When I told my friends and family that I had chosen to pursue a Master’s degree at the University of Leeds, the first reactions I got were, “Oooh! Do you think when you get back you’ll have a really cool accent?” and “Maybe you can find a husband there!”
But once the traditional American Anglophilia had died down a bit, the second most common reactions I got were, “…Why Leeds?”
Good question. Don’t get me wrong, the University of Leeds has a respectable reputation…but I think my friends were justified in wondering how I, an American working in Japan, had selected an English university.
The truth is, my reasons were entirely museum-related. I want to work in museums in the future and few other universities offered the opportunity to get so deeply involved with a museum project. The University of Leeds later asked me to submit to a brief interview on the subject and though my nerves at the time apparently caused me to blather on with extremely cheesy sentiments interspersed with uncomfortable gazes into empty space, I hope you enjoy the results. It’s good for a laugh, anyway.