Oh my gosh. The most incredible weekend just happened in Sydney. This is something I’m going to want to remember for a very long time I think:

My new favourite photo, ever. That’s me, giving a TED talk! Not at a TEDx independently organised event.. we’re talking a legit TED conference with Mr TED himself, Chris Anderson (I didn’t actually know who he was but could totally tell he was a big deal). You see, for TED2013 in California next year, they’re trying this new thing where they get speakers from a worldwide talent search rather than however the hell they usually pick. Apparently tickets to these conferences go for $7500, so to speak at one is the real deal. Statistically speaking, this isn’t particularly likely for any of us in the 14-city talent search, but to be picked for the top 20 for the one in Sydney is pretty remarkable.

Actually, when I saw that I had an email from TED I didn’t get too excited because hundreds of people applied and I didn’t think my application was terribly good (it’s really hard to be enthusiastic in a 1 minute video to a webcam!). I opened it, they wanted me to go to Sydney. Still, no excitement. “They must have just picked a lot of people.” Paul: “you got in?! you’re the only one I know!! and I know lots of people that applied!” Chantelle: “Swear words! I’m a finalist for TED2013!” Well, when you put it likethatI guess it’s a pretty big deal to be a finalist..! And hey, their words, not mine! I mean, when there’s only one stage of a final it seems a bit weird to say finalist.. seems more like.. got through to the next round. of which there is only one.



I’m so excited right now! So I’ve spent all weekend ignoring my duties (TED, Robogals, French) and instead I’ve been googling places in France and how far away from Le Creusot they are. I can fly from Lyon to London for $40! To visit Carly! She’s practically next door.. I can visit her all the time to feel like I’m at home.

$30 and 1hr on the train I can be in Paris. or a $30 flight I can be in Milan. THIS IS INSANE! This doesn’t happen in Australia. Flights are much more expensive, much longer, and will just get you to another state. My mind can’t handle all of the opportunities!

But what’s even MORE exiting is that Pariss just told me that she’s bought her tickets to Europe. Originally she told me they were for 18th November and I was so disappointed.. I thought that we had agreed that she’d be here for Christmas when I was on holidays, and we’d go to Paris together. Pariss in Paris: we’d start a blog.

What I didn’t realise was just how these Europe trips work.. you don’t stay for a week! You stay until 15th January!!!!! You travel with Deanna through Paris for two weeks, and spend Christmas and New Years together. Eat nothing but macarons. Maybe even three weeks depending on when the Spain semester starts!

I’m so overwhelmed by this all: I’ll just have to get through one month before Pariss will be there. Carly is already there. This is doable. I can do this!

But I must get through the next week without spending all of my time researching places to go in Europe, like where to buy macarons…………. then I should be alright. Pariss has assignments and exams! I can’t imagine how that’s going to go.. I don’t think I’m going to be very productive in the next while at ALL!

I must tell my mum this news: I won’t be alone for Christmas! But I must make it less of a surprise, because Carly will have been there this whole time for me to have Christmas with, I just hadn’t thought of it yet 🙂

So I really don’t have too much to be worried about!!

.. cont.

oh and if you were wondering, I went with VIBOT. Because it was the one that I have been telling everyone about, and I’ve had in my head since the beginning.

Afterwards though I started to feel like I’d made the wrong decision academically because the subjects and the universities look better at EMARO, but I think that’s just because I don’t appreciate computer vision as much as control systems yet. I know though that it will be amazing, but the first semester at VIBOT is going to be a lot of revision. Originally I was like ‘sweet, cruisey semester’ which I’m sure I’m still going to appreciate once I get there and am (hypothetically) traveling every weekend, but my head says that it was a bad choice to pretty much waste a semester. After all, I don’t want to come out at the end of another course and find that I still don’t know enough.. EMARO would have made me a roboticist.. VIBOT is going to have me with just a dozen more subjects under my belt. But I think that computer vision should not be understated for having ability to change the world: it will just be in ways that I haven’t got in my head yet. I was hoping to get some more hardware experience, but perhaps I can’t even say which course will be better for that: I just hope that CV doesn’t turn out to be all software with no hands-on applications, because that was what started to annoy me about the maths degree.

But I will find a kickass thesis project at the end of it, I PROMISE.

Life is good

I realised some things this morning.

  • I’m 20
  • I love my work
  • The cardiologist said my heart sounded normal, so I’m probably not dying (we’ll see)
  • I stayed up all night writing a TED talk (did I mention I’m a finalist for TED2013?)
  • In doing so I realised that the mentoring program I set up for GEMS this semester got 70 registrations
  • Today I must choose between two $60k scholarships that will send me off gallivanting in Europe



I’m writing the most awkward email at the moment.

What’s annoying is that EMARO got its EACEA validation of their scholarship recipient selection about a month ago, but due to continual delays, VIBOT is yet to receive its.

This has put me in quite the predicament, since by this point EMARO is sick of waiting for me to reply to their offer, but I still don’t officially know if I’m confirmed for VIBOT. I couldn’t imagine that EMARO is too used to getting such delays from students, because it’s not terribly common for students to turn down a $60k scholarship.

My task now is to decide which course I wish to take.. and in the meantime to convince EMARO to wait for my decision, because they have given me a deadline to reply by which has already passed. I’m hoping that this deadline was more to weed out the non-repliers, and that they won’t kick me out for being slow, but verbal.

What I must weigh up are factors such as the coursework, the locations, the duration of placements, the universities and the students. The latter is difficult since only VIBOT provided (perhaps accidentally) the email addresses of accepted students so that I could facebook stalk them – they are from an amazing assortment of countries and seem young enough that I could make some friends; there are three other girls. I wonder if a year from now I will read this post and laugh at some of the things I say about these strangers, who perhaps at that point will be my best friends.

It’s a pretty difficult decision to make.. I imagine that it could end up taking my life in two separate directions. But I feel confident that neither would be a bad choice, and I would eventually end up at the right ‘place’. Currently I wish to choose VIBOT, because I like the idea of 6 month rotations, one of which being Spain.. ❤ .. and moving around with the same group of people (hopefully we like each other..)

I know though that EMARO has better ranked universities (still not particularly world-class) and greater emphasis on robotics (nothing wrong with computer vision though- I’m cruisey), and larger cities, and the French university on the main campus (so more student clubs), and an actual double masters degree presented (as opposed to joint masters) with the opportunity for an Asian placement. With this lengthy delay on VIBOT I am beginning to be suspicious that this is some sort of signal from ‘the universe’ that I should reconsider VIBOT.. it’s just that the friendliness of the VIBOT facebook page has always had me leaning towards it. But when you list all of the benefits of EMARO in one sentence as just previously………….

I was hoping that EMARO would tell me that I would have to go to Poland which I am not keen on (but, I got my first preference of France and Italy), or perhaps VIBOT will not grant its place to me. That way this difficult decision is out of my hands!

I know I am very fortunate to be in this situation, but it’s driving me crazy.

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