Each year Corban has students come from all over the world: from Indonesia to Jamaica. And this year Aaron Withe joined the ranks all the way from Birmingham, England.
Withe plays basketball for Corban and being from Britain, can get asked a lot of questions about his home. To save you the time, the Hilltop presents: An interview with Aaron Withe.
Interview by Kristin Aalto.
K: How did you learn about Corban?
A: Well, I was being recruited by a lot of different schools for basketball, there were a couple of Christian schools that I was considering, Corban always stuck out to me as the best.
K: What has made the transition easier?
A: People being friendly, being around a Christian environment, and my coach has made it a lot easier.
K: Biggest culture shock moment
A: I’m not sure about culture shock, because there are a lot of similarities. However the first shock when arriving in the US was when I arrived at the airport in New York and I had to change terminals, I had to go over the street to get the next terminal, there was a cross walk and I didn’t know where to cross and a cop told me I was jaywalking and I had no idea what he was talking about.
K: Do you drink tea and eat crumpets?
A: (laughs) the typical British stereotype on drinking tea is mostly correct, however drinking tea and eating crumpets not so much. No, I do not. I hate that stereotype, it is difficult when half of it is actually correct.
K: Do you ever have times where you do not understand us [Americans]?
A: No, not really because in the UK we grow up listening to US music and watching American movies, where as you guys don’t have as much of that.
K: Do American’s have an accent to you guys?
A: I have got accustomed to the accent, but yes you do have an accent and any British person will tell you the same thing.
K: Most awkward encounter at Corban
A: I was in Aramark talking to a girl and we are having a conversation about- I don’t know, I don’t even remember what it was about- and in the corner of my eye another girl comes walking up to me- who I have never seen in my life- and then I’m in the middle of a sentence and she turns around and asks me if we are working on our British accents.
K: Favorite music:
A: Well, I like hip hop, I like rap, but my favorite type of music has to be Disney music.
K: Is there a time separation between when we get our movies and you get them?
A: Yes, funnily enough, they tend to come out about a month apart, like American movies come out a month earlier here, and British movies come out a month early there. I was very frustrated when James Bond came out and everyone back home had seen it but I couldn’t see it.
K: How many times a day do you drink tea?
A: I try to get a couple mugs in a day.
K: What is your favorite kind of tea?
A: There are not kinds of tea. I have to get mine imported from the UK because the stuff you guys drink is not even comparable.
K: Do you actually say “cheerio” or “chap”?
A: I personally do not, however I am sure if you went to some wealthier parts of the UK you would hear that a lot, along with calling moms “mum.”
K: Is the American obsession with England reasonable or annoying?
A: (laughs) It’s fun for the most part, however it gets tedious. Being asked constant questions and having people constantly ask questions, and repeat what you say in what can only be described as terrible attempts at my accent.
K: Is the royal family as big of a deal as Americans think?
A: Yes, yeah they royal family is a big deal. They can’t really do much without being put on newspapers or the news programs in England. They are very interesting family. Everybody loves them.
K: Was it a big deal Prince George was born?
A: Yes, huge deal. People get time off work, and bookies had odds on what the name is going to be, celebrations at bars. The country pretty much shut down.
K: What was your family and friends reaction to you coming to Corban?
A: They were all excited for me to start a new chapter in my life. I don’t think many people expected me to get a college education, so I can thank basketball for the opportunities it has given me, and the chance to continue my education.
If you would like to suggest someone with an interesting story/culture for a profile please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mare S says
Kristin- this is fantastic! And thank you Aaron for sharing about yourself. I feel like now I could approach you not have to ask all the annoying culture questions and we could just skip to the part where we sit down and have a cup of tea. Haha.
Seriously though guys, I love all of this. :)