Sharing things

Transcript for 2.7 Andrew and Jennifer

Transcript for Sharing things 2.7 Andrew and Jennifer

Amalie: Hi, I'm Amalie, I'm a current student, and I'm the host of Sharing things. Sharing things is a conversation between two people who have just met, but who share a connection to the University. We start with a meaningful object that they have brought to the studio, and we take it from there.

In this episode you will meet Andrew Wilson and Jennifer Culbertson.

Andrew is the elected President of Edinburgh University Students' Association and an English Language and Linguistics student. Jennifer is a Reader in the Centre of Language Evolution at the University.

Let's see where this takes us.

[Sharing things theme music]

Amalie: Ok, so welcome to Sharing things. We usually start with the same question and that is: What have you brought to the studio and why?

Jennifer: I will let Andrew go first.

Andrew: Oh amazing. Ok so I've brought something very basic, but it means a lot to me, so it's, I mean, listeners at home are missing out on this extravagant fridge magnet.

Amalie: Wow!

Andrew: It's very pink and sparkly, very outrageously camp, just like myself [laughter]. But it symbolises Blackpool, which is where I grew up, where I'm from, and it means a lot to me because when I came to University about three years ago now, I didn't really meet anybody quite like me from like where I was from.

I had never really met someone from private school my life, and I came to the University and it was pretty much everybody I'd ever met, and I met loads of diverse people from loads of different backgrounds. But I think at the end of the year I sort of reflected on who I'd met and I think I became a lot prouder of where I was from.

I think that for me it might have taken a lot more to get to University than it might have done for other people, and therefore at the end of it, and carrying on throughout University, I have become a lot prouder of where I grew up and where I'm from, and being from the north of England is something (best place in the UK).

Also in my role I work as the President of the Students’ Association and a lot of what I do is about challenging the University to think about the future of what the University will be like and the types of students they will attract. And I think the widening participation element and making sure that higher education is accessible to each and every person from every single background is something that means a lot to me. And I think it's really important for the University to continue working towards that and being little old me from Blackpool, I think there was only one other person from my area who came to the University of Edinburgh.

So it's made me sort of—it’s come full circle and it's great that I get to work full time doing the things that I feel really passionately about. So yeah that's why I brought my lovely old Blackpool fridge magnet [laughter].

Jennifer: I love that. I don't know if you can hear this listeners but I'm a foreigner [laughter]. Can you tell me about Blackpool?

Andrew: Oh, wow.

Jennifer: I've never been.

Amalie: Me neither [laughter].

Andrew: So where is it that you're from originally?

Jennifer: I'm from Baltimore Maryland in the US. 'The Wire' people, 'The Wire'.

Andrew: So Blackpool is kind of like the Las Vegas of the United Kingdom. That's what I would say [laughter].

Amalie: That’s a grand statement.

Andrew: Some people might disagree but I think it's just a great seaside resort with lots to do, great places to go on a weekend away if you want to have some fun, and quite like this fridge magnet, Blackpool can be quite tacky sometimes, but in a good way. But yeah it's in the north of England, in Lancashire, and it's my favourite place in the UK to visit. I rarely get to go home but when I do I love going to Blackpool with all my friends.

Jennifer: And what was it like growing up there?

Andrew: I suppose because what I was saying a lot of people I knew were from London and from cities in the UK, and Blackpool is a bit further away and is a big town, but definitely not a city, and being from the north isn't as connected as the rest of the UK.

So I feel like growing up in Blackpool was like a little bubble and it's not a very diverse place, and when I came to Edinburgh, I mean Edinburgh could be a lot more diverse than it is [laughter].

Jennifer: Indeed.

Andrew: But it was way more diverse than Blackpool was, and therefore I think it was a bit of a shell shock for me, but also it was a really nice, it was really welcoming, and actually I kind of liked being amongst this diverse community and sometimes when I go back to Blackpool I long to travel back up to Edinburgh.

But yeah it was, I think it was a very different place to grow up than a lot of people I've met at the University, but again it sort of prompted me to care about things like widening participation and making Edinburgh seem accessible to people.

