Monday, December 01, 2008

From American Lucy Lydon, enthusiastically extolling the wonders of overseas studies at a Scottish university and the "international" friendships it affords: "Last night, in our flat, I looked around, and in one room, there were some people speaking Swedish, others speaking Italian and others speaking English [...] And I thought, this is wonderful." [New York Times]

I do believe it is the textbook definition of irony that a young woman thinks that in order to experience other languages and cultures, she must leave a nation, a famously self-proclaimed "melting pot," that founded itself on the ideals of immigration (and that is, apparently, devoid of Italians). Are her fellow citizens -- many of whom are working class immigrants who speak languages originating in continents starting with letters other than E -- too "international" for young Lucy?

posted at 4:36:19 pm

Name Lucy Lydon
February 1, 2009   01:03 PM PST
I was just browsing and was surprised to find a discussion about my comment in the new york times...
I know that its easy to judge someone on a quote, especially due to the nature of journalism. But I think you got me wrong in saying that i felt like I had to leave the US to experience other languages and cultures. I grew up in New York City and I've always been aware that there are few other places where I can experience such a diverse community and be exposed to such a wide spectrum of people every day. I went to a Quaker school in the city, and because of this was involved in alot of community service projects - all of which allowed me to be involved with different communities and people from all around the world. I made the decision to go to school in the UK for many different reasons, but yes, a major factor was that I would be studying with, in classrooms with, and learning with people from other countries, with backgrounds, experiences and ideas completely different from my own. This exposure isn't any better or worse than what I would gain from going to school in the States, but why not explore other international communities, or try a different system of education, or take yourself out of the American bubble for four years? I wasn't escaping the US to seek something that I couldn't find, I'm just trying to explore and understand different perspectives.
also about rich kids not being impressed by learning from working with immigrants - i actually did manage to learn some spanish and arabic (and many other things) by working in a middle eastern restaurant with people from syria to iran to mexico. so dont be too quick to judge.
J f Z
December 12, 2008   06:17 PM PST
Dudette! It's so true. Rich people who can afford an education would not be impressed by learning Korean in the back of a dry cleaners. Or Spanish while on a janitorial crew. Or Punjabi while stocking shelves at a store.

Meanwhile, the CIA is advertising during VOD TV shows... Duh.
December 6, 2008   12:12 PM PST
Woe betide us when it awakes
December 3, 2008   02:46 AM PST
This is one of those "sleeper" posts that is really much more awesome than many realize.

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Glo'ri'a'na, noun:
1. An alternative form of "Gloria."
2. As "Americana" defines itself as artefacts of American culture, "Gloriana" consists of the artefacts of my culture.


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