There are always strange things that happen in the first few weeks of school and fire alarms are usually involved. Two days ago, the fire alarm went off at 4 in the morning waking up everyone in my dorm. The alarms here are installed in the room, as opposed to in the hallways, making them extra loud and impossible to ignore (which in fairness is the point of them). Just as my roommate and I were walking down the hallway to be evacuated, a group people who had already been evacuated came back up and told us that there was no fire. After grumbling about the nonsense, everyone then went back to sleep. Rumor has it that someone was smoking in their room which set off the alarm. Hopefully no one will find out who that person is because six hundred sleep-deprived people do not make up a very friendly crowd. I remember during my first year in university at Georgetown, there was a residential hall (thank God I did not live there) that had 5 fire alarms go off in the first 3 days of school. Four of them were caused by people opening fire alarm doors at night and one of them was an actual “fire” that smoked one of the kitchens. Someone, in order to get some hot water, decided to fill up a pot and “boil” it in the oven. The plastic pot handle caught on fire in the oven after a long period of baking and the smoke destroyed the kitchen. Hopefully nothing like this will happen here.
On a totally different topic, I have officially caught the flu/cold that is apparently infecting everyone on campus. When you put a lot of people who come from different places together in residential halls, you’re bound to brew yourself a nasty flu… But other than the 4am fire alarm incident and the flu, everything else has been fantastic.
The General Course administration has planned for the study abroad students a giant collection of tours going to all kinds of places. I have spent most of my last two weeks touring around, travelling as far as Stonehenge and Bath.