Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cuba, Connections, and Connect Four

I went to a study abroad meeting today for students interested in studying in Cuba. I speak Spanish (sort of) and I think Cuba is exciting because of the whole Fidel Castro thing, so I went to find out more about the SLC Havana experience.

The upperclassmen talked about their experiences. I took some notes:

  • This is a great opportunity to go to Cuba, because it is usually illegal for Americans to visit. 
  • The University of Havana will cancel class often. You will have to walk two miles every day to get to the school, and sometimes no one will be there. 
  • Sarah Lawrence has the longest running study abroad program in Havana. Going on 10 years.
  • You will pay the equivalent of 50 cents to go see world-class concerts, shows, and ballet performances
  • Cubans have no concept of veganism. Even vegetarianism is a stretch for them. 
  • Food is bland. But apparently guavas are awesome. 
  • Internet is hard to come by. You can get it once every two weeks in specific locations, and you have to pay for it. 
  • You will not survive if you cannot dance salsa. 
  • Cuban rum is the best. 
So I am sold. I am planning to go junior year, when I have a couple years of Spanish under my belt and a firm grasp of Cuban history. 

Ohio is a very fast reader. "It's because my IQ is so high." he says. I gave him my novel* and he started and finished it today.

*Wrote a novel last year for National Novel Writing Month. I had to write 50,000 word novel in 30 days, so I spent late nights making up stuff and ended up with a book. 

"It's really good. Depressing as hell, but very good. You should try and get it published. I know someone. Do you want me to e-mail them?" 

I said sure. Ohio typed up the e-mail, which said something to the effect of "My roommate wrote a novel and I think it's good. I got him excited about the idea of publishing it. What should be his first steps?" 

Sent. Awaiting reply. 

In other news, I went to The Black Squirrel, our school's milkshake bar, for an Alcohol/Drug Awareness meeting. We got free milkshakes and played "Trivia Pong" which was sort of like beer pong but instead of beer we were asked questions about alcohol safety. 

My free milkshake was Oreo flavor. 

Afterwards, I played Connect Four with a girl from Sacremento and won. 
I played Connect Four against Madison and won. 
And right when I was feeling pretty good about myself, our RA, Berkeley, a senior and pre-med student with enough swagger to fill an Olympic pool, challenged me to a game. 

What happened next was the most intense game of Connect Four I have ever played. People gathered around us with their milkshakes to watch us think and make moves. 

"Connect Four must be the new chess." Someone whispered. 

We almost filled the entire cage, and I eventually forced him into a corner that he couldn't escape from. 

"As a med-student, you are going to have to realize that there will be some patients you just can't save. And this - " I gestured to the game " - is one of them."

I won. And now I am the new RA of Westlands. I moved into his room and now he has to sleep outside. 

Yup. 

Things at Sarah Lawrence are pretty great. Maybe I should do some homework. 

I'll keep you posted. 

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