061020.Claverton Down, Fresher’s Week: A Little Campus Diversion

October 20, 2006 at 11:34 PM | Posted in Bath, Bathwick, Claverton Down, Museums, somerset | 4 Comments

Now that a few weeks have passed I can say that “Fresher’s Week” was interesting. It happened one Saturday night when this security guard and I were taking cover during a storm in the library when we started seeing all these people walking around in togas.

060931.Somset.ClavertonDown.Bath.Univeristy.Fresher’s TogaParty.Pouring Rain

There’s no frat life in British universities but certain traditions remain. Fresher’s Week not only had this classic(al) party but it was the extreme version: a “Wet British Toga Party.” Sure, toga parties must be great, but this was a soaking-wet British one.

The partygoers were running in the rain from one campus pub to the next (the drinking age is 18 here so the on campus pubs are not only the local bars but also the student dining facilities). Every time the rain direction changed or it really started to downpour, the girls would start screaming and some people just stopped running and did their toga-ing in the puddles.

Intrigued, I asked the guard where to sign up for this drowning merriment, but then to my surprise she asked me if I was a student?
Indignantly I replied, “I’m not only a student, I’m a post-grad!” (Whoops.)

“Oh, well then you’re too old to be joining them. It’s just for undergraduates.”

But here’s the thing. First off, the Brits graduate in three years so I could be 20-21, how can I not join them?

Deprived of the bedsheets and with the storm continuing, my outrage generated into other discussions and before I knew it, the guard was pregnant—though several months along, I should add.

It was in the stage where I could listen to and feel it kick. I didn’t hear or feel anything but it required me to kneel down and put my ear up against her exposed stomach just as two toga-clad students escorting/supporting a sickened third in a pungently stained toga rushed the library to find its bathroom. Then it happened, each of these drunk soaking-wet British toga-wearing undergrads stared at us like we were the freaks—even the girl in the middle, who was practically choking on her own vomit!

Sadly, the photo didn’t come out so well of the rain, linens, and purging undergraduates so I include one from the first day of Conservation class. We rented out the Holborne Museum and got drunk there—lots of free champagne. The other Conservation classes don’t do that, so Bath is pretty cool.




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