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I See Elsie

The Ithaca College London Centre

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Posted by Claire Mokrauer-Madden at 7:16AM   |  Add a comment

My right to work at the ICLC is based on the fact that I am a dual citizen.  I am both American and German.  Don't worry, despite some rumors, it is completely kosher and loads of people are dual citizens. The Germans are aware that I'm also American and the Americans are aware that I'm also German.  Being a German citizen makes me a member of the European Union and eligible to work in all EU countries.  Being a natural born American citizen makes me eligible to be the president of the United States.  So both passports come with perks.  Today I would like to announce the "dual citizenship" of the ICLC's blog.  Begun using Blogger, we are moving over to the IC blog format and continuously experimenting with it.  The original blog will still be there, but it is now a dual citizen of Ithaca College and Blogger.

Decoration in my office

 

On a side note, the ICLC will have at least 3 dual citizens coming to study in London this spring.  I have seen a number of cases of students coming over here to study, falling in love with Europe and chasing up their roots to find out if they can become dual citizens.  Even if it isn't possible to to get a hold of that second passport, digging into family history and ancestry can be really interesting.  A few years back I researched where my great grandfather on my father's side had been born in Northern Ireland.  When my brother came to visit me in Dublin, we took a bus north of the border and found the site of the family farm that his birth certificate said he had been born in.  It is now a tile shop, with very generous proprietors who gave us a large ceramic tile with a picture of a French boulangerie to commemorate our trip.

Wall decoration outside Sarah's office

There is a show that the BBC makes called Who Do You Think You Are? and I have decided that I would like to become a celebrity so that one day they will do an episode based on me.  The premise is that they take a well known figure (usually a tv celebrity) and help them track down their roots.  Often the celebrity has some sort of question about a relative that they are interested in answering.  Sometimes they trace families back to the person's grandparents, sometimes they are able to follow them backward centuries.  I have seen a few episodes where the people were even traced back hundreds of years to royalty.  My grandfather, on my mother's side, was convinced that we were illegitimate Hapsburgs.  I'm ok with this allegation because being illegitimate probably means that there isn't much of a history of in-breeding in the line I descend from.  I know that the point of the show is to get people interested in making their own discoveries about their past, but my mother and I had a look at some old papers that my grandparents brought over from Germany, and they are written in a beautiful Gothic German script that is nearly impossible to read.  The language barrier was a bit rough, too, even though my mother and I have both studied some German.  The German language seems to go through overhauls once in a while, so it was a little like trying to read your family history as if Jane Austen had written it.  No, I think I would like the BBC to help me with my research.

The Union flag with the Scottish Royal Standard sneaking in on the side

We have a worldly staff, with all members culturally associating with more than one country.  Bill was born in Canada but has spent more than half his life in the UK.  Sarah is Welsh but grew up in Holland.  Heather is American and is married to a Yorkshireman.  Choosing to remain a bit of a mystery, it seems that Elsie, who is mostly manifested in our blog, is a dual citizen of Ithaca College and Blogger.  Congratulations Elsie!

 

-Claire (Elsie would have helped, but she is on holiday celebrating her new citizenship)


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