A Winter Without Ice: Part 2

Growing up in Massachusetts has taught me to deal with all sorts of weather, from days that are below freezing to others that are so hot you can feel the tar on the driveway melting under your feet. This variety has led New Englanders to take on some habits that seem odd to the rest of the US, let alone other countries, so being out of my element has forced me to adapt to my new environment. For example, the temperature back home is currently 22°F (-6°C), but that will not stop anyone from rolling out of bed to get an iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts. Yes, you read that right: iced coffee.

Donuts GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

So imagine my surprise when, in October, I went to order an iced tea and was told that this item, along with others, were not on the menu for the time being because it was getting colder outside. In that moment, all I could think about was all of the blizzards I have driven in to get an iced coffee, so cold weather could not deter me. While I have struggled without iced coffee this winter, something I have appreciated is the lack of snow and not having to shovel myself out of the house like the rest of my family (sorry, guys!).

Snowpocalypse 2015 aka Winter Storm Juno

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed Part 2 of my “New England vs. England” series. Comment below with any regional habits that may have been put into question while traveling!

Re-learning the English Language: Tales of a Fluent *American* English Speaker: Part 1

Have you ever spoken the same language as somebody else but still felt lost in translation? Before I studied abroad in 2014, I thought the only difference between the UK and US would be the accents, but how wrong I was! A few days into my semester, I had my first experience hanging out with my friend’s British flatmates and almost right away, I was berated for calling ‘crisps’, ‘chips’.

From this moment on, I tried to fall into a pattern of calling everything by its British name so that I wouldn’t get yelled at but while some things came easily, others never quite stuck. Here is a list of words and their UK-US translations (Note: Some US translations are strictly New England/Massachusetts-based and may not apply to all 50 states).

  • Fries= Chips
  • Bubbler=Water fountain
  • Rotary=Roundabout
  • Jimmies= Sprinkles
  • Cookout=Barbeque
  • Sidewalk=Pavement
  • Crosswalk=Zebra crossing
  • Sweater=Jumper
  • Shopping cart=Trolley
  • Cookie= Biscuit
  • Elevator=Lift
  • Soccer=Football
  • Football=American football
  • First floor=Ground floor
  • Pants=Trousers
    • Fun fact: I told a class full of Brits that I had just bought a new pair of pants and did not realise my error until somebody was intuitive enough to understand that I meant jeans, not underwear…

 BONUS: Words that look similar or the same but manage to get me in trouble every time.

  • Aluminum=Aluminium
  • Mocha (Moe-ka)=Mocha (Mawcka)

Confused? You’re not alone!

I hope you’ve enjoyed Part 1 of my “New England vs. England” series. Comment below with other pairings you may have heard of or any mishaps caused by same-language mistranslation!

4 FREE attractions in London that you don’t want to miss!

Planning to visit London with a tight student budget? I’m sure you’ll love these 4 amazing free attractions in London!

1. Horse Guards Parade

Whereas tourists often flock to Buckingham Palace for the Changing of the Guard ceremony, you will save much more effort to visit the equally impressive Horse Guards Parade on Whitehall Street. As this Horse Guard Parade is not so crowded, it’s much easier to watch it at a closer distance and take more photos with the guards. But be careful: The horses bite!

Tiny me standing next to a Horse Guard

2. Wallace Collection

My most favorite gem in London, the Wallace Collection features a remarkable collection of art, arms and armour, paintings and porcelain in a beautiful town house in Manchester Square. You can also try a medieval armour on and take a selfie with it here.

3. Camden Market

Open every day from 10am, Camden Market hosts over 1000 stalls selling everything you can imagine from exotic Asian food, vintage art, handmade accessories to organic cosmetics. Don’t forget to bargain before you buy though!

A street artist at Camden Market place
The scenic canal at Camden Market
You’ll get overwhelmed by the variety of products to buy here

4. Parliament Houses

Entrance to Parliament Houses is free, but be prepared to stand in the queue for up to an hour. If you are here at certain times, you can even watch live debates at the House of Commons or House of Lords.

The Lords Public Gallery

Have you visited any of these free attractions in London? Or do you know any other that should also make it to this list? Don’t hesitate to let me know by commenting below!

A Taste of Culture: Hull’s Top Eateries

There’s no doubt an abundance of restaurants trying to supply fine food in Hull but not many are doing it quite like these;

Da Gianni;

The brand is developing into other premises elsewhere but the  flagship restaurant on Princes Ave continues to serve authentic Italian food in a homely environment feeling as close to Italy as you can get near the Humber. It’s the perfect spot for a date if you want to impress and not spend too much doing so. Fresh pasta and real stone-baked pizza for reasonable prices, cant go wrong.

Wagwan chicken;

Seriously succulent Jerk Chicken with style courtesy of Hull brand ‘Dope Food Inc’ well known for the sister takeaway/cafe ‘Dope Burger’. The small shop on Spring Bank will bring you “grandma recipe” standard chicken, rice & slaw like you’ve never tasted before. You might think it’s just their cool marketing but the hype is real, It’s not the cheapest option but for £8 you can expect a generously sized meal with a genuine taste of Jamaica…. in Hull.

