Friday, December 25, 2009

White Christmas

So, I suppose those who wished for a White Christmas got their wish. I for one didn't really care. I just wanted to be able to get out of town Christmas day. But, since the snow came, and came, and came, and came. I'm definitely stuck at home for day 2. But, my parents and I had a good time playing the Wii, at least the games that we could play without the nunchucks. Our Wii Sports game that comes with the console doesn't work. So, that was a disappointment.

Anyways, I thought I'd share some pics of the mountain of snow outside our front door. Since it was so windy, it al accumulated in front of our house.

This is a pic from the front porch on Christmas Eve about 6:00 P.M.

This is a pic from the front porch Christmas Day at 11:30 A.M.

I tried to give an example of how much snow there really is.

So, it's looking like I will have a job come March in South Korea. It's not for sure yet, but some what a strange e-mail said ,"there is an opening in March and someone will be in contact with me from the Ministry of Education prior to my arrival." So, I'm trying to get a clear reading on this from Yoo Yoon who I've been in contact with in Dallas to see if that is really what this e-mail is saying. Please keep your fingers crossed!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My life may be gradually pulling itself out of a 3 month tailspin!!! Good news received on Thursday morning. Hoping to hear ever MORE good news next week...keep your fingers and toes crossed!!! I will elaborate more when I know for sure!!!!!

"Keeping the Faith"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rough Day...

I learned that a close family friend passed away today. He had been battling cancer for a few years now and passed away this afternoon. Just 5 weeks to the day after my grandma passed away. Wednesdays are starting to become my least favorite day.

Please keep his family in your prayers. He has two kids as well as a wonderful wife. So, please keep them in your thoughts.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Feelings of...

I find myself going through a bit of depression. With the passing of my grandmother two weeks ago today, I still refer to her in the present tense and then realize my mistake. And I start to ask myself, is it OK to do that? My dad and I started a tradition with my grandparents before she died by taking lunch out to them every Friday. Some fridays my grandpa would actually cook. And for those of you who know my grandparents, I think my grandpa could give my grandma a run for her money in the kitchen. lol Anyway, my dad told my grandpa that we would like to keep this tradition, but instead of bringing him lunch we would take him out to eat. A different restaurant every week. So when we went to pick him up, it was hard to not see her sitting there next to him. He seemed like he was doing OK. We did end up taking some of her clothes so we could take them to Good Shepherd at church. For me, I think it would be the hardest being in that house alone after being married for 59 years.

This leads me to my next topic, loneliness. I know I've talked about this before, but sometimes it's just overwhelming. A sense of loneliness that doesn't seem to go away even when around people. I'm not sure what to do with that. Is this something that is normal? Is this something that will eventually go away? Is this something that can be fixed?

Being out here in North Carolina, I thought would help a bit with the depression. Being with my best friend and all the crazy laughter that ensues when we are together. But, I just feel like I'm being a party pooper and not wanting to go hang out with her friends. I'm sure they're amazing people. I'm at a point right now that I don't want to be around crowds of people. And that totally sucks!!

Anyway, life goes on. And will go on with a smile on my face whether I like it or not.

Friday, October 2, 2009

My theme song....

One of my favorite musicians is releasing his 5th studio album on Oct. 9th! I already have it pre-ordered on iTunes and am super psyched about it!!!

Below is the music video of the first single off of his album "Crazy Love" and I have decided it's my theme song for who knows how long!! haha

Friday, September 25, 2009

In Memory of my Grandmother...

My grandma passed away Wednesday, September 23, 2009. After spending two weeks exactly in Hospice care. She was such an amazing woman. Had such a kind and giving heart and was loved by everyone who knew her. The next couple days are going to be rough, but thanks to friends and family I think I'll make it through. Her burial is on Monday morning, then a family luncheon, and then the memorial service is at 2:00 P.M.

Below is a post I started last week and never got around to posting it.

Last Week:

I've had a rough week. Between working and driving out to north Oklahoma City every day to see my grandma, it's a wonder I haven't completely shut down. My grandma was moved into Hospice care last Wednesday. She was in a lot of pain, so they decided to move her there to get her pain under control and hopefully be able to move her back home this week. Well, she took a turn for the worse and so now it's just a waiting game. We're all surprised she's lasted this long. But, we have a feeling that once my aunt gets here on Monday that she'll go. We think that she's waiting to see my aunt.

Tuesday was the worst. They were taking her off one pain medication and putting her on a different one, which in turn was making her shake really bad. At that point it basically hit me that she wasn't going to be here much longer. Since then she's been sleeping a lot and only slightly alert. Seeing her like that killed me and it was the first time I actually broke down in front of any of my family. She's been such a huge part of my life, so full of life and seeing her lying there in that bed shaking, barely being able to talk broke my heart. We've gone out there every day since Monday just to see her and sit with my grandpa. I can't imagine what he's going through right now. Just the sadness in his eyes when he looks at her lying there makes my heart ache. They've been married for 59 years. Me, I just hope I live to be 59. He's stayed there every night except for one since she's been moved there. I don't think he's ready to let her go yet.

I was lying in bed this morning at 4:00 A.M. awake as usual and just starting thinking about all the incredible times I had with my grandma, AKA Bona. No idea where the name came from, but I still call her that and I'm the only grandkid that calls her that. Anyways, I just felt like I need to put these memories down somewhere, so I don't ever forget them.

  • Waking up at 6:00 A.M., sitting on the kitchen counter watching her make bacon and waffles. She was a bacon one can make bacon like her. Perfectly crispy. I did this when I was really little, now, there is no way I would wake up that early.
  • Playing baseball out in their driveway. And yes, she would actually play with me. We would take turns batting and running bases. Sometimes one of my neighborhood friends would come play with us. Either the boy from next door or the boy from across the pond.
  • Making homemade playdough.
  • Making towers out of jell-o boxes that were stored underneath the island of their kitchen.
  • Running out to their back deck screaming to scare off the squirrels that would climb onto the bird feeders.
  • Taking walks/scooter rides through their neighborhood.
  • Playing Skip-bo, Old Maid, and Dominoes.
  • Sneaking into the kitchen while she was cooking and scaring her every time. I believed that it just prolonged her life. haha
  • When I would have trouble sleeping when I was at their house she would come rub my back, which in turn caused me to pass out every time.
  • She even let me play soccer in the house, as long as I kept the ball on the floor.
  • All the loaves of homemade bread she would make me. When I was in high school and college she would always make one for my parents and then one for myself. She knew me too well.
  • She always had their house stocked with Dr. Pepper and even let my cousin's Brent and Jason and I to have a "secret" club...The Dr. Pepper Club. She was of course our honorary member.
I Love You Bona!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Added two songs to my music player! Michael Franti and Spearhead's "Have a Little Faith" and Bob Marley and the Wailers' "Three Little Birds."

These two songs helped me get through this week. Frustrations with co-workers, work functions, and my grandmother going into Hospice care on Wednesday. She was in a lot of pain, and my mom called me at work asking if I could get off early because she wasn't sure if this would be the last time we got to see her conscious. Thankfully, they are getting her pain in control and may be able to go home next week.

