Monday, June 22, 2009

NY Etiquette & Terms

Canadian, EH!? 

Yes, I am Canadian.  No, I don't say eh (or that frequently at least).

I've heard all the stereotypes before but I've never really noticed the slight differences between Americans & Canadians until interning here for the summer.  Here are some of my general rules of thumb of how to mingle with the yanks.

#1.  I am considered a JUNIOR in COLLEGE.  Whenever I'm asked the question, my first response is "I'm going into my 3rd year."  For some odd reason, I get actual looks of confusion...What is more straightforward than 3rd year!  I'm not the one making it confusing.  Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior.  Those are the levels, no ifs & or buts.  Personally, I feel like a Junior should be your FIRST yr... junior = younger, no?  At the very least it should be closer in ranks with Freshman.  I mean I'm going into my 3rd year of higher education...I'm past the halfway point.  But apparently in the land of the free...I am still a Junior. 

#2.  In our DORM (not RES) we PRE-GAME (not PRE-DRINK).  This one might seem quite minor but for students its just proper etiquette.  Pre-drink is something a nerdy, underager might call it because they haven't been introduced to the proper "terminology" yet.  "It just doesn't sound right," according to my roommate Kristin.  
At first, "Pre-game" to me sounded like a group of high-school jocks amping up for a big pep rally.  Again, I thought the Canadian term was a lot more "straightforward" (ex: 3rd year) but po-ta-to, pot-ah-toe.  They all mean the same in the end!

#3.  It is currently 66 degrees FAHRENHEIT (not 19 degrees celsius).  Try as I might, I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around this one.  At work they'll be complaining about it being 92 and I'm thinking we're on the sun.  I realize there is very simple math to calculate the difference.  However I have neither the patience, nor the time to subtract 32 and multiply by 5/9.  I really just want to know if I need to bring a jacket or not.

So thank you Macbook Dashboard & your easy weather converter :)

post script:  I was asked once if I've gotten used to the warm climate since I've been here....
well yes, considering we DO have summer in Canada.  Contrary to popular belief, it is not winter all year round.  Sorry to disappoint.

#4.  Americans don't seem to be very familiar with Canadian schools (UNIVERSITIES as I like to call them).  This one frustrates me a bit because as soon as I respond, I am almost immediately pigeon-holed as relatively 'uneducated.'  I like to think I go to a very respectable school (the best one in my utterly unbiased opinion) and if I were to say it in Canada, I'd like to think just about everyone has heard of it.  Not the case here.   

EX:  Kristin & I meet a lot of interesting people when we go out on the town.  We were taking it easy, watching the Lakers game one night and we met 2 male interns who happened to be around our age and staying at NYU.  They were still in their business suits (although they told us they got off work at 3 that day which gave them plenty of time to change into regular shots)
The typical "nice-to-meet-you" questions were exchanged.  

"Where are you working?"
"Where are you staying?"
"Where are you from?"
"What school do you go to?"

It's the last 2 that always get me.  I'm doing great for the first two....and as soon as I say: Canada & University of Western (I've even tried the Ivey School of cigar)  I get the oddest reactions.  Usually its an "ohh" as in "thats too bad."  I immediately feel them psychoanalyze me as a person & detract about 50 IQ points.  Since when was going to school in Canada a bad thing?  There aren't THAT many Universities in Canada to memorize.  I'd like to think I know quite a few American schools, and there's a heck of a lot more states than provinces.  Sometimes they've "vaguely" heard of McGill because they went to Montreal when they turned 18 (yaaa that 21 age thing must be kind of a drag).  It disappointed me even more when the 2 guys who instantaneously assumed I live in an igloo and say phrases like "hey derr bud, how's it goin eh?"  were from Dartmouth & Cornell.  Aren't Ivy Leaguers suppose to be...well, smart?  If anything that took their IQ down 50 points as well, so I guess you could call it even?

#5.  Apparently we do say "Aboot."

Disclaimer:  I say this all in good fun ~ I still love Americans (and New York), Y'ALL !

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