to Americans.

In the tour we saw everything in the stadium, from the coach’s office, to the locker room and Howard’s Rock. It was a real honour to be able to go on this tour as all the American’s that I know in Clemson have never been on a tour of the stadium let alone seen the locker room. We were able to have a picture with Howard’s Rock which has a little bit of a storey behind it.

The game itself was also crazy!
It was a hot spring afternoon, almost perfect conditions for a game of football, the roads around Clemson were packed with cars trying to get to the stadium, the streets were full with people flocking to the stadium, all of this for a so called ‘low key’ game. Even though it was an internal trial 30,000 faithful Clemson supporters attended the game again astonishing to me as our professional sports in Australia struggle to get a crowd of that magnitude to every game.

The atmosphere was crazy, and has almost convinced me to come back another semester when it is football season. For all of you who want to study abroad at Clemson I would come in the fall semester as the games seem to be an experience that can not be rivalled by any sport.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Major Project Planning

I have been a bit busy of late with Spring break and all but still have managed to plan my attack for the major projects of this course. I have three videos to make; a personal reflecting on the host culture, a proffesional video to do with my major, and a public issue video.

Spring Break helped me to get some more pictures and videos that I can use in these videos so it was not just a waste of time. In my personal video I really want to show the world the culture of South Carolina. In my previous blogs I have examined the differences in the cultures of South Carolina and my home country, this video will allow people from all over the world to see how the culture in Clemson differs from their own.

Whilst driving around from place to place during spring break, I have seen alot of different highway systems to Australia, so I want my professional video to touch on the American highway systems and traffic problems along them.

The public issues video I am still undecided on what to do but have a few things in mind. I hope to have these videos done in the next few weeks so stay tuned to see the final features of my blog.

Bye Ya'll

Monday, February 28, 2011

Tropos Photography

I love this picture for many reasons. It's a photo after we won our first premiership, it was my first premiership in any sport I have played. It also reminds me about the hard work we put in as a team that year.  The picture shows how happy everyone is after winning the game, it's a picture of all of the linemen in the team which we call the engine room, these are the people in the team I spend most of my time with, the picture therfore means a whole lot more.

This picture is from Greenville, I like this picture as the people sitting on the rock shows how immense this waterfall is.  This is watefall is part of a park which is one of the nicest parks I have come accross. The anlge of the picture is due to where a viewing station was, but it showcases the waterfall as the main feature of the park. The picture also portrays the laid back atmosphere of the place, shown by the people sitting on the rock with no care of the waterfall hitting them.

I wanted to add these two photos as their are some of my favourate photo's the next two are from the previous blog which we are supposed to examine.

This picture to me sums up the Campus of the University of Georgia.
Everything was so clean, pretty and perfect; there were numerous parks and features around the campus this one just shows how relaxed the campus is. There are lots of cntrasting colours from different trees, bushes, buildings and path ways which shows the beauty of the campus.

This picture of Lake Harwell like the image above showcases the beutiful landscape of the area. I chose this angle to encorperate the different shorelines from where I was standing to accross the other side of the lake where the forest started. I have never spend time around lakes I have always been up the river or at a beach, when looking at this photo it reminds me of our shack on the Murray River which evoked many joyful memories, the river is my favourate place to spend time relaxing.

Digital Photos

I have never been a big photo person, watching the Pat Wright videos was an eye opener for me.  I din't realise there was so many different aspects to taking a photo, I thought it was as simple as turning the flash on and off.

Over the past week I explored some of the techniques that Pat describes in his videos.

This first picture is an exapmle of a close picture, where the focal point of the image is the whole image. The image below is an example of a far image where the focal point (water feature) is smaller and does not take up the whole picture. These pictures were taken in Athens, Georgia where we went for my mates 21st birthday. It was a really fun party town with lots of bars and clubs to choose from. These two particular pictures were taken on the campus of the University of Georgia.

I've akways taken photos of everything up close, Pat's videos has given be a broader appreciation for photography. The following photo is an example of the rule of thirds. The photo was taken in one of the many parks around Lake Harwell, I took the picture of the duck as it was the biggest duck I have seen, it would easily be double if not triple the size of ducks from back home. The other photo is a picture of the lake, it is an example of horizontal photography.

