Meet Ursuline’s Newest Wimbledon Sisters!

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The annual Wimbledon delegation travelled across the pond this October to spend time with their Ursuline Dallas sisters. Their stay lasted a little less than two weeks and consisted of State Fair antics, excessive dancing at homecoming, and a lot of fast food. Each student was interviewed by a member of the Bear Facts Staff and shared insight into their everyday life and experience in Dallas.

Louisa Hayes – After hosting ’20 Justine Walker last summer, sophomore Louisa Hayes was thrilled to see Justine again and learn about her life in Dallas. During her visit so far, Louisa has gone to a Cistercian football game, Jesuit homecoming, Klyde Warren Park, the DMA, and a nearby ranch. Since most of Louisa’s classmates either walk or take public transportation, she was shocked by the amount of traffic. “There’s even traffic in this school!” she said. At Ursuline in Wimbledon, Louisa plays netball. She said, “It’s like basketball, but it’s throwing instead of dribbling.” At the moment, her favorite movie is Spiderman: Homecoming, and she actually knows the star, Tom Holland. Louisa wants to be either a graphic designer or an interior designer. Her family often goes to Austria for hiking or cycling trips, and she has also explored some of the National Parks in the U.S.

Ellen Mulholland – Ellen Mulholland is in year 7 at Ursuline High School in England and is visiting Dallas during her October school break. Like Dallas Ursuline girls, Ellen loves listening to artists like Harry Styles, Ed Sheeran, Khalid, as well as Grime artist Stormsy, a genre she describes as “underground rap that is pretty big in England.” In her free time, Ellen enjoys playing netball, swimming, and rounders, which she said is a summertime sport similar to cricket. Though this is her first time in America, Ellen has traveled extensively around Europe and Asia, visiting exotic destinations like Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia. During her time in Dallas, she enjoyed going to the Texas State Fair, where her favorite foods where the corndogs and fried oreos. She also said she “really liked Raising Canes,” but is also planning on trying In-N-Out, Chik-fil-a, and Whataburger. Commenting on the amount of American food she has eaten, Ellen added, “I haven’t eaten healthy at all and I kind of miss it because I usually eat a salad every day.” Ellen was also able to experience the Ursuline homecoming dance, adding, “It was really fun! We even told the DJ to play Stormsy songs.” Ellen looks forward to visiting the states again over summer break.

Tara Finnegan – Ursuline girls from all over the world always seem to have similarities. Maybe it’s something in the water! To Tara Finnegan, that similarity is the unanimous agreement on the attractiveness of Cole Sprouse. Tara is an avid fan of the popular American series, Riverdale, where Cole Sprouse plays a misfit finding his way in a dysfunctional town. When she’s not engulfed in the show, you can find her watching classic movies such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Uncle Buck, and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. When these famous flicks don’t have Tara glued to a screen, you can find her listening to Ed Sheeran, Stormzy, or artists on the “Grime” scene, a genre of music in London that’s a mix of underground self-produced rap and hip hop. She also enjoys playing netball and going to hang out with friends. As far as British pop culture goes, Tara did admit that she thinks Gordon Ramsey is funny (after the Bear Facts excitedly asked her what she thought of our favorite celebrity chef). When it comes to food, it also happens to be her favorite part of America so far.

Ellie Maye Carlon – Although this is Ellie’s first time in Dallas, she is not new to Texas as her cousins live in Houston. She is familiar with Texas’s best, particularly the amazing shopping. Shopping drives Ellie’s life as she has brought her addiction to the city of malls. She awaits the beautiful gates of Northpark to spend her money. After visiting just one mall, she can no longer stay true to her promise to return home with her funds intact and her suitcase empty. Other than shopping, Ellie has been pleasantly surprised to find the immense amount of drive thru’s in Dallas where she has shared her custom of dipping French fries in milkshakes. Ellie’s love for food was even more satisfied after spending the day at the state fair eating delicious fried foods and riding all of the rides. Upon returning to London, Ellie will arrive with new shoes, new experiences, and a newfound knowledge of ranch dipping sauce and Cool Ranch Doritos.

Safiya Lord – Sofiya Lord is 14 years old and lives in Wimbledon, England. There she is a student at the Ursuline sister school. Safiya loves playing soccer, but is well-rounded. She also plays the piano and sings. She loves to listen to pop music or anything that is popular right now and enjoys watching teen wolf on Netflix, even though she has not finished yet. The biggest difference she has seen between England and The Unites States are the roads. On the topic, Safiya says, “Everyone in the Unites States drives and that’s how you get places. In England everyone either walks or uses public transportation.” Safiya said, “I take two buses to get to school and it takes an average of 45 minutes to get there.” Like most high school students, Safiya dreams about the day she graduates. When drawing comparisons between the two schools, Safiya says their graduation is more of a celebration than a ceremony. Unlike the traditional white dresses Ursuline Dallas girls wear, students at the Ursuline school in Wimbledon are able to wear whatever dress they would like. To end the interview, Safiya said, “everyone thinks British people love Harry Potter but I have not seen all of them but rather high School Musical is very popular.”

