I wanted to wait a few days to do this paper, not only because I am a major procrastinator, but also because I wanted to see how long it took me to get used to being in a house again. When I initially got home, I was overwhelmed with the sheer amount of people and stuff that I share a residence with. Compared with the tent, which was mostly overrun by blankets and flashlights, and only had three people in it, there was just so much! I live with four other people, as well as two cats. I was quite happy living in the quiet, although Spock and I argued many times over the course of the second day. Even best friends get sick of each other at some point. Also, we only have one bathroom in our house, shared among the five of us, so having free range of the great outdoors as a restroom was actually liberating rather than daunting, even if it was cold. Cooking over the fire was probably the most frustrating part. We had one pot to cook in, and in order for anything to get warm, I had to practically stick my arm into the fire to get the pot over it. I almost succeeded in lighting my arm on fire, in fact.
Living with among people I don’t know very well isn’t strange to me. I’ve been to anime conventions, and there are more and stranger people there than those I camped with. The part of the group dynamic that disappointed me was the fact that, when I attempted to socialize with people at other fires, they were non-responsive. Sure, they would come over to our meager fire and invite us over, but when we actually came, they were dead silent, like we had interrupted a secret meeting, or something of the sort. I felt odd about that, but it wasn’t the worst part. The worst part of the experience for me was being cold. I’ve never liked it, and I never will. If we hadn’t packed a dozen blankets, I might have left after the first night, extra credit or not. Having a fire going constantly made the tent village feel a bit homier to me, especially since we have our fireplace going all winter long at home. I enjoyed the trip because I was in charge of my group. Albeit, my group was Spock and myself, because the other person in our tent ditched us for a group with a bigger fire; she didn’t come very prepared either, so I’m under the impression that she either didn’t realize how cold it would be, or had planned on being a freeloader from the get-go.
As we discussed in class, there are no feral humans. People need people, plain and simple. If, for example, the assignment was for each individual classmate to sleep alone in their tent, and to make their own fire and food, the result would be quite different. Many more people would have left. Even if we were allowed to be in groups, but weren’t allowed to talk, the trip would have been catastrophic. Therefore, I’m grateful that the camping trip was done without a lack of company or conversation; it was an effective learning tool without becoming a torture device.