Throwback Thursday: Teaching Abroad {Edition Five}

It is my fifth time doing a Throwback Thursday sharing some stories from my experience teaching abroad....Hope you aren't sick of them yet...  I decided to try this out for the month of August after such positive feedback from my first post where I mentioned this part of my life that is so near and dear to my heart.

Sometimes when you read these you may think... Why does that crazy lady think I would want to have to deal with any of that? And the answer is, it will change you forever and make you stronger in many ways. But enough of me bullying you to teach abroad...

Today we have two entries from the end of November 2004:

Hello Everyone!

So I leave work at 4:45 today, but it could have been midnight if you were using both sunlight and activity on the streets to gauge your guess.  I have a 5:10 bus to catch and a short list of groceries to pick up… so I run into Tesco and begin my own version of Supermarket Sweep, except I don't even have a trolley (or what you may refer to as a cart).  The main reason I am trolley-less is time, but also there is a one pound deposit necessary for its use.  

One of the items on my list is baking soda. I have a plan to bake me up some Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookies (thanks to my mom and cousin who mailed me some chips!)  Well, there is no orange Arm and Hammer box! So I search and search…marmite, no, cream of tartar, no, mince meat, absolutely no…right when I am about to buy baking powder, which I know is wrong, but at least one word matched - I see something called bicarbonate of sodium. Although this sounds more like a science experiment item, I throw it in my hand basket and run toward the eggs. I reluctantly pull a batch of unrefrigerated eggs from the shelf and keep going. As upset as I still am over the lack of refrigeration of eggs in this country, there is no time to dwell on this, my bus comes in 7 minutes.  

I rush down the cereal aisle and see "Special K Peach and Apricot" this is new to me, so I do a small cheer (ahh, the little things that make me happy), grab it and run to the front.  I carefully calculate which till is moving the fastest and wait in line. As I am standing there I see a sign for the "Christmas Fayre" and for a brief time I was wondering who the Christmas Fairy is and then figured out that it is just another word that is spelled "wrong."  We all know about colour and theatre- but what about kerb, practise, dialling, tyre and more... oh my U.K. friends and I go round and round on this topic... and this little mention may upset some of them. I pay the lady and fumble to pack my own groceries; I still struggle with this one. I dash outside and was happy to see Bus 78 waiting for me in the darkness.

The making of the cookies was a disaster:
A. I can't cook, but usually can handle the OG chocolate chip cookie.
B. Too much "maths" (apparently you can never say the singular version of this word over here) involved. I had to do some cups to grams converting… then a little Fahrenheit to Celsius action.  At this point I am basically over it.
C. They don't really taste the same at all

So that was my past 2 hours for you in a nutshell. I had sat down to write about my weekend in Stratford-Upon-Avon, but instead that is what came out.

The quick Stratford story: It was a trip for all of us Fulbright American teachers spread around the U.K. to get together to commiserate, share and be in a group where you aren't the one with the accent.....Oh, I almost forgot... we also got to enjoy Shakespeare's hometown.

I saw Shakespeare's house, other houses of his relatives, his grave and two shows by the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Co.) Randomly, one of these shows was Beauty and the Beast, so not the Disney version (I like to say things like that because others say, "Oh, how American of you!")- instead the Beast was half Bob Marley and half Predator and he walked on stilts.  The singing teapot and candle never showed up, oh well.  The next night was Julius Caesar.  After the play, a few fellow Fulbrighters and myself ended up hanging out with the whole cast of Beauty (I can abbreviate it now, cuz I am in the "in crowd") We even hung out with the director. I got to meet Gary who plays the Bob Marley monster beast. 

If you want something educational to occupy your minds with, here it is: there is discussion among Shakespearian people about the similarities of the relationship of Caesar and Brutus to that of Bush and Blair… they go on to talk about the whole point of J. Caesar is to ponder whether a monarchy is a good idea… It was getting too late for such pensive topics.

So that is all for now.. enjoy your Thanksgiving! As for me, I will work all five days this week and on Friday present an assembly about Thanksgiving to the little Brits.  But don't fret, I am having Thanksgiving in Leeds on Saturday... the worrisome part is that I am to help with the cooking since I will be one of two Americans involved in the endeavor. Uh oh!

Until next time- I miss you all, still!  

Quick post from November 25, 2004 - Thanksgiving Day

Happy Thanksgiving. Today my class surprised me with a Thanksgiving celebration.

And then tonight was amazing! Emily and her crew made me a Thanksgiving dinner. Emily researched recipes for things like cornbread and stuffing which aren't the norm around here. She even made these special turkey cookies (and note balloons up in American colors). That is Emily on the left... and me :)

Too cute! And we had sparklers!! I am beyond shocked at the amount of planning everyone did to make today special. 
Tomorrow is the big assembly my little ones are doing for the rest of the school. It's kinda a tricky topic to teach that part of what the Pilgrims were thankful for was their new life in a new place (and sidenote: We are in the old place...Yikes!) Here are my cuties preparing their Native American vests. I wrote the whole skit myself...wish us luck!


  1. This post made smile the whole time I read it!


  2. I would just love to hear that your 'throwback' posts have inspired someone to give teaching overseas a go! :)

    Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep!