Quite a bit to update now.
This past Sunday, I graduated from Penn State. I knew from the start that coming to Ireland would unfortunately have me miss my big day. I have always envisioned the day of walking across the stage, shaking the president's hand, and receiving my diploma. Although I was not able to be there for the ceremony, I was still there in spirit. When I was a junior in college, I never could have imagined what my four years of college would be like. Penn State has prepared me as a student, community member, PSU fanatic, and now a math teacher. Looking back over the last four years, it is hard not to tear up and think about how all of the wonderful memories I had, friendships made, and experiences completed are coming to an end. But, with so many PSU alumni all over the world and have been prepared so much by our college, I know I am ready for the real-world. So many events have taken place at PSU these past four years, of which I will never forget. I have seen first hand, how both bad and good events can bring even approximately 40,000 students together to celebrate or support one another in certain times. It is my hopes that I feel this love, support, or guidance, no matter where life takes me. I have grown so much over the past four years, and I owe PSU a big thanks for that.
Although I was not able to walk in our graduation commencement this past weekend, I will be walking in the August commencement. I cannot wait to walk! I really missed being able to be there with my sister, family, and friends on my big day but I knew that I wouldn't be able to, with being in Ireland. Nevertheless, I graduated and am now a Penn State Alumni!!! I can't wait to start in the real-world now. All that is left is to get a teaching job! :)
Congratulations Penn State Class of 2012!!!!!!!!!!!! We did it!
Now to update about Ireland:
This past week I spent a lot of time teaching classes at St. Aidan's. Unfortunately on Wednesday a teacher at our school died suddenly before coming to school that morning. The teachers at St. Aidan's were extremely upset with this happening. Our school has about 50 teachers so it is a tight community. But, it was such an inspiring experience seeing the teachers, students, and faculty pulling together to get through the hard time. The teacher was in his 40s and was really loved by his students. As much as St. Aidan's wanted to run normally, we did get out of school early on Friday because of the funeral proceedings on Friday and Saturday. It was a very sad time to be at St. Aidan's this week but I am confident that the school will get through this.
This past week I taught a few classes - two for one of the teacher's (Liz) classes. I taught frequency tables as well as line plots. I also taught two lessons two another teacher's class (Emer). I taught mean and trend graphs. My main teacher who I am working with, Carol, had me teach a class for her as well. I taught slope. The teachers don't require any type of lesson plans so it's very strange just getting up in front of a class and teaching! It's great!
Also, this week I have started helping with lunch club. Since students have an hour off for lunch every day, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, students can go to the community school, get a free lunch and play games (pool, foose ball, play station etc.). I went on Thursday and it was a lot of fun. I ended up playing pool with a few of the students!
After a long, crazy week, it was time for some fun. Me, Jessie, and Liz (another girl in the program), decided to go to London to enjoy our three-day weekend and celebrate our graduation. I have off today (Monday) because of a bank-holiday, where all banks and most businesses are closed.
London was amazing! It has always been a dream of mine to go to London so I was extremely excited to visit. We flew into Luton, which although the tickets for the flight was extremely cheap for booking last minute and with a bank holiday (about 200 dollars round trip), the airport was about 45 minutes from where we were staying in a town just outside of London, called Paddington.
Once arriving at the airport, we took a shuttle bus to a train and then finally arrived at our hostel. Our hostel was called The Pride of Paddington and located above a local pub. It was actually quite an interesting experience. We had to check-in at the pub at the bar! But, the hostel was really nice. We had 3 other room mates stay in our room. One room mate was French and named Romain. We also had two German room mates. They were very friendly and it was nice getting to know about France and Germany from our fellow room mates. On Friday night we didn't do much. We had dinner at the pub, I have a beef and ale pie which was really delicious, and then we just hung out for a few hours and went to bed early because we had a full day ahead of us on Saturday.
On Saturday we woke up early, received our complementary breakfast at the pub and were on our way to travel. We bought a bus ticket for a "hop-on-hop-off bus" for the two days we would be in London. This would allow us to take one of the open-top busses and travel around London. This bus was awesome. They had earphones that you could plug into the seats and listen to the history as you were passing sights in London. On Saturday we took the bus to see: Big ben, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, and other parts of London. We also took an hour long river boat ride (which was free with our bus tickets). This allowed us to see SO many parts of London. It was great seeing everything in London in one day!
Sunday was a hectic day. We did a little bit of shopping in Soho and Chinatown and then headed to the airport. Unfortunately, on Friday we purchased train tickets to return on Sunday. But, the train lady who sold us them did not tell us that the trains did not run on Sunday due to the holiday. So, after a bus, two trains, a tube ride, and two very expensive cab rides we finally made it to the airport. It was quite a trip, filled with a lot of memories and great experiences. I would love to go back to London if possible!
Our hostel for the weekend (The Pride of Paddington)
Traditional Full English Breakfast
The London Towers Bridge
Westminster Abbey- Where William and Kate got married
Classic Fish and Chips
London was beautiful!