08 October, 2012

the start of something new

I've never written a blog before. I tried once. I was in Italy and thought that instead of continuously repeating myself I would record the ins and outs of my daily life online for my friends and family to read themselves. I wrote one entry. My "friend" kindly pointed out that I had used semi-colons in the wrong places and I must admit that whilst I have been crowned the "grammar queen" of international languages - Spanish and Italian, let's not get too carried away here - I was ashamed to admit that my English perhaps needed a little work. As the Fall 2012 students are all too aware, email is my preferred method of communication as I feel like I can be as formal - "to whom this may concern..." or informal as I deem necessary but a blog proposes the challenge of talking to a very wide audience, some of whom I have never met (hello stranger) and as I think I have demonstrated rather well already, I have a slight, OK, quite a large tendency to ramble...

I've not even properly introduced myself. I am Jessica - or Jess (not Jessie or else I feel like the cowgirl from Toy Story 2) - the new Programme Coordinator at Ithaca College London Center. I recently graduated from University where I studied Spanish and Italian and so I have first-hand experience of what it feels like to study here in the UK and abroad. [Note to current students: (<--correct use of colon?!) come and find me in the Front Office. I'll swap stories about Italy if you tell me about your travels in Europe. I'm already quite envious of your adventures overseas.] It's also worth noting that surprisingly I am the only English member of the admin staff, but contrary to what you may believe after watching all those Hollywood movies, being the token English girl by in no way means that I; 1. talk like Keira Knightly, 2. look like Keira Knightly, 3. live in a palace/castle/stately home and nor am I 4. an evil butler.

I have been told that I have free reign over this blog. Kindly passed on by Claire, ISee Elsie is like my adopted child and I am expected to take care of her in the same way as my predecessor did. I like her so far but then again, so far all I have done is talk about me and I like me so, so far so good right? I should probably talk a bit more about the London Center. I suppose that this space is for people other than me. I did warn you about my ramblings. However if you do want to find out more about the life of Jess then pop into my office, bring a brew (northern slang for a cup of tea. I'm not actually northern.) and pull up a chair. I do love a good gossip. And tea. And perhaps some digestives? Sorry, I'm talking about myself again...

So last weekend I was taken on my first trip away from London. Having prepared the packs, organised the rooming list and got everyone on the coach - after apologising to Colin for spelling his name wrong (it was an accident, I promise!) - we were all set to go. First stop --> Warwick Castle! Now you would think that after flying all that way across the Atlantic the students would be impressed by such a grand and prestigious building, but no, these students were quite entertained by the local wildlife...


After Bill and I enjoyed our champagne lunch (I'm joking.) we got back onto the coach and headed toward Stratford-upon-Avon. Here the students were able to visit the place in which Shakespeare was born and buried and in the evening we watched a "Comedy of Errors" at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Now, I must admit that not having read the play - nor knowing anything about it - I was probably at a slight disadvantage. However everyone else seemed to enjoy it, laughing along at the right times and generally getting the gist of what was going on. It was then onto the infamous Dirty Duck pub for a pint. Bill had bought a number of badges with various Shakespearean quotes on, which he handed to each of the students. I received one with the line, "Though she be but little she be fierce", which I think says more about my height than anything else. I'm not entirely sure what did happen at the pub that evening...I retired to bed early. My student days, though I hate to say it, are far behind me now...

The following morning I enjoyed breakfast with Katy and Molly before we headed to meet the others for a talk and tour on Shakespeare's life. The weather held out beautifully during the day (I now write this beneath a gloomy sky - not literally, I'm still sat in my office). There were blue skies and spots of sunshine and - can you believe it - it did not rain! After some free time filled with retail therapy, it was onto our final stop, Oxford. The London Center students were given a couple of hours to explore the town, take a nosey around the prestigious colleges and buy some merchandise from the shops - Kelly made the mistake of purchasing a college jumper and was told by our coach driver, David to take it off or face walking back to London...which she did. Take it off I mean - she certainly did not walk home.

Overall my first trip was pretty fun. I enjoyed getting to know the students a bit better and I hope that they feel the same way about me. I must admit that I have rather enjoyed my first three weeks at Ithaca College London Center. It has a somewhat family feel to the place that is easy to get swept up in and I feel like I have been taken under its wing. This blog seems to have turned into some sort of sentimental piece. I must quickly rectify this; I am British after all a do not, under any circumstance display my emotions. On that note, I think I shall bring this entry to a close before I get too carried away; however it is practically an essay now. I hope that you have enjoyed reading my second attempt at blogging and that this time I can get past writing just the one entry. Maybe I can get to grips with those semi-colons too...?!


  1. Hello from across the pond Jessica! Very much enjoyed your first post and am just about to let people know about it on the facebook page called Ithaca College London Center -- join if you like -- we have more than 800 members and try to keep it interesting, though it was much easier when Claire and I were both in London at the center -- I think you know I've retired now (oh, I'm Jack Hrkach as well as Dottore Gianni -- taught at ICLC in fall 05 and all of last academic year, and also started the annual Edinburgh Fest trips) but I hope to come visit soon -- very best, and keep those posts coming! Ciao!

  2. I wouldn't worry much about rambling, it actually kind of seems to be a job qualification at ICLC if you ask me.

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