Date of Award
After returning to the States from a three-month stay in England, studying with a college exchange programme at Oxford University, I knew I'd be bombarded with questions from curious friends and interested family members. They'd wonder about the weather, ask about the food, inquire about the academic load ... but the question I anticipated most was "What was the best part?" This question, impossible to answer in the thirty-second attention span of my friends and relatives, challenged me to simmer three months of memories into a bite-sized tidbit, a few sentences that captured the experience of a lifetime. They didn't care to hear all the epic sagas I'd experienced, the long stories of shifting relationships and changing seasons and overwhelming research. They asked because they were expected to ask. They asked in hopes that I'd answer in a cute accent. My curious questioners wanted traditional British stories, tales about tea and scones, princes and queens, rain-soaked umbrellas and foaming pints and buttered crumpets and crumbling castles. I was ready for the question, of course. I had dozens of stories, and even a few about these traditional experiences. But my time in Britain ranged seldom to London palaces or country pubs. My favorite story to tell had nothing to do with stereotypical British life, and had very little in common with most of my day-to-day experiences across the pond. My favorite story to tell was of the day it snowed.
Lodge, Brittany, "From Memory to Meaning" (2009). Honors Projects and Presentations: Undergraduate. 293.