I've found that the best therapy for me when I can't go play basketball is to go to a bookstore. lol I was at the point of almost having an emotional breakdown on Friday after I got home from my work thing (which happened to be a waste of a good friday night.) So, I left the house, decided to just drive around and ended up at the bank to get my dad some cash I owed him and then went to Borders. I got me an iced Mocha and just browsed for an hour. I ended up buying two books and was significantly more calm as I walked out the doors. It was amazing!! So, if you ever witness me having a potential emotional breakdown...go to your nearest bookstore and you will probably find me. haha

I'm hoping next week is infinitely better. Monday night going out to dinner for a friends birthday, working Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Sunday bowling at Red Pin!!

Hope you all had a much better week than I did!! Next week...just gotta have a little bit more faith!!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Crappy Day!

I hope that deciding to take one day at a time is the smart thing to do. As for my day today, it was pretty crappy! Worked downtown today from 11 AM-5 PM. Two more hours than I was supposed to. I'm still trying to get the hang of things. Things at downtown are so much MORE involved than at Midtown, so I'm constantly having to ask questions and then there was a mishap with the cash register today which just sealed the deal on the "crappy day!" It was my fault, I didn't get scolded by anyone but myself. I've figured out that I'm not as good a multi-tasker as I thought I was.

After today I felt like I was alone, when in reality that's hardly the case. I just wish I had someone who I could talk to and they would listen. Someone who I could cry in front of and not be judged. Someone who could wrap their arms around me and my whole crappy day would seise to exist. Someone who would tell me things will get better and I would actually believe them. Someone who would use their humor to make me laugh out loud.

When and if I ever find that someone, my hardships are being told to "Living in the Now." Even though you don't respond, I know I have the ability to speak freely. So until next time...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Break in the Clouds

A small break in the clouds came today. My aunt Carolyn has a lot of pull with CBF, one of the places I applied to teach English in Korea with, and she contacted the guy in charge and he told her they didn't have my application. So, apparently it didn't go through or they lost it. So, I resent it and hopefully now that they know to look for it and I know Carolyn Crumpler, things may start looking up for me!!! Keep your fingers crossed!! Carolyn isn't technically my aunt, she's my mom's best friend, and I am named after her, and I've always known her as aunt Carolyn.

I've picked up more hours at the Downtown YMCA which is actually closer to my house than the YMCA that I've been working at for the past year. Downtown is so much busier, the members are a lot more needy, and there are a LOT more towels to be washed and folded. But, I like it. The time flies by much faster than the Midtown. But, then again, working at Downtown made me realize how much I like the slow pace of Midtown. But, the more money the better!!! So, I work from 9 AM-6PM tomorrow. Which should be interesting. I've never worked that long, so hopefully it won't be too bad.

Things are looking up, I'm not hating life as much as I was. But, for right now, I'm taking each day at a time and remembering to keep having faith.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rethinking Things

Here it is August 12, and still no job offers. I'm to the point where I'm rethinking about what it is that I'm supposed to do. Do I still want to be a physical education teacher? A part of me thinks that maybe this isn't what I'm supposed to do. Sure, I enjoyed it thoroughly when I was in England, but I can't help but wonder if it was he environment that played the part in my enjoyment.

One thing that I like to do when I'm stressed or frustrated it scrapbook, or doing something creative. So, I've put off working on my scrapbook for all of my ticket stubs/maps/pamphlets from Europe. So, I bought some punch-out letters yesterday at Wal-mart (sorry Hal, I had a gift card from there from graduation. I know how you hate that place!!! haha). I started work on it last night and I realized that I was truly happy while I was overseas. I know that sounds depressing and a bit rude, but, I loved it over there. And since applying for two jobs teaching English in South Korea, I'm crossing my tiny fingers in hopes that I would get the opportunity to do that. Not only would I get to live and work in the country I was born in, but I would also get to immerse myself in a different culture, which is something that I loved doing while in Europe. I would also get to learn more about where I came from. So, wish me luck that I will get an interview with Pegasus Teachers in October for their February 23, 2010 hiring! It would be such an amazing birthday present!!!

For now, I'm still working at the YMCA, hoping that I can maybe find something more enjoyable for the time being.

Music of the moment:

Scars and Stitches- Theory of a Deadman

Evolver- John Legend

Every Kings of Leon album

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Life and Death

Life and Death...

I found out this afternoon that the son of a family friend who has been fighting cancer for the past year past away last night. This is hard because Caleb, was only 11. He has three brothers and his parents have been going through a LOT as well. Kim, the mother, had breast cancer and is now fighting Colon Cancer. She actually had emergency surgery last night as Caleb passed away. So, it's definitely a horrible ordeal for this family. They've just been through so much. 

Losing a loved one to cancer, disease, an accident, or some other reason is hard. I've have two friends who are cancer survivors, one friend and a grandmother who are fighting cancer this very minute, family members who have passed away from heart disease, cystic fibrosis, Parkinson's disease and a stroke. It's hard seeing them suffer through chemo, radiation, memory loss, hair loss, the pain, the fatigue, etc. I just can't imagine not knowing the outcome of all the pain and suffering. 

It doesn't come easy even after you know they probably won't make it through. Losing them in the end is still hard. I'm not sure what it's going to be like when I lose my grandmother. We are really close, and she's been battling this for the past three/four years and it doesn't get any easier. It's hard to see her so frail and tired, as I remember playing baseball with her when I was younger. I thank God that she's made it this long. I was afraid that she wouldn't make it until I got back from England, and here it is 2 months later and she's still here, even though she is fading fast. She is literally the strongest woman I know. 

We take life for granted. We wish we could do this and that, or complain that life sucks. When in reality, we have it pretty good. Decent health, a beating heart. It's the Feltwell Crew motto that always comes to mind when I think of things like this. "Seizing Every Opportunity" is a vital part of living your life. Because you never know when your last day might be. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Frustration, Close to Tears

"There will be no tears. Something will happen. Do not cry." 

This is what I've been trying to tell myself for the past month. I don't know if this is my punishment for waiting too long to start looking for jobs, or if I don't look that great on paper, or if this is something I'm not really supposed to be doing. I've applied to 11 openings that I have found, and have only had one interview, which I have heard nothing back from. I keep trying to tell myself that a lot of schools don't really hire anyone until closer to the beginning of school, but who am I kidding? 

I haven't had an emotional breakdown yet, so no worries there. But, come August 1st and nothing, I can't promise anything. lol 

I've also applied to teach English with CBF (Cooperative Baptist Fellowship) in South Korea, but who knows what will come of that. I probably have to be certified in TESL, which I'm not and it's a bit pricey on top of my certifications for teaching here in OK. 

So, I sit here talking to my friend Jill, and thank God for her! Love you Jill!!!! As I look down at my typing fingers and the ring on my thumb, I'm reminded to have 'Faith'. Faith that something good will happen. Faith that I won't be living with my parents until I'm 40. Faith in God. 

