9/11, Sororities, Frisbee and The Everyday Joe’s.

A couple of weeks ago I looked into some hints & tips into moving abroad. Homework was getting on top of me, I was feeling a bit homesick and worst of all, I STILL couldn’t get my cups of tea right (they have about 50million types of milk over here and I have to use at least 2 tea bags per cup at the moment – #EnglishProblems). Of course on my research into ‘Moving Abroad’ I came across all the usual cliché stuff of.. ‘Try something new every day ‘ ‘Join a club or society’ ‘Give it time – you’re an awesome person eventually new friends will come to you!’ (I literally did read that somewhere)

But there was ONE thing however that did stick out to me:

  • Say Yes To Every Invite

So that’s what I did, and the past 2 weeks have been awesome. I’ve said yes to everything I got invited to, even if I could only stay for an hour! It’s been tough, going on nights out when you only know 1 or 2 people, going to lunch with people you’ve just met, going out somewhere when you’re tired and just want to stay in, especially early morning stuff (I am not nor have ever been a morning person), but I’ve done it. I know it’s a bit of a ‘Yes Man’ cliché but it’s a cliché for a reason, it really works, it helps you to make the most out of stuff and it’s really helped me to meet more people, and I’ve discovered some amazing new friends over the past 2 weeks! (Smiley face)

This year marked the 12th anniversary of September 11th. As a Brit I guess I’ve never felt really part of the what happened, I don’t feel I’ve ever had a right to be sad about it, I’m very fortunate that I didn’t personally know anyone directly affected by the attack, I’d never been to New York and I could only imagine what it must have been like for those who were affected.

Being present for the anniversary day last Wednesday in New York state and seeing all those people walk into the chapel on campus, hearing it all on the news again, talking about it with people and seeing all those images of the two burning towers again was all very surreal. On the 1st anniversary the college was given a cross that had was made from an I-Beam that had originally been part of the South Tower, and every year on September 11th the cross is displayed in honour of the victims. After the memorial ceremony (I felt a bit intrusive actually going to it) I went inside the chapel to see cross and I ended up writing in the prayer book. From being around so much all that day, visiting New York City and Ground Zero only a couple of weeks before, talking to people who were affected, reading some of the prayers and seeing that cross, I can’t really describe the feeling, but I suddenly felt part of it. I began to comprehend the sheer magnitude and sadness of what happened that day and how much it affected not just the people of New York, but the entire country. What struck me also was that the day was purely about remembrance, there was no mention of Al Qaeda or terrorism or the Middle East, there was no hatred and no resentment. The day was purely about remembering those who were affected, the people that lost their lives and the friends and families who lost their loved ones. It was incredibly humbling and I feel honoured to have experienced being part of that day this year.

So what else have I been up to the past 2 weeks?

So I’ve joined a sorority ‘Kappa Lambda Psi,’ they’re one of the oldest at Marist and my whole endeavour of joining them has been a complete and utter wonderful accident. During activity fair I went over to the sorority stalls (I was being nosey) and got chatting to the President. I think in England we have a very stereotypical view of sororities (group of girls, sitting in their pink sweaters and pearls necklaces talking about world peace blar blar..) However that night I was going out with my Hawaiian housemates and their friends, and who should walk through our front door, the President of the KLP sorority Jess! Who is also Hawaiian and great friends with my housemates (I am loving how much of a small world this place is becoming/all the Hawaiians) So in the end, I went along to the sorority info meeting. I loved it and they’ve now asked me to pledge. All of the girls are lovely, they’re really down to earth don’t take themselves too seriously, love going out and do some incredible things for charity. I went over to their house the other night and we ended up going to the Frat party next door (my first real Frat party! – sometimes I literally feel like my life has become an American movie..)

Ultimate Frisbee
So I’ve started to play Ultimate Frisbee again. Yes, it is classed as a real sport (we have End Zones and everything!) and it’s great fun, great fitness, all about good team spirit and having a laugh. My experience in the sport extended to being tricked into playing in Spain for my University team the Aston Hornets last April (they told me I could just chill on the beach being their groupie and 15minutes before the first game told me I had to play!) and I literally fell in love with it. Yesterday I managed to jump and catch my first mid air Frisbee (proud!)

So a few of us Internationals have put together a Dodgeball Team for the Intramural Dodgeball tournaments (i.e. play other teams within the College). We were trying to think of a name, when last week’s language barrier moment of the week occurred:

“He’s a nice guy y’know? Normal, like everyday person, y’know like everyday Joe?”
“um, you mean ‘Average Joe’ Avi..?”
So in true international spirit we have named our team the ‘Everyday Joes’ in honour of Avi and we had our very first game last night.

Truth be told, We suck. But we’re hoping for a positive outcome next week (either that or we’re joining volleyball..)

Weird things I discovered this week:

  • Butter comes wrapped in long cubed shapes.
  • They don’t have Vimto here
  • Nobody knows what a ‘Brolly’ is
  • I found Moon Pie

Next countdown event:
After queuing up over 3 hours before ticket sales on campus, i’m going to The Lion King on Broadway NYC on the 22nd September for just $25!!! (YAYYYYYYY)

Pictures of said cuboid butter and photos of the week below
(hover the mouse over the images to view the caption)

Sam x