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Of mice and maladies

Posted by Bartnik, Lee J - October 22, 2013 - Featured, Lee B., Students, Study Abroad


leemousetrap201310I’m currently engaged in a rivalry with a mouse–a number of them actually. I’ve actually only seen one, but Jake says there’s three. He always sees them, but they never show themselves when I’m around. They know he doesn’t have what it takes to do anything about it. I, on the other hand, am looking for the opportunity. I actually just picked up the trap; I was going to try some alternative methods but they never come around when I’m home. Hopefully I’ll get them.

On top of this, I’m coming down with a cold, which is really just a good excuse to drink a bunch of hot caffeinated beverages, which I was already doing anyway. Come on, it’s England! These people really do know how to enjoy a cup of tea; in fact, they know how to enjoy a lot of things. One thing I’ve noticed is the difference in indulgences between English people and Americans. When English people have a cup of tea, they have a cup of tea. They sit down with a person, fill up a little cup and spend time talking and just experiencing the simple pleasure that is tea. Same with drinks–people go out after work at five, get a pint, and catch up with friends or work associates. They’re not grabbing a mega tea to go as they rush from store to store or slamming beers to get smashed quickly and get home in time to sleep before work the following day.


This may also provide some insight into the differences you notice walking in the streets. The people here are much thinner, in general, than Wisconsin folks. This is true even though there’s plenty of McDonald’s, Starbucks and the like, and even a greater deal of access to pastries and cakes. They seem less stressed, too. It seems to me that it’s due mostly to the difference in culture. A lot of people seem to take their time a little bit more and truly enjoy the activity in which they’re engaged. Lunches are social, the workplace is less frantic, and there’s more time to enjoy the company of others and take place in recreation. Well, there’s not really more time, of course. I guess it’s just a matter of priorities. Maybe a lot of our social and health problems are really a matter of societal values. What are we doing with our time? Why? Maybe it’s time we rethink some conceptions and focus in on what we’re doing right now.

Thanks for reading my blog post. I really do appreciate it.

Lee Bartnik, a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point majoring in dietetics, is blogging about his study abroad experience in London.


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