The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely mine and not connected in anyway to the United States Peace Corps.

10.19.2008

1st full week of uni.

Papers and worksheets and compositions, oh my! why yes. the honeymoon phase of my relationship with Cambridge University is over, and now it is time for the work to start. There actually is quite a bit, but I'm fairly good at not thinking about it, so I'm not stressed--yet.

I'm getting used to british food, and i must say, it's not all that bad. I especially like the fact that cadbury chocolate is everywhere. I also love the wide abundance and variety of salt and vinegar crisps, and the idea of putting malt vinegar on french fries. However, I would kill for a mountain dew. seriously--I have yet to see a pepsi product here.

Yesterday was my first experience out on the water with 8 other girls. yes, my first true rowing fiasco,and a fiasco it was. It all started with us having to get the "boat" out of the boathouse and into the river . . . by ourselves. If you have never been fortunate enough to see what a rowing boat looks like, here:

Yes, its hard to keep balanced, and frustrating because since there are 8 people total rowing so it's hard to keep everyone in time stroke wise (especially for us novices). But, the few times we did get a good rhythm going, (and weren't bumping into barges on the side of the river), it was almost like we were flying.



Getting the boat out of the boathouse was interesting because we had to slide it out of it's holder, carry it on our shoulders to the edge of the water, hoist it to our heads, then swing it down to our waists and place it in the water. Doesn't sound to bad, right? Ahhh--the problem, however, was that we had one girl who is 5'9 and another who was 5'1, with a whole bunch of different heights in between. We actually had to have some of the more experienced boaties (that's what rowers are called here) help us, because they were worried we would ruin the boat! The 2 hours total we spent in the water and transporting the boat was definitely an experience. and I was stroke! that means I was the one in front who had to set the pace for the team. I can't wait for the next time.

Biking. Now, I still haven't gotten my bike competely fixed--I need a bike chain tool for that. But since the boathouse is an hour's walk away from Homerton I borrowed a friend's bike for the afternoon. I'm sure you all have ridden bikes before, I used to back when I was a kid. Riding a bike in Cambridge is COMPLETELY different. First of all, there is a bike lane, which is really nice. Unfortunately, it's the bike/bus lane which is kind of scary. Also, riding up and down slopes and on an actual road, rather than in circles in your driveway,
is very different. I now see why those people that do biking marathons are so fit--you use your whole body. seriously! and, if you just sit on the bike and pedal you get tired soooo much faster than if you pedal while standing up--you get more power standing up too. I'm absolutely positive that my bike riding skills will never compare with these crazy Cambridge bikers, but I'm game to try.

midnight apple picking and exploration of homereton college? probably not a good idea without a flashlight. but midnight cartwheels in the Great Hall? a must.

1 comment:

Dad said...

Hi Metz,
We enjoy your blog, especially the pitures. The boat looks like it would tip over very easily. With all the biking and boating you will have new muscles when we see you. Your midnight apple picking tickled Mom, it brought back fun memories with friends and trips around England. Love Mom and Dad