Amalie: You mentioned earlier that you feel like that magnet makes you feel proud of being from Blackpool. What is it that makes you feel proud about Blackpool?

Andrew: I think it's more about coming to the University of Edinburgh and actually being proud about where I came from and because it's quite rare to find someone who's come from a similar background, especially at this University.

And I think that that's what sort of creates this proudness within myself because actually I've got through loads of hurdles that other people might not have done, and actually going to University, and being from Blackpool, they weren't and it wasn't a thing.

We really celebrated when someone got into Oxford or Cambridge and that was once in a blue moon, but for other students that's just the norm, and I actually think that higher education is, you know, it is a big stepping stone for some people but other people might not seem that way.

And therefore I'm sort of really proud that I was one of the few that managed to get to University, and have a great time while here and I've had so many great experiences.

So yeah, I think that's the sort of proudness, and also it's a great place, great theme park.

I'm proud that we have the tallest roller coaster in the UK.

Amalie: Oh wow! [laughter].

Andrew: That’s a fact for you. So yeah [laughter]. I didn't build it myself [laughter].

Amalie: What did you bring?

Jennifer: I brought a hat [laughter].

Amalie: A hat!

Jennifer: On the face of it doesn't seem that exciting but actually it was a hat that was made for me by the mother of someone I'm working with doing linguistics field work in Kenya.

Andrew: Oh wow!

Jennifer: So I went on this field trip in August actually, recently, so we went to this place called the Tharaka County in Western Kenya, a tiny place, basically no roads, you just like driving around, bumpty bumpty bump [laughter].

And we went there to study a village language that is spoken there called Kiitharaka. It's an understudied language, it's kind of dying out in in a way, although there are some efforts to revive it, and you know that's a work thing, but I think there's something personal about this for me because it was a really, a really wide opening expanding experience for me.

You know, I'm someone who does a lot of traveling around Europe and such, and so to be in this community and see how they interact with one another, what their lives are like, how they speak this language, what other languages they speak, and then you know to have them be so welcoming as to make me this amazing hat. I just was, I was really touched by it, and touched by the whole experience.

And what you were saying about widening participation kind of strikes a note with me because this person that I'm working with there, whose mother made me this lovely hat, he wants to come and do a PhD here. And he is not the kind of candidate that we would usually have as a PhD student to be frank, you know he started out his life walking to school barefoot from his village, and now he's managed to get to a place where he has a master's degree in linguistics and he has ambitions to come and study in the UK. You know, but will he get a chance to do that?

And if he does get a chance to do that, which already means overcoming a lot of hurdles, what would it be like for him to be here? It's going to be so different.

Andrew: Completely.

Jennifer: So he's never been outside of Kenya. Would this be a welcoming place for him? Would this be a place where he gets the support he needs? So I think it's just caused me, this whole experience has caused me to think a lot about, what it really means to live in such privilege, and how we can sort of widen participation for real, so an interesting parallel.

Andrew: That’s interesting, so I study linguistics normally.

Amalie: You do?

Jennifer: I didn't know that.

Andrew: Yeah, so obviously I don't study this year, but I usually study linguistics and maybe the powers that be have brought us together.

Jennifer: They have brought us together.

Amalie: The stars have aligned.

Andrew: When you said that I was like huh [laughter]. But no I think that the point you made, so that I think that, in terms of widening participation, is that idea of being able to get into education is one huge achievement.

Jennifer: Right, but it's not the end.

Andrew: But it’s not the end because getting on whilst you're here is even more fundamentally important because there are so many hurdles that maybe international students and students from low income backgrounds will face…you know a lot harder, and a lot more forcefully than other students will.

Jennifer: Yeah.

Andrew: And I think you know we often celebrate being able to, you know, make those targets and getting these students here…

Jennifer: Sure.

Andrew: But actually we need to make sure that they are having the best time whilst they are here but also once they finish that we give them the tools to be able to succeed once they finish University and I think it's so so important.

