My First Week at School! :-p

Trip Start Jan 14, 2010
Trip End Apr 07, 2010

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Where I stayed
The Rafferty's / Rose Green Junior School

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I'm in Love….

With England.

The trip has already been more than I ever could have imagined and I’m just getting started.

On Saturday, the party that was planned was canceled. Michelle, the kids and I stopped in to drop off Len’s birthday gift (the party was canceled due to Len attempting to use his daughter, Kaylie’s, scooter… and face planting… bad).  They invited us in for… you guessed it… TEA.  So in we went.  It was nice being able to meet Len and his family since he works at/ his daughter attends Rose Green. 

The party on Sunday afternoon was wonderful!  It was a 50th birthday party for one of Michele’s best friends.  I was able to meet several adults who work at the school, including one who I work with all day on Friday since my teacher only works Monday through Thursday.  One gentleman and his wife were nice enough to give me wonderful travel tips for England along with France.  After meeting all the adults and being given a nice glass of wine, I went off in search of the children… all 23 of them.  Most of them were in the older grades, at other schools but about 8 were children at my school.   As much as they amazed me, I amazed them.  Vehicle is apparently a word that they think is hysterical when Americans say it.  This means I was required to say it at least 10 times.  The kids were great.  I was even able to listen to them all do ABBA Rockstar on Wii before I left. 

My Host Parents made sure I was home early from the party in order to get ready for school the next day.  Once we were home, we all got into comfy clothes and lounged around the living room, playing games and watching t.v.  We all did our Partridge style goodnights and I headed into my amazing room, which is looking more and more like me every day.  When I went to get into bed, I found a hot water bottle waiting for me.  That little gesture totally made my day!  It was a nice comforting thing that helped me drift quickly to sleep.  In the morning I was woken up by Michele with a cup of tea.  What a wonderful start to the day! 

After getting ready and being beat multiple time on DS Super Mario Bros by Calum (the youngest), I headed off to school.  Michele drove us (even though its like a 10 min walk – if that – from our place) because it was my first day.  J  My teacher met me by the office and off we went.  I’m in a Year 5 room which roughly translates to our 4th grade.  Two girls from class gave me a tour of the school and I slowly was adjusted to the schedule, which includes… not one… but TWO tea breaks.  The class is interesting.  The ratio of girls to boys is 3:2 but it feels the opposite.  The boys are pretty rowdy and noisy.  Even though I’m only three days in, the class is growing on me.  I’m learning more names every day and I have a vague idea of the routine.  I take charge of the lower ability maths class (note the s… which I still struggle to add on) and work with one of the reading stations.

Daily Schedule:

9:00-9:30 – Morning Work

9:30 – 10:20 – Guided Reading Groups

10:20 – 11:00 – Assembly and Play time for Students/ Tea and Break time for Teachers

11:00 – 12:00 – More LA such as handwriting or reading

12:00 – 1:00 – Lunch and Play time (which is what they call recess)

1:00 – 1:45 – Specials (drama, art, music, P.E., etc) which are taught by the teachers

1:45 – 2: 45 -  Maths

2:45 – 3:20 – Whatever else needs to be done, like computer lab or testing

The days seem to go a bit quicker than in the states and I kinda like the set up of them.  It’s just a lot to get adjusted to.  Discipline is a bit different and the kids appear to lack respect for teachers but never really get violent or overly mean.  The teachers are all really friendly and I hope to get to know them better as the time goes on. 

At this point in time, I really look forward to getting back to my home stay.  While I love the school, I like being "home" more.  The three kids are absolutely fantastic, as are Mitch and Michele.  Special shout out to Michele… she has done SO much for me to make sure I feel at home and cared for.  I really really really appreciated it. 

Before I went abroad I was told the food was bland… not in Michele’s kitchen.  That lady can really cook.  We’ve had curry (take- out), salmon, boiled eggs – like in the little cups… they had to teach me how to do it, fish pie (my favorite thus far), home-made pizza, and sausage with chips – aka fries.  My lunch every day is amazing!  The point of this paragraph is that she is going to teach me how to cook so I can bring a book of recipes home. 

