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.