the name game (2007-10-14 - 11:42 a.m.)

I have classmates named Ralph and Alice! And Ralph is a good bit younger than me. Mom, in your love for old-fashioned names, how come you never called any of us Ralph?

(I also work with a Helena, who was confused because Canadians always want to pronounce her "Hel-EEN-a" and not "HEL-en-a". She asked me, "Don't you have anyone in Canada called Helen?"
I replied, "Yes, but they tend to be, er... OVER a certain age... er..."
Another labmate rescued me with, "Over there it's a more traditional name." Whew: rescued from trying to explain that I don't know any Canadian Helens under 70 or so.)

(Helena is lovely, but it took me weeks of acquaintance to stop mentally adding "handbasket" every time someone said her name. Argh. Stupid brain.)

Speaking of my obsession with name collections, so far I've met a Carys (classic Welsh) and a couple of Lowri's (like Welsh for Laurie), plus a 50ish Wednesday and a Brit/Canadian Cookie.

At any rate, I am still alive but drowning under piles of work. As well, it's a challenge learning a whole new academic system (very similar in a lot of ways, of course, but with differences that pop up in unexpected places). I'm becoming one of those keener students emailing profs to beg for background reading so I have some idea what they're talking about. (Er, well, okay - one prof at least). People keep using acronyms and short forms as if I should automatically know, and I'll have no clue what they're referring to. I can only hope that I'll eventually catch on if I do a lot of background reading, because I'm certainly not going to stop the lecture every time I don't understand a term.

However, another girl in very similar circumstances (undergrad was a while ago and not taken in Britain [South Africa, in her case]) is having the exact same experience. So we sat down (in the pub, of course) and formed a strategic alliance of old fogey foreigners to meet up once in a while to study and/or rant. If it doesn't help matters, at least I'll feel better!

Apart from that, er... not much. Work work work. Been meeting people slowly but steadily, and have taken up watching Strictly Ballroom with labmates on Saturday nights to make nasty comments about participants' ugly dresses/stiff movements/sloppy holds. Fun! Kinda miss dancing now.

Anyway, must hang in there. Good lord, though, it's only Week 2...

backwards ~ onwards

Tell me about it...

(3 comments so far)

Missed anything?
moved! - 2008-05-12
Sunday = time to ramble on - 2008-05-11
apparently I'm doing monthly updates these days. Sorry. - 2008-05-04
watershed - 2008-04-06
end of trip - 2008-03-31

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