Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Bruce Hall Hightable Dinner

It might have a bizarre name, but it sure was fun. I have just come back from a dinner (known as the Hightable dinner) hosted by one of the student halls of residence here at the ANU, Bruce Hall. This is the first time I have been invited to an event where I have been given permission, if I wished, to wear my academic garb. Needless to say, I declined. I was, however, in the minority when I arrived. All Bruce Hall residents were required to wear an academic gown to the dinner, which made for quite an elitist and intimidating sight. Thankfully, however, I was not the only one without a gown, and didn't feel particularly out of place.

If I was ever to have a politician moment, then this event was surely it. I was invited to the dinner as PARSA's communications officer, to mingle and chat with all the new postgrads who recently took up residency at Bruce Hall. Bruce Hall apparently hosts regular Wednesday Hightable dinners where various people from within the Hall, and across campus, are invited to come along.

I have to say, the food was fantastic, the wine excellent (and abundant), and the company very welcoming. I had a lot of fun mingling with postgrads, many of whom were recent arrivals to Australia. In past posts I have said that this sort of mingling is not something that comes naturally to me. Well, tonight seemed noticeably easier than previous times I have done this. Perhaps this is a sign that my confidence has grown, or my conversational repertoire has expanded. Or perhaps it was just the excellent and abundant wine. In any case, I had fun, and would have certainly stayed longer if not for an early start tomorrow morning. I also had to give a 2 minute spiel about PARSA during dinner, which is always a difficult thing to do. PARSA covers a lot of different things of importance to students, and trying to pack it all into two minutes, after three glasses of wine (admittedly not my greatest strategic decision) is quite difficult. From all reports (i.e. Sean, my fellow PARSA companion), my talk was fine.

So all in all a very satisfying night. I must say, if my involvement in PARSA could be more like this, more often, I'd seriously consider staying in the role of communications officer. It really is very rewarding. I guess, however, that consuming free food and booze is not exactly PARSA's priority at the moment, which is not to say it shouldn't be, if it gives us access to large groups of postgraduate students like tonight.


Anonymous Rob M said...

High table sounds about the same as when I did it, except for the fact that at University College back in the 1990's the food was mediocre and the wine tasted like paint stripper :)

7/20/2006 09:29:00 PM

Anonymous Mands said...

Well done, Macca. I have no doubt you were brilliant! Sad to hear you're giving up the Communications role but only because you've been so good at it. You deserve to take more of a rest and sit back a bit...just ensure that this decision does allow you to do that a bit! I'm still in shock that a student accommodation residences had great wine...

7/27/2006 12:17:00 PM


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