Today was a day of rest and relaxation. Alex and I were all too excited to set our alarm clock for 9:15 when we woke up and got ready for breakfast. Before breakfast, I had the pleasure of doing one of my least favorite chores-laundry-. After I got my laundry started, I caught up with my friends and because the dining hall was closed we headed to a bakery on campus. At the bakery I got a bagel and a delicious chocolate croissant to enjoy for breakfast. After breakfast we headed back to the dorms where we waited for our bus to arrive. When the bus arrived, we signed in and got on board for the short ride to the ice skating rink. While some of the ride was through the city, we got to see a bit of the countryside as we drove to Southern New Jersey. We arrived at the ice skating rink several minutes early so we had time to get our skates on before the rink was open.
The minute the ice rink was opened I hopped into the rink and wobbled around for a bit. Soon enough, I remembered how to skate decently and I started doing some laps with my friends. One of our counselors used to be on a speed skating team, so I asked him for some pointers on my skating form. He was very helpful and spent about half an hour coaching me to become faster and more comfortable with the extra speed. There’s not a whole ton to say about going skating, but I had a very fun time and it was a fun way to get some exercise.
Once our two hours of skating was up, we got back on the bus and headed back. We convinced our counselors to take us again next weekend because we had such a great time. Once we were back we decided to go out to lunch at a local Mexican restaurant. The Women’s World Cup was playing on several screens, so we watched the last 20 minutes of the game. While I’m not an avid women’s soccer fan, I was still disappointed to see the U.S. lose. That said, I have several friends from Japan who were very excited for the victory because it was something for Japan to unify about after the terrible earthquakes and resulting tsunamis ravaged Japan. Once the game was done, we decided to check out the used bookstore next door. I can spend hours in bookstores, but we only had a few minutes so I impulsively bought a book to learn Spanish. I’ll see if I have the follow through to actually do anything with it, but I’m becoming very interested in learning other languages and living in California, learning Spanish would be quite pragmatic. In school I’ve studied for four years trying to learn Japanese which I today found out is commonly recognized as the most difficult language for an English speaker to learn along with Cantonese. While I fully intend to continue studying Japanese, I would like to try and learn a language that shares more roots with English such as Spanish or Italian.
After my impulse buy, we walked back to the dorms where I have finally been able to get some rest. I’ve hung out with my friends for a few hours playing games and such and now I’ve had a bit of quiet time. One thing that I’ve had to get used to here is always having a roommate. While I appreciate and get along with Alex very well, I go out of my way to find a bit of time each day to relax and be alone with my thoughts. I’m ready for another week of hard studying and tons of fun with my Philadelphian family.