Since I last wrote it has been 5 days, though it feels like 10. So much has happened since then. So in the interest of time I will try to recount to you the most important.
I have lost 3 hours and will lose another tonight. I know what you’re thinking, and no I have not been breaking into the captain’s private stash of well aged scotch. Let me explain: en route from Norfolk, VA to Halifax, Nova Scotia we moved our clocks forward one hour and then since we left Halifax (on Aug 28) just 3 days ago we moved our clocks forward an hour for the last 2 nights and will do so again tonight. My consolation will come when we travel from Spain to Morocco and we gain 2 hours, only to lose them again when we travel to Ghana, such is the game we play with time when we are voyaging around the world on a ship.
Speaking of ship, I have only gotten sea sick once. I got so nauseous I had to lie down after taking some medicine. My earlier illness was a cold; that no doubt I caught from one of my germy nieces or nephew, a going away gift of sorts. I’m over that cold, and the sea sickness wasn’t that bad because I nipped it in the bud, taking the medicine as soon as you feel it is key, otherwise you will get really really sick. I have had headaches each day that we have been at sea; those seem to go away when I spend time out on the deck, which to my dismay is not as often as I thought I would be. I guess I forgot I was going to be on this ship working. Oh Well.
Speaking of work… thus far the emphasis of my job has been safety (it’s the reason I titled this blog so). Starting from the time we ventured out of Norfolk we instantly were treated to a Life Boat drill, we had another once we left Halifax, where roughly 520 students boarded the ship (there are just about 1000) of us faculty, staff, students and crew aboard. The Life boat drill was interesting and somewhat uneventful. You hear the bells, put on your lifejacket and report to the station that pertains to you, it was quite easy the first time. The second time I had to be responsible to report to the “safety captain” that the 84 people at my station were safe and accounted for. I did so after calling off their names from a manifest and asking them to be quiet and stay quiet a few times. Yes there were people missing from my station, but only because they could not hear their names being called over their own conversation (anyone that knows me knows I did not take kindly to that). Nonetheless all accounted for and we passed our first lifeboat safety drill (it’s my understanding we have several more before we arrive in San Diego, Lord help me and those that wish to disobey).
Thus far the highlight of my trip (aside from the AMAZING sunset I captured on my BB) was while we were in Halifax. I discovered that if my career in higher education should come to an abrupt end, I could always work for the Canadian version of the TSA (Transportation Security Administration). One of the major jobs we (the Living Learning Counselor’s) were recruited to do was to check, by hand if necessary, all carryon luggage that the students brought on the ship. So there we stood next to the Canadian x-ray security person (shout out to Brenda and Jill) and when they informed us of possible contraband we would then ask the person to please open their bag and allow us to look at the contents. What was considered contraband you ask? Well the obvious of course, weapons (including blades over 3 inches) which could include scissors, drugs, curling irons or flat irons without an automatic shut off, alcohol (of the drinking kind), and tape. Yes you read correctly. Tape. Students are not allowed to have tape because they aren’t allowed to tape anything up. We use magnets to put things up everywhere, 75% of our cabin is magnetic. It was fun especially when we had to confiscate TAPE. It would sadden me a little when we had to confiscate flat irons or curling irons, and yes there were several dozen that were confiscated (I guess those students didn’t read the student handbook where it informed them of the auto shut off rule). The funniest confiscation though came from one of my colleagues, LB, she confiscated 3 curling/straightening irons in one bag from a student that was clearly trying to smuggle them aboard. The student hid them in a rolled up comforter, wrapped one in a towel, and the other was stuffed at the bottom of one of her pieces of luggage. It was the coup of all confiscations even better than the 6 faux bottles of WATER (vodka had been replaced) that were discovered in the middle of several cases of water. Yeah some student's tried to smuggle that on too. Oh the things we do in the name of safety.
Well I better get to bed, I’m loosing another hour tonight, so I need my rest.