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I See Elsie

The Ithaca College London Centre

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Posted by Claire Mokrauer-Madden at 11:33AM   |  Add a comment

I realize that I write a lot of blog posts about Bill.  It's not that I want to be him or anything- he has difficult shoes to fill (when they match).  But when writing about Bill, it's as if the material writes itself.  And I mean that in the most flattering way possible.  Whenever I interview Bill, there's no need for me to actually talk to him.  He seems to be a really good sport about the things I claim he says, which in reality he has nothing to do with.  

I write about Bill because he's a universal factor of the London Center.  Not only has he been part of it since its toddler-hood in the 1970's (he only narrowly missed its birth), he is currently one of the main forces that keeps it a study abroad destination that IC students recommend to their fellow students.  As well as most of the ICLC's students from at least 1997 onwards knowing him, Bill is also a fixture of the American study abroad community in London.  I was once told that fame depends on the circles you run in- within Bill's circles, he's famous.  And if I keep tagging him in blog posts, he'll become famous on Google, too.

No, I'm not fishing for a raise.  I'm prefacing a blog post that he pretty much asked me to write: an alphabet of why it's good to be Bill.  He didn't ask in so many words, but he did suggest it.  Sort of.

Here is a compilation of nouns that resonate fond thoughts with the man.

Arsenal- he loves them

Bicycle- may not cycle much these days, but still carries a pump for stranded cyclists at the airport

Claire- gets to work with her

Dance- cuts a mean Dashing White Sergeant

Dancing the night away at a ceilidh

Elsie- he knows her better than anyone else does

Fred- without whom Bill doesn't get to read The Sun

Gardens, 35 Harrington- he never quite seems to leave this place

Heather- gets to work with her

Ithaca- goes there each year

Jokes- his favorite holiday is April 1st. Beware!

Keeps everything- forever.  Explains his office floor

London- he's lived here longer than all 3 of his staff combined

M- if this were James Bond, that's who he would be

North London- without which he couldn't deride south London quite so much

Olympics- has hosted a few conferences on those

Pukka pads- seriously lost without them

QPR- a good day out with sport students (or anyone who wants to see a footie match)

Rugby- likes it almost as much as cricket

Sarah- gets to work with her

Transport for London- does that for free

U-boats- Bill knows a lot about World War II

Visibility- anyone seen his orange Guardian bag in a while?

Walks- is the master of them

Looking for Bill?  He's the man in the bright coat

X-ray- he's had plenty of those

Youth culture- a reason to take his students to east London

Zebra crossing- he's probably just as famous on Abbey Road as the Beatles

This year the ICLC is celebrating its 40th anniversary.  Yes, Elsie has been around longer than many of the buildings on our home campus in Ithaca.  Bill is the latest in the succession of ICLC directors and is the longest standing.  I hope that after reading this you feel like you know the man behind the London Center a bit better than you did. 

You can't knock the man's generosity

 -Claire

 


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