Tag Archives: british

Yale Writers’ Conference (part 2)…..

If you were here yesterday, you’ve already seen Part I. But if not, you can click here to read it first.

Yesterday was about the speakers and the workshops, but today is about the other stuff–the friends you will make and the fun you will have.

I’ve met some amazing writers through Yale and I’m thrilled to say that many of them have also become friends. They inspire me, encourage me, and make me laugh.

2013_June_18_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_748 2013_June_12_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_159 Yale Writers Conf 2014-Jun 15, 2014-15Yale Writers Conf 2014-Jun 09, 2014-36I don’t have pictures of everyone I keep in contact with but these are my girls! They are talented, kind, and super fun to be around. In fact, making writer friends is probably the biggest benefit I can see in attending writers conferences. I’d say I make at least one new friend at every writer event I go to. No one in my house really cares too much about reading or writing (I know, I have failed them all miserably), so having friends who share the same passion is amazing.

I mentioned yesterday that dinner is not included in the tuition for the Yale conference. That gives you a chance to get out and explore New Haven. There are tons of restaurants–Chinese, Indian, Burger Joints, Pubs, Mexican. Here are some of my favorite places:

Tomatillo – think Chipotle but better. It’s super casual and not too expensive. No alcohol is served there.

2013_June_09_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_22 2013_June_09_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_23And then there is Oaxaca Mexican Restaurant. They have yummy guacamole and the margaritas aren’t so bad either.

2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_572 2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_571 2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_570 2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_569Then there is the Indian Vegetarian Restaurant Thali Too. Their dahl is dahlish!

2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_315The Atticus Bookstore has yummy tomato soup and great salads and sandwiches.

2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_420One of the places I enjoyed most was Mory’s. It’s a private club but they invite the writers from the conference to come anytime during their time in New Haven. The side patio is lovely.

2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_321 2013_June_12_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_160 2013_June_12_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_157Ordinary has the most fabulous grilled cheese sandwich, but be patient, you might have to wait a while for it. 😉 I also loved the beet salad at the Heirloom Restaurant in The Study Hotel.

For the world’s most famous hamburger, go here. There is very little room to sit down, so plan on “to go”. Just fyi, they don’t offer many condiment options. Well, you can have ketchup, onions, or I think tomato. But nothing else. Think Soup Natzi. And learn from my mistake–do not, I repeat, do not ask for mayo. And, dear God, whatever you do, do not ask for french fries. It’s chips or nothing. Personally, I don’t get it. The meat was rawish and the burger is served on bread rather than a proper bun.  But, like, I said, the line was out the door.

Yale Writers Conf 2014-Jun 10, 2014-2 Yale Writers Conf 2014-Jun 10, 2014-4

Yale holds their conference in June. Both years that I attended New Haven was also hosting the Arts and Ideas festival at the same time. Bonus!2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_240New Haven is full of amazing libraries and museums. You could easily spend ten days just sightseeing. There is the Peabody Museum of Natural History.

 The Sterling Memorial Library:

2013_June_09_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_1

The Bass Library:2013_June_09_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_3

Yale University Art Gallery: 2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_337 2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_361 2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_389 2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_396

The Center for British Art:2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_421

2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_447 2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_458

The Beinecke Rare Book Library where you can see the Gutenberg Bible:

 

2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_493 2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_494 2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_498 2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_499 2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_500 Some of the other fun things you will see around town:

Skull and Bones.

2013_June_09_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_272013_June_09_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_4

It is an “ivy” league school after all. 2013_June_09_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_8 2013_June_09_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_9

Yummy kettle corn2013_June_09_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_12 2013_June_09_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_24 2013_June_09_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_29 2013_June_10_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_55 2013_June_10_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_56 2013_June_10_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_57 2013_June_10_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_60

Some people say rubbing his foot will bring you good luck. Other people say that rubbing his foot will make you look like a dork. 2013_June_12_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_129 2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_224 2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_235 2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_237 2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_242 2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_246 2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_257 2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_291 2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_293 2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_317 2013_June_15_yale writers workshop_ellenweeren_326So, why are you still here? Log off and go get your submission ready! 😉

Easter in India……..

Did you know that there are nearly 30 million Christians in India? Me either. Well, make that 30 million and five.

I just assumed that Christianity came to India with the British – but that does not seem to be the case. Apparently, one of the Apostles – St. Judas Thomas – was brought to India around 52 AD to build a temple. While he was there, he converted a few people.

