Bethany is having lunch with her friends, Mariam (Syrian), Pyotr (Belarusian), and Rupi (Indian). Everything is going fine, until Pyotr mispronounces the word “truth” as “truce.” Later, during her INTD 200 conference, she hears someone mistake “expect” for “accept.” Over dinner at the RVC caf, Mariam misuses the word “therefore.”
Bethany goes back to her room at Douglas Hall. She looks at the prom pictures of her best friends on her wall, and reminisces about the good times she had in her hometown of Guelph, Ontario. She blasts Fall Out Boy on her Urban Outfitters record player and sits down on her bed, full of pillows, to write in her journal. She always likes to reflect on her day, it just clears her mind. She takes a deep breath as she remembers the “truce” incident from earlier that day. She can’t understand how hard it is for people to pronounce it correctly. And the “expect” and “accept” mishap? It’s, like, basic English vocabulary, y’know? She doesn’t mean to judge anyone’s English, not at all. And she knows that it must be super hard switching between languages in your mind all the time. She really feels for these people… It’s just that it’s exhausting correcting everyone on their English all day long. But she can’t think about this for too long or else she’ll start to break out, so she does her five minute meditation on her new meditation app to ground herself, and goes to sleep.
Ready to take on the day the next morning, she goes to meet Lorenzo (Italian), the guy she’s been seeing, after his class. They stand outside Desautels while he smokes and he tells her about his latest Soundcloud hit. She just loves his accent so much, the way he pronounces words is too cute.
The day goes on and her morale is once again brought down, this time by a text from Rupi, where she confuses “their” and “they’re.” Like her mother taught her, she tries to rise above the situation. She takes three deep breaths even though the room is spinning, and answers with “it’s ‘they’re’ btw :-).” She resolves to let this go because they’ve been friends for over two months now and that means something to her. Unreceptive to her attempts to better her grammar, she confuses the words yet again in a text later on.
Okay. This is just too much. But her daily motivation app sent her a notification a few days ago telling her to try to see the positives in all situations. She knows what she has to do. She goes to the next on-campus info meeting on teaching English abroad, determined to try and better the world that way. She decides to bake something with the girls from her sorority later that day, to improve her mood.
Bethany is now an anthropology major and plans to fulfil her field studies requirement in Africa next summer.