Jennifer: Yeah.

Andrew: But you know, like you said, sometimes it's so interesting meeting different students and in this job it's amazing because just the different backgrounds that people have come from, and we're all in this together, and we're all studying in the same class or studying the same subject. It's amazing to see the sort of melting pot of different students at Edinburgh.

Jennifer: Yeah but I think, I think the only way that that can be successful is for there to be more people from diverse backgrounds because I think it takes more people around to actually make that happen.

Andrew: Completely. Because it's about hearing from their voices and their experiences about if they've managed to get to University and they have a brilliant time, they can sort of pave the way in a sense for other students who come from those backgrounds because they can hopefully speak to the University and talk about the barriers and how we can sort of deconstruct them to make sure that you know the University of Edinburgh you know is one sort of on its own but also higher education as a whole, I think it's so important all the barriers are broken down that anybody can get into education.

[Sharing things theme music]

Amalie: On the topic of linguistics, I'm interested in like what has interested both of you guys in that topic, was it like a language that you found very interesting or what was it?

Jennifer: Yeah for me I think I always have been interested in languages and when I was younger I just took as many of them as I could, I was completely undedicated to any particular language, I just would take all of them, and I was lucky enough to have a teacher around who taught me Ancient Greek, just me, just me [laughter].

Andrew: Wow [laughter].

Amalie: Special treatment.

Jennifer: So he had been getting his PhD in Classics so he knew Greek and Latin but he took some time out of his PhD to teach, and then he never went back. So I think you know he was actually really wanting students to be interested in this stuff and kind of nobody was, except for me.

So I went to university and studied Classics, sort of not understanding that there was, not really knowing what it was I really liked about languages, and at some point I became aware that actually there is a field that is dedicated to studying, not like how people, you know, not literature, not necessarily culture around language, although you can study that from a linguistics perspective for sure, but more about like how does language work?

Amalie: Yeah, that is interesting.

Jennifer: Yeah so I got really interested in like I'd always studied French and I got really interested in understanding like how did Latin become French?

And so what I study now is language evolution which is partly like how do languages change over time, partly how do we get language in the first place, and then partly, like, does learning language actually make languages change in some particular ways?

Amalie: Do you speak any languages?

Jennifer: Yeah obviously English, my French is ok, although it keeps getting worse every year, and then I just like know a bunch about a bunch of languages.

Andrew: Yeah I think that’s when you tell someone you study linguistics, they are like so how many languages can you speak?

Jennifer: Yeah they always ask that!

Andrew: Just the one, but not very well [laughter]. That’s what it usually is like. But I'm in terms of linguistics, I'm more interested in the socio-linguistics aspect so kind of different to other language evolution and how language, how society effects the way that people speak and the impacts it has on the way people communicate.

And I remember when I was doing my A-Levels when I was 17, we did a big course on language and gender, and it was the most fascinating thing ever. And I just-- just the difference in how men and women speak differently, the method behind how people investigate is just so fascinating, and when I was looking at going to university, someone suggested oh maybe you'd like linguistics, cause obviously back in school it was styled as English language.

But yeah, linguistics is amazing, and Edinburgh is one of the best in the world for linguistics…

Jennifer: Indeed!

Andrew: Which is one of the things that attracted me here.

Jennifer: Likewise.

Andrew: Yeah I love that aspect of linguistics and I suppose there is sort of overlap with the evolution of language.

Jennifer: Oh for sure.

Andrew: The society affects the way that people speak differently.

Jennifer: For sure, that's another aspect of being human that makes our languages not stay the same because we're always talking to each other, we're talking to different groups, and yeah that… that makes things interesting.

Andrew: Yeah completely, but when you tell someone you study linguistics and then they ask a bit more, sometimes you'd be like we look at the grammar and you can see them backing away [laughter]. Grammar.

Jennifer: I know for sure. I think we have a publicity problem.

Andrew: We do.

Jennifer: I don't think we have our like linguistics elevator pitch as good as other fields.

Andrew: Justice for linguists.

