Well, let me try to give you a brief recap of my first couple days on the ship and the days leading up to it. I flew out to
Before long, the moment for which I’d been anxiously waiting had finally arrived. It was time to embark the ship. I was filled with excitement and anticipation. I had a lot of mixed emotions since I wasn’t sure about the type of people that I would encounter on the ship. I was concerned about whether or not I would be able to make a lot of friends and was feeling a little bit apprehensive. I was sad to be leaving some people behind, even though I’m not the type to get homesick. I have a hard time saying goodbye to people and places, whether they are familiar or not. As a little kid, no matter where I went, I never wanted to leave. We could be at a friend’s house for dinner, and I wouldn’t want to say goodbye to my friend and go home. I would get really sad and ask if I could stay the night there. I don’t know where I get that from. Maybe I have attachment issues from my childhood? That is the psychology major in me coming out, trying to analyze myself. Hey, at least I acknowledge it. Most people would never admit it and put themselves out there like that.
Anyway, to my surprise, once I boarded the ship, I was pleased to find out that most of the people were really nice and not high-strung or stuck up as I thought they might be. Only the work study students were on the ship for the first two days, so we developed a bond and got to know each other before everyone else came onto the ship. I felt as though I could really get along with most of the work study students. It was a pretty diverse group of people, but we had a lot in common with each other, especially financial need. For that reason, I felt I could relate to them.
On the first day we had an introductory meeting, and that was about it. We found out that over 250 students had applied for work study, but only 25 students were selected. We were a very lucky bunch, to say the least. On the second day, we got our job assignments and had to prepare for the next day when all the students would arrive. I got my job assignment, which is in the IT department, aka the Geek Squad, with five other people. My job is to help people get connected to the wireless internet and help them configure their computers to the public network and printers. Unfortunately though, we don’t get free unlimited internet access, even as a worker. We all get 250 free minutes for the entire voyage, and once those are gone, we have to buy additional minutes for $0.40 a minute, which is very expensive. Thus, I have decided to type my blog on Microsoft Word, save it onto a flash drive, and then upload it online at a cyber café in the port cities. It is much more economical that way. Just bear in mind, the date the blog is posted is not the same date that I am writing the blog. Anyway, I really like my job assignment because I’m a big computer geek. We have one of the most laid back jobs, as well; we only have to work three hours a day in the computer lab, and we can work on homework, write in our blogs, or anything else we feel like doing.
During one of our meetings, we found out that one of the Lifelong Learners on our voyage, a 91-year-old former Navy chief, decided to give each of the 25 work study students a $500 scholarship that would be credited to our shipboard accounts. We could use it for whatever we wanted, shipboard expenses, spending money in ports, anything. This was such great news to hear—I couldn’t believe someone would be that generous to donate $12,500 to us out of his pocket. We had a private dinner with him later on in the week to meet and thank him in person.
Finally, we departed