Monday, February 21, 2011



I didn’t know we had a topic on Maccas so I didn’t take photos, the other week on a trip to Tennessee we stopped at Maccas for some dinner and had one of the  best Maccas experience of my life.

I learnt some valuable lessons from this stop, firstly American’s or at least Tennessee do not believe in the size small, secondly you order by the number on the item you want and thirdly if your Australian, the server will ask you to drive to the window and ask you to order face to face, especially when they lose their patience because you keep ordering a small meal.

Comparing the Australian Maccas site to the American site

The Australian website as you can see below shows a list of options that you can choose from and does not load up a picture of one of its products ( I don't know if thats just my computer).

The American Site shows an Angus burger straight away advertising one of its products. Both websites have a section on menu and whats in the food. The Aussie one however has a broader section on nutrition and a section called ticked approved food which is low fat. The American site does not focus extensively on this which I think is shown by the number of fast food places within the US (or culture of the US). Other than that the websites are relatively similar, both being for English speaking countries, the background colour of red is used effectively to try make viewes hungry. Other than the healthier food choices the menus are similar too. In the US Maccas has to compete with more fast food outlets than in Australia, to me it suggests what works for McDonalds in the US is copied and implemented in Australia.

Second Gutenberg Shift

I strongly agree with Kevin Kelly’s comments that we are moving towards a Second Gutenberg Shift.

It is evident in every day life that we rely on technology now more than ever, instead of writing a letter you write an email, even this course instead of having a formal class we have an internet course reading all the materials from the internet and watching lecture videos online.

The use of computers is the reason that the ‘Second Gutenberg Shift’ is happening, it is to convenient to sit at home and send email’s rather than write a letter or Skype a friend who lives 20 minutes away rather than going to see them. I am a example of the 2nd Gutenberg Shift, I haven’t read a book in the real sense in at least a few years, I don’t find them interesting anymore I would much rather watch a movie or if everyone tells me how interesting a book is I will wait for a movie to be made rather than read it.

I can relate to the article is Google Making us Stupid?
When trying to research for assignments the internet has made it easy to just use search engines to find information that would have taken days previously in a library. The article also mentions the inability of people to stay focused when reading articles online, there are constant distractions online for example facebook makes noises notifying you of an online chat you are having which is often kept open in another window. When reading a book you are not confronted by these distractions, the distractions are if any usually people talking to you whilst you are reading, if they can see your reading you are usually left alone. Ultimately I feel as if Google is making us stupid; but visuality has many advantages that have not been mentioned in the articles. The use of skype and others allow many businesses and individuals to have communications/meetings that otherwise would not be possible.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Way of Australia

Explaining the Australian way of life or culture seems easy enough in concept, it actually took me a long time to determine the dominant aspects of our culture.

In terms of the college lifestyle the culture could not be further apart; in Australia I can only think of a handful of Universities that the students live on campus, majority are for students who live in rural conditions where there are no universities. After finishing high school you to further your education you either go to Uni, Tafe or a trade (such as plumbing, electrician). Most people live with their parents whilst at Uni or Tafe as the institutions are usually in the heart of each capital city. There is not a strong sense of community at UniSA (my University) there is not a large organization or team at all contrast to Adelaide Uni which has an AFL Club with 8 teams or over 200 players. It differs from each Uni. As there is not much of a college atmosphere in Australia we must make it up in other ways right?

Australians are passionate about their sports similar to the passion the Clemson faithful have for their teams. If were not at class were playing on of our nations sports depending on the time of year. In the summer the beach is packed with people playing or sunbaking it’s the place to be, it’s not uncommon for students to skip class to go to the beach.

The majority of Australia’s culture is the same the further inland you go (away from Cities) the more Aboriginal communities and country people you will encounter.
In the main cities there is a cross culture of immigrants especially where I am from Adelaide there are small communities of different cultures. Where my grandparents live is a strong European settlement and culture, 5 minutes away from their place, the dominant culture would be Sudanese. This shows that Australia is a very diverse country which is seen in Hofstede’s IDV, individualism where Australia ranks second to America.