Jennifer: Yeah for sure. Because it's so cool.

Andrew: It's so fascinating.

Amalie: What it's like the most interesting language you know of, or is that a question that is even relevant?

Andrew: You might you might have a better answer than me?

Jennifer: Yeah I mean I'm currently obsessed with Kiitharaka.

Andrew: That make sense with the hat.

Jennifer: Yeah.

Andrew: Do you get much wear of the hat?

Jennifer: You know what I do.

Andrew: Do you actually?

Jennifer: Because I'm a grandma and I love gardening [laughter]. And this is actually a brilliant gardening hat. I mean you don't always need one in the UK cause of the whole lack of the sun thing.

Andrew: Especially in Edinburgh.

Jennifer: But when the sun comes out you can protect your skin.

Andrew: That's the perfect hat to do that in.

Jennifer: Yeah, it's actually a very, it fits well, it's a well-constructed hat.

Amalie: Yeah it’s nice looking, for the listeners at home you know.

Andrew: Colour scheme.

Amalie: It has colours on it, it has a pattern going on, it's straw?

Jennifer: Yes, it's made out, I mean it's not straw, but it's made out of particular like palm frond, that they have a lot of there. They also make beautiful baskets out of it.

Amalie: So nice. Yeah on the topic of languages, I mean I'm bilingual, and I always found it very interesting how kids learn languages.

Andrew: Ah yes, so interesting.

Amalie: Like the reason why I know English now is because I learnt it early and was able to kind of build on it. It's just interesting how you how you pick it up and how it becomes a part of you, and sometimes I don't even notice when, when people are speaking Norwegian in comparison to English I just understand both of them and I think about it, and it's weird.

Jennifer: It's pretty amazing. Yeah I mean I think I feel I have for a long time felt very annoyed that I am as monolingual as I am.

Andrew: Yeah I'm the same.

Jennifer: It feels like a lost opportunity [laughter].

Andrew: Completely, so frustrating.

Jennifer: I'm very jealous.

Andrew: Especially when you meet people studying our subject there are so many talented linguists.

Jennifer: Oh there really are who do genuinely know like six different languages, that is definitely a thing. Yeah but it is certainly a very wide open field to study. Like why is it that when you were young and you learned English, like the result is that your English is perfect, and maybe your friend who learned it when they were 10 or 12, it's not the same for them. I mean we really don't know why that is?

Amalie: Yeah.

Jennifer: Yeah it's quite a mystery [laughter].

Amalie: Why do you all these random noises make sense to some people and not to others?

Andrew: Ah! That is the question.

Jennifer: That is the question.

Andrew: That is the question of our time I think.

Amalie: Yeah.

Andrew: I have to ask myself that. I recently just started, so the Students’ Association, we do this give it a go week at the start of every second semester.

That was prompting of students to try something new and discover a new hobby and I went along to a British Sign Language taster session, and I'd never done it before. We obviously study it in linguistics but I'd never actually learnt sign language and it was so fascinating, and it was just such a useful thing to have but also really interesting this development of British Sign Language and I was sat next to someone who was from America and he was like American Sign Language is so different.

I was just like how can sign language be so different [laughter]?

Jennifer: I know!

Andrew: I think that’s the beauty of language. That even through hand movement it is so totally different and it's really interesting.

Jennifer: Multi-modal bilingualism is awesome. Like when you, you know, use a spoken language, and also a sign language fluently that is amazing.

Amalie: I just have so many questions, so many why questions. Like why is it so different?

Jennifer: Do you know some people actually think that human language started with gesture. So it started with in a manual modality.

Andrew: The look on your face, if you could see Amalie's face right now.

Jennifer: Yeah I mean I'm not sure I personally believe that but I wouldn't be surprised. Obviously the gestures we use when we're speaking are not the same as a sign language. But the fact is like we have this modality available to us and we have for a long time. A mystery.

Andrew: The development of language as well, I-- when I was studying did an essay on emojis and how the language of emojis and you just think like even 10 years ago people would have said to someone like do you communicate through emoji’s and they would be like.

