It has been a busy couple of weeks, dealing with accommodation and writing two essays, but I thought it was about time for an update. Nothing much exciting has happened. I submitted my application for the History Honors program, I wrote two essays for class, and I now have a single room for the rest of the semester after a long struggle with accommodation. However, the past two days have made up Raisin Weekend here at St. Andrews, which is probably the most exciting thing that has happened recently.
Raisin Weekend is a tradition related to the Academic Family tradition at St. Andrews in which 3rd and 4th years “adopt” Freshers and Exchange students. Thus, you have an academic family with academic parents and siblings. Raisin Weekend used to involve giving your parents gifts of raisins, but now it is pretty alcohol-centric. I didn’t have an academic father so I escaped being woken up early to drink, and, instead, went to my academic mom, Claire’s, tea party. This didn’t involved tea, but it did involve alcohol and fun games including a scavenger hunt, pass the parcel, and the game where doughnuts are tied to a string and you have to eat them without using your hands. It was a Doctor Who themed party, and we had to choose a name from a bag that our academic siblings were supposed to use to address us. I chose Rose (as in Rose Tyler) and there were other names such as Angel Bob and Davros. Other Doctor Who themed things included a quiz we were given that included Doctor Who trivia and St. Andrews trivia. I ended up leaving after the scavenger hunt because I had an essay due at noon the next day. Traditionally, that night you go to your dad’s party, but I ended up staying in and working on my essay because I didn’t have a dad (although I was invited to go to Claire’s boyfriend, Ian’s, party). The next day was the famous foam fight. In the morning your academic mom gets you dressed up in a costume (we were Daleks and Cybermen) and your father gives you a Raisin reciept (an object to carry to the Quad). When you get to the Quad for the foam fight, there are people lining the streets to watch. You file into the Quad, dropping your receipts off with University staff, and then enter the Quad where people are spraying shaving foam at each other. It is quite fun, except when you get foam in your eye, ear, mouth, or nose, but even that isn’t so bad. When I got back to hall I was lucky to avoid getting a bucket of water dumped on me and, because I am not a boy, I didn’t have to strip down to my underwear and run around hall. I got back early enough to have a shower, and then handed in my paper and did readings for class before taking a nap. Overall, it was a pretty fun weekend, and it is great to have two papers out of the way.
At the moment, I am in the process of registering for courses at Penn for next semester. It is hard t believe that this experience is over halfway done. I know I will be sad to leave the beautiful town of St. Andrews, but I can’t wait to get back home and to Penn. At the moment, Stamford and Philly are both under threat of Hurricane Sandy and Penn has cancelled classes for today and tomorrow while Stamford canceled school through Wednesday. Hopefully everyone will be alright, but I can’t say that I am unhappy to be across the ocean. If anyone in the line of Sandy is reading this, stay safe! That is about it for now. Hopefully, with those essays out of the way, I will have more time to update the blog.