Jerome Reimers, dubbed Aussie by his hall (Tiona), is a freshman from down under- more specifically, Mildura, Australia. He is the youngest of three siblings. He has an older brother who lives at home and an older sister who moved out when he was, as he says, “just a wee little me.”
He has loved sports his whole life. He was recruited to play baseball which he has played since he was five years old. He started as a catcher but his growth spurts (he is between 6’ 3” and 6’ 4”) put a stop to that and moved him into the outfield. While discussing height, he said, “Short people are scary.” He is very nice so I don’t know which short people terrorized him.
Some fun facts about Aussie are that he loves good coffee, his favorite color is teal, and he likes to nap.
During our discussion, I asked a lot about how Australia compares to the United States. Aussie says in Australia, students do not play on sports teams through their schools but play on club teams outside of school. One day per year, the schools compete in sports against one another. On that day classes are cancelled for the competitions. Aussie thinks, however, that it’s cool that school spirit goes along with sports in the U.S.
Since going home for Thanksgiving break was not possible, Aussie went home with me to experience American Thanksgiving for the first time. His comment on the experience was “so much pie.” Thanksgiving dinner reminds him of Christmas dinner in Australia. Aussie says pie is not often eaten in Australia. His thoughts on the pie experience are “I love it” and “I just wanted to eat it all but my stomach could not take anymore, you just had to find a way to fit more in.” Aussie also says that turkey is not commonly eaten in Australia either.
Living in the United States, Aussie has come to enjoy watching American football. Australian football is very different from U.S. football. Australian football is a much faster paced, is played without pads, and the rules are completely different. The game is indescribable. If you want to learn about Australian football, watch this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMZYZcoAcU0.
Aussie also spent Christmas in the Midwest. Since Australia is in the southern hemisphere, Christmas has always been the summer for him. Aussie was able to see snow before and after Christmas this year which was a new Christmas holiday experience. Santa Clause even knew that Aussie was in Iowa and delivered him presents. He was able to call home on Christmas and talk to his family. Aussie has two nephews and one nephew, a toddler, walked around and introduced him to the family (which is hilarious since Aussie lived with his sister, brother-in-law and his nephews for a few months). Aussie notes that people in the U.S. seem to get into Christmas more and it is a lot more commercialized than it is in Australia.
When asked about his expectations of the U.S. before he came, he said he was not exactly sure what to think except that the U.S. is similar to Australia. One of his comments on the U.S. is that “squirrels are crazy creatures” but, he admits, “they still fascinate me.” His first surprise in the U.S. was while flying to Kansas City seeing cars driving on the right side of the road. He said “It took me a whole plane trip to get my head around the concept and what it would mean to me, that I would probably die crossing the road somewhere because I looked in the wrong direction.” Aussie has now adjusted to the cars driving on the right side of the road, so he is now safe crossing the street.
Aussie has received a lot of questions about Australia since coming to the U.S. He finds it interesting to see what people are curious about. He reassured me that Australia is not as dangerous as people perceive it to be. He admits there are dangerous animals, but they are not an issue in the cities. Aussie grew up camping a lot and says people should be cautious, but people do not need to be terrified of the animal life. He enjoys playing Australian music (they also listen to music from the U.S.) and seeing people really confused by hearing songs they have never heard. He also grew up with Australian and U.S. movies. He has noticed that Australians seem to be much more aware of what is happening in the U.S. than people in the U.S. are aware of what happens in Australia.
Aussie finds it hysterical that there are several brands in the U.S. that have an Australian animal as their logo. Examples include a kangaroo on Aussie hair products, Koala care changing tables, and the KangaRooos shoe brand.
Aussie also did a food comparison. In Australia, fried foods come with a salad. In addition, Aussie thinks sweets in Australia (some of his favorite Australian confectionary items are minties, tim tams, fan tails, and lollies) are sweeter than in the U.S.
Aussie is excited to be at Graceland University and excited to start playing baseball games this week.
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