Bringing the learning home (Australian Learning & Teaching Council)

“Ooooh you have an accent!…are you English?”

Apologies for the lack of post. I have been in the US (specifically UMass Amherst) for about 2months now and I have noticed a lot about America, laughed a lot at American things and ranted A LOT over American short-comings. I do try to stop my self if I notice that I’ve been ranting/complaining for the last five minutes straight, I tend to do this to my American friends and I wonder if they even understand why I’m annoyed. I think, just for therapeutic reasons, I will list the irritating things that I so much love to rant about:

  • Whenever an American finds out I’m Australian I get – American: “Put another shrimp on the barbie! *elbow jab*” me: “uhm you know we don’t call them shrimp in Australia, we call them prawns” OR American: “Oooh do you have a pet kangaroo!?!?” me: “No…do you have a pet squirrel?”
  • Peanuts…specifically peanut butter is in everything. EVERYTHING!
  • 4 out of 5 times I will get “Cool accent, I’ve always wanted to go to England” or something of that nature. I don’t know what that says about my accent but it’s making me paranoid, I always thought I my accent/speech was a tad on the bogan side but evidently not!
  • The work here is different, vastly different then how it is structured back home and it took a while to get used to. Although I have noticed that the grading is on the easy side and I don’t really mind that at all!
  • Bros/Barbies…oh lord they are annoying! but fun to bag out I suppose.

Okay I’m done. forgive. I’m sure there are a lot of things that my American friends would love to rant about me…I think number one on the list would be that every time I see a squirrel I can’t suppress the urge to yell SQUIRREL! and point. I think that  probably stopped being cute about 20 squirrels ago. I think this is what is great about exchange, being immersed in a culture that sometimes irritates you so much you just wish so bad for someone to offer you a cheeseybite scroll instead of PB&J but loving it so much all the same…

Hat’s off you to American, damn do you make my eye twitch sometimes but I will concede you sure are good for a laugh.


I couldn’t help but add my photo of a squirrel that sat long enough for me 🙂 *points* SQUIRREL!


3 responses

  1. Olivia, this one made Tonia laugh out loud. I suspect I’m about to catch heaps about being American.

    The accent thing is pretty funny. As a Yank, I’m still terrible at both discerning which accent someone has in English (OZ, England, Irish, NZ, S Africa) and, for the life of me, I can’t really imitate an Australian accent. I can’t tell if there’s something wrong with me, or if this is some weird block most people have.

    November 6, 2010 at 8:28 am

    • As far as I have noticed NO ONE can do the accent. A friend of mine is from Chicago and I love listening to him talk. One day he decided he was going to nail my accent and copied a sentence I’d just said and was quite pleased with his attempt until I burst out laughing, complete and utter fail!

      My roommate, who is also American, is a language major (specifically German) and has this crazy ability to hear differences in accents. She is amazing at my accent, much to my dismay, but she seems to be an exception to the rule with Americans 😉

      November 8, 2010 at 12:22 am

      • hey i just read this post again, and i can agree with the yelling when you see something cool!

        I was walking back to my tower after a party and saw a deer so i yelled “DEER!!!” and tried to chase it to get a photo but failed. and yesterday i was walking having a bit of a deep and meaning full when i saw my first squirrel so i like you did said “squirrel!!” and was wise enough not to chase it so i actually got a picture. I appologised for disrupting the convo. and went i was retelling the story about my excitment for seeing the squirrel my canadian friends couldnt tell if i was being serious or sarcastic…”are you serious? it is just a squirrel?”

        January 30, 2011 at 11:55 pm

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