The feeling of waking up and sleeping in until was something that became so unfamiliar to me since being on the East Coast. Today I actually had the chance to and it was heavenly. It was only until 8:00 AM but every minute is worth it. I’m so use to waking up around 5:00 AM each day so I can finish everything I need to, eat, and get ready all in time for class at 9:00 AM Monday through Friday. I can tell that my body was thanking me for the rest I got today even though it was still pretty early. I relaxed in my bed until 9:00 AM then began my morning routine. It was close to 11:30 AM by the time I had finished and was dressed ready to start my day.
|Philadelphia Flyers Territroy|
The plans for today was to go ice skating at the Philadelphia Flyers ice rink. I haven’t been ice skating since I was in elementary school. I knew I was going to be pretty rusty when I stepped onto the rink again but that didn’t discourage me from having the time of my life. I dressed prepared for skating knowing how cold the rink would make me. I walked out my room and downstairs into the Quad where I stood in line waiting to be checked off the list.
We all waited ten minutes after noon, the time we were originally meeting and leaving at, for anyone who was running late and for one of the RCs to make sure everyone who was coming was accounted for. Our group was not as big compared to the group heading to the Prussia Mall. Anxious and excited for a familiar hobby, we finally were leaving to the bus and onto our route to the ice rink.
It took around twenty to thirty minutes to get to the ice rink. Not too far but longer than I had anticipated. The first step I took into the building, and inhaled with a large breath of air. The smell of the rink sent a wave of memories through my mind familiarizing me with the scene. It was just like the Sharks rink back in Downtown Oakland I took ice skating lessons at when I was in second grade. Nothing has changed.
Our group stood in an orderly line getting the right size ice skates. They run bigger than other shoes. In order to get the perfect, tight fit you needed to ask for one size smaller than your original shoe size. On the skates I had received, some of the hooks which to lace them were missing. In order to make this situation work, I decided to lace the strings twice in each hook so it would be strong and supportive for my ankles and feet. Standing up with the skates on weighted my body down so much it took me a minute finding my balance with walking in them. It’s never safe nor smart leaving your belongings out and unattended. There were black, metal lockers along the walls where we were able to store all of our things in while we were on the ice. It cost seventy-five cents for us to rent. I shared space with Diana and Therese since they were deep enough to fit everything inside. One by one we entered the double doors where the ice was and braced ourselves for the slippery ice.
|Skate Rental Area|
My first step on there and I didn’t fall. That was a major progress and first step to success if I was able to stand and carefully move myself along the walls of the rink. It took me about ten minutes before I grew the confidence and balance of ice skating. I had forgotten so much from when I was skating last so it was a bit challenging building that strength to glide away from the wall. As people who were passing me by I began to study their legs and body formation with detail trying to pick up the correct way to skate my way around the ice. After doing that I slowly remembered what I was taught in my lessons. Always bend your knees, especially if you feel like you’re losing balance or about to fall, it gives stability. Keep your arms out strong in a V-shape, this gives you balance while skating along the cold ice. When skating, push your feet in an outward direction while moving forward, if you do it incorrectly you can end up falling. If you need to slow down, stop pushing and keep your legs straight as if you’re just standing, you will end up gliding on the surface and your speed will slow down with it.
I ended up staying with Therese most of the time we were there. She ice skates about once every year. Seeing her out there made it seem so easy. What wowed me the most was watching these older people skating like professionals across the smooth, white surface in all different directions and spins. A smile formed on my face seeing them have so much fun. Even some people from our program were skating like professionals. Daphne use to figure skate back in Hong Kong and seeing her on the ice was like watching the Winter Olympics. It made me regret and wish I never took a break or stopped skating. If I had the chance or opportunity to start again, I would jump on it quicker than I would with food when I haven’t eaten the whole day.
|Therese and I on the Rink|
Therese and I both saw Diana struggling getting the hang of the ice as she held onto the walls surrounding the ice taking one small step at a time. We skated to her aid and held her hands along each side of her. Soon the three of us were doing laps around the rink all having so much fun together. A few of the times I felt like I was going to lose my balance and knock us all down. Thankfully it wasn’t me who did it, it was Diana. Along with her, I had dropped my phone and landed on my hand and elbow with a hard hit to the ice. Sticking an awkward landing, I wasn’t even in pain. I was more concerned with Diana because it was like the third time she had fallen. Not learning our lesson, we got up and held hands again continuing our pace across the ice.
