By Page Forrest
Page Forrest (C’17) is a junior at Sewanee studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland this semester. She serves as Managing Editor of the Purple, and will be writing a regular column for the paper while she is “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four, Privet Drive,” is a much more memorable opening than anything I could ever write. I thought sitting here and writing this article in The Elephant House, where J.K. Rowling started writing Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, would be inspirational, but instead I feel mildly inadequate. Writing fiction seems far more daunting than documenting one’s own experiences. Fortunately, my own experiences are all that’s necessary for this column. I just hope they’re interesting enough to where no fictionalization is required. Classes have not yet started, but this trip has already been a learning experience. For instance, I learned on the plane over here, much to my great disappointment, that United Airlines bases their requirements for purchasing alcohol onboard on the country en route with the strictest laws. I thought since we were flying over U.K. airspace where the drinking age is 18 that it might work out, but no such luck. We have spent the past few days in orientation, learning about the city and Scottish culture.
I knew British citizens had a fascination with the American Presidential race (more than a few papers are running odds on the candidates), but I was not aware they had an invested stake in it. Donald Trump owns a golf course in Scotland that was the subject of controversy when a man named Michael Forbes refused to sell his home to Trump, who wished to purchase the area to develop it. Forbes painted “NO GOLF COURSE” on his shed and refused multiple financial offers from Trump. He went on to win the “Top Scot” award in 2012 at the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards. Trump attempted to develop a second golf course, but stopped the project when he lost a suit against a windfarm that was also being developed in the area. From what our program leaders told us, there aren’t many people in the area that are too fond For better or for worse, my attention will be away from American politics for the rest of the semester. After five weeks of classes, I will begin interning with a member of the Scottish Parliament. They have yet to match us with a specific member, but they did have us fill out a sheet about our political party and views, which will be used to place us. Today we were informed that even the Scottish Conservative Party is to the left of what we would consider conservative, and probably would most closely align with more conservative Democrats. I was able to sit in on a debate in Parliament the other day, and it was surprisingly spirited. The members banged on their desks when they agreed with a colleague, and one member quoted our very own Joe Biden during her speech. I get the sense they like him a bit more than Donald Trump. When the next issue of the Purple comes out, I will have been in classes for a couple weeks, so hopefully I will have more to say then. Cheers for now, YSR and EQB!