Gaining a Sense of these Places

February 5, 2020

Juliet Bateman, Boston University

S-290 students having fun as they act out 19th-C whaleship practices in maritime history class

S-290 students having fun as they act out 19th-C whaleship practices in maritime history class

Things are wrapping up for the shore component of SEA semester, and there’s a lot of preparation we’ve been doing before we head out to sea. There have been countless conversations within the houses about watch groups and research topics and seasickness and the like.

I’ve been taking “Sense of Place” (SOP!), and it’s really made me think about this trip in a different way. Sense of Place is a literature elective taught by Richard King – in the course we’ve read a variety of short fiction and poetry and have engaged in topics surrounding the feelings attached to places and culture, specifically relating to the ocean. I’ve realized that I’ve neglected my creative side throughout my college career, so this class has provoked a new type of thought that I’ve missed. Outside of class I think a lot about my sense of place here and the memories that have made this space so special to me.

While on shore, this place has had a real sense of home. As Gillian put in her previous S-290 blog post, it’s been a home away from home since the start. I’ve been thinking a lot about how my sense of place may change once we board the ship. Even though I’m going to miss the comforts of house B, I’m so excited about making my bunk my new home for the next six weeks aboard the Seamans.

Until then, odd collections of questions will continue to rush through my mind…How many flash drives should I back up my work onto? Does Captain Rappaport’s mustache stay perfect throughout the entirety of the trip? Will I get scurvy? Will we see whales? Will they soar over the bow of the ship like a dream? How many shirts is too many? What shoes do I bring? Are Crocs OK? Will there be frozen Oreos? Will Rich read us Moby-Dick every night before bed? One can only hope!

- Juliet Bateman, Boston University

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