January 9, 2006
Kiwi Paka in Rotorua, NZ:
We’ve left Auckland behind, and for the past few days we’ve been soaking in the aroma of Rotorua… literally. Rotorua is situated in an area of New Zealand that is very geothermally active, so active in fact, that the entire city smells of sulfur, that rotten egg smell some are more acquainted with than others. Fortunately, our backpacker is on the outskirts of the city and thus lacks the sulfur smell. However, walking into town for groceries or class activities has proven to be hostile to the nostrils, if you know what I mean.
Upon arrival we were graced with our first exam. I took an exam outside for the first time; the weather was exceptional. My general summary of the exam would be that it was tough but others like Andrew Curry, claimed “the test just got easier as it went on.” Perhaps this is due to my non-science focus at Centre. Thinking about this blows my mind away. Prior to this trip, I remember the reaction of many of my friends and extended family as they heard I would be studying volcanoes in New Zealand. At first excited, they would usually ask whether I was studying volcanology or geology. However, their excitement turned to confusion as I explained I would be studying philosophy. Only at Centre, I would then tell them, could you be a philosophy major and still study
volcanoes abroad. Only at Centre would I not fall into the trap of an education marked by just one discipline but instead be able to explore many disciplines as well as have a focus that I loved.