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He Fancies Me, He Fancies Me Not: English Lesson 10, Part II

I mentioned in Part I that I had much to learn about the English intricacies of dating because it’s just that: intricate. I’ll explain by contrasting it with the American rituals–a seeming polar opposite. In the States, any outsider can determine whether girl and boy like each other: Scenario A…Boy flirts with…

The Passenger Seat: A Father's Day Post

The above slideshow depicts various pictures from a recent trip my dad and younger sister, Sara, made to visit me (and James Taylor and Carole King) in Nashville. That week with my dad made me feel so adult: I chose the restaurants and activities, made reservations and suggested faster routes, I hosted for a few days and then dropped them…

He Fancies Me, He Fancies Me Not: English Lesson 10, Part I

I can’t resist. I have to retell the lessons I learned about dating in the UK. At the risk of getting too personal on my blog and at the risk of offending many a English male, this stuff was just too fascinating to glaze over as if it were not a part of my British experience. So fascinating…

Rambling, the Walking Kind: English Lesson 9

The English are expert walkers. They’re just good at it and know how to enjoy it. While we here in the States are good “power walkers,” I admire the English for their rambling: a term for a long nature walk (or that is how I’ve self-defined it), which is a common pastime for…

Beans on Toast: English Lesson 8

(I’m no foodie and have no intention of making this a foodie blog, but here’s my foodie opinion on England.) I don’t know if it’s a tragedy, disappointment or just down right luck that I spent a year in England without trying the very English dish of Beans on Toast. My American…

Beautiful Disaster, Part II: English Lesson 7

As mentioned in previous post, I have the type of hair that responds to the elements. If the elements are humid, my hair rebels against the half hour I spent straightening it with my flat iron that morning. And England was often humid, well, England was often raining which equals ultimate humidity. So riding a bike/walking everywhere meant my…

Beautiful Disaster: English Lesson 6

Disclaimer: the above picture was not the bike I used in Oxford (unfortunately). Somehow over the course of a full year in which I spent more time on a bike than I ever thought I would, in which my beautiful, old and used, high handle-barred blue beauty of a bike became practically one with me, somehow I managed to…

University Life: English Lesson 5

I was extremely nervous before my first class of graduate school. Not only was it graduate school, but it was graduate school in a foreign country. For all I knew, in England they expected their students to walk around reciting Shakespearean sonnets or give impromptu speeches in the courtyard about the parallels of Ulysses and The Odyssey. (I also assumed…

Tea: English Lesson 4

This post will be short and simple. The English love tea. I don’t have much else to say about it, but I can’t glaze over that important and deeply ingrained tradition as I reflect on my English lessons. For a while, I insisted the English love for tea was a direct parallel to the United States…

Greeting Rituals: English Lesson 3

Last post I touched on my experience with meeting people in England, which starkly contrasted the customary greeting rituals ingrained in me during my Texas upbringing: big smiles, hearty handshakes, high-pitched voices (if you’re female) and an obligatory exchange of what your names are, what you do and where you are from. These three basic questions are…