Saturday, 17 April 2010

"Sorry I'm late, I got stranded in Africa after Iceland's volcano erupted."

Ok. Here's the scoop:

On the final full day we were at Hemingways, there was a red alert that flights going to and from Europe were being cancelled. Turns out that Iceland's second volcano decided to erupt, and massive clouds of ash is floating about the 'air space', which is somewhat deadly to any aeroplanes in the vicinity.
We were told, on the cancellation of our flight, that we *might* be able to get a flight on Wednesday, but there were no guarantees. Instead, it's all got worse - The volcano's still going, Iceland is being evacuated cause of flooding and uncontrollable lava flows, and the clouds are sweeping more and more over Europe, shutting down France, Germany, Scandinavia and various other places. People that were merely changing planes in Europe are stranded. Hundreds in airports, and many more stranded in hotels.

My hotel is actually supposed to close for the season on the 1st of May, but since it's now been stated that the cloud's getting worse and there'll be a proper backlog of weeks before we can hope to fly out of here (those clogging up airports will get priority, and so they should) and of course the hotel has to stay open for its guests.

The insurance companies must be feverishly looking through all their fine print to find a loophole out of forking out for everybody's forced extra accommodation + food expenses. 

So yes, I'm stranded in an African paradise, with green-blue seas, warm sand (and the seaweed), pool-side lunches and all the free sun-bleaching my hair could ever want, but I'm rather concerned about the effect all this will have on my final term at university - I have to see my dissertation tutors, I have to take exams in 3 weeks (and it is *weeks* that it could take for me to get back - and even if I get back in time to take some of the exams, I'll not have been able to revise much since I left all my books and notes at home), and I would rather not be an absentee history social secretary. Yes, that sounds a bit high in my priority list, but I'm already missing a meal that turned out to be more difficult to organise than it should have been, and I'm missing out on a one-off trip which I put a lot of effort into - and I'm still going to be the one that's paying for the minibus with my card even though I won't be using it! (I get reimbursed by the society)

I'm somewhat concerned about how my exams will happen - if I get back in time, I'm surely have to retake more than one, and if I do, will I be treated as a normal resitting student, or will I get leeway for extenuating circumstances, and *not* have my retake marks capped at just 'Pass'?

Most I can do is inform my tutors (Especially the one I have a seminar for) and ask them for any online sources they'd thoroughly recommend for revision, and wait for instructions/advice from my Senior Tutor, Student Union Academic Rep and the "Part II" Course Convenor.
And, as Jeff, the lovely Manager put it "Just relax, chill, wait and see what happens. Go snorkelling, lunch at 1, have a swim in the pool, afternoon tea at 4, read a book in the late afternoon warmth and then shower and have dinner at 7.30".

...This is the most expensive term yet. I'm paying rent just for my stuff to gather dust. At least I'm saving money on the food and going out :(

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