 I have to say the stereotype of Australia having Kangaroos in our back yards or being best mates with Steve Erwin is not true; the amount of times I have been asked that at Clemson is unbelievable. The following characteristics can define the typical Australian;
  • a strong sense of justice, balanced by a desire to champion the "underdog"
  • loyalty and a strong sense of "mateship" and sticking by one's mates (friends)
  • enjoys barbeques and beer (but not all of us like beer!)
  • enjoys a day at the beach
  • appreciates and respects the outback, with all its dangers and its raw, untouched beauty, even though not all Australians have the opportunity to travel through it
  • hard-working and often hard-playing

What should be noted is that Australian find a way to abreveate every word or come up with a nick name. Common sayings are adding an O to the end of someone’s name e.g. Dave becomes Davo.  Below is some slang that would probably be useful for foreigners travelling to Australia.
Shrapnel         Change/coins
BBQ                 Proper grilled meat
Footy               Australian Rules Football (AFL)
Boardies          Bathing Suit
Arvo                Arfternoon
Bottle O           Bottle Shop/ Liquior Store
G’Day              Hello
Maccas            Mc Donalds
Oi                    Hello
Snag                Sausage

I trust this has explained the way of Australian People.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Way of Our People

If another Australian exchange student who has never visited the US asked me about the southern culture, there are certain aspects of the culture that I would explain to them.

The Ethnos of Southern American culture and Australian culture is relatively similar as documented in my last post  Firstly I would explain how religious belief and values form a strong part of the Southern culture, contrast to the Australian Culture. The religious values are not just a practice it’s a way of life here. An example of the extreme religious value is bars close at 12 on a Saturday night because they do not sell alcohol on a Sunday at all as it is the day of rest.

I’m not sure if its part of the southern culture or just some of the people I have met but there seems to be a cultural belief in the south still that women should do the ‘traditional’ house duties of cooking and cleaning. This is a value not seen in Australia; I don’t have to look further than my family to see this, my dad does the ironing in our house and my uncle does the cooking in their house.

If I were to describe the Southern Culture the way that the Granta Article describes Africa I would include the following, hunting, church, biscuits, trucks, football and fast food. They were the first 5 things that I thought of when I think of the south. I think the list I came up with for the southern culture actually reflects their culture; the Granata Article is far from the African culture on the basis I live with a South African and what I have heard from him is vastly different to what the article says.

I have read other peoples blogs and they refer to America being the land of the free and acceptable of individualism; I don’t see a great deal of individualism from where I have been so far. Everyone dresses the same, talks the same, eats the same, have the same cars, you can see the list goes on and on. If you don’t like a sport here in the south you’re almost an outcast, sport is a way of life to people in the south. In Australia there are a lot more individuals and they are socially accepted in the public. An example of how individualism is not active in the South is I wore my boardies out to the shops what is called a (bathing suit) in the US and my American friends could not believe I would wear boardies out when I’m not swimming; in Australia particularly in the summer months boardies are dominant clothing you will see.

I hope this helps any other Australians who want to come on exchange here at Clemson or any Clemson students who want to visit Australia.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Australia… A Little America?

Having been in America for nearly a month now I have had time to see the cultural differences and similarities between Australia and America; in particular the southern culture of America.

In Short it could be argued that Australia is a smaller version of America. The dependence of private transport is the biggest similarity that I have noticed between the two; there are also some distinct contrasts when it comes to private vehicles. In the south it seems as if nine out of ten cars are big trucks or four wheel drives, whereas in Australia there is a distinct shift to move away from larger four wheel drives and family sedans to small economical and environmentally friendly cars.

The food is vastly different to Australian food; a typical Aussie BBQ consists of snags and steak and an outdoor barbecue.

