Today is the fourth day we have been out on the water. The first day we left Spain we actually just went out into the open water and dropped anchor there for 24 hours. This, we believe, is a way that the ship can save money and fuel. Fuel has gotten so expensive so instead of paying money to dock and have all the security at the port the ship just drops anchor for a day. Luckily Geno and I put on our seasick patches when we left because the night we anchored was the roughest night we have had so far. We felt like we were a little raft just bobbing up and down and side to side. Most of our things are secured on the ship so the only thing falling over were the shampoo bottle on the floor of the shower. Geno slept like a baby that night, but I kept waking up as I was being tossed from side to side.
We will have had four days of teaching when we get to Scotland. It has been an easier schedule than last time, but I think most of that is because we knew how to prepare for this voyage. We have been busy in other ways though.
One thing that has been keeping us VERY busy is TEDx. Semester at Sea will be hosting a TEDx event on the ship toward the end of the voyage. We have a founder of TED joining us in Scotland and she will help guide us through the process. TEDx are independent TED-like events, which can be organized by anyone who obtains a free license from TED, agreeing to follow certain principles. Geno and I were selected to be members of the TEDx selection committee. The committee consists of 3 faculty 3 students and one staff member. We had the entire shipboard community submit their topics and then by a process of blind review we narrowed the large group of paper submissions down to 15. Last night we held auditions where the potential speaker had 3 minutes to give a mini-TED talk. We already knew we were interested in their topic but this gave us an idea of their presentation style and personality. We spent 2 hours seeing the candidates last night and then an hour discussing and then even more time sending out acceptance and no thank you emails to all the candidates. There were some VERY interesting topics. It was so tough to narrow them down but now we have 6 speakers. Tonight we have another meeting where we will pair up with 2-3 speakers and set a coaching schedule. Our time on the ship is fairly limited so this will be a pretty busy voyage from here on out. I am almost positive that eventually these talks will be posted on the web so we will have to let you know when that happens (toward the end of the voyage)
Other than that we are having a great time sailing along to Scotland. We had a dance party in the faculty/staff lounge the other night and we had a great faculty meeting with wine and snacks. Tonight we have a party in the lounge, then dinner, then logistical pre-port (required) then our TEDx meeting….staying busy and grateful!