Amalie: No.

Andrew: Well then in my essay I was like well everyone loves to communicate through emojis [laughter].

Amalie: So that was your main argument?

Andrew: Yes [laughter].

Jennifer: It's unfalsifiable.

Amalie: Everyone loves it.

Andrew: Everyone loves it.

Jennifer: Yeah I mean I think we have endless creativity for language and language-like things. It's just part of who we are as humans.

Andrew: Who knows where we will be in 10 years?

Jennifer: I know, what's next? The next frontier.

[Sharing things theme music]

Amalie: Bringing it back to your magnet and the topic of home.

How do you feel about your home?

Jennifer: My home Baltimore?

Amalie: Yeah.

Jennifer: I love my home. I love my home town, I mean when you were talking earlier about diversity and whether it's diverse here, I get that from your perspective coming from elsewhere, maybe it is, but for me it's very, very, very white. And just generally not very diverse relative to Baltimore so that's one of the things I really like about going home. I feel like ok. This feels more like it should be, I mean it's just from my perspective.

Well, Baltimore! I mean it's a town that has a lot of troubles. It's a place that struggles in a lot of ways but it's also a place that's really cool and artsy and it's kind of like Glasgow. It's like Glasgow/Edinburgh, Baltimore/Washington DC. You know like all the tourists love to go to Washington DC, but actually.

Andrew: You should go to Baltimore.

Jennifer: It's better in Baltimore [laughter]. And I mentioned 'The Wire' before and you gave me a look like you don't know what it is?

Amalie: Yeah I did [laughter].

Jennifer: It's one of the best television shows ever made. You should check it out. Come on [laughter]. Yeah so I love my home.

Amalie: Do you miss it when you're here in Edinburgh? Do you think about it a lot?

Jennifer: Yeah I do. I mean Edinburgh is beautiful and I love living here, it's great.

Andrew: It's such a beautiful city.

Jennifer: Yeah.

Andrew: I think it's such a great place to be a student as well. Edinburgh because there's just so much on the on your doorstep that you can discover. Yeah you know when I speak to prospective students part of the draws of Edinburgh is just the city itself because it’s such a beautiful city, it's everything you could ever but so sort of slow paced.

Jennifer: Yeah exactly, it’s easy to live here.

Andrew: Its safe here and it’s just a beautiful city.

Jennifer: Yeah and like Scotland in general.

Andrew: Yeah.

Jennifer: Yeah so from that perspective I think I think there's something about the nature in Scotland that just makes me happy being in it.

However, home is home in a way, you know, and it's being an ex-pat is weird because you come to feel like you actually kind of have two homes or no homes at the same time, you know?

Like I'm not from here and I never will be, but at the same time I don't live in Baltimore anymore, so you kind of, yeah you kind of lose something, in a funny way. I mean that probably happens to everyone who doesn't stay in their hometown to some extent, but it feels it feels more intense.

Andrew: Yeah I just miss the people from home and more specifically I miss my dog.

Jennifer: Aww, and that’s a person [laughter].

Andrew: He has feelings too [laughter]. But yeah you know, all my friends. It’s so weird going home now because most of my friends have moved away from home so sometimes it doesn't feel like home because all the people I associate with that place aren't there anymore when I go home. I've just been home recently for Christmas and it feels so different. But I still love going home and making my mum cook me food. I miss that [laughter].

Jennifer: Being babied is the best.

Andrew: I know.

Jennifer: Yeah.

Andrew: Stroking the dog, taking the dog for walks. There's a great website called Borrow My Doggy.

Jennifer: I know it, I know it, because I've been thinking about doing it for ages.

Andrew: It is absolutely amazing.

Jennifer: Have you actually tried it?

Andrew: So I look after and two dogs called Cody and Jessie and one of them is a miniature Yorkshire terrier and the other is a Chihuahua and...

Jennifer: You like the small dogs?

Andrew: I love the small cute dogs but now like the lady who owns them we are sort of almost best friends and it's so great to have someone I know in Edinburgh who isn't a student or involved in the University community.

