What, you may ask, would make students wake up early to sing, make a Lifelong Learner dress like a pirate, and make an architectural history professor synchronize swim?
Sea Olympics, of course!
Today this long-awaited Semester at Sea ritual arrived.¬† The day was as timeless as it was unique.¬† Olympic traditions mixed with events like the Chopsticks Challenge and Reverse Spelling Bee created a wonderful day and that type of excitement and camaraderie one can really only feel on the MV Explorer.
Dave Eng, Living-Learning Coordinator for Involvement and Recreational Sports, kicked the event off with the ceremonial torch.¬† Dean Mamta Accapadi welcomed participants and Captain Jeremy explained the values on which the Olympics are built ‚Äì excellence, friendship, and respect.¬† These were prevalent throughout the day:
Excellence: Team points included events ranging from trivia to tug of war and the average score of each sea‚Äôs Global Studies class exam.¬† A true example of our living-learning environment, participants were able to get out and enjoy the sunshine over the Indian Ocean while still problem-solving their way through a human knot.
Friendship: As participants entered the Union at 0900 hours, teams were wearing their colors, chanting their dominance, and sitting within their groups.¬† Throughout the day the seas came together in a multitude of smaller teams-within-teams to complete a scavenger hunt, play crab soccer and see who the best face-painters were.¬† However, the best sight from the day was the rainbow created at 1200 and 1800 (taco night!) when everyone ate together, strategized together, and seriously debated who deserved to win the synchronized swimming competition.
Respect: At the end of the day, the Baltic Sea won the most points, but every participant left the Union happy, a little sunkissed and chatting with new and familiar friends.¬† The games were played with grace and sportsmanship, and all eleven teams were better for having participated.
Eight student seas, a faculty and staff sea, a Lifelong Learner sea and a dependent children‚Äôs sea combined to enjoy a day of living, learning and excelling for the 107th Sea Olympiad.