Here’s a post for native speakers of US English. Is there anything in the following story that you notice as being not part of your dialect? (I can’t tell you anything about it at the moment, but there will be a post of two on it later in the semester…) One thing that will probably come up is “Freshpeople”. This seems to be a Yale thing.
Once upon a time, in a land far far away, two young Freshpeople left their childhood home and went off to college. Their names were Ben and Kelly. They packed their bags, they said goodbye to all their friends, and they got ready to get in the car for the long drive east, to their new dorm rooms in the University of the East Coast.
They knew that they would need a lot of stuff in college, but they weren’t sure what to pack. The night before they had to leave, they were still arguing with each other over Mit, their cat. “Of course he’ll fit,” said Ben. “We can’t take him,” sobbed Kelly. “He’ll be so unhappy in our room all day.” Mit was having no argument, though, and climbed to the top of the pile of bags with whiskers quivering.
Their packing continued for a few more hours. Then Kelly lost her lucky pen, and Ben couldn’t remember if he’d packed his favorite fry-pan, the one he only uses for omlettes made with free-range eggs. Each time he went to look for it, he remembered something else that he needed to get. The pile of things got higher and higher, until even Mit the cat was getting frightened.
In the end, everything went into the car (including Mit the cat) and they drove all the way east, over the mountains, along the river valleys, through the corn fields and cities. After five or six days (only Mit the cat was really counting) they reached the University of the East Coast and went to find their dorms and settle in.
But they were in for a shock. They were met by the Dean of the college. He greeted them warmly at first, but then smiled sadly when he saw their papers. “I’m very sorry, but you’ve come to the wrong place,” he said. “Perhaps you didn’t get the letter.”
“What letter?” asked Kelly. “We didn’t get any letters from you.”
“You have been reassigned to our sister campus, the University of the West Coast. We had too many students this year. Unfortunately, their classes started last week. Since you haven’t paid your tuition there, they’ve probably cancelled your enrollment. You’ll have to apply again next year.”
This was too much for Mit the cat. He leapt off Ben’s shoulder and dug his claws into the Dean’s arm. The Dean gave a strangled scream. He had a heart attack and got sepsis from his scratches.
The Dean sued and the whole family spent the rest of their lives in jail.