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The Journey is Like a Marriage: The de Vere's Irish Pub Quiz

In this newsletter, we celebrate studying abroad!

Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,

One of the best decisions I ever made was studying abroad. From time to time we should excuse ourselves from our familiar and comfortable surroundings, and explore strange and wonderful cultures elsewhere.

Doing so takes a certain amount of bravery in the undergraduate – typically a junior in college – but less so today because of the ways in which our world is so networked. I recently worked with an intern who resolved to phone her mother at least three times a day when living in London (in addition to the texts, the tweets, and the Facebook messages).

I love my Mom, but to me that would seem like a heavy bonus assignment on days when my family would rather have me out seeing the sites and meeting the people of my host country, rather than talking endlessly on the telephone. Luckily, for me, when I lived in London, calls home cost a prohibitive pound sterling (or about $1.86 at that time) per minute, so I wrote letters, a couple per day.

I saw letters home as a daily gift that I could bestow upon faraway friends, but the greatest gift to me was my roommate in London, a statuesque woman named Kate who has made me laugh more than anyone else I have ever met. Of course, she and I have been roommates for the last 21 years, so statistically, she has a big advantage over the rest of you. The moral of the story? If you are still an undergraduate, study abroad. Surely the benefits will last you a lifetime.

That said, when I lived abroad I learned an important lesson summed up by this quotation from John Steinbeck: “A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”

Tonight’s Pub Quiz will feature questions on faraway places (such as an African country, the city of Edmonton, as well as the island of Ireland), strong women, disobedience, the circus, the state of California, a mosquito, a rock, geology, US Presidents, the 8th century BC, fish, April 8, the late Mike Wallace, mentalists, the Muppets, linen aviaries, music from the 1980s, Selma, people named Zach, friends, glacial boots, elves, sports that most of us have not played, the streets of Davis, great poems (April is National Poetry Month), UC Davis news, conjoined twins, chemistry, consumer products that are made of pigments and waxes, musical autobiographies, many more music questions than usual, and Shakespeare tragedies.

By the way, I recently received a stack of fliers from my colleague Eric Schroeder (Faculty Director; Quarter Abroad and Summer Abroad) about the Internship and Writing Program in Sydney Australia. If you know an undergraduate student at UC Davis who would benefit from participating in such a program, and thus completing most of the units needed for a Writing Minor, (and really, that includes all of them), direct that student to the UC Davis Education Abroad Center.

See you tonight for the Pub Quiz! If you recruit a new team to join us, I would be glad to feature you or your charitable cause in a future newsletter.

-Your Quizmaster

Here are five questions from last week’s quiz:

1.         Mottos and Slogans.    The drug Zolpidem has a trade name that starts with the letter A, and the commercial slogan of “Works Like a Dream.” Name the drug. 

2.         Internet Culture. The 20th most visited website in the United States is the first most-visited general news site in the US. Name the website. 

3.         Newspaper Headlines.   The title of the second book of the surprise co-host of this morning’s episode of the Today show was America by Heart. What is her name? 

4.         Four for Four.  Which of the following superheroes, if any, are Marvel superheroes? Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Scarlet Witch, Yellowjacket. 

5.         Unexamined Acronyms. If you DARE to keep your kids off drugs, what do the letters in DARE stand for? 

P.S. Molly Peacock will be reading at the on April 18th at 8pm. Google her to discover why that is such a big deal.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Justin Cox April 10, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Cool story! My wife and I just got home from a trip to southern California. While we were down there, my cousin-in-law, Camille, who studied abroad in San Sebastian last year, was surprised on Easter by her French boyfriend, whom she had started dating while abroad and maintained a long-distance relationship with for the past six months or so (with him back in France and her in southern Cal). Now he'll be staying in California for a month and a half! And the surprise was partially planned by Camille's family members (in a sign of support I could not have predicted). I had very little expectation that this thing would last, but now things are looking miiiighty serious! Very cool.
Justin Cox April 10, 2012 at 12:30 AM
PS: I studied abroad in Madrid for a year while an undergrad. I didn't find lasting love, but I did find a whole lot of myself. And having read this blog post, I feel blessed that Facebook hadn't entered my world yet. I spoke to my parents once every week or two, but very briefly. I also wrote one monthly email that went to about 40 friends and family members, recapping my most recent excursions and sharing funny stories. Those emails that went to everyone from my college-sophomore friends to my 97-year-old great grandma. Different audiences, no doubt. Funny enough, those emails (written in English while I was in a Spanish speaking country) were so enjoyable to write that they helped guide my decision to change majors (to communications) and pursue a writing career upon returning to California. I guess that's a marriage of sorts, and an unlikely one at that, since it happened in Spain.

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