The house is wonderful and cozy!  We all are getting along wonderfully so far (to my knowledge) and I honestly couldn’t have gotten a better home stay placement.  In the morning on the walk to school I hear seagulls and on the way back, I often walk through the famous England fog.  The landscape is beautiful.  All these houses so close together, with hedges and old English frames.  Seriously, think Harry Potter a bit.  The cars are very compact and I nearly think all the cars are gonna collide every time I see them on the narrow roads.  The sea, with its crushed shell and rock shore takes my breath away… and to be so close!  It’s absolutely amazing…

I want to do my best to record random memories that may not mean much to those that read this but do to me...

JLS - the newest pop sensation who Chloe absolutely adores.  I call them the Jellies.. just cause.
Bisuits = cookies... cept chocolate chip, cause those are allowed to be called cookies.
Chips = Fries
Baptism in hell water = doing something badish
Laughing like a faucet = a lot... without stopping
Say fantastic and brilliant with everything.... then add a question at the end.
i.e. We agreed to go tomorrow to the fair... Didn't we. 
Steven Fry - While watching the National Television Awards.  Very funny.
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Uncle Alan & Aunt Soozie on

Britt--Thanks ever so much for the reports of your trip. hope all continues to go well for you !! just got a "new "flip video from Lark & Kris: Must admit my new Grandson is certainly adorable/cute/just the bestest ever!!! Will ask for Alan's help in sending it on to you,/Hope you don't mind--if it's a bother or doesn't come through, PLEASE let me know, and I will discontinue, Other happenings from the Wild West State of Wyoming: Matt got a new-to-him vehicle today: a 2006 jeep Grand Cherokee with four-wheel-drive!. At the end of last week, he found a full-sized truck he fell in love with {Men?!!!} But that deal , fortunately didn't go through--Alan took a look ar it, and Jeep--[low mileage, fairly cleanf] thought it {the truck} had "seen " some rough usage[broken mirrors,dirty, misused under carriage truck bed was in bad shape, too. Alan was surprised that the dealership had had the truck for several months and nothing had been done to "prep' it better for sale. So off Matt went, looking for a "new love", and found this Jeep. It's a light-silver color, very clean. He talked with the salesman Mon., and said he had to check with his bank one more time to be sure the loan he had arranged was still available; and he would call the salesman at 9AM yesterday (Tuesday) morning.Matt called, but was devastated to hear that someone else had already bought the Jeep an hour previously--BUMMER!!! And then some!!. BUT---about 3:30 Tuesday afternoon, the salesman called Matt to say that the financing for the other purchaser had "fallen through, He then asked Matt if he was still interested. Matt told him he liked the vehicle, but would like to give a few hours' thought to the decision, and would call the salesman at 9AM this morning to finalize the details. So he did, and they reached an agreement on price AND the trade-in of Matt's "beater" station wagon . Everyone came away happy, Sooo, it MUST have been a decent deal
Matt drove over here, to proudly show us his new "wheels!" Must sign off for now, take my handful of beddy-bye-time pills--my left side is "squawking" at me. after physical therapy today {"Wicked Wednesday", true to its name:-((
Take care of yourself, continue as you can, the interesting reports, I will do my best to keep in touch Now that we are established in "geezer-hood" , we don't always take the time to fulfill our correspondence "duties {as in even checking our e-mail, but will try to do better now !! Take care, have a superb day !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jen on

I knew you'd fit right in! I'm loving the updates...and seriously cannot wait for more pictures. I'm so happy for you!

Mom on

Train, plane, automobile .....I'm glad you arrived safely in England! It really does sound like you couldn't have asked for a better 'home / family' while you're there. I'm already hooked on your daily entries - can't wait to read the next one! We miss you, but are glad you re having a great time :0)

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