After the Welcoming Show on sunday evening, we all met in our tutor groups. As Willow was already sleeping, Julie and us couldn’t gather in her flat, so we came together in the Geography classroom instead. We all introduced ourselves with our names, the different food we are able to cook or bake, our favorite ice-cream flavor and of course all the things we like to do. Apart from us Secondyears and Julie, our tutor group has now grown by five more students! There is David John, my all-and-ever-smiling buddy from the Phillipines; Tiffany, who lives only two rooms across from mine and comes from Hong Kong/Australia; Michael, a rather quiet boy who is like my neighbor, as he lives near to Prague in the Czech Republic; Anamika, a beautiful girl who comes from India and has lived in Hong Kong for a while before; and finally Matthew, who also lives in Hong Kong. After we introduced ourselves, Julie went to pick up some ice-cream and water cups, and we students stayed behind to explain the orientation week schedule to our buddies. And oh dear, this schedule is so full! There is one meeting, briefing, presentation or exploration activity after the other – there is barely any free time to relax or slow down! I looked up my own orientation week schedule from last year and saw that we had a very similar one – it had ended up to be totally fine, so I’m sure our Firstyears will do awesome as well. When Julie came back with ice-cream, we opened GoogleEarth and checked out the homes of all the new Firstyears. There were so great differences in their areas of origin, it was amazing! Of course we had all seen Hong Kong from above, with it’s grey skyscrapers and big ships in the harbor, but it was a complete difference from Manila in the Phillipines, were thousands of tiny houses were clustered together in one spot, creating a colorful, spotted area between two coasts. Then again Delhi, with its mix of green landscapes, dusty and empty zones, close houses and – right in the middle – with the Taj Mahal (!) was completely different from the region around Prague which stunned our whole tutor group – except for me – with its gigantic green fields and woods around, and blue lakes and rivers glittering and flowing through the beautiful landscape. Especially Julie, who is a Geography teacher, thought all of this was very interesting and she knew a lot about each and every area or region we showed to her on the map! After this meeting we gathered at the poolside as whole block and played some ice-breaker games, to get everybody used to each other and to learn all of the names. Late in the evening we finally went to bed, exhausted by the all-day-activities. Before we switched off the lights though, we had a short roomie talk about curtains, air-conditioning, visitors etc. in the room. It didn’t take us long, and after Catherine and me gave our roomies some more advice on the first week in LPC, we finally all got to bed. This Orientation Week is not less stressful if you’re a Secondyear, I realized that – but it’s also not less fun!
4. September 2012