Saturday, June 20, 2015

Look out Oxford, I'm headed your way!

Oh my goodness! Time flies so fast when you are preparing for an adventure. I guess I kind of know how Bilbo and Frodo Baggins felt before they went on their adventures.  I find it hard to believe that in a little over a week I will be in a completely different country.
I should probably start with a brief introduction. I’m Crystal, as the profile name states. I am currently a graduate student at Columbia College pursuing my MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) and my certification in special education.  I am a married woman with 1.5 children, work two jobs and attend in-seat classes through Columbia College. My son is 9 and the .5 is about 5 months old in utero. I’ve been married for two years to a great guy who supports my dreams and does his best to show me his support, such as prompting me to take this trip.  Speaking of this trip, I am going to be attending Oxford University in Oxford, England in July through the MOSAIC program.  I am very excited for the opportunity to participate in a course on educational policy, considering I eventually want to get into advocacy in education.  I am looking forward to entering the hallowed halls of Oxford, and also the halls of area British schools to compare the differences in educational culture and policy.  I won’t lie, I’m also looking forward to the accents too! I even warned my husband that if I heard enough Scottish accents, I might not return home!
Preparing for the trip has been quite interesting, as I am pregnant. I am not quite in maternity clothes yet, but I fear packing anything besides maternity clothes due to my expanding waistline. Most of what has been packed is business casual clothes for the school visits and some activities in which MOSAIC students will participating.  One piece of advice that I have taken to heart came from Jim Harf, the MOSAIC coordinator; “Lay out all the clothes you want to take with you on the trip. Now, put half of them back in the closet because you won’t need them.”  As a serial overpacker, this has been very hard to do.  I try to always be prepared for an emergency, but I think I just have to let that part of my brain shut off for a while. I can’t afford two check bags!
Also, in preparation for this trip, I have to write a brief essay based on an interview with a school administrator along with reading three articles.  I have conducted the interview and the paper is almost complete.  I will be reading the articles this week so they are fresh in my mind when I land in London.  I have taken a class with Dr. Mason before and he is quite the easy-going teacher.  He does not get overly excited over things and seems to be as “cool as a cucumber” when it comes to teaching.  I think he will make this course very pleasant and I look forward to working with him again.

With time drawing near for the trip to begin, I have gotten very nervous about leaving my family and loved ones behind.  For a 19 year old student, this has to be so very liberating.  For a 34 year old student, it is quite shocking! As most mothers and wives know, much of the house runs on my schedule and I tend to be the one to get things done.  It’s just the nature of the beast.  I fear that things will crumble without me at home to take care of it, but thankfully my husband is a bit pushy when it comes to me pursuing this dream.  We have talked about when we will be able to Skype with one another, due to his job and the time difference, it is a little difficult to pencil in that needed contact.  I have seen friends and family that mean the most to me this month, and I’ve brushed up on some British vocabulary, so I think I’m almost ready to go.  Now, I should probably finish packing my bags and double checking my lists to ensure I’ve got all I need to make this one of the best experiences of my life!
1 Response
  1. Best of luck!! You know I always wish you well, and things always turn out for the best. Not that I have anything to do with it ;)

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