The picture is from our Australia Day celebrations here @ Clemson, we went to 3 different stores to try find what is a real sausage but could only find hot dogs or Italian sausages. The biggest difference between the two cultures food is how greasy American food is and how many fast food places there are. Australia has fast food everywhere and in lower socio economic areas such as Salisbury they are far more frequent, but still do not equate to how many there are in the US almost every road front shop is a fast food outlet.

Another similar aspect of the two cultures is the love for sports. Growing up as a kid I can’t remember a time on the weekend or after school where I wasn’t with one of my friends or cousins playing some sort of sport. My experiences at Clemson so far have been the same. When it’s a sunny day all the outdoors sporting fields, basketball courts or grass areas have people on them playing sport. When its bad weather you go down to FIKE and all the courts are taken up with line-ups in some cases as much as half an hour; and of course there is the love for the Clemson Tigers.

Hunting in the south is a popular past time, it seems as if everyone down here has been hunting or fired a gun before even if just shooting at targets. I am lucky enough to be taking a lesson called Shotgun Sports where my roommate and I fired my first gun, the picture below is of my roommate in our second class . Even the fashion portrays the love for hunting in this region, numerous people on campus and in the surrounding towns I have been to wear camouflaged jackets and shirts.

Its funny how both Australia and the USA speak English but there are still language barriers between the two that you would associate with another language. There have been numerous times where I don’t understand people here and where they don’t understand me. Sometimes it’s when I use Aussie slang other times people can not understand my accent and visa versa.

This blog made me ask myself is Australia really a little version of America? In answer although there are many similarities with the Southern culture of America, the Australian culture is vastly different to the south. It could be argued that I have not experienced the main towns of the south such as Charlotte and Atlanta, until I do I cant say Australia is a little America.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Image Editing

This is the original picture I took when I was in LA watching the Lakers vs Hornets. It was my first NBA game I have ever seen and even though we were in the back row it was such an experience. We even got to see Kobe move to 7th all time on the NBA scoring list

The edited image is above. The program I have (PHOTOfunSTUDIO) makes it really easy to resize an image. You can select the width and height that you want for the image, when it comes to editing the image there are features that you can choose to edit the picture. The features I selected were resizing the image and making it a black and white picture by using the grey scale.

 "Black and white photography not only gives pictures a classic and timeless quality, it adds a touch of class. Some photos work equally well in color and black and white, but for most, black and white will either ruin or dramatically improve the image"

The photo is not the best to demonstrate the effectiveness of a greyscale photo but I like the edited photo more than the original; it looks more classy in my opinion, I hope in my coming blogs I will be able to show a better adaptation of a connverted colour image to greyscale.

Online Communities

When it comes to Online Communities I am a novice, I use social networks like Facebook and Skype and Youtube but that is the extent of my online community.
Being away from my home missing my parents and friends, I have found that I am using these social networks differently to how I would if I were still in Australia, I would usually use facebook when bored at work now I am usingfacebook and to a greater extent Skype to keep in touch with what is going on in Australia with all the recent floods and hurricane;. Skype has been my best friend at times when feeling homesick I can see my parents or friends while I am talking to them. Facebook has been useful to upload pictures for friends to see what it is like to live over here and see some of the cultural differences.

Emails have proven to be a lifesaver for me over the past few weeks I would probably have spent all my savings on phone bills back to Australia by now trying to organise courses at Clemson that are approved by my University back home.

After being away from home even though for only 4 weeks Online communities are underrated and taken for granted.

Week 1: Getting Started

I have never done this before so I'm not sure what is meant to be included.

Making videos and sharing my experiences with everyone for a subject made joining this course an easy decision. I am excited to be involved in this course as it encourages me to get out and explore the American Culture and how it differentiates from the Australian Culture I am accustom too. This course will also teach me some much needed techniques when it comes to photography hopefully all the redeye and blurry shots will be gone.

A bit about myself I am from Uni SA, Adelaide South Australia studying Urban and Regional Planning; I’m at Clemson on an exchange. I’m an avid sports fan and have fallen in love with that aspect of American culture already especially @ Clemson with Tigers sports atmosphere.

Make sure to keep checking my blogs in the upcoming weeks to see how the American College Culture compares to the Aussie culture.

See you next week!