Oh, and I have to take the OPTE again. ARGH!!! Could my life suck any more right now?!?!?! 

No it can't...because...I'm off to New York City on July 27 for a few days with my parents. My 5th time there, and I'm still SUPER excited!! Dad is taking me to a Mets' game, and it's going to be FREAKIN' AWESOME!!! David Wright, here I come!!! haha Hopefully, being there will help me keep my mind of not having a job...EEK!!!!  

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Good Workout and Fantastic Music

After being out of commission for a month and a half, I am to the point where I can workout on the elliptical and do a tiny bit of jogging. It feels so good to be able to workout again. It's been driving me crazy. I've been extremely restless since I've been home, and being able to workout is definitely helping with the restlessness. And the fact that I have a job. Not really something that I am enjoying as much as I used to, but it gives me an income, so that's a plus. 

I'm not sure if it's just me, or if any of you are like this, but when I run or do the elliptical, or play basketball it's the best way to clear my head. I'm not one of those people who exercises to think about things, I do it to stop thinking about things. It gives me the freedom from all the stressful things in my life. And now that I've finished college and am in the process of looking for a full-time job, the stress couldn't be packing in any more. 

Music is another thing that seems to put my mind at ease. Wether it be rock/alternative, to relieve anger, standards, to calm my nerves, or some jazz/blues, to soothe me. You won't find me sitting there without some sort of music playing in the background. I've been introduced to some amazing music the past couple months, some of which have become some of my faves. Brett Dennen, David Ryan Harris, Erin McCarley, and Cage the Elephant. And then some old favorites with new incredible albums like, Dave Matthews Band, Ray LaMontagne, and Dave Barnes. And then there are those who I just can't get enough of no matter what album it is, Kings of Leon, John Legend, Van Morrison, and Otis Redding. 

The first song on my playlist is from the new Dave Matthews Band album, Why I Am, give it a listen!!!!! You won't be disappointed! 

So, my suggestions for some great summer music for you:

  • Dave Matthews Band: Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King
    • Their first studio album in 4 years. It's definitely worth a listen. RIP LeRoi Moore
  • Ray LaMontagne: Gossip in the Grain
  • Cage the Elephant: Cage the Elephant
  • Kings of Leon: Only by the Night
    • My second all-time favorite band, right behind DMB!! Definitely a unique sound. 
  • Brett Dennen: So Much More

"Without music life would be a mistake." Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Monday, May 25, 2009

Lets Hug It Out!!

I was lying in bed last night thinking about who knows what and I started thinking about some of the talks I had back in England with the Feltwell Crew about physical touch. Which got me thinking about hugs, which got me thinking about greetings. For me, there are certain people who I give hand shakes to when I see them. But, then there are those that I do side hugs with, and then those that I give full-frontal (get your mind out of the gutters!) hugs to. You have to be pretty awesome, to get one of those full-frontal hugs from me, though!!! hahaha I've never been to the point where I missed someone so much that when I saw them for the first time after a long leave of absence I jumped into their arms, but I had that experience on my first day back at my church. I wasn't the one jumping, but the one receiving and I definitely couldn't wipe the smile off my face. 

The 5 year old, almost 6 year old son of my student minister at my church asked me before I left if I could send him postcards from all of the places that I visited, and I cannot say no to this kid. He was adopted from South Korea like myself and from the same adoption agency in Tulsa. So, we have a bit of a connection there. Anyways, so throughout the three months I was in Europe I sent him a postcard from every country we visited. When I got back I had one more to give to him that I didn't get a chance to mail, so I was just going to give it to him myself. I didn't get to see him until after church in the common room outside the sanctuary, but as I saw him walking toward me, he saw me, had that incredibly adorable smile on his face and ran toward me yelling, "Caroline!" and jumped into my arms as I picked him up in a big hug! Now tell me you wish you could experience something like that every day! He was super excited about his last postcard and I couldn't be happier to have done that for him. 

So the conversation with the Feltwell Crew about physical touch consisted of the information that physical touch is something that people crave. Wether it be a hug, a pat on the back, hand holding, cuddling, etc. I for one, missed hugs while I was over in England. I'm definitely a hugger. And for the most part, toward the end of the three months I fulfilled my quota of hugs thanks to the Feltwell Crew. There are definitely some great huggers in that group (you know who you are!!!). And if it weren't for them, I might have gone crazy!!!! 

So, in the chaos that is your life, there is always time for hugs. So, if you ever feel like you're in need of a good hug..."Hug Department:  Always Open!"

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Summer and Procrastination

Self control and self determination are the two things that I need to keep myself from becoming a fluffy, broke, jobless, college graduate. OH WAIT!! Too late! I've been in the process of filling out job applications for the past two weeks and have only turned one  in. EEK!! I feel the necessity of job hunting being pushed aside for the love of new music. With the introductions to numerous artist I had not heard of by a member of the Feltwell Crew and the discovery of, I have been listening to and buying music.  

For instance, the first song on my playlist: People Should Smile More by Newton Faulkner. It is definitely a message that more people should take into consideration!!! 

Anyways, this needs procrastination needs to stop and I need to concentrate on more important things like FINDING A JOB!!!! 

However, the summer is just not the summer without leisurely activities such as reading, getting sunburned, hanging out with friends and watching baseball!!! Within the last two  days I have done all three of those!!! Baseball being my favorite thing of the summer! The Redhawks and the Mets! Can't get enough of those guys in tight pants swinging a bat at a tiny little ball. Or in the Redhawks case, baggy white pants. haha

My friend Jill, aka Genevieve, and I had the opportunity to watch a double header against the Tacoma Rainier's, Monday. It was a gorgeous day with great weather, great baseball, great company, and great food!!! GO ROYCE!!!!! 

Royce coming in after hitting his 3-run homer!!!! ATTA BABY, #7!!!!!! 

My goal by the end of this week is to have all seven job applications turned in! We'll see what happens. 

And as I end this post, I feel the need for another quote. If you don't know, I'm a lover of quotes. I have multiple quote books and am always looking for more! So, here is one for you to think about and for me to keep in mind!!!

"Procrastination is opportunity's assassin." - Victor Kiam

Friday, May 15, 2009


I've been back in the States for 15 days. I can honestly say that it feels weird. I no longer have to trek down to the very end of the hall to get to my bedroom. I no longer have to wear shower shoes. I no longer have to sit on a broken toilet seat. I no longer have to worry about whether or not I can get on the internet. I no longer have to worry about how I'm going to get food for the following week. I no longer have to punch in a code to get into my living area. 

I MISS ALL OF THAT!!!!! Things that I would otherwise find annoying are the little things that made the Feltwell Hilton my "home." I miss coming home to a "hello?!" coming from the dayroom. I miss the faces of my 8 beloved Feltwell Crew Members. I miss hearing about each of their days at school. I miss Wednesday Volleyball. I miss lunch with the Lunch Bunch at the High School. I miss traveling. I miss the random videos and pictures. I miss sitting around the dayroom table listening to music and trying to get on the internet. 

