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I See Elsie

The Ithaca College London Centre

Tagged as “ICLC F '10”

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Posted by Claire Mokrauer-Madden at 9:07AM   |  Add a comment

You're abroad and to stay in contact with your friends and family at home, of course you use a computer!  Also, exams are on the horizon, which means essays for many classes.  You and your computer are finding yourselves inseparable.  So consider the unthinkable happening.  It's not pretty, but in accordance with the laws of thermodynamics, entropy is a fact of the world.  Nothing lasts forever.  Computers stop working, need fixing, take on minds of their own.  There is never a good time for it to happen, but we all know that it is an inevitability.

Often the phrase 'cut the cord' has to do with people perceived as being overly attached to one another.  And it's a similar principle, though referring to a different type of cord, when it comes to people and their computers.  They are such helpful things that it's hard to remember the days when we wrote letters- not emails, looked up businesses in the phone book- not on Google, saw our friends- not stalked them on Facebook.  My job might be a whole different position if I were not in such frequent contact with the United States.  So when we find our selves in situations of forced cord cutting, i.e. when your computer dies, it's a rough adjustment.  How did work happen before everyone had their own desk top and laptop computers?  Realistically, it's been a long time since the concept of a programmable device created by humans to simplify work first crept into society.  According to the Oxford English Dictionary the first recorded use of the word 'computer' was in 1646. 

This week's installment of the scavenger hunt involves finding pre-computer age objects.  I would like you to find some pre-Norman remains.  They arrived in Britain in 1066, and supplanted the Anglo-Saxons, who, themselves, probably supplanted some Celtic peoples.  But have a look around London and you will find their traces.  Church foundations, place names,.... they are actually all around us.  Queen Elizabeth I, the last Tudor monarch and the last British monarch not to rule Scotland, died in 1603.  As I have decided that the computer age began with the first recorded use of the word in 1646, I would also like you to find something that is either Tudor or Elizabethan.  None of those 20th century buildings that have been made up to look like something out of the 16th century either.  Elsie expects the real deal.

Staple Inn is a rebuilt copy of what it looked like in the 16th century


Posted by Claire Mokrauer-Madden at 11:12AM   |  Add a comment


As I sat in Purity Ice Cream last Sunday, myself and 3 friends came up with a motto that I think we should all start living our lives by.  Be Awesome, Be Funny, Get Bunk Beds.


Be Awesome:

A friend of mine recently applied for a graduate program that she was really excited about, but she had this fear that kept tapping her on the shoulder as she wrote her personal statement saying, 'This isn't your background.  Can you actually get into this program?'  Sometimes we are our own worst enemies, but having a will of iron, she muscled through her statement.  What was her trick?  She wrote the words, 'Be Awesome' at the top of the page she was typing.  In those moments of doubt she referred to the top of the page and kept going.


Be Funny:

Another friend of mine is an actor in New York.  He has a great sense of comic timing.  He said that he often thought of Michael Richards talking about his time on Seinfeld, and the fact that he wrote himself a message above the doorway that he used to make his entrances on the show.  He had written, 'Be Funny' over the door frame, off stage.  It was a simple message, but we commented that this carried the same obvious strength of the 'Be Awesome' message.


Get Bunk Beds:

This weekend, my reasons for being in Ithaca were two-fold.  I was there to help out at orientation for the Spring '11 ICLC students and to attend the Ithaca College All Theatre Reunion, as I am an alum of that program.  Having graduated in 2004, I have been out of college for less than 10 years.  Though I'm not always in amazing touch with my friends from college, most of us have a pretty good sense of where we have all gone with our lives and catching up with one another wasn't that difficult.  It made us feel nice and young.  On the other hand, we were staying in a house that is rented by current theatre undergraduates, and has been the venue for many opening night parties.  Being in that atmosphere, I felt nice and old.  We discussed this fact over our ice cream and kept referring to the film Big, not sure if we fell into the young or old category.  Because we ourselves had somewhat curious and rotating sleeping arrangements in the house over the weekend, someone was reminded of the bunk beds that Tom Hanks had in the movie, and how he invited a woman to stay over and then called the top bunk.  The four of us eating ice cream decided that to really complete our weekend, would should all get bunk beds (ultimately we didn't).


Anyway, we stuck these statements together and came up with an entire motto to live our lives by.  I think this sums up my return to Ithaca this past week, though.  It was awesome, and I laughed a lot, and even though there weren't bunk beds, maturity sunk to a new low when one of my friends was tricked into eating a dog biscuit.  And if this motto fails, there is always old faithful, 'It it's not Scottish, it's crap'.  I would like to thank Mike Myers, Patrick Stewart and the writers working on SNL in 1994 for that one.


Many people have asked Bill and me how our trip to Ithaca was.  For my part, it was great.  I hope everyone else had a good time over Fall Break, too.  To tie this to the scavenger hunt, your challenge now is to find either bunk beds or an oversize piano like the one in Big that Tom Hanks played on in FAO Schwartz (or something like that).


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