Most of the time here at FMA is spent working, studying, etc., but on the weekend (if you have not been given work hours) we get a day-and-a-half just to chill. During this time, one can get bored easily, but it is like they say here, “the intelligent person is never bored.”

The main enjoyment here (in my opinion) is simply music. Even though we are denied the simple joy of listening to pre-recorded music, we are allowed and encouraged by some, to create our own. An out of tune piano, a couple of acoustic guitars, a bass and whatever else we can come up with provides hours of fun jamming. We musicians always look forward to the weekend for new jam sessions. Whether we’re improvising, playing songs we know and love, or even playing music we wrote ourselves, we always have fun enjoying each other’s musical abilities.

If you aren’t jamming, you might read a book, play a board game or just sit around the fire and talk. Sometimes a few other guys and I will just heat up a bowl of maté, pass it around and talk about the “important issues in life” as they call them here. Although some would write our discussions off as “mindless teen babble” we enjoy our conversations and ignore any prejudicial convictions toward them.

The board game arena is a great way to pass the time; just get ready to put your money where your mouth is. As the weekend goes on, players become more and more serious, until there are ten dollar a piece, winner take all, Risk games going on. If you want to bypass the board game and just go straight to putting your money where your mouth is, there is, of course, poker. With pots getting up to twenty dollars, novices have to beware they don’t bankrupt themselves in a few hands. Texas Hold ‘Em’s the favorite, although there are others that can be equally profitable or unprofitable depending on your luck.

Sometimes, we just feel like sitting back and reading a book. Fortunately FMA has quite a library and there is also a system set up for swapping your own books between the heavy readers here, and some of us have quite a collection. All this creates the recipe for a very chill weekend.

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