Okay to start I apologize for the partial entry a couple days ago, I obviously hadn't finished it and for some reason it got posted.
Anyway, now I'm here to talk about Fresher's Week!
Our flatmates arrived last weekend, and so began our week of absolute craziness. Last Sunday I went to my first fancy dress night at a club here in Worcester (fancy dress here means you wear a costume). Since a fancy dress costume didn't make the cut to be in my luggage, I ended up wearing my flatmate Gabriel's basketball gear. Yeah, I was ballin'. Thursday I was talked into going to a foam party at another club. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Basically a foam party consists of packing as many people as possible onto a dance floor and then covering them with soap suds. Very slippery, and at times scary. Imagine being inside a washing machine with WAY too much detergent. Once I got over the initial shock of being covered in soap, it was pretty fun. However, I will definitely not be doing that on a regular basis. Fresher's week was a blast, especially since I was experiencing the club scene for the first time. One thing that surprised me was the way people dance in the clubs here. At home dances and other such events usually consist of people violating each others personal space in all sorts of ways, but not here. Here, they "leave room for Jesus". Not always a lot of room, depending on the crowd, but personal space none the less. My flatmates thought it was hilarious when I told them this. It was really refreshing and fun to just dance like idiots.
This past weekend we had our first SIE trip up to the Lake District. Saturday we attempted to hike to the top of the highest peak in the district. I say attempted because we didn't actually make it to the top. It poured during the entire five-hour hike, completely drenching everyone and everything we had with us. My backpack STILL isn't dry. I still had a fantastic time; it was a great opportunity for us to bond as a group and get to know a couple of our faculty/staff. When we stopped for lunch our guides gave us these strange makeshift tents meant to protect us from the elements. While they did keep us dry, they also seemed to make us go a little insane. The tents were really just a giant tarp we threw over our heads and then sat down in a circle to hold it down. This was when we found the recipe for insanity:
1 orange tarp
8 soaked hikers
8 soggy sandwiches
One heck of a wind
We were all so drenched and tired that we were completely delirious and thought everything was funny. At one point I actually freaked out a little because the tent caused my red waterproof pants to suddenly look orange.
Sunday was my favorite day. After spending the morning canoeing, a group of us went on a gorge walk up the stream. Up until now I had no idea what this entailed, but we pretty much became outdoor bad asses. We were suited up in wetsuits, helmets, and life-vests and set out up the rocky stream. The water was freezing, but my feet quickly went numb and I had the time of my life. We worked our way upstream, sometimes walking, sometimes swimming, sometimes climbing on rock faces. The excursion ended with us climbing up and then jumping off a small waterfall. How many people can say they've done anything like this? I'm so grateful to have the group of UMD students that we do; this trip was an amazing opportunity for us all to get to know each other better.
Tomorrow, reality sets in. I actually have to go to class. I kept forgetting this fact all week, but I'm quite excited to start classes here. It will be interesting to see how different the teaching styles are. Plus, my first class tomorrow is Spanish, and I've always wondered what Spanish would sound like with a British accent...