Sunday, September 8, 2013

First Days Home

It’s official! Class Afloat is my new home and as expected I love every moment of it! The first day we boarded the ship it was a living nightmare. I was terrified of being able to fit in, trying to remember my knots and soon-to-be-friends names, as well as school. It is all a bit overwhelming. These fears do often surface in situations like mine, but I thought it cliché to say such a thing. However, it’s a worry that was very alive and true.
The following couple of days weren't all that better and I found myself, once again, worrying about whom I’m going to sit with, how am I supposed to act and whether or not I was missing out because I decided to visit with family rather than shipmates.
I can honestly say, however, that those worries were foggy dreams and memories. Despite what Alumni had said, we as a group are far from being exclusive and distant with our friend groups. We have more or less formed one large family. It’s a wonderful feeling being only a week in and knowing that regardless of the time you sit down for a meal there is always someone who will pick up a conversation with you, or if you are down in the dumps another floatie is more than happy to give up their chocolate. I believe this is common nature in the most basic of families, and I can hardly wait until a month goes by, at which point one can only wonder where we will stand with one another.
The biggest question I have had so far is personal hygiene. Yes it is true that we have moments on the boat where water is rationed and showers are seldom, but at the moment laundry is done once a week and if you are smart about things you can average a three minute semi-hot shower every two days. I’m happy with it though because to be honest I was expecting much worse, we all were.
Deck work becomes the highlight of my time aboard. It means that there is a chance you will be asked to strap into a harness and climb aloft. Although I have only been up twice to date, it is one of the most exciting moments. There is a sense of freedom and nostalgia when you start climbing the mast. It’s a place on the boat that is rarely visited and holds maximum adventure.
Classes, however, are a different story. I am already dreading the time I need to enter the banjer (sleeping, study, hangout space) for class. Two days in and the Political Science teacher has my class of two working towards our thesis and surveys. I never understood what my parents meant by ‘old-school ways’ but now I do. It’s an extremely different world without the luxuries of google for research. One is only limited to the reading material aboard.
There is so much more to say about Class Afloat, but as I am quickly running out of character space I’ll end on a positive note, there is no other way to go while aboard the Sorlandet, and write about my top 5 pros:
1: Showers are steamy hot when they fluctuate in your favour.
2: Everyone is inclusive and friendly, as well as downright hilarious.
3: We love to share our “healthy” snacks (gummy bears, Swiss chocolate, hot chocolate, chips, etc.)
4: Teachers eat every meal at our tables and enjoy rocking it out to any genre of music at cleaning stations.
5: It’s never a dull moment aboard the SS Sorlandet.

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