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I See Elsie

The Ithaca College London Centre

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Posted by Claire Mokrauer-Madden at 8:41AM   |  Add a comment

 

For the Fall 2010 students it is the final countdown of weeks left in London.  You are counting down your weekend trips, the tourist sites you STILL haven't been to and let's not forget the number of plays/sporting fixture/gigs still remaining to be seen.  For the Spring 2011 students it is the final countdown of days left in Ithaca before your semester in London, of days left on the 28 day holding period (if you are applying for a visa), of figuring out exactly how many credits you need to take here in London and which classes you will be taking (actually, I bet you all have a pretty good handle on that one already).

For Bill, Sarah, Heather and me we have a lot going on during this season, too.  This is the high season for competitions.  Bill has just named the winner of the dinner quiz (the one where you win a homemade dinner at his house!  I was one of the lucky winners of this one in the Fall of 2002.  That's probably why Bill knew that I would be good hiring quality in 2009).  Coming up is the Travel Writing competition, for which the prize is £50.  There is the Photography Competition, voted on by the students.  And of course the new term-long Scavenger Hunt.  The prizes for these competitions will be given out at the End of Term Event.  Fall '10 students, find info about these competitions on the board in the front entry.  But the competitions don't end there for us.  The Spring '11 students are getting weekly emails from Bill with quizzes to win a bit of cash upon arrival in January. 

Here are some reminders of the glory that comes with winning:

Dena was the first to ask a man in a kilt to dance with her at the ceilidh! That was worth £5. I don't think he wanted the dance to end.

 

Carrie was a bit of a quiz master in Stratford and Oxford.

 

Heather taking £5 off of Bill.

 

Back in August Theresa collects her summer winnings for answering one of the quizzes in the pre-arrival emails.  I bet £10 made her jet lag a little less bitter.

 

 -Claire (no help from Elsie)

 


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)


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

 

As students come into my office to staple their mid term essays and ask where the faculty pigeon holes are, and as I hound students for their fall break travel detail forms, I think we are all feeling the middle of this term.  That strain is only allayed by the sense of relief that comes after an exam is finished and an essay is printed.  It is one of the most pleasant feelings this world can offer us, but how did mid terms creep up on us all?

Interrelationships journals due?

I remember learning in school that Distance = Rate x Time, so I asked Google maps the distance between London and Ithaca, but they wouldn't calculate that for me, so I have had to extrapolate that one.  Wiki Answers says that the distance between London and New York City is 2,983 miles and the distance from NYC to Ithaca is 223 miles according to Google maps, so the total distance is 3,206 miles.  The time that you are here is 4 months, which is 17 weeks or 119 days.  The only variable that leaves is Rate, and since you are about to leave for fall break and Bill and I will be meeting the Spring 2011 students in a week, I am keen to calculate the rate at which this term seems to be flying by.

 

To find that variable therefore we must divide the Distance, 3,206, by the Time.  3,206 divided by 4 is 801.5, divided 17 is 188.588 and divided by 119 is 26.941.  Now that we have these Rates, we have to clarify the increments they represent.  Perhaps we could measure in MPH.  That means that in the 2,856 hours between your arrival in August and departure in December this semester will have sped by at a rate of 1.119 MPH.  Even in your sleeping hours you have been going just over a mile an hour.  We aren't cars and we aren't training for marathons, so I would just like to ask, where is it all going?  Where are you all going?

 

I can answer that with a look at the map on the board outside my office! 

There are going to be so many more initials around this map one you're back from break!

-Claire (and Elsie)

 


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