I've been at Soltane just around 30 days and I'd like to share a few things I've learned during my time here.
- It's not work. It's life.
- Need something? Call another house and they'll be more than willing to share what they have.
- Birthdays are the most talked about thing on campus.
- Morning meeting can actually confuse you about the schedule more than you already were.
- Living with 10 people is completely different than living alone.
- But cooking for 10 isn't much harder than cooking for 1.
- Zappos.com still delivers just as fast.
- Saturday is cleaning day.
- When it rains, it pours. Literally.. I haven't seen a 'shower' yet, just buckets of rain!
- But when it's not pouring.. it's beyond beautiful here.
- I've laughed more than I've ever laughed before.
- Making a home-made pie crust isn't as much work as I thought it would have been.
- Michaelmas Day is a holiday.
- There are hills in Pennsylvania.
I'd now like to expand a bit more on Michaelmas. I came into Soltane not knowing a darn thing about Michaelmas.. and now that it has come and passed.. I feel like I may know a tad bit more. From what I absorbed from a talk given on Michaelmas.. it's the beginning of the Autumn season when the days become shorter and the weather becomes cooler. It's a time for us to 'prepare ourselves' for Winter, as depressing as that sounds. But, Winter is a bit of a downer since it's so cold and usually gloomy. Many people have a hard time during the colder seasons (like myself) and need a little preparation beforehand. Michaelmas is also about St. Michael defeating a dragon of some sort. This is where my information gets a little fuzzy. I guess I should do a little more reading.
At Soltane we had a festival that involved the 'Trials of Courage'. Each house set up a 'challenge' for the other houses to participate in. One of the houses had a haunted house, another had a blind taste test, and our house had a balance beam. This gave the students/residents a chance to test their courage and attempt to defeat their 'inner dragon'. The students/residents weren't required to participate, but if they wanted to test their courage.. they were welcome to! Many of the students/residents didn't enjoy being blindfolded but opted to close their eyes instead! I was lead through a blindfolded obstacle course by one of the post-grads, Ted. He held my hand all the way through and I only ran into one thing! After the challenge, Ted didn't inform me we were finished.. and I was unaware it was over.. because I was blindfolded. So we just kept walking around hand in hand. I kept asking 'I feel like we should be done now.. haven't we crossed the finish line?' and he would respond, 'NOPE!'. I'm fairly certain we went through the course 3 times before he told me we were done. It was actually a challenge trusting Ted! I could not see a single thing in front of me! Ted is also 'nonverbal', even though he does a lot of talking, so during our time on the course he was silent. I knew I wasn't going to fall or run into anything dangerous.. so I just let him lead the way! He held my hand tightly the whole time so I knew we would be A-OK!
The end of Michaelmas ended with an apple social and a few of our students joining in together to sing 'We will rock you' by Queen. Not sure what sparked the start of that song but it was awesome! Oh what a joy it is to be living at Soltane. Here's to many more happy months ahead of BHW and me! *Cheers!*