Lanier (L): Embracing and quickly taking to "lifestyle fiesta"
Once again, we have the opportunity to hear from a Stedsman who is studying abroad for the semester. Brennan Lanier, Sted's junior, has given up the first floor lounge and watching his weekend Premier League soccer games for the a change of scenery. Here's what Lanier had to say when I caught up with him via the electronic mail.
St. Ed: Where are you?
Lanier: I’m actually in bed, but you probably care more to know that I'm in Puebla, Mexico.
St. Ed: If I remember correctly, isn't Puebla in the shadow of an active volcano?
Lanier: It is! It's called Popocatépetl (yes, I had to google that spelling). Though "Popo" is not quite as majestic as our Dome view from Sted's, it's hard to argue with the sunset over a volcano.
St. Ed: When I travel abroad and not don't speak the native language, I found that speaking English more loudly helps non-English speakers understand English. Have you employed this technique?
Lanier: That is a classic technique, and one that I use on a daily basis. I have also been known to try various impersonations when speaking with locals. They may not recognize English out of the mouth of an American college student, but the voices of characters like Yoda and Batman are universal.
St. Ed: Remind me, is the exchange rate 10 pesos to the dollar or ten dollars to the peso? I forget.
Lanier: It is actually about 13 pesos to the dollar. Some may say that's unlucky, but when those 13 pesos can buy multiple street tacos, all notions of luck seem to disappear!
St. Ed: The Gentlemen pride themselves on their academic endeavors. How have classes been so far in Puebla?
Lanier: They've been wonderful! I'm in 6 classes, and all of them but physics are entirely in Spanish. The language barrier can be difficult at times, but I can feel myself improving every day. I share my Mexican Philosophy class with a group of hilarious seminarians, and it's safe to say that their homilies may one day hold a candle to Father Ralph’s!
St. Ed: Do you have any advice for your Stedsmen about studying/traveling abroad?
Lanier: As any gentleman would, give copious amounts of generous love to all you meet. It will come back to you. Say, here is a photo of myself, my host mother Laura Guerra (an angel, and a wonderful cook too!), and my roommate here Sean. In this photo we were at a concert celebrating Mexico's independence. I pray for you and all of my Stedsmen, and hope you are having a wonderful semester!
Brennan, enjoy your fiesta and hurry back to Sted's!