I spent the spring semester of 2010 studying in New Zealand through the ISEP program. I used this blog to keep an account of my school experience and as a record of the adventures I found. Hopefully it can serve two purposes: to have kept my friends and family informed of my travels and experiences; as well as to serve as a reminder of how important the study abroad experience is, whether it's in New Zealand or not.
18 February 2010
Two Nights of Fright and Love
The afternoon is slow as well. I have to attend a study abroad session, where I hope to get my papers figured out, but it's a no go. However they do tell me where I can go to get myself set up with some papers. So I spent a while in the College of Sciences, where James set me up with a temporary timetable. Hopefully once my updated transcript comes through from Hampshire, I'll be able to get one changed to a higher level paper and that will be the end of it. Finally it's 7:10 and we head to the bus stop for our night at the Maze. We arrive about a half hour before sunset and an employee dressed like the Joker explained that, while we were not allowed to touch any of the employees in the maze, they could touch us. This did not boost the confidence of many of the students. No one gained any confidence when someone went under one of buses and pushed a shovel out at everyone waiting either. Our group of five was one of the first let into the maze. Almost immediately we encountered a three headed dog which chased us toward a seemingly circular part of the maze that takes us a good twenty minutes to work out. The whole time we have to repeatedly encounter a pig-man who likes to pop out through the stretch fabric tunnel we keep going back and forth in. Next we encounter a man using a chainsaw on a chain-link fence. Normally, I'm pretty good in these situations, the whole idea that someone popping out at me when I'm expecting it and having it scare me, doesn't seem to make sense. However, when we approach a bridge, Ihave my doubts. I shine the light underneath to be sure there's no one waiting to grab my ankle. Satisfied that I can't see anyone, we start across. About halfway across I turn around to make sure the rest of the group is there and sure enough, a hand comes out to grab my ankle. Talk about the major shivers. It's not long before we encounter a man revving a chainsaw, but this time he's not behind a fence (on reflection, I believe there was no chain on the saw given the details I remember while being pushed away by everyone else). It occurs to me that this entire maze may not be legal in the U.S., which is really to bad, because it's the best I've seen. When Santa tells us that we should go right we go left and encounter a set of doors. While we're deciding which one to take, two employees show up. At first I think they're here to tell us which way out because we have to leave, but I second guess that when they don't tell everyone which way to go and don't stop anyone from going any way they feel like. My suspicion is confirmed when they pass me and one whispers they would go left and the other says they would go middle. Quite a nice trick to set people into a maze with no crazy costume, just jackets with the company names, to confuse people more. Even though we had to wait for an hour to get the bus, it was a good night. We were in the maze for almost 2 1/2 hours. Wednesday night we all got on the buses and headed to a movie theater, rented out for us for the night. We saw Valentine's Day, a movie that is apparently recent, but I had not heard of. It was a pretty funny movie, though I don't think I would advise paying for it, wait till it's in the library. Two good nights in a row and that much closer to the start of classes. I took another walk today and found some wandering trails though the woods I plan to explore further over the next months. I also did some research on local trails I can access from the campus of nearby bus stops. Today we noticed giant bug exoskeletons covering the trees. I think they come from cicadas, especially given the deafening noise surrounding us from the trees. I fear that when I come home I will have become so used to the constant cicada noise I'll find Williamstown too quiet.