First A day

Trip Start Jan 19, 2009
Trip End May 06, 2009

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Flag of Bahamas  , Florida,
Thursday, January 22, 2009

Today was our first A day of class aboard the MS Explorer.  The class schedule aboard is divided into A and B days with different classes meeting on each.  Since we really are pressed for time in class, we have class everyday we are at sea except for a few exceptions.  I had Global Studies with everyone on campus on A and B days from 9:20am-10:35am.  It's a requirement for everyone on the ship because we learn about the countries that we will be visiting so we don't arrive completely clueless.  After global studies, I went to my Classical Islam class that is being taught by a very knowledgeable follower of Islam.  I'm sure he is going to push us and make us all question our beliefs in one way or another but I am ready for the challenge.  One thing that I was most surprised about learning today is how similar Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are.  Of course they all acknowledge Abraham as the father of their faiths but I was shocked at how similar the universal themes of each religion are.  More to come as I learn more!  And I will be learning more and going to class because if I miss more than one day he said we receive an F.  After that class ended at noon I headed to lunch with one of my new friends Patricia.  It was really fun to connect with her and talk about the class we just had together and to talk about our own experiences in the faith.  I had another class, Energy and the Environment at 1:35pm till 2:50pm.  It is being taught by a physicist that is working on the particle accelerator in Switzerland.  When he was being introduced the other day, the speaker made a joke about his work potentially creating a black hole and he quickly responded, "Don't worry about it.  If it ever happens none of you will ever hear about it!"  A physicist that has jokes...I'm relieved and glad to no longer have professors that are neither deaf nor blind teaching me physics!  I am looking forward to his class and really like him which is good since I have him for two of my four classes.  The rest of the afternoon I did some reading for my Islam class and watched dvds.  FYI, I am getting hungrier and the food does NOT taste better...  I never thought I would be so thankful to see fruit, salad, and PB&J!  After dinner, we had an activities fair where I signed up for an extended family, the basketball ballers, and a bible study.  The night ended with a showing of the Dark Knight.  I am now about 950 miles off shore and have 2000 miles to go before Spain.  I wonder how deep the water is out here?  I hope I never find out!  The sea is even rockier today than before!  I hope it doesn't keep getting worse each day like it has been so far!  Since my room is at the front of the ship, I can feel each time the ship gets a little air coming of a wave and then smacks back down on the water.  Its a scary sound but it makes you feel like you are going over a huge rollercoaster hill because your stomach rises almost like its defying gravity and then plunges back down with some kind of force.  I can tell that is rockier today too because the waves have been spraying our windows.  The community on board reminds me of a small Bonnaroo group.  There are people dressed everyway imaginable and I guess its not too surprising since they are from all over the world.  I feel like the oddball with my Northface and Sperrys because a good chunk of the other girls either have tattoos, nose piercings, dreadlocks, Mohawks, or blue/purple hair.  Yea...I guess its pretty obvious that I am no longer in South Carolina!  I love it though and am pulling out my Bob Marley freedom fighter shirt and Air Force Ones to wear tomorrow.  Haha! Miss you all! 
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