Wednesday, September 26, 2012

An Introduction to "Geordie"

Nope. "Geordie" is not a person. "Geordie" (Jordy) is a dialect derived from the English language native to Northumbria and Newcastle, and quite often not understandable to the untrained ear. I met a lovely girl from Texas at my first International Student session, and we were having dinner in a pub the other day when a couple of 'gents asked us where we were from because we "dein' nah sand loocl" (did not sound local). We started chatting with them, and I found it rather embarrassing that I had to ask them to repeat themselves a few times because their Northumbrian accent was so darn strong. Follow this fun little link to learn a little bit of "Geordie" yourself!

Who knows. Maybe by Christmas I'll be able to actually speak some. When I chose to come to England for school, I did it mostly because they are supposed to speak English! I dein' nah thank ah'd be needing to learn a foreign language!

 I'm learning lots of cute little terms and phrases as well. A "jacket potato" is a baked potato, and they put ANYTHING on them from tuna to beans and cheese. My favorite is beans and cheese. I still think I prefer my tuna on bread or with crackers. A "toastie" is a grilled cheese sandwich. I like my toasties with tom-mah-toes. And best of all, just like in the movies, a "wee bairn" is a young child!

I'm settling into my accommodations well. I have my own room with a double sized bed, plenty of floor space and a bathroom about the size of one you would find on a large airplane. I can stand flat footed on the floor, raise my hands above my head and touch the ceiling, and it's a little less than a double arms length wide. It's a "Tosinwer" (toilet, sink, shower). My room is on the lower ground level, which means if my windows opened at the bottom I could probably come and go without using doors. Incidentally the only prop open at the top. The walls have what look like three or four generations of brick foundation to them. At one place it looks like there was either a fireplace or a midget door, and in another there may have been a staircase. I also have a chest of drawers, 2 bedside tables, and a wardrobe. I have yet to see if it leads to Narnia.

Classes don't officially start until October 1st (not something I was made aware of until 2 days ago). In the mean time I am being thoroughly oriented to the campus and my program of study. While sometimes I feel it's a terribly putzy pace, the lectures they have been holding are very useful in terms of what to expect from the program as far as how my dissertation will be written and evaluated.

Well loves, I'm off to a North American Student social! Hopefully I'll have something a little more exciting to report in a week or so.


Monday, September 17, 2012

"Let's Start at the Very Beginning"

... It's a very good place to start.
When I was in my Junior year at Ripon College I took a semester to study abroad in London and Florence. It wasn't an uncommon thing to do at Ripon and since then I have thought about it and talked about it often. About 10 months ago, a year and a half after graduating with my BA in Communication and Theatre, I decided I was ready to go back to school.

Where the heck would I start?

I started googling. I knew what I wanted to do with my degree, I just didn't know what degree would get me there. If I want to be working in an Admissions office for a Liberal Arts College, what should I get my Masters in? Where should I get it from? Do I REALLY want to spend 3-4 years in Graduate School (that answer was a pretty emphatic NO). The first thing that popped up in Google was a website called Study Across the Pond ...
"hmmm ... studying across the pond?"
I've done that before. Maybe I could do it again? So, I got in touch with a recruiter and she helped me find several schools with programs that would work for what I eventually want to do. The application process went really smoothly and I got accepted to all three schools that I applied to! (What?!?!?!?!)

Next things on my list were picking a program, funding, visas, and housing. I chose Newcastle University up near Scotland. It's no where near London. I am going to be getting my MA in Cross-Cultural Communication and Education. Classes, or Modules, that I am looking at taking are 'The Social Psychology of Communication,' 'Sociolinguistics,' 'Emotional Intelligence and Leadership,' The Management of Change in Educational Organizations,' and 'Counseling, Communication and Culture.' But we will have to see how they will all fit in to the semesters. I will be assigned a tutor who will be able to advise me on my module selections, and who will help me survive them.

International Student Orientation starts tomorrow! I will get on a train at Kings Cross Station in the morning with my luggage and away I'll go! Wait ... am I going to Hogwarts?! Who knows. It's pretty far up there. Everyone keeps saying, "Newcastle! It's really cold up there." I'm not sure what they mean by "really cold," because I'm from Wisconsin. It gets REALLY cold there too.

Stay tuned for more coming soon on my next big adventure! Cheers!