Wednesday, 28 May 2008

We just got a bit yellower!

A pause in my seemingly endless wallow of memories, sharing a few stories & photos about our trip to the US, to check out any comments left on our blog. Lo and behold, a comment from an ex-Safferite - Denise - who found us and who was at Saffron Walden in the early 70's. Welcome Denise - hope you'll drop by often and chip in with a few memories of college life and events.

Here's a line up of college staff taken in June 1996 - who do you recognise?!

(Edit 29.5.2008 - some kind anonymous person has pointed out that this photo was surely taken in 1966, not 1996! Of course that's right, it was 1966, in front of the college main entrance, on a hot sunny day with the sun shining right into our eyes. Thanks for pointing out the typo!)

Thinking about our time at college alongside my recent trip to the States, I do remember during my 1st year going to Debden Air Base and spending the day, with a few other students, observing in the American school there.

We were shown to our seats at the back of the classroom and then the day began quite startlingly (for me at any rate!) as the whole class rose to their feet and joined their teacher in swearing allegiance to the Stars and Stripes, which was displayed at the front of the room. They all neatly and correctly recited the oath of allegiance with hands on hearts. Meanwhile we students sat in a bemused and rather uncomfortable state while this was going on, not knowing what to do. Oh yes, another memory - the children were incredibly polite and addressed us as "Ma'am". I'd forgotten about that but in the States I really liked being spoken to politely and being answered "Yes Ma'am!" Now I know how the Queen feels!

Back to the oath of allegiance. Hugh, soon after going to the US for his 2 year secondment, was invited to a business dinner as part of his job. He described feeling utterly startled and unsure what to do when all present rose to their feet and did the oath before dinner commenced. As cultures, we're not that far apart in lots of ways, but in some, it feels like light years. I wouldn't want to swear an oath of allegiance, but I would like to experience the level of courtesy, politeness and the refreshing attitude to customer service that was on offer in the States.

Meanwhile, let's hope we gradually continue to get yellower and that other ex-Safferites find us too!


Anonymous said...

That's surely 66, not 96...?!

Mellow Yellow said...

Oops! Of course it is - thank you! Off to edit it now...!

Maylis & Hugh said...

Hi, sorry, not been here for a while but I greatly enjoyed the pictures and your way of telling all about your big trip!!

Mellow Yellow said...

Thanks M - and I'll be putting some more photos of the canyons & New York on when I get those organised.

J x