A Midwestern Girl's Journey to Merry ol' England

Monday, May 23, 2011

I found a very useful site called http://septicscompanion.com. It's an English-English to American-English dictionary. It also has a lot of useful explinations of differences in ettiqute and common communication. All the while, this writes in a friendly, humorous way with things like this:

In Britain, there are only fifty-five minutes in an hour. This means that the day is 8% shorter, and so as time goes on, the day tends to slip a little when compared with the position of the sun. By the end of a month, people find that they’re getting up for work just as the sunset is finishing. In order to remedy this, a “leap day” is inserted into every second month or so – the specific months are chosen by the Queen in a televised royal proclamation. The ceremony, reminiscent of the historic “changing of the guard,” takes place at Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s official residence in London. The current holder of the ceremonial House of Commons position “Black Rod” approaches the Queen’s residence carrying the Mace, an ornamental staff normally kept in the Parliament. Watches in silence from behind a cordon by hordes of tourists, he knocks three times sharply on the Queen’s front door. The Queen emerges, often wearing her nightgown, shuffles around a little peering at the ground and shortly declares in a loud voice whether or not she is able to see her shadow. If she can see her shadow, a leap day is added to the current month oh, no, it’s no good; I just can’t keep this up. Back to why telling the time in Britain is different

It's nice to read an informative site that doesn't sound like a friggin' textbook.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Getting to know you...

Ok, let me begin with a small disclaimer: I have not kept a steady blog for years. In fact, my last and only blog was way back in high school where I wrote very emo poetry about how sad suburban, upper-middle class life was. Oh, the sad misunderstood days of my youth! How happy I am to be rid of them!
Despite my lack of recent experience, I cross my heart that I'll keep as accurate and updated of a blog as I possibly can.

I'll begin with an introduction:
My name is Tess. I like blueberry muffins and humid Missouri weather. I was born in Blue Springs, raised in Grain Valley, and currently live in a tiny studio apartment in midtown Kansas City. It's plain to see that I've never really left my Jackson County bubble for an extended period of time.
I have traveled before. When I was younger, I went on vacation to Mexico with my parents where we visited the the tourist locations and nothing else.
In high school I went on a two week student ambassador trip to Malta (So beautiful!), France, and Italy. Unfortunately, I didn't get to experience much. We stayed with our group and weren't even allowed to venture out into the city without being in a group of three. As a stranger to the group, I spend many days tagging along awkwardly or forced to stay at hotel room and look outside my window. Not to complain. I really loved my trip. I don't regret going. I saw so many wonderful things. Still, it was a very different experience from living on my own (with roommates) for months.
I also had a mission trip in Jamaica where we helped build houses (Seriously! I built a freaking house!) for the homeless and run a food/clothing drive for those who couldn't afford it otherwise. It was a humbling experience. I enjoyed it.

Another thing about me: I'm Bipolar. No, not in the flippant Jeez-she's-all-over-the-place-for-attention kind of way. I was diagnosed last year (which explained many of the adnormalities I had been going through since the age of ten). I take medication, which helps. But finding and maintaining stability within myself is a trial I deal with everyday. It's like walking on a tightrope and being terrified of falling off one edge or the other.

So why the hell am I willingly uprooting my entire life and traveling across seas for an entire semester alone? To me honest, I'm not sure. Part of me thinks I'll figure it out when I'll get there. I've always wanted to take a trip like this. I'm a theatre major and studying theatre in a place that has influenced much of American theatre is an amazing opportunity. I don't want to miss out.
Part of me is terrified, though. I've been going through this process for months and there have been several times that I've thought, "I can pull out right now. No one would have to know. It will save my family so much money and I'll stay safe and warm inside my tiny comfort zone." But I couldn't bring myself to give up. I feel like this in the next step in my life. Some sort of intuitive gut feeling. It's terrifying, but exciting. Like that first downward plunge on a roller coaster ride. My stomach flips, but I can feel the wind in my hair. I'm not sure if I'm flying or falling.

I guess I'll figure it out when I get there.