Today was our last full day in the South. Tomorrow, we’ll be flying back to Harvard and the cold, blustery New England spring. Fortunately, we had a full day entirely to ourselves to let off some steam, and naturally, I spent the morning studying for my chemistry midterm.
Our host took us to her country club to grab lunch, and while we sat by the pool, she told us stories of a time when Radcliffe and Harvard were two schools, in name and culture only. We also found out that her husband had studied physics under the famous Niels Bohr in Copenhagen.
Eventually, we reconvened with some of the other HGC members at a beach a bit south of Naples, on the Gulf of Mexico. The sun was bright, but the wind helped keep us cool, and the water and sand were the perfect temperature. Two of the “gleeks” were living in a house right next to the beach, so they brought out some food, and we had a snack as we sat there and listened to the waves.
After spending some time searching for seashells and shark teeth, I decided to go for a swim. I saw some of the guys swimming out around a group of old wooden pilings, so I decided to swim towards them. I was pleasantly surprised that the salt water made swimming and floating easier, and I had no problem keeping my head above water even when the water was deeper than 5 feet.
The swim also served as a way to cool off after sunbathing. Even though the beach was somewhat crowded, it was a big contrast to the frantic 30 minute dinners before concerts and the constant rushing from one location to another. This afternoon was a much needed and entirely satisfying rest.
That night, one of the HGC members hosted the Glee Club banquet, so I spent the evening eating some delicious food, learning how to play craps (I only lost a few hundred “casino points”), and honoring some of the people who had organized the trip.
At this point, I feel I should make a small digression, because as much fun as the night was, it was also somewhat serious. As you might expect, some of the Glee Club members are studying music with the intent of pursuing a professional career in music. However, the music industry is not a very forgiving business, and some of our music majors were worried about what life would hold after college ended. In a way, I was comforted, because I have some of the same concerns about choosing my field of study. We all worry about our futures, even if some people choose a path with more financial stability, and the acknowledgment of that fact was one of the things that made me feel that our tour had actually brought us closer together.
It was also during the banquet that our tour manager asked me if he could share these journal entries with the HGC Foundation, so if any of you are here because of that, welcome! At the end of the night, we sang our “Domine”s to our conductors, tour manager, and all of our Naples hosts, and finished off the evening with a rendition of “10,000 Men” and “Harvardiana.” It was a great way to end my first Glee Club tour, and I’m definitely looking forward to what the rest of the year holds. This tour was a unique opportunity to get to know the American South and my fellow singers, so I must offer my thanks to the Glee Club for allowing me to have this experience!