Boatlife: The Good, the Bad, and the Voyage

I almost forget what it’s like to live in a normal St. Mary’s dorm. For the past three and a half weeks, in case you’ve been anywhere in the world without a local newspaper, I and 350 other students living in both Caroline and Prince George’s Residence Halls have been temporarily trying out some other living quarters due to the mold.

The hotels, at least where I lived at the Holiday Inn in Solomons, were nice but certainly a hassle. The disconnection from campus, a one-way commute anywhere from twenty-five minutes to an hour depending on traffic, and playing the guessing game on when a shuttle would show up got quickly and painfully old.  And of course, the move in general was a bit of a pain and stressful to say the least, especially with almost everything else on campus running on its regular schedule.

As I finally settled into the hotel, I was completely blind-sighted by a bombshell e-mail from President Urgo, which made me feel certain that I was either hallucinating or that someone had clearly hacked his account.

But without a doubt, within the next week, my life was packed up in boxes once again and, this time, shifted to cruise control ready to board the Sea Voyager for the rest of semester.  Some students were excited to live on a boat and some were happy just to be back on campus while others took the opportunity to groan some more about moving.

But I’m not complaining.  Actually, the rest of this might come off as a bit of a thank you note to those involved in planning and executing the Sea Voyager project. And I can honestly say that I love my new temporary home.

As students, we can’t forget that the entire residence life and executive staffs at the College have been working hard and have probably been under more pressure and stress than any of us affected by the move.  They did this for us so that we can maintain a normal (or as normal as possible) college experience during the unfortunate moldy circumstances.

Not only have they been working to accommodate our needs, they’ve added conveniences on board like The Love Café (the ship’s version of The Daily Grind), designated library-type study spaces with printer accessibility, wireless internet, and free laundry services once a week. Being able to brush my teeth and take a shower without shoes on isn’t bad either.

There are some setbacks in the deal like the limited visitors rule including no overnight guests, and the overall process of having to check in and out to enter or exit the boat, but it’s for our safety. And though the showers are tiny and rooms are a little snug, let’s be honest, I’d sleep in a cardboard box to have my view of the St. Mary’s River.

Plus, both the crew of the boat and College staff has been working nonstop at ironing out the creases of the process, and they’re doing a good job.  So on behalf of my fellow floating classmates, or perhaps only those who feel the same way that I do, thanks.  It really does show who we are at St. Mary’s, and is part of the reason why I love this place so much.

Looking back at this semester in future years will be pretty cool, too.  I know I already have my shoebox of pictures and newspaper clippings started.  And I can’t wait to see what further adventures I’m in for in my remaining years here at St. Mary’s.

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