College is quite a strange beast. You get thrown into a mix of 272 students who are undergrads, post-grads, male, female, Catholic, not Catholic, shy, smart, funny, social, silly, confident etc etc etc. At meal times, there will be certain people who you might sit with regularly, and get to know them quite well. There is generally some segregation between the Junior Common Room (under-grads) and the Senior Common Room (post-grads) but that’s more out of habit than anything sinister.
Towards the end of the semester, and over the mid-year break, the numbers dwindle to about 30 people, and often lunch and dinner will consist of only 2 or 3 full tables. This is one of the best times to be around college. The food is better (last night we had beef osso bucco and mini pavlovas) and you get to sit with people you may never have even said a word to the whole semester. And there are some characters, let me tell you.
The table that Hubs and I sat at today at lunch time was an unlikely mix of people, and I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. We had an American, 2 Germans, a Pole, Hubs and I, a Fijian, and a Daylesfordian. We started with a joke about 3 philosophers, then covered topics ranging from “the best joke ever” (it wasn’t, but the delivery made up for it), to the Smurfs, to the best action movie about to be released (the name of which escaped the person who told us about it, but it could be this one), to peppermint tea (I had my first today and I’m so hooked), and so much in between.
It will go down as one of the best meals I’ve had at college, and seeing as how we’re leaving in 10 days time, it was a fitting way to wind down the clock.