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Greetings All,

It must be nearly the end of summer, because for the last few days, I’ve gone swimming with my pals at No-Name Pond, visited most of my friends’ new apartments, basked in the sun, relaxed on my couch…wait a minute! That sounds like the beginning of summer!

Well friends, that’s how the school year starts if you’re leading an AESOP trip. AESOP, which stands for Annual Entering Students Orientation Program, is a sort of pre-orientation orientation, where upper-classmen lead small groups of firstyears on trips into the Maine out-of-doors. It’s a great way to get everyone, leaders included, pumped for a year at Bates. We AESOP leaders arrive to campus early (the 16th of August) to begin training for our trips, gather the gear, finalize reservations, and generally make sure all is prepared.

While there’s much to do to make sure AESOP ’08 goes off without a hitch, there’s also the whole business of coming back to school after months of being away. I’ve been moving myself into my off-campus apartment, which is a bit of work but completely awesome. My bedroom is as big as my sophomore double, and that’s just my bedroom! I’ve also been prepping for the FYS that I’m teaching, “Understanding Namaste.” It’s a Yogic philosophy class, which is right up my alley, but I want to be sure that I am prepared to actually teach about it, rather than just talk about it. 

But we also get plenty of time to enjoy the height of Maine’s summer splendor. Campus is (relatively) very quiet, since it’s only the 70+ leaders running around, so we get the run of the place. It is such a blast! Just yesterday we played an epic 10 v. 10 game of Ultimate on the football field next to New Commons–huge fun. There are a few of us leaders who haven’t seen each other in months, or sometimes years, due to Study Abroad, so reuniting has been glorious. The Sun is warm, the Grass is green, the Water’s cool, and everyone is totally happy and amped.

Back to School never felt so cool.

Be Well,

Jake

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