Aunt Pep

Dear Aunt Pep,

It is Week Four. I sit in my compulsory tute, and the voice echoes in the back of my mind: Tute participation is worth 10% of your overall score. The tutor asks a question. There’s a silence. I look at my laptop, at the clock, at anything as to avoid meeting their gaze. The silence continues. The tutor sighs. ‘The answer is “separation of powers”’, they mutter. Every student fervently types this. We are all going to get 0/10. But how can I break this pattern by the end of semester?

Yours,

Participation Anxiety


Dear Participation Anxiety,

For the shy and/or publicly oratorically challenged amongst us, it can be the worst of times to learn that academic assessment (or 10% of it at least), is predicated upon verbal engagement. However, keep calm and don’t be too alarmed because there is absolutely no rubric that stipulates your participation must be informed, or correct, or anything really—except that it needs to occur. The key takeaway here is quantity over quality. So, say something! Anything! Respond to questions with questions, guess with absolutely no contextual knowledge of any of the prescribed readings for that week, or ever! If it’s the participation marks you’re after, you’re in luck because no actual work or effort needs to go into it. My personal tip? Gulp down a triple shot flat white right before class and you’ll be physically incapable of shutting up!

Best,

Aunt Pep

 

If Oscar Nominated Movies Were People

By Emilio Lanera

Emilio is a second year PPE/Arts student majoring in English and minoring in International Relations. Some of his interests include writing, reading, tennis and keeping up to date with international affairs.

Ladybird

Ladybird is the quintessential girl who is twenty-something but still going through the angsty teenage phase. She tries really hard to fit in, but unfortunately is just too socially awkward. Instead, she ends up hanging out with her best friend, who she has known since kindergarten – the two of them spend their nights drinking cheap wine and bitching about the popular girls from school. Ladybird also has a serious love/hate relationship with her mother and 99% of conversations with her are about how her mum is too overbearing. But, deep down, Ladybird really loves her mum and knows she is just looking out for her. On another note, Ladybird kind of sucks at maths so don’t get her to do your taxes or even let her split the bill.

The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water is that person who is into some really weird sex stuff and has a strange obsession with boiled eggs. The Shape of Water isn’t much of a talker so no one really knows much about their past, except that they have gone through some seriously traumatic stuff. However, their silence doesn’t stop them from fighting for what is right and standing up to chauvinistic white men who wash their hands before they pee (seriously, what is up with that?). The Shape of Water is an all-round activist, also campaigning against issues such as homophobia, racism, and animal/amphibian god cruelty. Having said that though, maybe think twice before letting your pet cats near them.

Man handing an Oscar to someone.

Call Me By Your Name

Similar to The Shape of Water, Call Me By Your Name is into some really weird sex stuff, although they’re ten times gayer. Call Me By Your Name has a super bougie aesthetic and is a bit of an academic snob. If you can’t converse with them about classical music or obscure philosophical theories then quite frankly, don’t bother talking to them at all. Despite their pretentious nature, Call Me By Your Name is a hopeless romantic who is destined for heartbreak, longing for men they know they can never have. They also really love peaches…for use in all kinds of pastimes.

The Post

The Post is the Queen of Drama. They have access to all the gossip, and have no intention of keeping it to themselves. They quite literally will tell anyone willing to listen. Heck, they will even come to your house while you’re hosting a party, just to fill you in on the latest drama. While The Post is a major gossip, there is no one out there that works harder than them. Spending late nights at the office, drinking coffee or overpriced homemade lemonade, The Post will go all out to get the job done. Their hard work is devoted to bringing down any and all establishments, from the US Government to the Patriarchy. For too long they have been told their gender will prevent them from succeeding. But The Post has no time to deal with these narrow minded people as they are too busy breaking the glass ceiling left, right and centre, all through the power of hard work, determination, and a whole lot of drama.   

Dunkirk

Dunkirk is an old war veteran with an explosive personality. If you can bear the stench of bourbon on their breath, they will tell you some thrilling war stories. They are a local hero, and so it follows that if you are seen with them in public you too will be treated like royalty.  