French missionaries began arriving in the 1300s. And then around 1500, the Portuguese arrived in India and started trying to convert Indians to Christianity under the Pope’s edict to baptize people all around the world.

The British surely had their own influences too when they arrived in the 1600s but really did not begin their missionary work until the 1800s.

I got a few emails from friends asking me how in the heck we celebrated Easter in India.

Let me start by saying, if you are moving to India and you plan to celebrate Easter in India, bring some of those plastic eggs with you. Bring extra in case you have a friend or two who did not bring them. You’ll be the belle of the ball, I promise.

The hardest thing about Easter in Delhi is that there is no family in Delhi – that and the fact that they simply do not sell those little plastic eggs here. But the rest is pretty much the same.

We woke up delighted that the Easter Bunny found us so far away from home. And we got dressed for church – there is a lovely international church that is Christian but non-demoninational. And someone – I cannot imagine who – thought it would be best to attend the 9:30am service so that the rest of the day was pretty wide open – only that someone – again, I cannot imagine who – got the times messed up. It seems that there was a breakfast at 9:30am and the service actually did not begin until 11am. Ooops.

So, the hubby and the kids were dressed in their most uncomfortable finest shoes and clothes for an extra hour and a half. Ooops.

It turned out okay though because we just hopped over to the American club and enjoyed a very quiet early brunch. We literally had the whole restaurant to ourselves – because everyone else checked the schedule and knew just what time the Easter service started. Ooops.

Then we came home and lazed around. We ended the day with a proper Easter meal at the Hard Rock Cafe and a call to our families.

Until the bullets ran out………

We have all read about the evil that men can do and, thankfully, most of us just marvel at how a heart can be so black and empty and hard.

In Amritsar, where the Golden Temple is, there is a park. And in that park there was a massacre.

Of course, there was a lot that happened leading up to the massacre – World War I had recently ended. India had sacrificed much in support of Britain during the war (including human and financial resources) and was hoping for more responsibility for its own affairs with the ultimate goal being independence. Ghandi was emerging as a political leader and the country was in civil unrest – especially in Punjab (where Amritsar is located).

In an attempt to maintain stability and based on recommendations set forth by the Sedition Committee, the Rowlatt Act was enforced. This act empowered “the Viceroy’s government with extraordinary powers to quell sedition by silencing the press, including detaining the political activists without trial, arrest without warrant of any individuals suspected of sedition or treason, as well as trial before special tribunals. The passage sparked massive outrage within India.” (thanks Wiki)

The long story, short is that on April 10, 1919, many protesters gathered in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s house in Amritsar. They were demanding the release of two famous leaders of the Indian Independence Movement – Satya Pal and Saifuddin Kitchlew. The crowd was fired on and several protesters were killed. As you can imagine, this set off a chain of violent events to the point that the British rulers imposed martial law and outlawed any gatherings of more than 4 people.

Just a few days later on April 13, thousands of people gathered at the Jallianwala Bagh (a garden park in Amritsar). Just one hour after the meeting began, Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer marched a group of soldiers into the park and ordered them to fire upon the crowd without warning. They only stopped when the bullets ran out. He had also planned to take in machine guns mounted on vehicles but could not get them into the park because of the narrow gates at the park’s entrances.

Dyer later commented that he knew about the gathering and made no attempts to block it or even to disperse the crowds once the meeting began. He planned fully to open fire on the crowd of people and ordered the soldiers to aim for the densest areas of people. He was later quoted as saying, “I think it quite possible that I could have dispersed the crowd without firing but they would have come back again and laughed, and I would have made, what I consider, a fool of myself.”

The estimates of the number of people killed or injured vary widely depending on who you ask – British sources estimate that nearly 400 people were killed – Indian sources put that number much closer to 1,000. Of course, all of the deaths were not a result of gunfire, there were also stampedes as people tried to escape. At any rate, it is hard to understand why things like this happen. How a man can look in to a crowd of men, women, and children and shout “fire” is just beyond me.

Dyer was revered by some and hated by others. I guess it is all a matter of perspective and probably depends mostly on what side of the gun you were on. But it is really very hard to understand how Dyer could close his eyes and sleep at night.

The events in Amritsar are said to have paved the way for Ghandi’s Non-Cooperation Movement.

This is the spot where the soldiers entered and opened fire. They would have been standing on this side of the fountain and shooting toward the people walking in the picture.

This is a wall that still houses holes where bullets landed.

This is the actual monument in memory of those who lost their lives.

This is the eternal flame that burns in memory of the horrific events of that day.