Friday, August 17, 2012

Scenes from Semester at Sea

I have not had the opportunity to blog about a program called Semester at Sea (SAS). This is an educational program sponsored by the University of Virginia and it is aptly named. Basically, the students sail an entire semester on a cruise ship earning college credits by taking classes on board during the days at sea, then, they have assignments and projects to do while in ports of call. It sounds amazing, right?

Well, as you may have guessed, Mitchell has finagled his way aboard the current summer semester at sea. How this kids pulls off this crap I will never know. He studied his tush off at Kent, got accepted into the program, applied for scholarships and grants, and begged his grandparents for the remaining tuition. I give him props for his mad skills at being the only grandson to his mothers' parents. Trust me, the kid has puppy dog eyes and a convincing smile. It works every single time, and he knows it.

For the 12 UVA transferable college credit hours Mitchell spent 9 weeks on this itinerary.
Starts: June 17, 2012 | Ends: August 18, 2012
62 Days, 10 Cities, 9 CountriesEmbark: Freeport, Bahamas
Barcelona, Spain
Civitavecchia, Italy
Naples, Italy
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Piraeus (Athens), Greece
Istanbul, Turkey
Casablanca, Morocco
Lisbon, Portugal
Debark: Boston, MA, United States
Sounds like a blast doesn't it? Oh yes, and the student body is 70% female. Mitchell and his two other horny, best guy friends from Columbus forced themselves to "study" on the SAS.

Thanks to the Internet, in this specific case, (the world wide web) parents expect to see facebook updates, get Skype calls, and instant messages from their "child." I fully assumed there would not be any documentation of the above mentioned studying, classroom activities or actual book learning. I know better. I am not that stupid.

While there are plenty of historical sites, scenic images and photographs of cultural differences, most of the photos depict a bunch of college kids touring foreign lands and partying their brains out. In my case, a good portion of the photos show four kids doing the O-H-I-O stance

all over the world. And with adult beverages. Duh.

Here are some of the most choice photos

that show the true meaning of having the most awesome experience of your life. These are totally poached images from facebook, and each one showcases the college life that only money can buy. How many guys get to drink beer in Istanbul on their birthday?Yeah, that would be Mitchell. And Danny. And Ben. The rat bastards.

If you have stumbled upon this post from a google search about the SAS program- you should know that Mitchell has had the time of his life. In every conversation he has thanked me profusely for making this possible. You see, I made it possible because I nagged the living daylights out of him to go to the post office and get his passport. I constantly harped on him to fill out the application and submit the proper forms. In theory, SAS seems like a wonderful journey with college credit, but in reality, it is a ton of due diligence, paperwork, medical documents, school signatures and red tape in advance of the sailing. Be prepared to open your wallet (ad nauseum) and maintain a parental assertiveness to get it all done, on time.

This post was not sponsored by facebook, University of Virginia, Semester at Sea, or google- although maybe they should have been.

With all honesty and without my usual sarcasm, I am truly glad that Mitchell is having the summer of a lifetime. I miss that kid and when he comes home he will be 20 years old. How the hell did this happen?

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