Three Billboards Outside Epping Missouri

Three Billboards has a heart of gold, but some serious anger issues. She also has a hard-core dress sense, which adds to her intimidation factor. She’s not afraid to fight you and will probably beat you up if you dare to talk smack about her or her daughter. If you really piss off Three Billboards, she’ll probably burn your house down. Moral of the story: Do not cross her.

Get Out

Get Out has a really dark sense of humour, but you can’t help but laugh at their jokes. He literally has the worst in-laws and his girlfriend is a total psycho. Come on, what kind of person – a racist one to boot – tries to remove their boyfriend’s consciousness to provide a body for their blind grandfather to inhabit? More importantly, who eats cereal and milk separately?

Get Out is definitely tripping on some hallucinogenic drugs, although whether he is intentionally taking them or being roofied by his girlfriend’s family is up for debate.

Phantom Thread

To be honest, no one knew who Phantom Thread was until they showed up, unannounced, to the Oscars, and to be quite honest, I doubt anyone is going to stay in touch with them.

 

Why I Don’t Celebrate International Women’s Day

By Anonymous

Turnbull Rides the Trump Train to Protect Australian Aluminium and Steel Exporters

By Varun Bajekal

Varun is a fourth year, studying Business Information Systems/International Relations.

Protectionist policies can help bolster a country’s production in chosen industries, but it is also well known that other countries relying heavily on exports are weakened by tariffs and other such levies.

Australia has been diligent in this matter in recent times. It is a nation that produces many goods and services for exportation, and benefits greatly from free trade agreements (FTAs). In November 2014, Australia signed an FTA with China. This proved to be of crucial interest to Australia, given that China is its largest trading partner.

Throughout the past year, however, creating the same kind of trading relationship with the United States has proved a difficult task for the Australian Government. This can be mainly attributed to the Trump administration’s increased implementation of protectionist policies designed to safeguard American businesses, hence creating barriers to the importation of foreign goods and services.

Profile of Donald Trump.

It is alleged that Prime Minister Turnbull and President Trump faced a rocky start to their relationship. It was reported that Trump cut his first phone call with Turnbull short, and afterwards tweeted about the US-Australia refugee resettlement agreement being a ‘dumb deal’. From that point onward, it seemed a hard task for Turnbull to have any success in strengthening the US-Australia alliance.

However, the recent agreement to exclude Australia from tariffs on aluminium and steel signifies the strength – unexpected given the circumstances – of the alliance. Australian aluminium and steel exporters will be exempt from Trump’s protectionist trade policies; an outcome that demonstrates an already firm ally has become even closer. Trump tweeted after speaking with Turnbull, ‘He [Turnbull] is committed to having a very fair and reciprocal military and trade relationship. Working very quickly on a security agreement so we don’t have to impose steel or aluminium tariffs on our ally, the great nation of Australia!’

It is evident that Australia has been given concessions in the American tariff legislation in return for a security agreement between the two nations. In a world where countries like North Korea have decided to go rogue and threaten nuclear warfare, it is important that the leaders of the free world remain united and stand strong. Not only will Australia benefit from being exempted from the tariffs on steel and aluminium, but both nations, and the world, will profit from increased military and security cooperation between these two important nations.

 

Quiz/Procrastination Station

Which HCA Judge Are You?

By Jessica Solari

1. How would your friends describe you?

a. The greatest
b. Dignified
c. An outsider
d. Progressive

2. How would you describe your fashion sense?

a. Flashy, with lots of bling
b. Conservative and sophisticated
c. Modern, with a bit of flair
d. Casual and practical

3. Do you often go against the grain?

a. Only when my view is better
b. Never
c. Always
d. Only if it is right

4. What was your favourite subject in high school?

a. Legal Studies
b. Mathematics
c. English
d. Sociology

5. What is your favourite law-related TV show?

a. Law & Order
b. Janet King
c. How to get Away with Murder
d. Suits

6. And finally, what’s your go to McDonald’s order?

a. Big Mac
b. Fries
c. Chicken Nuggets
d. Cheeseburger

 

Quiz results