So I said I had my first rowing practice before, but this morning was my first real rowing practice. It ran from 6:45 to 8:45, 15 minutes longer than normal, owing to a traffic jam on the incredibly narrow river. We rowed essentially all the way up and down it; virtually from one lock all the way to the other. I suppose it is possible for an eight to go through the locks; I don’t really know. It’s pretty long. We basically went one way for 45 minutes and the other way for 45 minutes, almost entirely all-8 steady-state.
I had no idea what the coxswain was saying:
1. There was a speaker system, but he basically wasn’t using it and when he was it was still really quiet in the bow (I was in bow)
2. He had an especially hard-to-understand accent
3. He was using terminology that I’ve never heard before.
The result was that I could occasionally pick out a word or two, but I never had any idea what was going on. I just watched the guys in front of me and hoped for the best. Which mostly happened, sometimes not.
Interestingly, the British refer to the two sides of the boat as “bow” and “stern”. Not the ends of the boat; those are also called bow and stern. They consider port-stroked to be the default, and as such refer to the port side as the stroke side and the starboard side as the bow side. This would be vaguely sensible if they were so foolish as to row only port-stroked boats, but this morning we were out in a starboard-rigged boat, with the result that I, in bow, was on stroke side, and stroke was on bow side. Crazy.
Oh, and practice got out at 8:45 and I had class at 9, so I left immediately and went straight to class without my books in my rowing gear. I broke every traffic law on the books on the way there and was still 5 minutes late to lecture (which I’m glad I didn’t miss; it was cool), and since I had two in a row I just sat there, smelling like crew, mostly not getting funny looks. Ah well. It sounds like rowing will be MWF mornings, which, conveniently, are the mornings I have 9 AM lectures.
I mentioned duct tape earlier. I had bought duct tape with the intent of using it to connect the rear bike light left in my room by a former occupant to my bicycle. I finally did this last night, and it seems to work quite nicely. The ugly ugly holster fits snugly over the seat, pressing the light against the bottom of the seat and pointing it more or less correctly. Now all I need to do is figure out how to make the seat stay up and get a mudguard or two.
Oh, and I had my first Spanish Translation class today, where the professor basically made fun of me.
What a silly idea, a chemist or whatever-you-are in a Spanish class. Do you think you’ll be able handle it?
I must say, the approach to translation was impressively rigorous, eschewing cognates in favor of phrases matched for intent and ‘register’. It’s not how I’m used to translating, and it sounds like fun.