“The Wheel is Come Full Circle. I Am Here.”

If there is one truth I’ve learned from this internship, it is this: you can take the American out of England, but you can’t quite take the England out of the American. Like it or not, we’re linked. Just as Canada will always be (as my supervisor calls it) America’s politer cousin, England will always be its ubiquitous ex.

That’s a good thing.

Can you imagine what life would be like without William Shakespeare? Jane Austen? Charlotte Bronte? An emotionally slighted Colin Firth?

Colin Firth Smolder

Me neither.

As Americans, we’ve borrowed from our English relatives many times – we play their sports (here’s looking at you, soccer), sing their hymns (My Country Tis of Thee? Wrong. Try God Save the Queen), and kidnap their actors and make them pretend to be American.

Dr. Strange

It’s our pattern. We simply have a hard time owning up to the fact that most of our culture comes from the very country we tried to distance ourselves from the most.

Fortunately, however, we’ve gotten better in the 200+ years since independence. My role at the SBT, in fact, is direct evidence of that improvement. As the International Education and Development Intern, I’ve been guided by my mentors through projects that are meant to enhance the relationship between the SBT and it’s American audience. Several of those projects have involved fundraising for Shakespeare’s Birthplace America, or SBA. SBA is the 501(c)3 non-profit which raises money to support the work of the Trust which includes scholarships for educational opportunities available to US students coming to the Trust for residential courses in Stratford-upon-Avon. You can find out more about the work of SBA via the Trust’s website.

One of the fundraising events I was able to take part in, for example, was a 4th of July celebration at Hall’s Croft.

 

That’s right.

We celebrated our independence day in the country we revolted against. It was fantastic.

All joking aside, the event was a great way for us to highlight Shakespeare’s Birthplace America and raise money for its charitable objectives. Now we are currently planning a similar event we will hold in November – a Thanksgiving Feast and Quiz Night. Bring on the turkey.

So now I’m back where I’ve begun. As this internship draws to a close, I can’t help but be grateful that the “wheel has come full circle.” Not only was I able to come back to England, the place where my own ancestors emigrated from, but I was able to meet the most kind-hearted and down-to-earth people. I couldn’t be more grateful for my amazing amazing mentors and the guidance and friendship they’ve given me. Stratford-upon-Avon has been so good to me, and even though I’ll be completing another turn of the wheel by heading back to the states, I’m glad that I got to have one turn of it with the wonderful people here.

 

 

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