Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Part of the appeal of studying abroad is the possibility of immersing yourself in another culture and meeting new people from around the world. However, it can be all too easy to find yourself immersed in an American bubble once you get to London, living and studying with your fellow students from Ithaca. In an effort to try and pop this bubble and open up more opportunities for immersion, Elsie is creating a scavenger hunt spanning the Fall 2010 semester. When the final judging is done it will be based on the sense of immersion that the entries show (Elsie won't mind you playing to her vanity, either), so be creative. Everything is open to interpretation.
The creation of this hunt is the product of evaluations from past students who said that they wished they had been more immersed in London life. While here you will have opportunities to join clubs with students from British universities, and we hope that you take advantage of this chance. Many of the classes running this term involve getting out in London for walks and tours. This is a great way to see London, and can be used as a great spring board for immersion, but the leg-work is up to you. Housing yourselves was one of your first initial experiences in getting to grips with life in London. You met landlords, saw what people's homes in London look like and possibly even met your new neighbors. This scavenger hunt will be easy in comparision.
We are working with a loose interpretation of the word 'immersion'. We can't force you to walk up to a stranger, introduce yourself and share the stories of your lives with each other each weekend at a different pub in a different area of London. In envisioning this scavenger hunt with an eye towards immersion, the onus of getting out, seeing new things, meeting new people and experiencing how life is lived in another country is on you. So when you are sent out to scavenge it is in the hope that you will treat this as a suggestion for an opportunity to immerse yourself. The things themselves that you are being asked to find are more likely to be on the periphery of immersion. We want you to go to concerts, festivals, sporting events, exhibitions and plays, we want you to meet new people and we want you to explore beyond the traditional American hangouts.
Throughout the term Elsie will post things for you to find. As the deadline for entries will not be until the end of the semester, take your time and keep your eyes peeled. In no particular order, here are some guidelines for the hunt:
- All entries must be submitted in photo form.
- The back of the photo must have the location it was taken and the entrant's ID# (don't put your name on them).
- All entries from an entrant must be submitted at the same time.
- All entries are subjective and will be judged by Elsie on the degree of immersion that they represent.
- Unless stated otherwise, all entries must be photographed within the UK.
- Please make sure you have permission to photograph your entries.
- You don't necessarily need to submit entries for every object in the hunt. It's quality that's important.
- Teaming up with a partner (no more than 2 working together) is allowed, or you can go it alone.
- The entrant must appear in at least 5 photos, showing them interacting with the objects that they have found.
-The Three Dogs (none of whom are pink)
* * *
London, originally created as a Roman outpost, is a reflection of nearly two millenia of inhabitants. It has been a magnet for migrants for much of its existence, from the Romans to the Saxons to the French Huguenots to the Ithaca College London Centre staff. In turn, these migrants become locals and make London their own. Steeped in history, so many Londoners have left their mark somewhere (lucky for Bill, he can't be identified as having graffitied Stamford Bridge). The plaque marking Christopher Wren's burial place in St. Paul's Cathedral says, "Reader, if you are looking for his monument, look around you". So, we would like you to find the most interesting burial marker or memorial, whether it be a headstone, a monument or anything else that serves as a reminder of a person (but don't bring a photo of Christopher Wren's, that's just unoriginal). Many of you may be new to London, so this may seem like being thrown into the deep end, but that is what immersion is about. Dive in! (Actually, if it's diving you are doing, don't necessarily try it in the Thames. It's cold and has a strong current. The Thames Barrier is a pretty cool landmark to see, but rather than traveling as a human boat my recommendation would be to take a train to get there. That also saves you needing a change of clothes, so that's one less thing to carry with you. I'm not speaking as the voice of experience or anything, but just taking a really educated guess.) To pay tribute to migrant populations we would also like you to find some Danish cuisine.
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