May 26: FailToday is the worst... I didn't charge my camera and it just was completely dead the whole day. The best day yet possibly. Today was the "Summer Eights." Better known to you American commoners as crew races. Today we took a little walk down to Christ' Church, where lots of Harry Potter was filmed, to the Christ Church meadow. The meadow beside the college even has cows, so cute. But their meadow goes all the way down to the Thames. We all bought our sandwiches from the covered market and then took a blanket to the meadow to eat. EVERYONE was there. Families, young people, old people. The Alums wore their very fabulous blazers from their colleges.
First we just sat under the trees with all the families in the perfect weather. It was probably 75 and not a cloud in the sky, but the shade was lovely. Then we walked on down to the boat houses. Each college has a boat house along the river and this is where the races take place. Its all very exciting and I think today was equivalent to a regular football Saturday in Starkville. It was like laid back tailgating for the affluent. I can just picture Prince William and all the Harvard boys doing all this. Anyways we went down and found the Trinity boathouse and just walked on up. But seriously, I only met Americans. Still have yet to meet Brits my age. We watched the race from the roof of the boathouse. Here's what I figured out about Summer 8's:
1. Everyone starts a boat's length and a half apart.
2. You try to "bump" the boat ahead of you.
3. After you bump you both drop out of the race.
4. This means that number 4 could bump number 1, if 3 bumped 2. That would be really big.
5. If you bump the boat ahead, the next race you start ahead of them.
So this was fun, and a very excited British guy told us about it. Its pretty fun, and if a boat bumps every race for 4 days, then they get a blade (oar) with their names on it. Also, they get to throw their coxon(sp?) in the river. It is a little slow for my liking, maybe like a baseball game. Its really more leisurely. I tried my hardest to get a picture with our team, but they wouldnt come out of the boathouse. Also, during these races its customary to drink your Pimms! Pimms o'clock everyone! I also decided that British people are definitely more laid back about sports. These guys in these boats looked like just a regular guy, not like a steroid shouldered American boy would be. It seems like they will let anyone play, and its more just for the fun of it. I kinda like that, but then again competition at home is so American.
After we got tired of that, (more like this boy Cameron was not concerned about sun burning, but the literal science of the UV rays coming through the atmosphere that might harm his body--ugh) we went to sit back in the shade. Then again the boys started talking about -I kid you not- hard sci-fi vs. soft sci-fi, quantum physics, and Star Trek. I was tired of this so on behalf of all the girls, I said, "I refuse to be living in the Big Bang Theory on this trip, and please talk about something that we enjoy and can actually add intelligent conversation to." The girls appreciated this.
So the girls left the boys to their physics and we went down to Topshop and Boots for a little shopping. Then to the grocery store, where I had to run down an aisle away from my tutor. He is super nice, but it's still weird seeing your teacher outside of class. We cooked some spaghetti, and thats about it! Tomorrow we've got Evensong at the chapel, and hardcore studying.