I could go on forever, but I don't think you would enjoy that. lol Luckily, most of the Feltwell Crew is in Oklahoma and I've gotten to see most of them since being back!!! And thank goodness for Skype!!! Our main communication with each other!! 

As I sit here thinking about all the things that I NEED to be doing all I can think about is wishing I was back in England, hanging out with the Feltwell Crew at the Feltwell Hilton. But, life goes on and it's back to the real world. There are job applications that need to be filled out, thank you notes that need to be written, money that needs to be made, pictures that need to be organized, ticket stubs that need a home, a test that needs to be taken, and a life that needs to be lived! 

I had the best three months of my life, and being only 23 years old, I'm sure there are more amazing months to come! 

In the words of a one, Joseph Campbell, "We must be willing to get rid of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." I have no idea who this Joseph character is, but he is SPOT ON!!!! 

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

One Last Hoo-raw!!!

This is my last post before I come home. I'll be home Friday night at 10:30 P.M. I'm sorry there will be no Barcelona post, but you can ask me about it if you want when you see me. This post will be a bit different than the rest. Since it's my last post here unless I decide to keep blogging, I thought I would do a bit of reflection on a few things. Issues, activities, friendships, etc. So, this is more for me, but who knows it might interest you. 


Amsterdam: Consisted of three of the seven from OSU. Myself, Brandi, and Emily. We did the ITT trip, and it was pretty fun other than the fact that we spent 14 hours on a Ferry. We had a great time, but we didn't have enough time to do a lot of stuff that we wanted to do. But, Emily, Brandi, and I definitely got pretty close that trip!!!

London: Two trips to London with the group and one trip to London with my parents. The first trip was with all of the OSU people. Our first trip when we got here. We had a great time trying to figure out the tube, and trying to figure out what to see. We saw a bunch of landmarks and did a lot of walking. Second trip to London consisted of all 9 of us. We stayed at Journey Hostel which turned out to be one of the greatest weekends here. My birthday weekend and was the best birthday I've ever had. Thanks to the Feltwell Crew and the Jamaican hostel/pub that we stayed at. We saw the Tower of London, did some shopping, and went to Camden Town to a market. London with the parentals was great! It was so good to see them. 

Dublin, Ireland: Dublin consisted of Brandi, Joanna, Emily, Will, and myself. We stayed in an amazing hotel and did a lot of sight seeing. My favorite thing was visiting the Guinness Storehouse. It was amazing to see how they make the beer, advertising for the beer, and a bunch of other stuff. We also got a complimentary pint. It was definitely worth the 11€. We were there St. Patrick's Day weekend and thought they would be partying it up, but they weren't. But, we did go to a few pubs that were pretty fun! And Will, is definitely funny when intoxicated! "HIGH FIVE!!!" Dublin is definitely one of the cleaner places we visited. 

Salzburg, Austria: This was my favorite trip the whole three months. It was a girl's weekend. The "Sound of Music" tour rocked my world, our hike up some mountain was breathtaking and very relaxing, and Salzburg was just as gorgeous as can be. We didn't want to leave, and definitely didn't get to do everything that we wanted to do. We had an amazing taxi driver, Hans, and "Sound of Music" tour guide. 

Around England: Spending time around England was one of my favorite things to do as well. We spent the night in a 400 year old farm house that is supposedly haunted. (You'll have to ask me about that one sometime). We went to Cambridge and punted the river Cam. We went to Bury St. Edmunds and did some shopping and walking around. We've been to Ely for fish and chips, and Cambridge yet again for a Cambridge United Football Game. Going to the football game was something that I had been wanting to do while we were here. It was on the top of my list and this past Sunday I finally got to cross that off my list. It was a draw, nil-nil, but it was still a great experience!! 

Italy: In Italy we went to Venice, Florence, and Rome. Saw lots of amazing things, ate LOTS of gelato, and an overall good time. With the exception of Emily's departure. The Roman Forum was my favorite thing in Rome. It was amazing seeing the old city. Venice was interesting in the fact that the transportation consisted of water taxi's. Something we are definitely not used to. Florence was cool, we saw Michaelangelo's David and an amazing art museum. We had a rough time with our hostel choices, but you know it's our fault for waiting till the last minute. Apparently, we ALL are horrible procrastinators. Italy was probably the dirtiest place we visited. Especially Rome, with the funky smells, and all the graffiti. 

Barcelona, Spain: Barcelona was probably the second most amazing city we visited. I LOVED it!!! We definitely didn't get to see everything I wanted to see, so this place is definitely somewhere where I would return to in the near future. It was absolutely gorgeous. It has great shopping and I consider that an important fact. lol We even made it to the beach to work on our tans since we've all been deprived of sunlight here in England. Our numbers were down from six to four. It was a bit sad, but we totally enjoyed ourselves. At the time we were leaving Italy we were definitely in need of a pick-me up and Barcelona was the perfect thing!!!!! 


First there's Emily aka "Emilta" and Brandi aka "Momma Brandi". I'm pretty close to all of them, but those two I'm extremely close to. Emily, because we both had horrible issues trying to get here and then the both of us being at the Elementary School. She was my grocery shopping bud, my bus buddy, and my shopping buddy. Brandi and I just get along extremely well. We have pretty similar personalities, sense of humors, likes and dislikes. I don't know what I would do without these two! 

Next there is Joanna aka "Ice." I just love her to death!! Her nickname, Ice, is because she is our "Ice breaker." But, I'm pretty much the only one that calls her that, so it's really my nickname for her. She is definitely one of the most positive people I know. Her and I definitely do "Question Wars" which I love. She is very good at shooting off those thought provoking questions that make you think, and I'm not used to that, but I love it!!!!

Jill, aka "Genevieve," is the MOST positive person I know! She is adorable, and loves to laugh just about as much as I do! Her most used phrase, "Oh my gosh!" haha She's a squealer and I'm not used to that, but to see someone so excited about everything, I love!! 

Nicole, aka "Nicolette," is very generous, sweet, and pretty funny. She's definitely someone I will miss. 

"The guys," Hal and Colin, from Washington State University. These guys had a hand in  making my 23rd birthday the best birthday I've ever had. They are hilarious, sweet, and just all out awesome guys! They will definitely not be forgotten. 

Will, aka Gilliam, is the only guy from OSU. He is pretty reserved and quite and likes his alone time. But, he is probably one of the most funniest people I know! He's got this crazy, dry sense of humor that is totally unexpected. He's a good guy. 