Hull Pie;

With several locations across Hull this growing brand is a forced to be reckoned with, and not just because of its perfectly thought out locations. Pies arent something that would often excite people under the age of 40 but this is a real exception. £5 gets you a seriously good pie with any side, they’ve even jumped on the bandwagon and got sweet potato fries. There’s a shop at the top of Newland so no excuses, go try it.

 

 

 

Sonic Study Tools; Music To Help You Concentrate.

Whether you’re at your desk struggling to get into the zone or in the library in need of something to drown out the sound of those dudes talking loudly about Game of Thrones; music is the answer.

Heres some artists and albums to help you switch off the world around you and get motivated;

Nightmares on Wax – Smokers Delight https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZ8CGOXrhks 

The 1995 album by Leeds mastermind Nightmares on Wax is a percussive funky journey to which I arguably owe my success in GCSE & A level. The tracks carry the right amount of minimalism to avoid distraction yet the perfect amount of switch ups to avoid you getting bored.

Kruder & Dorfmeister – K & D Sessions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCU36y5utlw&list=PL0B83276B1AC5C9C5

Produced in 1998 by Austrian DJ/Producers Kruder & Dorfmeister the trip-hop album is a mix of their originals and remixes that will have you locked for the duration. Rumour has it Dorfmeister will be playing in Hull this year…

J Dilla – Vintage Instrumentals vol 2  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ff9eDId1GtM 

Little needs to be said about this Detroit hip-hop legend. The late J Dilla often produced tracks for MC’s or his own lyrics however this album is a compilation of dreamy instrumentals which apparently never found vocals to fit. Let the snare take you.

Steve Reich’s Marimba & Piano Compositions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xG_1sjActCE

Minimal pioneer Steve Reich delivers compositions that simply take you away. Simple overlapping melodies and arpeggios with no drums keep you thinking without distraction.

Please post your own favourite study music below.

Like the music – Support the artists;

http://www.juno.co.uk/products/nightmares-on-wax-smokers-delight/550317-01/

http://www.juno.co.uk/products/kruder-dorfmeister-the-k-d-sessions-remastered/562873-01/

http://www.juno.co.uk/search/?q%5Ball%5D%5B%5D=j+dilla&hide_forthcoming=0

http://www.juno.co.uk/search/?q%5Ball%5D%5B%5D=steve+reich&solrorder=relevancy&hide_forthcoming=0

 

 

Study Skills: Strategic approaches that can help you with exams

While exams are commonly acknowledged as painful and troublesome among many students, the ways to counter these problems are becoming increasingly paramount.

With this in mind, here I would like to share a step-by-step personal tactic to deal with all kinds of exam, and hopefully these might aid you with your future study!

1. Know your scope:

It is crucial to know the scope of your exam and the core areas. This is the starting point for effective and efficient revising as the time is limited and consequently you must utilise all your strength on the right direction.

2. Make a revision plan:

Once you have identified your scope and core areas, the next thing is to dissect them into sections and label them with a time frame and priority. Normally, the higher the priority the more the time you need to allocate. And the allocation of time is based on the estimation of your personal strength.

3. Be calm and follow the plan:

When the plan is created, the next step is to follow it! Make sure nothing comes in your way and stop you from reaching the daily objective.

4. Reflect and retain:

The last gap between you and the aim is reflection and retention. It would be frustrating that if you cannot remember anything when it comes to the real deal. So, try to be proactive and reflect on the previous learning at the end of each day, and the science behind this is supported by Hermann Ebbinghaus.

Start to make plans now! Please leave some comments and follow me on twitter for more information! @Chuanqi_Xu

This blog is reproduced from 2016 by Chanqi Xu

Campus Event: Inspired in Hull – “The Business of Film”

It is not under dispute that the film industry is big business, but what are the constructs behind the scene?

The Hull University Business School has invited her distinguished alumni, Kieran Breen, the President of International Theatrical Marketing, Twentieth Century Fox, to unveil the mystery of the movie business.

During this campus event, Kieran illustrated the film business value chain, from its production to the screen, as an exciting and risky parachute jumping. The reason for this is that the cost of a movie is usually around 60~100 million U.S. dollars, and the success of the product largely depends on the performance of its initial launch. In other words, it is either a safe landing or a tragic disaster.

He also explained the importance of the international marketplace, the need to understand the consumer in different countries, regions, and territories. And, the marketing divisions in reaching the consumer.

He further explored some of the structural changes impacting the movie business and the implications for the future of the industry. He noted that this business is no longer as profitable as before for a number of reasons. For instance, there are currently more entertainment options than 20 years ago, thus less disposable income will be available for movies. Moreover, China is building stronger political barriers to protect their local business, consequently the foreign film manufacturer can only get 25% of the sales revenue.

Inspired? It would be nice for you to leave some comments! And please find out more at #BusinessOfFilmpic.twitter.com/aHVhkrJrjN.

This blog is reproduced from 2016 by Chanqi Xu

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