We only had about two hours on the rink and they were already up and gone out of nowhere. It felt as if I was just warming up. I moved along and stepped out into the warmth of the lounge area where everyone had left their belongings. I had slowly moved with the weights on my feet to a bench where I would be able to unlace them and return them back to where I received them. The moment I removed the skates and put my Nikes back on I felt ten times lighter from when I walked in. Each of us stood in line once more and began getting checked off of the list of students. Once marked, we hopped back onto the yellow school bus and waited for the wheels to start moving again. My elbow felt a little sore so I decided to check the damage. I had expected a minor bruise but instead saw a dry blood filled scrape along the side. I didn’t really care too much about it because I knew that it would heal eventually and it wasn’t as if I were going to die.
By the time we were back in the city of Philadelphia, I was starving. I hadn’t eaten all day and was determined to fill my cravings with some delicious food. Diana, Therese, and I started walking down the streets of the safe city until we reached a pizza parlor named Allegro. None of us were picky about where we were going to eat at since almost anything sounds good when you’re hungry. I had ordered a chicken and broccoli pizza not realizing that it was broccoli that was on the thin cut slice; I didn’t regret it. The three of us ate there in a booth near the front window. There were several televisions hanging on the walls of the restaurant. All except one was playing the European Soccer Tournament between Portugal and France. I don’t normally watch soccer so I didn’t understand what was going on much. It was still interesting watching the effort and body movements each player uses in an effort to keep and score the ball past the goalie. Once everyone had finished eating we walked our way back to the Quad and into our dorm rooms waiting and relaxing for the next time we were going outside.
I had around three hours until it was time for my cohort to meet up with John to take our group picture. Don has been really on us to get it done so it was about time we did. In the meantime, I decided to go and do some further research for my capstone project. I had narrowed down my topic to three choices. They were all related to abuse or domestic violence because that was what I was interested in. In no particular order, the first choice of my project is about whether athletes get away with domestic violence with ease or is it tougher on them compared to the average person in the world. The second on my list is about gender rights and if men were equally abused as women are in the world. Last, but not least, is the topic of effects a child can develop from being in an abusive home environment. All of these topics intrigued me in a type of way that I wanted to know more about whether it was my project or not. I spent about two hours searching the web and articles relating to these topics. The other hour I knocked out and took a power nap. When I woke up, it was almost time to meet John. I quickly got ready and headed out the door to the front of the Quad where we were all supposed to meet at by 8:00 PM.
|Inside Bob's Burger Place|
I was the third to arrive, right after Diana and Chris. We were just waiting on Allonna to come down after changing. It seemed like forever since I had seen John even though it was only one week. I was happy to start one of our adventures again like old times. Allonna had shortly arrived within a five to eight-minute time frame from when I showed up. She seemed out of breath and I could tell she was rushing trying not to make us wait. In spirit of representing UPENN and Philly, we decided to take our picture at the LOVE statue in the middle of the campus. Allonna had climbed on the top of L and O while Diana stood on the bottom piece next to E. Chris was planted to the ground next to L and I sat on the bottom piece in front of O and V. After taking our professional pictures, John suggested that we take a funny photo together. Chris being the buzzkill, was the only one who didn’t want to because he “doesn’t do funny pictures.” Instead the three of us decided to mug him while he stood there smiling. There was one thing missing from all oof our pictures and that important piece was John. Diana had swiftly asked a random couple passing by if they could take a few pictures with all five of us together.
Afterward, John bought us all something to eat at Bob’s Burger Palace created by Bobby Flay. The food there was delicious. I had ordered an LA Burger with ground turkey. It came with avocado, cheddar cheese, tomato, and lettuce. It was one of the best burgers I had in a while. Along with it I got a blueberry-pomegranate milkshake and a side of fries. It took about thirty minutes for all of our food to arrive. We had finished our milkshakes before the food had even came or close to coming. All of us grew somewhat impatient waiting on the food. All of us jumped out of our seats as soon as we had received our food and left out the restaurant door heading in the direction of the Quad. Before departing ways, we all agreed to go out together again the next week before the time of our summer was over with. All saying goodbyes, we came back to our dorms while John went to the Sheraton. The night ended on a happy note and all of us needing to prepare to go back to class the next day. Hopefully it will be another good day.