Favorite Moments:

  • "High Five!"- Will Sledge: Dublin, Ireland
  • "Seize Every Opportunity!" -Emily and Caroline
  • All the random naps taken on public transportation, in cars, and random places. 
  • Journey Hostel on the Southside of London. Sketch hostel that turned out to be one of the best weekends here.
  • Salzburg, Austria; "Sound of Music Tour" with my girls, the amazing scenery of Salzburg, and throwing snowballs at each other. 
  • Experiencing sketchy hostels with the Feltwell Crew
  • Volleyball at Lakenheath Middle School
  • Punting the river Cam in Cambridge
  • The numerous shopping sprees in London, Bury St. Edmunds, Salzburg, Dublin, Italy, and Barcelona. 
  • Flying Ryan Air...oh wait...Ryan Air was horrible, it was the people I was traveling with that made those flights bearable. 
  • Visiting different pubs around England
  • Laughing with the Feltwell Crew
  • Packing 9 people in Steve's van on our way to Epping
  • Getting to know 9 amazing people that I will remember for the rest of my life.
  • Incredible free food provided by the teachers from the Elementary School, Middle School and High School.
  • Late nights with the Feltwell Crew


1. I actually like more vegetables and and other foods that I didn't realize. 

2. I have a love for Indian food.

3. I can be on my own and still survive.

4. My quietness causes people to think I don't like them, which is definitely the opposite case. 

5. I have a serious shopping problem.

6. I enjoy teaching and can't wait to be an Elementary Physical Education teacher. 

7. 9 people can become life-long friends in three months. 

8. If I were given one million dollars to never go back to the U.S. I would do it. 


10. DODS is an AMAZING system and the people are PHENOMENAL!!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Could I BE any more lucky???

Sorry that Barcelona is still to come, but a few things have happened since I did the Italy post. 

1. The sun came out this weekend. So, I spent Saturday and Sunday outside soaking up the sun. Saturday, Hal took me to ordered shirts for the group, went to the commissary for groceries, and then the two of us played tennis for about an hour and then just laid in the grass talking. Sunday, I played basketball and played out on the swings on the playground. lol I just can't get enough of the sun here and the weather. We've had such amazing weather since we've been here. It's been great!!!

2. I haven't been sleeping well, so I haven't really been up for much and the internet is being a jerk! It's finally back, but who knows how long it will be working.

3. I'm home today, did not go to work. Yesterday afternoon I was playing basketball with John's 4th hour when I jumped up and came down on Connor's foot. Rolling my ankle the exact same way I did in 8th grade, doing the exact same thing, to the exact same ankle. I can definitely say it hurt worse than last time. But, there were no tears, but a LOT of pain and at one point I was having trouble hearing. Which, doesn't really sound like a good thing. Janis, my cooperating teacher, took me to the Emergency room yesterday around 2:40 P.M. and it's just a bad sprain. 

So, before our last weekend and hoo-raw before we leave, this happens and screws up everything. Hopefully, I'll be able to put some weight on it by the weekend and will be ok when we finally go to a FOOTBALL game!!!! Soccer for those of you Americans. lol 

P.S. added a few new pictures on the right toward the bottom!!


Warning for those with uneasy stomachs...close this now!!!


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spring Break 2009 has been brewing in my mind since the first time I heard about this whole study aboard thing. Being over in Europe you have easy access to many different countries. As things started to fall into place I started thinking about the traveling that I wanted to do while I was over here. There was no thinking about teaching, it was all about the amazing traveling I would get to do. haha Italy was number one on my list. I knew we were going to get about 10 days for break, and I knew Italy was where I wanted to go. Once we were here there was talk about what we were going to do for Spring Break and I mentioned Italy and other people were all for it! There was also talk about going more than one place because we had so many days. Germany, Austria, and Spain were thrown out there. We did a lot of talking and decided on Spain. So, Spring Break 2009 consisted of Italy and Spain. Venice, Florence, and Rome in Italy and Barcelona in Spain. So, there were six of us going together to Italy and Spain, Me, Jill, Nicole, Joanna, Emily, and Will. 

April 2-3, 2009- Venice, Italy

We left RAF Lakenheath Thursday afternoon to go to Stanstead to fly into Treviso, Italy that evening. We got to Treviso and stayed in a Holiday Inn Express. We got a continental breakfast, which was probably the best breakfast we had all week. After we checked out we walked quickly to the train station to try to catch the train into Venice. When we got to the train station we searched and searched for a place to buy tickets. Apparently, you can only buy tickets from hotels or some sort of shop that is like 10 min. away. So, what did we do, we ended up going to the place 10 minutes away when we could have easily gone to the hotel that was right next to the train station. We finally got our tickets and waited for a good 25 min. for the next train to come. We weren't really sure which train we were supposed to get on, but luckily there was a man working there that spoke English, so Jill asked and we were good to go. We finally made it to Venice via the train and immediately went to find a map. When we found a map we asked the guy working there if he knew where our hostel was. Just as luck would have it, it was on a completely different island and we would have to take one of the water taxi's to get there. Yes, water taxi. That is there mode of transportation. ALL of Venice. They do not have cars. They have boats. It was INSANE!!! It was about an hour boat ride from the main island to our hostel. But, before we made it to the hostel we lugged around our backpacks through the narrow streets of Venice. It was quite the hike. We finally made it across the water and to our hostel to drop off our packs. We then went back the main island which only took 5 mins. and found some lunch and did a LOT of walking around. Looking into some of the small shops and just taking in the sights and sounds of Venice. In the evening we went to the island of Lido hoping to find a beach, but it turned out to be locked. lol Before we found the beach we had to get some dinner, so we found a small restaurant and I ordered pasta with eggplant and zucchini and it wasn't all that great. While we were looking for a place to eat we saw a guy in an Oklahoma State University t-shirt so in theory we had to take a picture with him. He was from Chicago and was thinking about going to OSU for Fire Protection. Totally shocking to see someone in an Oklahoma State shirt in Venice. After finding the beach locked we walked around and got some gelato for the second time that day, third time for some of us. lol  Before we left the island Emily, Jill, and I had to find a WC (water closet) or bathroom for you American folk. The thing is, public restrooms in Europe are FAR different from the public restrooms in the states. For the most part, they cost money. So, we found a WC and it turned out to cost €1,50. Neither of us had the correct change, so we had to stop by a small shop where the person working did NOT speak English, so it took us a few minutes to get change. Then...we realized that it was going to cost too much for each of us to use the WC, so you can probably figure out what we did. And that's all I will say about that. It was an experience in itself and I think the three of us are now closer than before! lol 

April 4-5: Florence

We got up Saturday morning, did a bit of walking around Venice before we had to catch our train into Florence. All the way to Florence it rained and we were definitely not happy about that. We were hoping that leaving England, we would also be leaving the rain. Not so lucky there. However, most of break was rain free. When we got to Florence we had to take the bus to our hostel and we definitely got off on the wrong stop in the rain and had to wait for about 20 min. before the next bus came to take us to our hostel. We finally made it to "Dany House" where the people were extremely nice and told us the places to visit first and cooked a free dinner that night. So, we walked into the city centre of Florence where there was a HUGE market. Emily and I split off as usual and did a bit of shopping.  I had been looking for a bag, and actually found a very nice one, black and lime green for my laptop. I LOVE it!!! Emily and I also bought matching coin purses with two compartments. Believe me, when you live in Europe, you definitely need more than one place to keep money to keep track of U.S. Dollars, Pounds, and Euros. Once we were done shopping we all met up and decided to go hike up a mountain hill. lol It was a HUGE hill with steps that we actually tried to run up. We made it a good part of the way up. I was pretty impressed. But, once up there it was GORGEOUS!!! Emily, Nicole, and I each had a juice box of vino, and for those non-Italian speaking people, vino is wine. We took a bit to catch our breath and just enjoy the scenery. And Jill easily picked out this sight for her future proposal. haha When we got back to the hostel it was filled with people. Mostly Americans who were waiting for the free pasta dinner. The dinner was AMAZING!!! The best we had since we had been in Italy. We were a bit antisocial, but we knew we had a long day tomorrow, so we all took showers and went to bed. I however, did not sleep well, seeing as our room was a make-shift room where you could hear EVERYTHING and it seemed that everyone was drinking and having a good time that night. So, there was little sleep. The next morning we got up, ate breakfast, and went to the Galleria del 'Accademia where Michaelangelo's David is housed. He was a lot bigger than I had imagined (515 cm.) tall. We did a bit of looking around in that museum before it was off the the Galleria degli Uffitzi. This was a great art museum. This one had the "Birth of Venus" and a bunch of other stuff. After our stint at the Uffitzi, it was time to catch our train to Rome. 

