Existing Member?

O Fim duma Viagem

It's All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Attacked by a Dog

USA | Monday, 22 June 2015 | Views [366]

So I realized that my write-ups tend to end shortly after class. Which isn't really intentional, I just run out of energy after finishing describing all of the time I spent in math classes. (I run out of energy after all the time I spend in math classes too.) But we are doing other things, and the average person tends to find them more interesting, so...

Mornings are about the way I've described them up to this point. My breakfast and routine is always the same because I don't like variety that soon after waking up.

Lunch has more choices, though by this point I'm starting to get a little tired of all of the food in Armstrong. However, even without much variety, there are still several good meals. There's a place that sells burritos, if you don't mind that the people making them don't know how to fold them. Or, for that matter, what a burrito is. (At one point, I ordered a burrito bowl. They asked me if I wanted rice in it. No, I actually just wanted a salad, but didn't wannt to order that.) There's a diner and Asian place and sandwich shop. And there's a pizza and pasta place


You can order a custom-made personal pizza, which takes a while. You can also order a Bianca pizza and they'll give it to you right away. As shown above, it comes with artichokes. So I don't think I'm too likely to starve while I'm on campus.

After I finish eating, I'll typically slink off. If it's cool enough outside I'll walk around there, often while reading. If it's not, I'll pace around Bachelor, or sometimes sit down in the reading room. I need that little pocket of being away from people and able to move around instead of just sitting.

On Wednesday Set arrived. We learned very quickly which people had barely played it before (It tunred out that Maram had only played it once, during her math club's one and only meeting. It also turns out that other people are very jealous of things Carthage's math club does, like having meetings and Career days.) and which people should not be allowed to play around beginners. After a couple of games in which Sam, Delaney, and I sat out, the others got the hang of it, and they all seemed to like it.

Thursday afternoon, I suddenly got Vienna Teng's “Antebellum” in my head. Which was weird, because Vienna Teng is not an artist that I typically hear playing, (some coffee shops and stores do, but not often, and certainly she's not one of the five artists that plays in Armstrong) and “Antebellum” is not a song that I'd owned before Thursday. It had probably been months since I'd heard it, but it was in my head and refused to leave. So I did the only thing I could do and started listening to it on repeat.

Thursday night, Maram really wanted pizza. Everything on campus was closed, but she found a place that was a decent walk away. I found directions, then offered to go with her as a navigator. (It wasn't until we'd reached our destination that I revealed I don't actually have a sense of direction.) My phone had enough of a battery left that in a reasonably bad case scenario, we still could have used it to navigate us back.

Maybe it was because I hadn't left campus that much. (there's probably more on campus then there is off) Maybe it was because I'd just gotten the second wind that comes in the late evenings and keeps me going even though I'd been short of energy all day. Maybe it was the realization that I was still a college student and mostly full adult and was allowed to leave campus when I liked. But I had a lot of energy on the walk.

This had the side effect of making me seem drunk to Maram and everyone else who happened to be walking or driving past. Especially when I was crossing streets. After looking to make sure that there weren't in fact any cars coming, I would go running across, usually stretching out my arms and saying “whee1” Maram would follow, walking as she rolled her eyes.

We got to the pizza place, ordered, and started waiting 25 minutes. Since it was hot in the building, we left and walked around outside for two thirteen-minute segments. (7 minutes out brought us to our first road, and since Maram didn't like me crossing streets, we turned around when we reached that point.) We picked up our pizza, then headed back, trying to think of a good story we could come up with to make the others jealous they hadn't come with.

The best we could come up with was “we got chased by a dog.” Which I didn't think was a terribly good way to make other people envious, but that was because I'd understeimated the value other people put in being able to watch me and Maram need to run from a dog.

We got back to Stoddard (without incident, dog-related or navigational) and sat down in the common room along with Delaney. I resumed playing “Antebellum,” saying that when they got tired of hearing it, they should tell me and I'd find a different song and not play it on repeat. Maram tried to complain two lines in, but I didn't listen to her.

Friday, we met to make cookies and play games. We played Set while we were actually making the cookies. People were bored and wanted to move on to Clue when we still had 10 minutes left on the timer for one of the batches, but since Clue would have been too involed, we kept playing Set. There are certainly advantages to games that don't require much set-up or turns. Anyone except the dealer could wander off without difficulty. (Which is good, but irrelevant, because I was the dealer and I kept wandering off to check the cookies.) I played “Antebellum” twice, then moved on to other Vienna Teng.

Once they were made, we moved out to the lounge (it was cooler) and set up Clue. I also relinquished control of the music because I was tired of trying to find music other people would like and that wouldn't repeat itself. It had been years since any of us had played, but fortunately we had a new game, including a copy of the rules. (Although reconstructing it from how everyone remembered playing would have been interesting...)

The first game was over very quickly, because we played with six cards face-up. The second game we played with no cards face-up, but still six players, so it took much longer. Sam won, in part because of detailed notes he'd taken about the questions everyone had asked and answered. That game drained most of his mental energy, and most of the rest of us weren't in the mood for another game of anything. So Dana and Maram played Speed while Angelo, Sam and I talked about books. Afte ra bit, Sam left, and a little later Dana finally won and, content with her victory, she went up to bed.

Maram taught Angelo the game. He realized the same thing that I had a week ago- that while Maram was very good at those kinds of quick-reaction games, her concentration plummeted if someone was talking. He won a couple of games that way, and then we moved on to just talking. About our lives and the future.

Maram, the only rising senior there, wasn't sure if she just wanted a Masters, of if she wanted to go for a PhD right away, or where, or what in. I'd been flipping a coin earlier in the evening, so I found the coin and handed it to her, telling her heads for Phd tails for Masters. It was heads.

That only answered one of the questions. To figure out where, we needed more than just a coin. We needed a deck of cards. I got Maram to list four continents she wanted to study at (she initially ha dthree, but I talked her into the merits of North Africa so we could use the suits.) She ended up drawing Europe. Then it was time for countries.

Coming up with the list of countries mostly consisted of Angelo and I listing country names, Maram saying yes or no, and Angelo trying to convince Maram she'd said yes to random countries like Estonia. We got to the end, realized that we had too many and she had to narrow down the list. Somehow, every single Scandinavian country and Luxembourg made her short list. I realized I wasn't going to be able to remember all 13 of them with their order, so I wrote them down. Maram picked Spain. Then she flipped a coin again to decide she would be studying pure math.

With most of Maram's major life decisions for the next few years out of the way, I asked Angelo if he needed help with any decisions. He did, actually. He had trouble deciding between three different branches of mathematics. I asked him if he was sure there wasn't a fourth field he was interested in, and he couldn't come up with it. (Question: couldn't I have just have picked out three suits, or even three different numbers, and had Angelo pick between them? Answer: It was 3 in the morning. Shut up.) So I decided that hearts would be graph theory. He didn't pick that, which was disappointing, both because graphs are amazing, and because that would have been an amazing explanation of how he got involved in the research area for his PhD.

And that was the social aspect of our second week in the program.

Tags: chance, food, games, music

About kakimono

Follow Me

Where I've been

Photo Galleries


My trip journals

See all my tags 



Travel Answers about USA

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.