Tuesday, September 21, 2004

British-sounding, living abroad, the Pitcairn Islands, too much TV

The other day my English teacher assigned a creative writing assignment associated with our current book, Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day. Because the book is from the butler Stevens' perspective, our task is to write a few pages from the perspective of another major character, Miss Kenton. Well, I began writing this passage from Miss Kenton's point of view, but because our given situation was so narrow, I found my "Miss Kenton" story fairly dry. So, in a new show of creativity, I decided to spice up the assignment and make it more authentic by writing it like a British person--because of course that's where the story takes place. I began with merely adding British spellings: honour, colour, metre, theatre, favour, etc. Then I began using British words like queue and lorry. I branched out into British punctuation, with single quotation marks and the periods and commas outside the quotes. And, finally, I started writing in that stereotypical British fashion, with words like certainly, rather, and whilst. I must say that the result is unbelievably...creative. I don't know how great a reception it will get from my teacher, however.

Incidentally, I mentioned my idea of living abroad to my family at dinner the other night, and overall they were quite receptive. We basically all agreed that it would be great to travel for a year or a year and a half, staying three months apiece in various countries. Places of interest include India, France, Spain, South Africa, New Zealand, and China. The two main obstacles are the problem of jobs and of our two dogs. While we would have a stream of income from the rent of our house, it would not be enough to support the four of us. I suggested that my parents work as correspondents or contracters online, so it wouldn't matter where in the world they were situated; to this idea my dad seemed receptive, my mom dubious. The second problem regarded what would happen with our two beloved dogs when we left overseas; I think we should leave them with my aunt or uncle for the time, and we would of course "reclaim" them once we returned. My mom, however, I think would experience a great deal of separation anxiety over this. I would as well but, not to seem unfeeling, I would much rather be abroad without the dogs than stuck here in suburbia WITH them.

Speaking of foreign countries, I recently learned about the tiniest country in the world. It is called the Pitcairn Islands, and it was founded by a group of marooned sailors and their Tahitian wives. At this time I think it has about 40 inhabitants. And furthermore--best of all--their main export and source of income is the production of...postage stamps. I'm not kidding. It kind of reminds me of the Swiss Family Robinson but a hundred times stranger. I love it.

Must go now because though I stayed home today (partly from an oncoming cold, partly from a physical aversion to school--and only two week in!) tomorrow I have a Spanish quiz and a quiz in Environmental Science. And, funnily enough because I generally watch little TV, tonight is the premier of Gilmore Girls, a new episode of Last Comic Standing, and a new Nova. I'm Tivo-ing Gilmore Girls and watching LCS live off the antennae; the Nova I'm skipping because they usually replay them at one o'clock in the morning or some other strange hour; I can record it then. Alright, must run.

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