April 5-8: Rome

Let me start off Rome by saying that I am alive and somewhat well. As you probably heard there was a horrible earthquake that hit a town 70 miles North of Rome while we were in Rome. Fortunately for us we were far enough away from any damage. However, Joanna and I were woken up in the wee hours of the morning to our beds shaking fervently. We were a bit freaked out, but eventually went back to sleep after a somewhat quite conversation between the two of us and Jill about trees or something, but was trying to explain to someone about mozzarella sticks? Disclaimer about Jill, she is a sleep talker and it cracks me up!!! Anyways, the hostel we stayed at in Rome was called the "Enjoy" hostel and we definitely did NOT enjoy it. All 6 of us were in the same room which was good, but it was right above a freakishly buys street. It was also extremely stuffy. The morning after the earthquake we woke up and tried to walk to the Colosseum. We basically walked in one big circle before we decided to just use the metro. GOOD decision by us! We finally got there, took a 45 min. trour and then just walked around taking pictures. We then went across the street to get lunch. Then it was off to the Roman forum and the Palatino. Those three things were my favorite. To see all those things still standing after thousands of years is incredible.  After an exhausting day we decided to go back and chill at the hostel and do some laundry. We discovered that Europeans also don't dry their clothes in dryers. So after doing laundry we hung all our clothing on the beds, ladders to the beds, chairs, and the small rack in the room. That, with the already stuffy room made for a hot and sticky situation. We would all wake up feeling damp and gross. We realized that spending 9 days hostel hopping was a VERY bad idea. Day 2 of Rome we went to Vatican City. We went to St. Peter's Square where they were preparing for Easter Sunday. We went inside the Basilica and down in the catacombs where all the past pope's are buried. We even saw Pope John Paul II, where his body is. After that we went to the Vatical museum to see the Sistine Chapel. It takes a year and a half just to get to it. So after standing in line for an hour just to see the Sistine Chapel we made it after an ungodly amount of rooms and stairs. I kid you not the Europeans love their stairs. After that it was about noon, so we decided to take a bit of a rest. We walked back to St. Peter's Square and sat on some steps for a bit. I however took a quick nap. We then decided to go to the Trevi Fountain and get some gelato. After eating gelato for probably the 2nd time that day we decided to do a bit of shopping and just walked around. We then went back to the fountain to toss a coin into the fountain over our shoulder to find out whether or not we would make it back to Rome. In my case, I hope it's a while before I make it back. lol We then took the metro to the Spanish steps which happened to be CROWDED as well. So, we went back to the hostel, made dinner, and used the internet to check e-mails and facebook. 

Now at this point in our trip things started to take a drastic turn from being fun, excited, and exhausting to awful, sad, and exhausting. We were all chillaxing in our room while Emily was checking her e-mail when we heard her shriek! We all froze before we stormed out of our room as Emily was shocked to find out through an e-mail from her mom that her brother died on the job Tuesday. He worked for their father at a dirt company. They have this machine called a screener and it sifts the dirt and apparently there are some pretty sharp objects involved as well. The e-mail said that Mark, Emily's brother, got caught in the screener and they couldn't save him. I don't think I have anyone in my life scream and cry in a way that tore my heart the way Emily did. Mark was 36 with a wife and 4 kids. There was nothing any of us could do for her except to be there for support. Emily finally got a hold of her grandma and found out a bit more of info on her brother. Then finally got in touch with her mom. There was a lot of thinking about what she should do. Her parents didn't want her flying home, flying back here, and then flying back home. But, Nicole's Stepdad works for American Airlines and got her a $250 plane ticket from Rome to Tulsa, OK. So, Nicole and I took Emily to the airport in Rome Wednesday morning and she was off back to the states. That night I didn't sleep. There was so much going through my head. Thinking about Emily and her family. Thinking about my family. Thinking about what I would have done if I were in her situation. How much I'm going to miss her, my partner in crime. We had gotten to be really close while we were here. We basically did everything together. And to have her leave so abruptly, for lack of a better word, SUCKED! But, it was good that she was at her brother's funeral and there with her family. 

In the midst of all the chaos I felt the need to write in my journal. For the most part my journal has been bullet points just stating the major points of all of my travels, but Spring Break changed all of that. I felt like I needed to really write down my thoughts about our trip. So, I've basically been typing my journal on here adding some things here and there. The whole situation really got me thinking. Life is a precious thing. We go about living our lives like we are guaranteed tomorrow. When in fact we may be. When I came on this trip I didn't know anyone. Here it is the 9th week and the 8 people I have lived, breathed, and eaten with are going to be my friends for the rest of my life. We have been thrown into this situation having to deal with unfamiliar territory, making new friends, and deaths of family members. When things like that happen it makes us all stop and think. It's so hard to be here overseas without our friends and family and then to hear about the death of a loved one unexpected or not, kind of puts a damper on an incredible situation. I couldn't even imagine what it would be like to lose a sibling. I do know that losing someone close to you isn't any easier. How do you deal with something like that? When my uncle Bob passed away I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. For me crying and listening to music was my way of coping. Emily said that she wasn't sure how to react because she's never lost anyone close to her before. I think that it just depends on the person and how they deal with things. It's bad enough the crap that Emily and I had to go through to get here, but then to have this happen and her to have to cut her Spring Break short to go home to the states with 3 weeks left. It's a total bummer and she is definitely missed. 

Barcelona is to come a bit later...


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring Break Prepost Post

I'm still trying to recover from a 10 day excursion in Italy and Spain and haven't had the time to post about Spring Break, but I am working on and it will be worth reading...I hope. My parents tell me that there are more people that read this than I realized and for that I am thankful. I just wish you would leave comments tell me that you've read it or just comments about what I've been writing about. It would definitely made my day!!! So, think about that. There is a "comments" link at the bottom of each post and all you have to do is put your name and then fill out the comment box. 

So, the Spring Break post will be a bit long with loads of pictures, so it might take me a while to get it posted, but I am staying in town this weekend and will hopefully get it posted sometime then. So, be checking back and hopefully I will have posted it. 

