As we wrap up the field school for 2017, our field schoolers have gotten a chance to reflect on their time here, remember some of the great memories and moments during our time here, and sadly, say goodbye to Vindolanda. If you haven’t had a chance to read them, check out some of the sign off posts.
Amidst this somber atmosphere, there is a note of joy to report in the form of an update on our Lego Quest. If you aren’t familiar with this particular part of field school, here’s some background.
After countless trips to Sainsbury’s, a few puppy dog looks at the cashiers, and generous donations from our wonderful friends at Vindolanda, (thank you Angie, Ken, Sally, and Dolores!) we’ve finally collected all 140 cards. With our own stack of cards totaling to well over 1000 cards, this quest has been successful. We even could complete the story of the Lego book following Sam and Lily as they travel around the world.
Nothing will beat the thrill of sitting around in a circle, each of us holding a new pack of Sainsbury’s cards and eagerly tearing the package open to see if anyone has found one of the missing cards. As we found more and more, a new find became rarer and rarer making the process even more exciting. To have a complete deck is an inexplicable feeling but one that wouldn’t be possible without the collective effort of our friends.
One of the grocery stores in Haltwhistle is called Sainsbury’s, the local outpost for one of England’s most prominent grocery store chains. The store in Haltwhistle is small, especially when compared to the massive stores we are accustomed to in Canada, but this is what we expected from such a rural town in the countryside. What we may not have expected was how much this store would immerse us in English culture in the form of their promotional effort that is sweeping the U.K.
At Sainsbury’s, for every £10 you spend on groceries, you receive a promotional item in return: a pack of 4 Lego Cards.
Each card features a different Lego character. The characters take all different forms. Some are people, such as Sam who is on 2 separate cards; some are animals, such as the Toucan or Polar Bear; some, such as the Alien Villainess and Wolf Guy, are humanoid monsters, creatures not at all for the faint of heart. In addition to the character cards are “Create” cards that feature different machines or animals to build.
Only rarely have I been so excited as when I opened my first pack of cards, dreaming of finding a Batman card. Batman was nowhere to be found, but the other characters were way too much fun to neglect the game all together. Now, about 10 packs and 40 cards later, while my search for Batman has still proven fruitless, the magic still hasn’t worn on me. If anything the collecting has gotten even more serious, with most of the other field schoolers joining in the hunt, and the others no doubt soon to follow.
But the game goes even deeper. Just last night, as we were all sitting in the living room salivating over each other’s decks, we discovered that when we completely assemble all the cards, we can display them all in order in a special album that tells a story connecting all of the characters! The story follows the adventure of two main characters, Lily and Sam, but the nature of the story is totally unknown until we can fill in the album. This is our quest. We must collect each of the 140 different Lego cards by June 13th, when the promotion ends, or we fail to discover what the story is. The stakes have never been higher, and we feel the pressure.
What do you think the story involving the cards I uploaded could be? And maybe more importantly, do we have your support in this mission? Keep checking the blog for updates in our brave and noble quest.