Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Forty Days Back

Since Blogger's timestamps are based on the Pacific Coast Time, this will pop in as the last post of 2013. Which it is. As for the momentousness of the occasion, tonight is the end of the whirlwind known as the 2nd Trimester at Kings Point. This year, 2nd trimester began the Monday before Thanksgiving with Sea Project turn-in (for land-lubbers, this is turning in 12 credits' worth of work, which midshipmen have hopefully dedicated 40 hours to each credit). I then found out that my classmates and I had our terms on the "Midshipmen Council" extended until Senior Year. This gave us the task of co-coordinating the Winter Ball, held the weekend prior to the end of classes. I had the joy of watching the whole show come together. Raffle prizes were purchased, decorations went up, the DJ set up, and the soft drinks and finger food set out. Festival of Lights, held at the chapel, featured a healthy turnout for the voluntary activity. The Festival consists of a series of Bible readings, blessings, and words of encouragement, interspersed with choral anthems and Christmastide hymns. New this year was the use of the Jewish altar setting for the first half of the Festival. It was the first time I had seen it, and I was glad to have. My goal for any sit-down formal dinner at Kings Point is to leave room for desert. I was looking forward to the yule log ice cream cake, a Christmas-at-KP staple, but was wholly satisfied with the chocolate cake. It was quite warm in the dining hall, and midshipmen were found in shirt-sleeves. Cigar Night, held after the Christmas Dinner, is less de rigeur than in past decades; its key mission is to allow sons- and daughters- to participate in the tradition their fathers partook in. Many of those who did light up a smoke found themselves in a skittish mood after one cigar; a sign of the times. I was fortunate to not have anything to study for Friday, so I lingered around the patio, and engaged in listening to salty sailor exploits. This was recorded on one midshipman's Go Pro camera. I arrived home on Friday the 20th. My brother and I rented a car, and caught the early part of rush hour, since I had a late class. I was bringing home a crate of items that had accumulated over the past two years- on campus and at sea. Namely, though, the contents of this crate were textbooks and graded papers. As is said, the making of an upperclassman is when he or she views Kings Point as "home". Homesickness will predictably reduce the size of the freshman class by 5 members. Most often, a high school girlfriend/boyfriend is involved. That said, Washington, DC is still my home port, and I replenished my gear, including new running shoes and a black tie. I also attended to housekeeping, including organizing and cataloging the music collection which my brother and I wrote- and still continue to write, though at a slower pace than our Choirschool days. Happy New Year for 2014!

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