Posted by Emily Block | 2 comments


Things are really starting to click. I knew that everything would get better once clubs started! I'm way more in my element now.
Today was a "reading day" which is kind of like a substitute weekend since we don't actually get weekends off. I was able to get a lot of homework and logistical stuff out of the way which was really nice. I met the academic dean who is a really cool guy! He is going to help me make sure that all these trips I'm signed up for are as accessible as possible. To me, that is going above and beyond and I very much appreciate it. I'm used to trying my best to inconvenience people as little as possible, but he insisted that it was ok for there to be extra work to ensure that I have the same educational opportunities as everyone else. I know this is the law, but I'm always surprised when people live it. It was a really good meeting!
I spent the middle of the day resting and writing. I think I have been doing things backwards by trying to do everything starting at 7:00 in the morning and going straight through the day. I seem to do much better and have a much higher energy level if I take a good long rest break during the day. I'm hoping to stay up until the end of a meeting that starts at 10pm tonight which would be way later than I have been able to stay awake previously.
After my rest I attended my first ever Shabbat dinner! I felt like I had a big sign on my head saying "Poser!" at first because I didn't know quite what to do, but I quickly realized that lots of the people there were new to everything. (I wasn't the only one who forgot not to mix cheese and meat on my plate. haha) It was really nice getting to learn more about being Jewish because that is half of my heritage that is largely unexplored. My goal is to learn the standard prayers by the end of the voyage. Shabbat Sholom!
I went right from Shabbat to the first Diversity organization meeting. The people there were really cool and funny. We basically just got to know each other and brainstormed ideas for events during the voyage. It was really cool to hear what ideas students brought from other universities and to share some activities I learned from WOW (Week of Welcome.) My main goal for the meeting was to bring up discussion on disability as a component of diversity. It is something that is so often neglected and something that is obviously pretty important to me. Everyone was really receptive and even excited that I brought that to the meeting. I talked with the RA and student leader afterwards and somehow volunteered to lead talks and Q & A sessions on disability. I guess I forgot that my foremost disability is my fear of public speaking! haha
As I was talking to the student leader she said that I guess tons of people are all talking about me and wondering why I do things like wear my dorky (aka awesome) bright blue cooling vest and sit down on the ground in awkward places on tours. (And they haven't even seen Benny the wheelchair yet!) I felt oddly amused that so many people were talking and wondering about me. As someone who's main goal for the majority of my life was to be invisible, it is an amusing situation. I wouldn't say I mind, I just wish we lived in an environment where people wouldn't be afraid to just walk up to me and ask. People are so afraid I will get offended which is pretty hysterical knowing me. Something needs to be done to promote acceptance without making people afraid to say the wrong thing. Maybe doing the talks will help people feel more comfortable in my little corner of the world.

Fun Facts #2
-Shaving one's legs on a rocking boat is a whole new kind of challenge. (Sorry no new for seriousness fun facts today.)


  1. Emily! I have finally caught up on reading your blog. I've been kind of horrible when it comes to keeping up with people lately. It sounds like you are having exceedingly tremendous amounts of fun. I am thoroughly amazed at how well you seem to be handling the physical stress of the trip. This whole thing is downright egregiously awesome. I'll send you an email soon to let you know how things are going back in the States.

  2. Oh noes, I can't find your SAS email! Will it work if I send it directly from the blog? Or is it written down somewhere obvious that I'm not seeing?


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