2 more weeks and I'm back in the states. I'm extremely sad, but looking forward to seeing my family and friends! I've missed you all!!!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things...

To start off, because we took the "Sound of Music" tour in Austria, Jill thought we should do our list of "favorite things." So, here are my top 10 favorite things!!!

1. My family

2. My friends

3. Basketball

4. Music

5. Traveling

6. Laughing

7. Photography

8. Movies

9. Intense Conversations

10. My MacBook

Austria was AMAZING!!!! The girls and I had such an amazing time and we definitely want to go back. We climbed a mountain that had an incredible view of the city, we went on the Sound of Music tour and saw awesome stuff from the movie, and FANTASTIC scenery!!! We fell in love with Salzburg!!!! We didn't want to leave! 

Alright, so sorry it's been a while since I've blogged. Things have bee hectic and they really aren't slowing down. Dr. Davis has come and gone. He came to observe me at the elementary school, and I he said I did a great job. My portfolio is due on Wednesday and with our sketchy internet, I've been freakin' out about it for the past three weeks, but I guess that's my own fault for putting it off? But, I'm down to the wire and I'm almost done, I believe. lol 

Wednesday night after volleyball Alan took us to Cambridge for sushi. On our way to Cambridge, Joanna and I decided to start a "question war" which continued through dinner and on the way home. I love coming up with completely random questions and hearing the answers from these people who I've gotten to know over the past two months. We are all definitely going to be friends for a VERY long time. We've already made lunch dates and are talking about getting together to do things when we get back to the States. Even the boys from Washington State are talking about a visit to the great state of Oklahoma. Just one more month with these amazing people, I better be making the most of it!!! 

London, this weekend to see my parents. I took the train from New Market into London. I was to the point where I needed our two navigators. I got onto the wrong train, knowingly. DUMB!!!! Went backward to Bury St. Edmunds, and had to get on another train back to New Market, then off to Cambridge. Then changed trains to get on a train to London, which was having technical difficulties and could only go half power into London. So, I finally arrived in King's Cross Station in London, had no idea where I was. Finally found the tube and got on the wrong one. Got off and found one that was going to take me ALL the way round on the circle line. So, I got off, got on a different one to Liverpool Street, and got a cab to the hotel. All in all I was tired, anxious, and scared out of my mind and wanted to get to the hotel as fast as I could. If I hadn't been tired, I could have easily gotten myself around.  All weekend I was the navigator for myself and my parents. 

London was CHAOTIC!!!! The G20 is going on next week, so there were protestors out like crazy, and the tube was PACKED like sardines. But, Saturday we ended up going to the London Aquarium and they were letting everyone in free because their computers were down. We also ended up going to Harrods.  It was crazy busy as well.  It was awesome! I definitely enjoyed it. Aquariums are definitely on my top 20 favorite things. We went to the British Museum, National Gallery, and the National Portrait Gallery on Friday. We went to Covent Gardens which was amazing and saw these two Jamaican street performers. Seeing them made me miss my Feltwell Crew. But, I did get to see some of them in London today!!! Nicole, Jill, and Emily were in London for the Oxford v. Cambridge boat race. My parents and I met up with them and we ended up going to see The Globe Theatre. It was pretty sweet. We ended up missing the race, but we had a good time. 

Sorry, this was just a list of things I've done in the past two weeks, but that's about all I've got time for. 


Monday, March 16, 2009


My last few days at the Elementary school are this week. I'm a bit sad to leave my kids. Even at times I just want to ring their necks, I love them to death! But, I will be able to see them when Dr. Davis comes for my observation. I will only have been at the high school for two days when he gets here, so he's going to watch me at the elementary school. I got to pick the classes I wanted to teach, so I chose Briggs (2nd grade) and Yancey (3rd grade) or Dorner (Kindergarden). Those are a few of my best classes. I have no idea what I'm going to do if he wants to watch me at the high school. I guess he'll watch me take roll or something. I have no idea. 

In one of my Monday classes I have this "crier" who apparently cries daily. The first day of gymnastics she started crying before she came into the room. I had to try to get her to settle down, which is something I have no had to deal with before. She was like frantic. I asked her why she was crying? It took her about five minutes to get to where she could kind of talk. She told me she was scared. I then asked her what she was scared of. Again, waiting another five minutes. She finally told me she was scared of getting hurt. I had to assure her that she was not going to get hurt and that all the rules we have in the gym are for safety reasons and that I wouldn't let anything happen to her. She finally stopped crying and started getting on the equipment. She was smiling and laughing. Later Teri and I found out that her mom carries her book bag to school, into the building, and up to her classroom for her, EVERY DAY!!!! Seriously, she's in 3rd GRADE!!!! And when her mom is told she has cried in class, her mom just says that they're working on it. I have serious doubts that whatever her mom considers "working on it" is working. Today, when she came in, there was no crying. But, I could tell the pipes were about to bust. So, I did everything in my power to keep her smiling, joking with her, encouraging words. She got onto the equipment and only cried when she fell and hurt her leg. I assured her it was fine and she was alright after that. So, we are making some progress....I hope. 

I've realized that the kids here are not as emotionally mature as the kids are in the states. And it doesn't help that the cut off date here is earlier than in the states, starting kids in Kindergarden a year earlier than they would if they went to school in the states. There is a lot of crying, outbursts, and such. Granted, there are a number of kids with ADD or ADHD, but they just aren't emotionally ready for school like they are in the states. 

 It was our weekly trip this past weekend!!! We thought that because it was Ireland they would be celebrating on the weekend, even though St. Patrick's Day isn't until tomorrow...UH NOT TRUE!!!!! But, we still had fun! We did a LOT of walking, a lot of picture taking, and a bit of pub crawling!!! We did go to the Guinness Storehouse which was awesome and a must see even if you are not a beer drinker. There was a church on just about every corner and you know how I love taking photographs of churches!!!! I really wanted to go to the countryside, but we were only there for about 24 hours. However, we did stay in an amazing hotel with a bathroom that had a bathtub and a shower! lol It was definitely the nicest place we've stayed in so far, all thanks to Will!! He's so great, he has to put up with 6 girls. And he does it without complaining. But, he does have to have his alone time. He is probably one of the funniest guys I've ever met. He has such a dry sense of humor and if you aren't paying attention it will slap you in the face! 

Mom, I've come to find out that my picky eating was just something that I was doing because I was scared and stupid. I've tried so many different things that I normally wouldn't eat at home and I love it! Like beans, canned tomatoes (only if they are in with other food), cabbage, etc.) haha You would be so proud!!! You're little girl is growing up!! I can't wait to see you and dad! We are going to have a blast in London. We are finally going to get that trip to London together, even if we aren't traveling there together. And it's even 100 times better since dad is coming!!!! I miss you both so much! 

Real quick shout outs!!!!

Bana and Papa: I miss you both and your strength gives me strength everyday. Bana, you are the strongest woman I know and I love you so much for that! Papa, keep pushing through, don't be afraid to ask for help. I love you so much!!!

