Saturday, 14 September 2013

Captain's (B)log, 7th - 13th September

Because every day should be meaningful, except Tuesdays.

Saturday 7th September
Spent my first eight hours playing Dungeons and Dragons with some new friends and, seeing as I slept in until the back of noon, didn’t manage to do much else. I played as Cain - a middle-aged half elf ranger who had spent the majority of his life roaming oriental plains, eliminating varieties of dangers for less experienced explorers. As it turned out, Cain spent most of today messing around in taverns, interrogating locals in his stilted B-movie monotone way of speaking, and staying away from action for the sake of self-preservation.

Overheard a guy having a chat on his phone while sitting in a bathroom stall. “Yeah, I’m doing great, man”, he said down the line as his bowels took off in such a way as to make the Apollo missions hang their heads in shame, “what about you?”

Sunday 8th September
International department hosted an event - ‘Meet and Greet over a Sweet Treat’ - their way to get older, full-time international students meeting those who’ve newly arrived (with sugar as bribery). Thirty or forty people showed up, and each of us were made in turn to stand and tell the sugar-high group their name, nationality and one interesting fact about yourself. I muttered something about enjoying books. It’s quite painful coming to terms with your own banality, though someone suggested later that I should’ve opened with ‘My name is David, I’m from Scotland and I actually quite miss the colonies’.

Speaking of reading - cracked the spine of Moby-Dick today, which I have to read in the next two weeks for class. It’s a monstrosity; I wonder why Captain Ahab didn’t just take the darned whale down by cracking it over the head with a set of Melville’s complete works.

A friend asked me to write a column for the school paper, perhaps about my experience in Utica as an International. I agreed while immediately starting to wonder what kind of stuff I could get away with...

Monday 9th September
Created a new game today, though still needs a name. It goes like this - whenever I take the lift (sorry, elevator) up to my floor, I stand to attention and salute just as the door is about to swing back. Had a couple of strange looks so far, and a few people who’ve laughed at/with me as we walked past each other. Still waiting for the hero to return the salute but I’m sure they’re out there somewhere.

Passed page 100 of Moby Dick. Established so far that we’re to call the protagonist Ishmael and that he needs to sit down and define the relationship with his buddy Queequeg. 

Finished the day by playing some night-time ultimate frisbee on the football field. In other news, recently uncovered a hidden fear for fast, disc-shaped objects.

Tuesday 10th September
A  small part of me died at lunch today when I overheard a girl at the table behind us say through her nose “I’m telling you, calculus is literally a killer”.

Aside from that, studied. I can be wild sometimes.

Wednesday 11th September
Baking hot today. There was a clubs and organisations fair on at the student lounge which I only managed to attend by peeling myself from shadow to shadow and stopping every fifteen paces for a water break. Somebody brought a snake along with her (“She’s from the bio lab, we were going to bring the tarantula but we thought that seemed a bit much”), which got passed around as people signed up for a few different bits and pieces. I put my name down for the Reading Society and the League of Extraordinary Nerds (you know you’ve found a solid group when they name themselves League of Extraordinary Nerds). 

Also, got a new mattress today after I complained that the old one felt as though I were resting on the bones of the previous occupant. This new one feels a bit moist. Might just sleep on the floor for a semester or two...

Thursday 12th September
On a mission to convert the floor to Doctor Who - sat a friend down tonight and made them watch Matt Smith’s entrance episode. I think they enjoyed it, but it was hard to gauge their reactions over my giggles and squeals of delight at every third line of dialogue.

Was informed in a breezy, off-the-cuff sort of way in one of my classes that we have a ten page essay due in a fortnight.

Was a bit late for dinner tonight (meals are fully paid for at the start of each semester)ended up being told the place was closing up ten minutes after I sat down. Smuggled a full loaf of bread out in retaliation. A crime for the ages.

Friday 13th September
Page three-hundred of Moby-Dick has been breached, and I’m proud. Found out that the Flesch-Kincaid test (which measures the readability of a novel, the lower the number meaning the more difficult the text is to read) measures some parts of the book as low as -146.

Got a chance to write up my column for the school paper, a piece about Walmart and how they have to stock everything under the sun and then some solar winds just to show off. I had quite a bit of fun writing it, almost entirely because I got to use the line ‘It’s not my wallet I’ve been fearing for. My wallet has a picture of Batman on it and can probably take care of itself’. My number one fan is pleased, at least.

Since my last post I've been reading:
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
The Last of the Mohicans by James F. Cooper
Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson

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