Jennifer: That’s nice.

Andrew: We've really bonded and I love that because I can sort of take a break from, you know, university and talk to this amazing woman but also get to walk the most beautiful dogs.

Jennifer: Yeah I desperately want one but too much responsibility.

[Sharing things theme music]

Andrew: It's so interesting to think about all these different trips and sort of research that is happening at the University. They're all happening and most students or most staff won't know about but all this interesting work and all this of great experiences that different members of the University community are able to have is so interesting.

Jennifer: Yeah I mean, you know, there are bad things about being an academic, there's hard things about it, like there are for every other job, but I'm telling you there are some big perks [laughter].

There are some amazing perks of being a researcher. It's definitely a fun lifestyle in terms of getting to go different places, interact with different people.

Andrew: Then when you crack the code about what you’re researching you're like.

Jennifer: Right. That will definitely happen someday [laughter].

Amalie: Does it always, do you always crack some sort of code?

Jennifer: No, definitely not, no I mean.

Andrew: You leave it for the next person.

Jennifer: You try to make a little steps of progress, you know, that that leaves the field better off in knowing more and sometimes you succeed in that and sometimes you don't.

It's a rollercoaster really to be honest. You know one moment you think oh my god, I really figured something out, this is really meaningful, and the next moment you're like oh this is crap [laughter]. It's a rollercoaster, but it's worth it.

Andrew: It sounds amazing.

Jennifer: So are you in your fourth year?

Andrew: So I took a sabbatical year. I finished my second year and I took a year out. So I've still got two more years of my degree left. I started back in this role back in June, and it's June to June, so I'm just sort of working through the role but it's the most amazing experience ever. I absolutely love it.

Jennifer: You think it's going to shape what you do next?

Andrew: I think so. I think it prompts loads of interests that you never thought you would have.

Jennifer: Like what?

Andrew: So I'm fascinated in higher education policy, and I'm even more fascinated than I was in widening participation, and all this sort of cogs that need to turn in order for it to be successful, and sort of being a student you never really think about those things because you kind of live in your own little world, your own little bubble.

But when you become a representative for other students you start to think about the things that other people care about in a weird way. I think that I wouldn't be wrong in saying that some students can just be selfish but not in a sort of bad way, it's just that’s how they live their lives, but actually when you're become a representative, and especially this role, you’re thrown into sort of thinking about the strategy of the University, and I find that so fascinating.

Jennifer: Was that like, were you nervous to take on that position or are you like a natural leader? Or was that something you had to be like wow I want to do this but eek.

Andrew: I think to put it, I mean I had to put myself forward for election and that was a week-long of campaigning, and I think to do that you have to have at least a small bit of self-confidence, that actually you’re the right person.

I mean you have to spend a week convincing people that you're best for the role, but actually I spent a long time thinking about it and putting myself forward and took a gamble, and it's a huge gamble because you don't know how it's going to turn out.

And then when you start the role it's completely different to everything you ever thought it would be like, but in the most brilliant way possible, it's almost way better than I thought it could be.

Amalie: I remember your slogan.

Jennifer: What was it?

Amalie: Because it was so catchy. It was like make Edinburgh greener…

Andrew: Easier, cheaper, safer and sexier [laughter].

Jennifer: And have you made it sexier?

Andrew: Well, I'm launching a sexual health week in a couple of weeks which will make it way more sexier. That was the sort of thing that you would talk to someone and they be like ok yeah, and then you say I want to make Edinburgh sexy, and they'd be like what?

Jennifer: Tell me more [laughter].

Andrew: And I think in my manifesto I spoke about how democracy is sexy and I think that might have turned a few people away.

Actually I think sexual health is something that is a really important topic to talk about and you know I like bringing it to the forefront because it's something that students often shy away from talking about, but actually…

Jennifer: Do they?

Andrew: I think so. Talking about sexual health specifically it's something that seems maybe not to be a taboo topic but something that students don't necessarily talk about but maybe being bold and actually saying let's all talk about sexual health actually is quite fun.

