Wendy Lee Walker
JYA, 1979, Fylde
What I'm doing now
Full-time freelance copy editor for academic textbooks; aunt, daughter, sister, friend; blogger, athlete, gardener, knitter, board member for local museum.
My best Lancaster memory
Impossible to pick just one! It was one of the best years in my life: the camaraderie with my British and American friends, the food (the Chip Shop!) and beer and discos and Great Hall concerts (Van Morrison, Bad Company, Average White Band, Third World), being a DJ at the radio station, jogging around (what was then) the perimeter road, shopping trips into town on Saturdays with lunch at the Brown Cow, the hectic end-of-term weeks, hanging out on the steps in the Square, retreating to "my" spot in the library, watching "Top of the Pops" in the Fylde TV room...
What Lancaster means to me
Study abroad was always important, even when I was a JYA in 1978-79, but with increasing globalization it's a different and much smaller world today. Being familiar with another culture is a vital part of being an informed and effective global citizen. Knowing about a country's history and customs isn't enough; to truly learn a country's culture – its brand names, its music, its slang – I would venture to say that there is no better way than going to school there. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that my JYA year at Lancaster was critical to making me who I am in a lot of ways. Not only do I know British English inside and out (which has helped me professionally), but I am able to take a more global perspective on issues. For instance, I have first-hand experience with the National Health Service – a useful perspective here in the States these days! I can remember looking at the newspaper and for the first time seeing American stories relegated to inside pages, and that was an important lesson for me.
Why I support the Friends
I feel as loyal to Lancaster as I do to my college here in the States and I am delighted to be able to donate to both. Having the Friends makes it easy to keep my connection with Lancaster alive!