It’s day seven for the London group, and today is our last in London for a bit. We’re all headed separate ways for side trips—there are some people Paris-bound, others heading for Bath, and a few for Scotland. I’m in the Paris group, and tomorrow, my three Paris-bound companions and I will be getting up around 5 am to catch the Tube up to St. Pancras station, where we will get on a Eurostar train to France. Two hours later, and we’ll be in the heart of Paris. But even with an early start tomorrow, we’re making the most of our London time.
When everyone came home from Christmas break, we adopted a few communal pets on our floor. We have one beta fish, one sucker fish, two goldfish, one "yard fish" which was found last summer in someone's irrigation sprinkler, and two shrimp.
The beta has its own tank, but all of the other fish live in a tank on a table in our fishbowl. We're working on a system to organize who will take care of them.
I've never been a big fan of fish as pets. They are cool to watch, and to write dialog for, but for the most part, they are pretty boring, and gross to clean up after.
Only three days into the London trip, and I’m exhausted. London is jam-packed with things to do, places to go, sights to see. At the end of the day, London leaves me visually overwhelmed and with one tired pair of feet. It’s a very good type of tired though, a type that comes with having not wasted a minute of the day.
What an adventure I have been on. I have gone not only from one side of the world to another, but from one temperature extreme to another. It is almost surreal to find myself back at C of I for my last few semesters. I am originally from Melbourne, Australia which is quite different to anywhere in Idaho. I take the opportunity to go back home whenever I can afford it, but I always love to go home for Christmas. Christmas in Australia is the opposite of the Christmas experience in America for the main reason that it is summer time in the southern hemisphere.
I do work study in the art gallery, which means it is primarily my duty to man the gallery desk and try really hard to look important, but I've also been given the opportunity to hang a show and to help get ready for an exhibition by preparing the gallery and painting pedestals, as well as other assorted tasks. I was surprised at what goes into hanging peices; I hadn't thought about the need to measure so much to get the art properly distributed at eye level. It's really interesting!
Winter term at The College of Idaho is a wonderful and terrible thing. Wonderful because the classes are fun and the load is light. Terrible because winter is my arch nemesis. So, I cope by indulging in warm cups of goodness, slippers, and fuzzy throw blankets to ward off the coldness that I call "January"...thus far, an effective strategy until I need to walk to class or leave the apartment to forage for food. I have a theory that bears are more evolutionarily advanced than humans because we still have not adapted the ability to hibernate.
Tonight is my last in Caldwell for a few weeks—I’m off to London and Paris starting tomorrow. The suitcase is all packed up; I’ve stocked up on Ziploc bags, band-aids, and granola bars and have spent much of the last night writing out directions to and from different London and Paris metro stations.
Coming home from school is a weird experience. It’s like flipping a switch between two separate lives. I fit back into my old life like sliding in the last piece to a puzzle. I saw almost everyone I wanted to see over Christmas break, and even though it's been months since I’ve seen them, I felt like it hadn’t been more than a week. There were a few things that had changed, and a few people too, which is mildly disappointing in a way that I can’t quite describe.
I’ve had a lot of conversations about winter with my friends over the last few days. Monday was the first day of the winter session, and as I’m writing this, snow continues to fall. One of the things that I’ve grown to appreciate the most about our campus is how much it reflects the seasons. Granted, I’m from Boise and I’ve dealt with snow since infancy, but I don’t think I’d be able to deal with the perpetual summer that some colleges enjoy. Caldwell (and The College) is firmly bound to the mountainous climate of Idaho.
It’s the last Saturday of break and tomorrow I’m headed back to college. Given that I’m from Boise, that trip back falls far short of an epic journey. But I’m in store for a long trip on Wednesday, when I leave for a few weeks to London and Paris.