Lia Isobel – Lia Isobel is a 15 year old in year ten (ninth grade) at Ursuline in Wimbledon, London. While we share the same language and are sisters of the same school, the lifestyle of Lia Isobel very much differs from that of an Ursuline Dallas student. In Wimbledon, Ursuline girls in year ten and eleven are frantically preparing for their GCSEs—ominous, overwhelming, and hefty tests that basically determine their fate. Scary! But besides their oh-so- scary tests, differences between London life and Dallas life are pretty much as expected: they walk, we drive, they take the train, we drive, they take a bus, and—you guessed it—we drive! Otherwise, Lia is totally loving Chik-fil- a (particularly their lemonade), In-N- Out Burger, and our totally over-the- top Starbucks! Lia misses her family and her dog, Oscar, but loves the well-behaved demeanor of Ursuline Academy of Dallas. “It’s quite different than our school… Like, if we had vending machines, I think someone would smash the glass in about ten minutes!” she said when comparing UA Dallas to UA Wimbledon. Lia has had a great time in Dallas, and was very grateful for the experience.

Anna Lucas – This isn’t Anna Lucas’ first experience traveling with the Ursuline High School in Wimbledon, England. From sightseeing in Rome and France to skiing in Austria, Anna has enjoyed an array of lifelong experiences through her high school travel program. At 14 years old, she was one of the youngest girls to make the trip to Texas. Anna has loved her Texas experience thus far. Hosted by sophomore Emily Ray, the two girls have spent a copious amount of time trying every American food, riding all the rides possible at the state fair, and dancing the night away at the Ursuline/Jesuit homecoming. Chick-fil-a and Whataburger are currently competing for the top spot on Anna’s favorite American food list, but fried Oreos at the state fair is definitely at the top of that list! Homecoming was a highlight for Anna, as she enjoyed dancing to trendy music in a mosh-pit of American teenagers. Besides living in Esher, the outskirts of London, Anna very much parallels the American teenager. She loves playing Net Ball and spending her time baking. While in school, her favorite class is math and she plans on being a property developer. Much like the majority of Ursuline Academy of Dallas, Anna loves watching Netflix shows, such as The Only Way is Essex and The Great British Bake-off.

Melissa Claire Hayes – Melissa Clare Hayes, from Wimbledon, came to Texas for the first time with the Ursuline delegation. She has enjoyed sharing all of the differences between life in England and life in America. For example, the food portions are massive in America, as opposed to the smaller, healthier ones across the pond! Like many of the other student delegates, one of Melissa’s favorite things in England is Grime. Known as “underground rap,” Melissa explained it as a special genre of rap music that people make in their garages. She is growing to like American music more and more, and she loves spending time here in the United States.

Isabel Peña – Walking in with her peers, Isabel Peña looked as comfortable as any girl at Ursuline. Her bright eyes and outgoing personality did not distract from her knowledge of London. “In London, we walk everywhere. If you call your mum to pick you up she’ll say, ‘You have legs, you can walk’.” When asked about her interests, she passionately talked about her favorite class of fashion and design. Her time spent at the State Fair with the Ritter-Pleitz family is her most enjoyable memory so far in Texas, having had the opportunity to try foot-long corn dogs and cinnamon rolls. The cultural differences did not disappoint when she witnessed the first house fully-decorated for Halloween. “The most decorated house in London I’ve seen had two pumpkins. And here there are giant, blow-up vampires!” After her visit, Isabel hopes to incorporate foods she tried in Texas into her meals.

Maisie Brading – Maisie Brading, 14, has loved the food here in Dallas the most. She enjoyed eating the “massive pizza” at Coal Vines, and the chicken nuggets and waffle “chips” at Chick-Fil- A. For dessert, Brading also loved the rolled ice cream at Chills 360. Her favorite meal at home is roast dinner. “It’s a really popular dish, usually served on Sundays, that consists of a meat: roast beef, turkey, or chicken, or sometimes all three,” she said. While pulling up a photo of it on her phone, she mentioned that talking about it made her crave it. When spending time with her friends, Brading enjoys going to lunch at Wimbledon’s town center. On her own, she loves watching Mamamia, and likes Keeping Up with the Kardashians. How else has the film industry shown up in her life? Brading’s dad has autographs from Mel and Sue, the late co-hosts of The Great British Bake Off. Plus, her older brother was friends with actor Tom Holland, as they went to the same scouts. Besides this Dallas visit, Brading has traveled to Rome with her school and is planning on going on her Ursuline Wimbledon’s March ski trip.

Edie Davies – Edie Davies is a teenager from Wimbledon, England. Edie has two brothers and her family enjoys travelling together. She has been to California, Massachusetts, New York, and now Texas. Edie explains the philosophy behind her families love for travelling saying, “In England, we normally spend money on vacations not big houses.” She points out that public transport is a very prominent part of her life. Trains are everywhere and there are bus stops around every corner. Unlike Dallas, most people don’t drive in Wimbledon, and rather take advantage of public transport. When it comes to food, the portion sizes are way smaller in Wimbledon. Edie says that Wimbledon does not have nearly as many fast food restaurants as America. While they have KFC and McDonald’s, Edie was unfamiliar with most of the fast food diners. Fashion trends really are one step ahead in Wimbledon. Edie explains the fashion forward characteristics of England and some of the fashion trends that have not yet caught on in America. Adidas All-Star shoes and Birkenstocks are so out of style in Wimbledon. Edie says, “Only old people wear Birkenstocks. The only shoe you will be seeing the trendy British wearing are the Nike 97’s.” So, if you want to get ahead of the rest of America on Fashion trends, listen to Edie she will enlighten you with her impeccable fashion sense.

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