❀Monday: As a bonding activity, which will (unfortunately) involve teachers, we're going to be camping out on the beach. Since the camping organised by the school, tents will be pretty comfortable, but it's still going to be spartan, so you might want to wear your comfy clothes. We're going to sleep divided for grades (and boys and girls not together, sorry), but the point of this is to bond, so a lot of games will be held, as well as a night storytelling around the bonfire - when hopefully, teachers are already asleep...
"Okay everyone, choose your partners!" Ms. Kawly, my astronomy teacher, yelled enthusiastically. It was about 8:30, and we had all changed into our more comfortable clothing.
We were divided on sides for our genders, and so each pair was boy-boy and girl-girl. It was almost automatic that everyone paired up with their roommate. Valerie was standing right next to me, so we exchanged glances that meant we'd be partners. Then we did that cheesy trust exercise when you have to shut your eyes and hold your arms out and fall back, hopefully into the arms of your partner.
We did a few rounds of this.
It was easy; Valerie is super skinny and petite.
This wasn't really making us bond with other people, since we all paired up with our closest friends.
"Alright, now if you're a girl, you must pair up with a boy. If you're a boy, you must pair up with a girl." Another teacher, who I didn't know, told us.
The only guy I really knew was Francisco, and so I searched the room for his familiar face. When I did, I walked over to him, where I found him talking to another girl. I was disappointed, but most definitely not because she was gorgeous, and not because I liked him- we were really close friends! It would just be that much harder to find another guy to partner up with.
As if I was thinking out loud, someone tapped my shoulder. I turned around to see a guy with greyish eyes and dark brown hair.
"Hello, you seem to be without a partner as well."
"Yes actually, I was just looking for someone."
"Well, you found me! I'm Pedro, by the way."
I laughed a little. "I'm Caterina, but you can call me Cat."
"Okay, Cat. I like your shirt, by the way."
I looked down to remember what shirt I was wearing- these were my pajamas, after all. "Oh, thanks! Are you a fan of Andy Warhol?"
"Yeah..his work is great. They're really inspiring."
"Are you an artist?" I hope I wasn't being too nosy.
He raised his eye brows, thinking. "I guess you could say so. I started with street dancing and graffiti, but I've grown to love painting. It's people like Andy who helped me to see the beauty of it all."
"That's really cool," I said, and he smiled, "I love to paint, but my real passion is for photography."
"I could kinda tell, by the way you're always carrying a camera and everything." I guess I am pretty obvious about it...oh, well. I just laughed. He opened his mouth like he was going to say something, but a teacher interrupted. I almost forgot that we were supposed to be doing some kind of bonding game together.
"Everyone get in a circle with your partner." So we did, and there was one nerdy boy left over, who was standing in the middle with the teacher. "In this game, Jimmy here is the caller. He will yell instructions to you partners to line up either “back to back”, “foot to foot”, “elbow to elbow”, “shoulder to shoulder” and so on, which you must do. When the caller yells “people to people”, everyone must find a new partner. The one left over is then in the middle." I have no idea how that is even considered close to bonding, but apparently it's a "Team Building" game.
Pedro and I did this for a while, laughing the whole time because it was so ridiculous. Eventually "people to people" was called, so Pedro did the little 'aye-aye captain' motion with his hand to his forehead, I laughed, and then he was off to find someone new. I ended up with Trisha, then Krissy, and then Francisco.
"Hey," He said, aligning his back with mine as Nakita, who was in the middle, called.
"Hi," I replied. "What's up?"
"Nothing much. This is pretty lame."
"Tell me something I don't know." I placed my elbows on his. This was a really stupid game.
Then Ms. Laurel, my photography teacher, was the answer to my prayers. "That's enough for this game, I think." She looked around at the other teachers and most of them nodded.
It was 9 PM now, so we were set free to roam the beach until we had to be back at the tents at 10:30. Most of us grouped together and went for a walk, but after a while I got tired of hearing all the gossip so I went to my tent, grabbed one of my cameras, and took a walk. After taking some photos I walked back to the group, where we took some together. Then I heard one of the teachers whistling, meaning that it was time for us to come back, so we did, reluctantly. But before going back we (boys and girls) made a plan to sneak out for a bonfire after the teachers go to sleep, at about midnight.
I headed to my tent with Cyn, Cassandra, and Valerie, who I was sharing it with. We talked and ate and talked some more, and then we heard "shhh" and whispers and the sound of a little bit of sand hitting our tent. I checked my watch: 12 AM. Right on time.
We carefully unzipped the tent and then after getting out, we zipped it back up again, and tip toed far away from the tents. Once we were so far from the tents we couldn't see them anymore, we reached the bonfire, where almost all of the cool kids were sitting and talking and making smores.
I looked for an open seat in the circle, and found one in between Francisco and Nakita.
I said hi to both of them, and then Francisco turned to me.
"You know what, if we're going to be friends, I'm going to need a nickname for you." I told him, and he looked puzzled.
"I'm not picky like you, Caterina. I don't mind long names."
"Sure you do, Frankenstein."
"What'd you just say?"
"You said you liked long names!"
He laughed and shook his head, and then threw a marshmallow at me. "Hey! Don't waste perfectly good food!"
"It's not a waste, they're going towards a good cause."
"You are so annoying."
"I am? You're the one who just dubbed me frankenstein!"
I made a few smores and some people went swimming, but I just didn't feel like it. The rest of us stayed by the fire and told stories. It was a good night, and I guess you could say we did bond- just not when the teachers were supervising.