Yesterday Pip, Emma and I worked our rears off on our project. We typed it up and wrote it up. There was some freaking out. We got it done. We didn't plan for the presentation but we were also last.
I was the conclusion of our presentation, which again was last, so I was the last speaker between presentations and ultimate freedom from work. We were also the third ant project in the second half; another ant project had been right before ours. I thought "how can I make this interesting?" I did the ant-abdomen dance. ("Oh, I'm not pleased with you and I have formic acid, so I'm going to raise my abdomen, look intimidating and shank you a good one if you peeve me too much!") There was much bending over, bum waggling, arm swiping and hopping backwards. It got a good laugh.
After it all, I was so free and joyful and silly that I seemed drunker than the kids who had been drinking all day, despite that no alcohol had touched my lips. Had fun hanging out in the corridor as people got ready. Had some Scotch with Siege in Jake's room. Joined the others in going to the bar across the street. There was a nice dog there with an English-speaking owner, so I sat petting the dog for a good long time. Joined some conversation.
Jess had the idea for swimming. Jess, Naomi and I went back to the hotel and put on our swimming suits. We enjoyed a beautiful swim in the pool under the stars. It made my week to spin around in the water, gazing up at spinning stars. Pip and Emma were still awake when I got back to the room. I went to sleep instead of going out again.
Today I woke up to news about the ash in the UK. Pip had me get up and eat breakfast, knowing it may be a while 'til I next ate. After brekky went to the shops with the group and got some gifts for people with my leftover Euros. Back for packing but Emma was on the phone with her Da and crying about the delay, so I hung in Irene, Jess, Ellen & Alex's room. Finished my packing. Pip & Emma were upset, alternately crying and ranting their heads off. I decided that there wasn't anything I could do but surrender and accept what I couldn't control, and endeavour to enjoy the situation before me. I set out to do that.
Went to the beach. Walked up and down the beach, just enjoying the feeling of sand between my toes. Sang and picked up some shells. Realised how my mind symbolises things. Reminded me of how I get sick of writing that triple-underlines all the symbolism, and also how my friends often don't understand my writing. "Kiwi, this is the only thing that happened." "Yes, but that's not what it means..." "What?" "It's in more than just the events; it's in the details and the connections..." "What?" (At that point I begin thinking, "You really didn't like English classes, did you?")
After my solitary walk I joined the group. Wasn't burned to due my hat, but I slathered up since I wasn't going to be wearing it anymore. Played volleyball-tennis with the lot. It was fantastic. Back home. Hung around a bit and then took a 5-hour nap; Pip woke me up by petting me and telling me I was adorable when sleeping/waking up. I fell out of bed and was entertained.
Dinner was terrible. Well, the food was fine, but after Frank made his announcements about flights people started asking questions. Irene asked a question but has a bit of a language block (her first language is Greek) and Pip rephrased it; Frank interrupted her and she snapped at him to please not interrupt her. After there was a reasonably large conflict, Pip and Emma stormed off. I was very embarrassed, breathed through my hands to prevent panic and stayed with the group to try easing the tension. Ellen complimented my explanation to Irene, who thought it was her fault. (Explained about mama bears and Pip, although it doesn't excuse her, merely enlightens the situation a bit.)
Couldn't deal with going back to my room after so I hung in the quad-room again. Considered sleeping in Naomi's room just to avoid more conflict. Pip & Emma aren't peeved with me, though, so it's alright. Didn't know if they would be. They know I don't deal with conflict/anger well.
It just reminded me of my thoughts on the beach. I couldn't comprehend putting down what they did on the student evaluation form, which they urged me to fill out. Perhaps I'm just dipping into the world of academic cynicism at this point, but it seems that the teachers who actually acknowledge eval. forms are the ones who don't need much help and the teachers who would best benefit from some serious changes don't give the eval. forms a second glance. Frank is retiring next year: the point was NOT to degrade him further, but to offer suggestions for improvement. It's thus terrible that our close-knit environment is continuing after the eval. forms have been filled out, especially the way Pip and Emma did... (No, I don't particularly like Frank, although I admire him for working as hard as he is to get us home; no, I certainly wouldn't put that on the form. I may write a suggestion sheet for Alejandra, since she's running the course next year after Frank retires - presuming it runs again.)
Also thought about the regulars: living in the moment, life and love. Pondered the idea that after the elasticity of youth (hard not to notice what with bikinis everywhere) has lessened, I'll be left with equal merit on the 'playing field', or so it seems.
That is it for my incredibly long day. I have a pocket full of seashells and rocks that change colour when wet - my favourite, and I'll thank symbolism for that. We'll see how I get home. It'll happen, I'll get through work, and life will continue on. (: