Tomorrow - nothing, Wednesday - TESL (bah), Thursday - anthropology, and Friday - astronomy... and then I'm DONE!!!
I've been doing some more research on that Channel-swimming idea, and I really think I could do it. It's not going to be easy, though - it's a distance of 21 miles, which is made longer by the currents and tides (you end up swimming something of an S-shape) and the water is very cold, usually between 58 and 62 degrees. You also have to do a qualifying swim of at least six hours in water no warmer than 60 degrees. (There's a swim around Manhattan Island every July which a lot of swimmers use as preparation - the water isn't as cold, but other than that, the conditions are very similar. I don't know if I'd be ready for that by this summer, but definitely by next year.)
And you obviously have to train a lot, in pools as well as in open water, with the focus not on speed but on being able to swim nonstop for hours. I gave that a go today (in the #$%^& 88-degree pool - ugh! Too hot!), but the important point I forgot was hydration. You don't realize how much you sweat in the water. Rehydrating has usually not been that important for me because I don't swim for longer than an hour and a half or so and I've never swum longer than about a half mile without stopping for a few minutes, just because there was no reason to do otherwise. But today I swam 2700 meters (about 1 and 2/3 miles) and then started feeling nauseous, so I stopped, drank a little water - and then was perfectly fine within a minute. Even swam a few IMs after that (with butterfly). Guess that boat is important for more reasons than one - not only do they pull you out if you can't make it, but they feed and/or hydrate you every 20 minutes or so. Plus they're your support group. If and when I get to the point where I'm sure I'm going to at least attempt this, I bet R would go along as coach/masseuse/friend all rolled into one, haha.
Oh, and as a side note: another plus to all this is that my build puts me at an advantage - a lot of smaller people have to gain as much as 30 or 40 pounds to insulate them against the cold. I didn't know that when I first started looking into this, but it turns out I have pretty much the perfect body makeup to do it. Cool.
On to another topic... P is gone - vacation in South FL for a while, then back home to Finland; I won't see her again - and R's mom is here. She got in this afternoon after traveling for over 24 hours (Cape Town to London to New York to Orlando, plus an airport switch in London). She's never even been outside South Africa before, so this is a major deal. She and R are going to New York for a week at Christmas - I've forgotten the date, but I think they're leaving after I do. And then she's staying until the 12th before she flies home again. I haven't really talked to her at all yet, but it's really funny to hear her and R jabbering away in Afrikaans. I can understand a lot of what they say, so it's fun to try to eavesdrop. R and I speak Afrikaans and Dutch to each other sometimes, if we're talking about someone or if we're just being silly, but it's cool to hear it 'for real' again. Reminds me of J, my friend from camp in 2002. If this Semester at Sea pans out, I've got to try to look her up when we're in Cape Town.
Speaking of Semester at Sea, I got a couple of things done for that today - my official transcript and my disciplinary clearance both got mailed, so now my application is complete and they can process it and give me the yea or nay and send me the scholarship info. (I debated waiting until after break, when my Fall grades would be in, but I'm above a 3.5 already so I suppose it doesn't really matter.) I also wrote to two teachers and got them to agree to write letters of recommendation for me, plus got another copy of my transcript, which I needed for a different application (there are five in total). So the only things I still have to do are write three essays (for various scholarship applications), pay the $150 deposit (waiting until my Spring aid is in before I do that!), and get passport photos taken. Oh yeah, and do the Academic Advising forms saying what classes I'll be taking, but I can hold off on those - I'll have basically no requirements left, so it shouldn't be too difficult.
I know I shouldn't count my chickens before they hatch, but I'm fairly certain I'll get a $2000 scholarship from the International Center and a $1000 scholarship from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (so both from within the university). That plus my normal scholarships makes about $7000... plus I've applied for a lot more things, plus I'm appealing to businesses, plus applying for a scholarship through Semester at Sea itself, plus I'll have some money of my own after next semester and after the summer of working... so we'll just have to see how it plays out. The goal is $20,000 - 15k for the cabin and 5k for in-country trips and airfare to and from the departure and arrival points - and more would not be remiss.
OK, this is a long, random, stream-of-consciousness entry... so... goodbye!