One of the things I like most about studying in an old university in Scotland is there’s so much history. Specifically crazy history, which leads to crazy traditions. Here at St Andrews there is a time honored tradition called Raisin Weekend, which involves many complicated things. Essentially, first-year students have academic parents (third-years or fourth-years) who are supposed to guide these youngins throughout the years. Being a master’s student, I apparently count as a type of first-year, so I found myself a mother who in turn found me a father. I have seven siblings, all first-years, and yesterday (Raisin Sunday) we attended a Mad Hatter tea party, aka started imbibing at 3 in the afternoon. We were sent on a scavenger hunt with our legs taped to our partner’s and tasks such as bring back a stranger’s sock and kiss a policeman. The evening wore on in a generally debaucherous way and we were instructed to return the next morning for our Raisin outfits. Traditionally, your mother dresses you and your father gives you a Raisin Receipt. You then take this Raisin Receipt to the shaving-foam fight.
Yep. Shaving-foam fight.
Mummy dressed us as playing cards (re: Alice in Wonderland) and Daddy gave us two heavy rocks apiece to carry (he’s a geologist). We then trotted off in the chilly drizzle and foamed each other. In one of the oldest quads at an academic institution. Ever.
Imagine hundreds of people dressed up in silly costumes with lots of shaving foam being pushed into a large grassy area and instructed to foam each other. This is what happens:
It was so much fun. Funner than I thought it would be, and I thought it was going to be pretty great. While I am technically older than my mother, I don’t think it really made a difference. I think your academic family is an opportunity to make friends in a bizarre, wonderful way. And to have a university-sanctioned foam fight.
All in all, I had a fantastic time. And one of the best parts was the post-foam shower.