April: Best friend, you better cheer for our boys for the both of us!! I miss your jokes, your laugh, and mostly your encouraging words. Love you!!!! GO DUKE!!!

Allison: Other best friend, I miss seeing you on almost a daily basis. I miss our conversations and our shopping trips!! Miss you and love you!!!!

Shilynn: The laughter that you bring into my life has been transfered here with these people that I'm with, but that in no way means that I still don't need it!!!! Your presence and sense of humor is EXTREMELY missed and I can't wait to get back home to see you!!!! Love you!!!

Everyone else: I miss you all and can't wait to get back to see you! 

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Ruined my 2nd most prized possession. I know we aren't supposed to be materialistic, but I just can't help it when it comes to my computer and iPod. I had put my iPod into the pocket of my North Face jacket, zipped it up, and totally forgot about it until I was about to throw my jacket into the dryer. I WASHED MY IPOD IN THE WASHING MACHINE AND NOW HAVE TO GO BUY A NEW ONE! GOOD-BYE YMCA PAYCHECKS!!!!!! ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!! At least there is no tax at the BX, so it will be a bit cheaper buying it over here. I just can't believe I did that. I'm so angry with myself. I mean SERIOUSLY!?!?!? How stupid could I be??!?!?! VERY STUPID!!!! 

Alright, that's it for now. More possibly tomorrow. 

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Why am I here???

Dr. Hughes will give me a hard time and probably be upset with me, but in all honesty before I started my student teach I was no where near interested in teaching. Considering the fact that teachers get paid not nearly as much as they should, and I just couldn't see myself doing it.  I took as job as a fitness instructor at the MidTown YMCA in OKC in the summer of 2008, doing new member orientations and constructing workout plans for members and fell in love with it. I loved getting the satisfaction that I was helping someone else improve the way they live. I thought that working in the fitness area was my calling. I wanted to forego student teaching and do alternate certification, but decided against it because I had one more certification test to go, so I might as well go ahead and finish up with the physical education degree. When I found out about the international student teaching I didn't think that I would actually get the opportunity to do it. The beginning of the 2008 fall semester it was announced again and I didn't think it would be possible because my parents were getting ready to move into a new home. I mentioned it to my dad and he was the one that encouraged me to apply. He told me that we would find a way for me to do it, if I got accepted. Sure enough, after stressing out about a small interview, I got an e-mail stating that I was accepted. Not going too much in the process of getting here I will just say that if it weren't for my parents I would not be here, experiencing these amazing things, and finding my true calling. 

I put my trust in Him and boy did he deliver. I feel like this, teaching physical education, is what I was always meant to do. I actually enjoy getting up and going to work. Even though it is a bit early. I still have the high school to go to, and I can definitely say I'm scared out of my mind, but there is a part of me that is looking forward to it, after I've started helping coach the high school boys soccer team. As of now I can see myself teaching elementary physical education for the rest of my life. However, that very well can change in three weeks after I've spent some time at the high school. 

Everything in my life lately seems to have fallen into place without my knowledge. As I lay here on the platform of the zipline of the RAF Feltwell playground on a gorgeous Sunday morning I thank God for everything he has given me, everyone he has brought into my life, and the surprises and opportunities that of my future. 


Sunday, March 1, 2009

From the mind of Caroline...

Thoughts and Reflections:

"Life changing experience" is a phrase I haven't used much in my 23 years of existence. But being in England, away from everything and everyone I know has been just that. It has been eye opening in the fact that I CAN depend on myself and not my parents. Sure, it is my parents who are funding this extravaganza, but they aren't here with me when I feel like I need help. I have to deal with the situation myself or ask someone else for help. It has also surprised me that I have no gotten homesick yet. I've been way too busy to even think about getting homesick. I would go home every weekend while I was in Stillwater, mostly because I did not enjoy staying there over the weekends. This experience has also helped me open myself up to others more quickly. If you know me, I know that it took me a while to really warm up to you, and for that I am sorry. It has come to my attention that everyone here thought I hated them when they first met me. And for me, that is something I had not realized. So, I do apologize to those of you who had the same thoughts when we first met. Being thrown into this situation I have become more open around people I don't know. And because of that I have met 8 of the most amazing people that I will be friends with for the rest of my life! These people have changed my life and for that I will be forever grateful. It makes me so happy that our group just clicked. I was extremely worried that not all of us would get along, but turns out we all are getting along extremely well. We do bicker at times, but we all love each other! All 9 of us have even traveled together and it all seemed to work out really well, even though it is a bit rough to travel with 9 people. Our next trip with all of us is going to be next weekend to Stonehenge and Bath. 

I had the most incredible experience today. Emily and I went to church with her cooperating teacher to Abundant Life Church. As I stood in the second row of Abundant Life Church's small sanctuary, signing praise songs, it hit me square in the face that there are times when I feel like I'm not the person that I should be. I don't put God first, when I should and that I don't give him the praise and credit that he deserves. I know that he should be my number one priority, but there are times when I put other things first.  My heart was heavy as I thought about how much I haven't thanked God for everything that he has blessed me with over the past month and a half. He is the reason I'm here in England. He's the reason my parents are able to come visit me at the end of March. He is the reason I get to fulfill my dream of traveling all over Europe. He is the reason for my existence and without him I am nothing. I had not gone to church in over a month and even though it was a Pentecostal church, it was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had. Vince, the Senior Minister, began talking about forgiveness and I felt his forgiveness for not putting him first. The other thing he talked about was Love. Faith, Hope, and Love, and the greatest of them all is love. The relationships that we have should consist of all three, but that love is the most important. That not only should you love your God with all your heart, but to love your neighbors as your self.  

Now, this is mostly for my father. The fact that it seems that every weekend we go to a different pub, I feel the need to give more of an explanation of what a pub really is. A pub is completely different from an American bar. Sure, people  have drinks, but they're more there for the social interaction more than anything else. It's a great place to hang out with your friends and meet new people.  Listen to great music, and eat fantastic food. The atmosphere is much different than American bars and kids are even allowed in most pubs. 

Cambridge Weekend:

Friday night we went to Tharp Arms Pub for a party for one of the friends of one of the high school teachers. There was a lot of great finger foods and lots of great conversation with a bunch of the high school teachers. I met John "Gilly" Gilmore who is one of the three P.E. teachers at the high school and he is such a great guy! He told me that he would put me on the roster for the softball team so I could travel with them once I get to the high school. So, I'm super pumped about that! Also got to talk to the principal of the high school. He seems like a great guy. The three of us that are at the high school always say good things about him. 

We then went to Daryl Brock's house for the night. He lives in a 400 year old farm house which was AMAZING!!! It has like 8 rooms and 5 bathrooms, a rec room, two living rooms, and a HUGE barn that is attached to the side of the house. There is also a SWEET secret passage way from the bathroom to a whole other side of the house. Saturday morning Daryl and Allen, Joanna's teacher, took us around Cambridge and we went punting. 

King's College


Bridge of Sighs


Will and I Punting

I would love to hear from you if you have the time. My address is posted on the right side.