Amalie: Yeah, are you excited to go back to live the student life style?

Andrew: Erm.

Jennifer: Take my class.

Andrew: Yeah [laughter]. When I took a break it was never because I hated doing the subject or I hated-- but it was sort of, I was sort of distancing away from being a student and the pressures that is has and I thought I want to take a break but I want to do something amazing and this was the perfect opportunity.

Em, but at the end of it I can't wait to go back to being a student and do all the things that I initially started at this University to do. It just so happens that I can work on a few projects that might benefit me as a student in the long run. Changing how the University thinks about things, sort of again going back to the idea of being selfish, actually I can change things that will impact me as a student but also everybody else I think deserves a better experience at the University.

Amalie: So you will actually feel the effects of what you're currently doing?

Andrew: I think so.

Amalie: For the University, which is really cool.

Andrew: I think so.

I think that it’s a different element, typically people who run to be a sabbatical officer they have just graduated and they will after their year go into the world of work, actually being a student and then doing a role, and then going back to being a student, you get to sort of hopefully see some impacts of the stuff that you spent a year talking about.

Jennifer: Do you think it's going to be kind of like meta, when you go back to being a student?

Andrew: What’s meta [laughter]?

Jennifer: What’s meta [laughter]?

Jennifer: Like you're going to be more aware of everything that's going on you know that you weren't before and you're going to be sort of like judging things and thinking about like the thing that you just did. That's the meta part.

Amalie: You've seen the behind the scenes.

Andrew: Oh I know.

Jennifer: You can never go back.

Andrew: You know if something happens to me as a student I will know what committee it was decided at.

Jennifer: Exactly!

Andrew: And everyone wants a friend that knows what committee a decision is made at.

Jennifer: I want a friend like that, I don't know what the committees are.

Andrew: It is a whole other world the sort of governance of the University.

Jennifer: Totally.

Andrew: And that’s my monologue about being a sabbatical officer [laughter].

Amalie: And scene [laughter]. Ok so I'm going to ask the last question and the last question is: If you could associate your object with one word what would it be and why?

Andrew: You can go first. While I wrack my brain.

Jennifer: Well my word as a hyphenated word, is that fine?

Amalie: Yeah.

Jennifer: I would say mind-expanding because I think putting yourself in situations that are really different from where you've ever been before, I think it's a really great way to actually like get a better perspective on your own life and think about what other people's experiences are like, and I think that is a, that is an amazing opportunity.

So being there, being given this lovely hat, was really mind-expanding for me.

Andrew: Wow. Mine now feels like so [laughter]...

Jennifer: Sorry was that too deep?

Amalie: No, we love deep [laughter]. Deep is good.

Andrew: It is interesting, we get to bring these items and they mean so much to us as individuals and getting to talk about it is really great. I suppose if I was to look at mine, I think the word proud or pride. Not only because it's rainbow, but also because sort of the idea about being proud about where I came from, and the sort of pride that it fills me.

Sort of the reason I got this magnet was the end of my first year because I thought you know I'm really proud that I've come from where I came from and not that many people have and many people have had a different journey here, but I had a completely different one and it's unique to me and I'm proud of it.

And what better than to symbolise that with the most outrageously camp iconic fridge magnet that I placed on my fridge.

Amalie: It is iconic.

Jennifer: I can see the sun glinting off it as I sit here.

Amalie: Yeah so colourful. So fun to look at.

Andrew: Yeah, it’s gorgeous.

Amalie: So when you look at it on your fridge, you're like.

Andrew: That's where I'm from, I won't forget it, even if everyone else can.

Amalie: That's nice, I like that. Thank you for being on Sharing things.

Andrew: Thank you for having me.

Jennifer: Yeah of course, that’s that.


Andrew: That was so fun.

Jennifer: Yeah.

[Sharing things theme music]

Amalie: Thank you for listening to Sharing things.

Make sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or your favourite podcast platform, to catch our next episode. See you next time.


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