Yesterday was a surreal day, I had an 8am first thing which I was dead on time for (what?!)and after class, I got chatting to my favourite Professor to get some help with my homework assignment. Basically, we have to think of a topic for a speech and I was a bit stuck as to what to write. My Professor asked me how I was finding things being over here, and in the end we chatted for so long she invited me to hang out in her office with her, she asked about my blog and I told her about the list I’d been compiling over the last 4 weeks of all the weird and wonderful things I’d discovered since being here. She couldn’t believe some of the examples I was giving her, especially the difference between classes here and back in the UK and she suddenly jumped up, clapped her hands in the air (she’s is literally so enthusiastic I love her) and decided that THAT would make an incredible topic for my speech in class: “College life differences between the UK and the USA by an English Girl living in New York,” so low and behold I got my subject for my speech (Winning.)
So in true nerdish prep for my homework (i’m such a dork at the moment), I thought it was about time I shared with you some of the weird and wonderful things I have found since living here:
- Ok, firstly, nobody can comprehend how small England is. “like omg you can drive to other side in like under 9 hours??
- Red, green, orange and yellow peppers are referred to as ‘Bell Peppers’ (and you can get packs of just yellow, orange and red!!)
- The drinking age and the education system actually make a big, big difference between 18 years old’s here and 18 year old’s in the UK (I’ll be writing a post on that in a few weeks)
- Nobody has ever heard of a Gilet – it’s a ‘Vest’
- Posh trousers are referred to as ‘Slacks’
- Very few people have heard of the country, Wales
- Even fewer people have heard of Cornwall
- ..and Cornish Pasties
- ..or Yorkshire Puddings (“It’s kinda like custard” was one description I heard, and she is now called ‘custard for the foreseeable future)
- Everyone has watched Skinz
- Downton Abbey is also a fave
- Edinburgh is pronounced ‘Eden-Burger’
- ‘Twat’ is an unknown insult
- ‘Ta’ is an unknown thank you
- Texting and calling whilst driving is considered ok
- So is borrowing your friends car to drive home, after a night out
- Aluminium is pronounced – ‘Illu-min-um’
- Clingfilm is – ‘Cling-wrap’ or ‘Saran-wrap’
- The first 3 digits of a cell phone in the USA is actually the area code (917 is NY)
- Candy refers to anything that consists of sweets or chocolate
- Poptarts are incredible
- ‘Hay girl’ is a genuine greeting
- Zipcodes are confusing
- Nobody can understand an English accent over the phone
- ‘Whats up?’ is another term for ‘How are you?’
- They have actual plug sockets in the bathroom
- People skateboard and scooter to class (yes scooter!!)
- Headbands are also still fashionable
- No matter how many times I tell someone where I’m from in the UK, they still think I’m from London
- Putting on an American accent and switching back to an English accent on nights out to confuse people is more fun than I ever imagined
- … and an English person doing an American accent in general is apparently hilarious
- Instagram is Online Dating for College Kids
- McFly were once really big in Hawaii
- Spending Dollars is like spending Monopoly money
So what else happened in my bizarre day?
After lunch I ended up wandering past the ‘Flag Stall’ that was on campus, I’d meant to bring a Union Jack flag with me over here, and I asked the guy running the stall if he had any, he spun round and asked me in THE broadest Irish accent ever “Aye! and where might YOU be from!?” I laughed and replied “Birmingham” and he lit up and shouted “AH! Buuuuur-minghum!!” Turns out he lived there for a few years before emigrating over to Boston with his now American Wife. Small world! and so nice to actually hear that hideous impression again haha. I ended up buying a giant flag and he gave me a free Union Jack sticker to go with it (yay.)
Anyway, as I started to walk off I noticed the MCTV film crew filming the stall and I decided to walk over and say hello, I started chatting to them and said I was still really interested in getting involved but hadn’t heard anything from them (i’d met a few members a few weeks ago). Turns out they’d got the wrong number, so I swapped numbers with one of the girls and she said she’s contact me with the next meeting time.
That evening at 6:15pm, I got a text asking “Could I please be at the Theatre in the Student Centre to help cover and film a launch by CNN senior analyst Jeffrey Toobin at 7pm?”
So that evening I was at the Marist College 2013 Autumn Lecture Series Launch helping to set up the cameras and film a live talk given by Jeffrey Toobin (CNN’s senior legal analyst/reporter and a staff writer at The New Yorker!!) who was discussing his latest book ‘The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court’ and his inside account of the ideological war between John Robert’s Supreme Court and the Obama Administration.
I got to have a go at some filming, play around with the cameras, go to the front and help film question and answers, listen to some very interesting debates on American Politics and I even got to personally meet Jeffrey Toobin at the end of the talk when the film crew interviewed him.
I swear the word ‘Surreal’ doesn’t cut it for this place sometimes.
‘Jeffrey Toobin’ about: http://www.cnn.com/CNN/anchors_reporters/toobin.jeffrey.html
Pictures of my new flag, tea and me filming below: