October Is Octover

And that’s a wrap!

The wonderful month of October (or, for some, the month-long holiday of Halloween) is over and November is settling in quite well. Trees slowly change color in St. Andrews and litter the streets with their colorful leaves. The salty wind blows off from the North Sea and makes everyone’s faces numb. It’s my favorite time of year.

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Frank N. Furter actor, by Maxx Borges. Byre Theatre, St. Andrews, 30 October 2016

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Rocky Horror Cast, by Maxx Borges. Byre Theatre, St. Andrews, 30 October 2016

The Halloween season was wonderful! One of the biggest events of it wasn’t Halloween itself, but the day before where some friends and I went to go see St. Andrews’ Rocky Horror Picture Show! I was sorely disappointed I would be missing Whitman’s Rocky Horror while I was abroad, but then a friend of mine bought several tickets and invited me along. It was an amazing experience! Many of the performers attend the University of St. Andrews and all of them did an amazing job. My favorite part were the goody bags all viewers were given and then prompted to use during the film and performance. Toast was thrown. Party hats were worn. I was pelted with rice during the opening wedding scene since the people behind me couldn’t throw far enough to the stage. People were bedecked in splendid costumes and the lady who won the costume contest was dressed up exactly  like Colombia! Her costume was an exact replica and I was blown away. She looked wonderful.

Besides that, I’ve mostly been studying, which is a good thing! I’ve had some new modules introduced that are very interesting and all about cognition and perception. It’s definitely a throwback to Psych 101 and I am sincerely enjoying it.

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In My Inherited Robe, by Maxx Borges. Andrew Melville Hall, St. Andrews, 2 November 2016

One of the most exciting things that has happened to me, though, is that I got a robe! Let me explain; I’m not getting all excited over a bath robe with rubber duckies on it, though that’s something I would probably get excited about, to be completely honest. No, the robe I’m talking about is the gowns that students at St. Andrews buy during their first year to wear to their fourth year graduation. The best part is that I didn’t even have to buy mine; an amazing alumna of Whitman College that also attended St. Andrews for her study abroad sent me the one she had back when she was here. She graduated in 2003 from Whitman college and had been hanging onto it. It was so sweet of her and also a testament to how Whitman affects people. She was still checking in on abroad blogs, still connected to her Alma mater, and made the effort to reach out to me, someone doing what she did over 13 years before. I’m going to continue the tradition by passing on her robe, now mine, to a first year student and friend here. All I ask is that she do the same. I’m writing our names on the inside and our graduation years. Who knows? Maybe someone will get back to me about their robe and how I was involved in their accumulation of it. Maybe they’ll be emotionally moved by it. I know I was so moved when that alumna sent me her robe.

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Dagaz Rune = Awakening/Realization with Whitman Colors, by Maxx Borges. AMH, St. Andrews, 2 November 2016.

It’s like looking back in time for me. She even sent me photos of Whitman College in the late 90s and early 2000s, as well as a photo of herself in the robe that I had received. You can really connect with people that way, be transported back to a time when someone else was in your shoes, doing what you’re doing, and seeing things from a completely different perspective. I was really moved by it. Attached to the whole package was a post card wishing me luck and reminiscing about when she was in the same hall at St. Andrews that I’m in. Its so weird. In both the photos from Whitman and St. Andrews, I feel like I’m having a huge wave of déjà vu. These are places that I’ve been to and see, experienced in my own way and yet, I’m looking at them the way they were seen through someone else’s eyes. Maybe it should be disconcerting, but I think there’s something beautiful in it as well. That, and the fact that Whitman was able to foster this meeting between two very different generations following in each other’s footsteps and finding some similarities along the way. These are things you just don’t think about until you leave that Whitman Bubble and venture out across the country and the Atlantic ocean only to find that you’re not completely alone out here, regardless of what you thought before. There are always connections to the past and the world is such a small place, in all the right ways, after all.

Well! That was emotional! To lighten the mood, I’ll also mention that over Independent Learning Week, my German course had to get into groups and make lip-dub videos of German songs. I got the honor of editing the video since one of our group mates wasn’t there. Also… it just needed editing. I’ll post it to the blog a bit later for everyone to see (don’t worry, I have permission from my group mates).

So that’s that, for this week. Shout out to one of my former bosses for sending me a post card during the event at Whitman. I super appreciated it and it made my week!

See you all next week!

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