Exams: The Aftermath

After weeks of revision, days holed up in the library and tense hours spent writing like crazy, our end of year exams were finally over. It left us with three weeks until the end of term. IB exams had started, but us first years have conveniently escaped from campus on various activities that form a part of our Atlantic College Mission Initiative, recently featured in United World, the UWC Magazine And what a memorable week last week was..

On Monday, I had what was billed as a ‘MEMS beach walk’ but turned out to be more of a ‘Mendellson Walk’. We slowly ambled from St Donat’s Seafront, pass Tresilian and Llantwit Bay and moved on to some other part of the Glamorgan coast further along. It was more than just a smooth stroll because most of the walk, at least the initial journey, was spent on geology. James kindly taught us about rock formations and tectonic plate movement causing faults. It was interesting, but madly difficult to identify the various layers ~ Unit C, BLT, 50 & 51 etc. The wind was blowing with what felt like gale force, forcing me to walk leaning into the wind on the way out and blowing me back to AC without much effort.

Tuesday was spent on campus doing EMC styled initiative games. We had to transport water from the top lawn down to the seafront (which we won), move a medicine ball (where we set the record of 34 sec until someone beat us with 33 sec), stack and balance on top of crates(which was scary as hell having to hang there and balance on top of some 11 crates) as well as having to complete a different version of the cross-the-river game. In the end, ‘And the winner is’ emerged 2nd, a tremendous achievement given we’d only topped one event, but managed came 2nd in many others.

We went to Porthcawl on Wednesday for Abseiling, Kayaking and Climbing with EMC staff. There were only 20 of us though and after a 40 minute wait, we discovered we had an 80 person bus all to ourselves. Although we had all turned up at 9am as told, it wasn’t until quarter past 10 before we finally set-off for Rest Bay. We were only allowed to do one of the three, so I ended up choosing to go Sea Kayaking with Simon and Adrian. It was a little annoying since the sea was very far out so we had to drag our kayaks quite far out. I hadn’t been on a Kayak for a very very long time so it was good to be back in the sea on a kayak. It was quite surprising how quickly kayaking came back to me despite me not having done it for almost 6 years. It was quite enjoyable and we visited the climbers as well as trying to sea-surf on kayaks and row in odd positions. There was a lot of falling into the water but it wasn’t too bad. Thankfully, the water wasn’t quite as cold as induction.

Just when you thought Wales stopped raining, the weather decided to remind all of us that it still knew how to drop water. It’s a pity since our Thursday hike started off quite well, with good weather and lots of fun. We went quite far and had lunch hidden behind a clump of rocks. The hike wasn’t too hard nor was it too easy, I think it was at the right level for most people, allowing us to just talk and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Sadly, the rain started pouring about 40 minutes before we ended, shortly after lunch. Initially we all thought it’d be fine, but once the wind picked-up, we were forced to put on our ‘water-proofs’. The funniest thing was that we moved almost twice as fast with the rain than without. Another odd thing we found on the way up was this crashed world war plane. Most of it had disintegrated, but the monument stand was still there, there were numerous Canadian flags poking out and the main hull was clearly visible. Given the rather small piece of land covered by the wreckage, you wouldn’t imagine that the plane was a 7 person one. But then again, there are lots of bits of life you don’t expect.

Friday was the final day, which I spent cycling around our area. Me and Nichil had a few mechanical problems at the start, but we managed to deal with those pretty quickly. I myself managed to over come my fear of gears, following my abysmal failure while in Hk and my decision to never touch the gears unless necessary. By the end, I was happily switching between 1 and 7 as we moved up and down the Welsh hills on the coast. It took a whole chunk out of me, without a doubt, the most tiring I’ve been in recent periods of time but I think it was worth it. It’s a pity that we didn’t have more time to check out the scenery. After all, there’s only so much you can see while trying to prevent yourself from crashing or to roll backwards down the hill.

It may not have been the most educational of Mission Period, but I may have to admit that it is the most enjoyable and most fun mission period so far.
EE Day is now behind us and we have a Group 4 Project today. After that, it’s back into the classrooms for another two weeks of work before things really end.