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Spring Semester Shenanigans: A Mid-Semester Study Abroad Update

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Having seen the remainder of February fly by and with March nearly in the books, it's remarkable to think that only a small portion of the academic year remains here at Washington College. It's been as always, an eventful month or so. Just this week, campus was closed for a day due to extreme snow; yes snow. And amongst the excitement of being able to watch the Oscars at a normal time, and the stranglehold that March Madness has placed on my attention, I ought to reflect on the events of the past six weeks.

The papers and readings have been coming thick and fast, and whilst they show no sign of relenting any time soon, they're continuing to open my eyes to an array of new concepts and thoughts, which are all blending together across classes. A class covering the Woodrow Wilson presidency has helped me to consider the American perspective on themes covered in my Modern Germany class, whilst understanding how the media interacts with Congress has helped me to connect dots in regards to American foreign policy. It creates a great sense of an educational experience, as opposed to simply a set of classes, and I am truly seeing the benefits. In perhaps the biggest revelation, I'm also lucky enough to be going on a field trip with my Media and Politics class in two weeks time, where we'll head to Washington DC and the heart of the nation's legislative body, the United States Capitol Building, to meet with political journalists and learn from their experience.

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A photo of the US Capitol Building that I took in November 2012

The spring sports here at WAC are also well underway, with Tennis, Lacrosse, Softball, Baseball all frequenting the campus sporting facilities. Down at the boathouse, Sailing and Rowing have also got their seasons underway. It's great to chill out on the increasingly mild Saturday afternoons and watch some sport, and I've particularly enjoyed lacrosse; my first encounter with the game. With all of the teams enjoying a fine start to the season, the atmosphere on gamedays around campus is fun to be part of, and long may it continue. We started playing soccer again as of last week, and are practicing three times a week before a friendly versus Hood College, and our alumni game next month against the old boys. Bring it on!

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The WAC Lacrosse team in a game vs Washington and Lee University

Away from campus, there was also the small matter of Spring Break this past month. A well-known American tradition, we were given the week off classes and the freedom to spend 7 days doing as we wished. The four of us decided to head to Fort Myers, situated at the Southern tip of Florida on the Gulf Coast of Mexico. In an attempt to decrease costs and to increase sentiment, me and three others embarked on a road trip that spanned over 2,500 miles. Making a combination of both quick and extended stops in the states of Virginia, North & South Carolina, and Georgia and the cities of Lexington, Charleston, Columbia and Jacksonville, I was astonished by the natural beauty of the Southeastern United States. It's a somewhat powerful consideration to think that just a few centuries ago, colonists with nothing but a dream of riches laboured across the very land we cruised through, in hope of bettering their lives.

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Various photos from the trip. The top row are from the journey, with the bottom from Florida

When we reached the Sunshine State, the sky was blue, the sun was out, and there were sunkissed, happy, beautiful people everywhere we looked. We spent the week chilling on the beach, fishing in Florida's extensive bodies of water, grilling huge chunks of meat, and 1,100 miles from Camden Yards, we were even able to catch a Baltimore Orioles spring season game. The week was over way too fast, but with memories to last a lifetime, it's not an experience I'll forget any time soon; here's hoping I'll make it back for Spring Break 2014.

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Sunset on Fort Myers Beach

The inevitable comedown following the trip was enhanced by an immediate return to classes and workouts, but as the sun starts to show its face more and we play an increasing amount of footy, I'll soon feel at home again.

Until next time,

George