Happy to SEA you!

Today I have never felt so English.  I wore my red dress (on accident, I admit) for Red Nose Day (a huge day of fundraising in the UK), made my own tea (WITH THE MILK AND EVERYTHING) twice during school and once when I got home, and took a walk by the sea to watch the sunset.  Now,  I am sitting here in my home stay house with a plate of biscuits watching the Red Nose Day coverage on BBC.  So yes, a very English day indeed for Miss Stahl.

Biscuits are a big deal here. The three I have pictured here are Custard Cremes (left), Bourbons (back), and Nice biscuits (right).


Yesterday my teacher came in with a horrible cold.  It came to the point where everyone who looked at him asked if he was alright, and all of the teaching aids were yelling at him to go home.  I told him I could try and teach a lesson if he wanted to take it easy, and he was completely on board!  I worked with the kiddos on decimal numbers and subtracting them, and I think it went quite well.  Little victories!  Yesterday also included my first time eating curry (that I actually enjoyed) and English pudding.  Sue knows I’m not very keen on spicy food, so she got a medium curry and wanted me to give it a shot.  I adored it, and she was so proud of herself for introducing me to curry that I actually could eat two helpings of!  Next was the pudding.  The pudding that I am used to eating is usually found in a plastic cup in packs of six.  This pudding was like a warm, melty, gooey, sugary heaven.  I wish I had a picture.  Actually, I wish I had one sitting next to me right now.  I can’t think of another way to explain it than that.

Today I was walking to school, as I do every day, and a car pulled up beside me.  This could be the start to Taken 4 is what you might be thinking at this point.  Those of you who know my dad could probably imagine him pulling a Liam Neeson and yelling threats over the phone, hopping on a plane, saving me from whatever bad guy snagged me, and taking me home with a victory cigar.  But it was actually one of the Year 6 teachers from my school who saw me walking and wanted to know if I wanted a lift the rest of the way!  What a great way to start my day (and much better than being a part of Taken 4)!

Then I walked into my classroom and put up my things, and a man walks in and tells me he is the supply teacher and asked where he should be.  I tell him “I am not sure, I am the American student teacher and have been here 4 days and don’t know where the supplies go.”  I was explaining to him that the other Year 5 class is two rooms down and my teacher went home ill the day before.  To this, he said “Oh, I’m probably in this class then for the day.”  It dawned on me that a supply teacher isn’t the person that brings in the different supplies a class might need, but actually their name for substitute or guest teachers.  Just another thing to add to the list of similar words we use differently.

One cool thing that the students at my school get to do is have swimming on Fridays for one term (which is believe is about 10 weeks).  It’s a lot of work to walk them there, get them changed, swim for 30 minutes, then change back and walk back to the school.  The students love it, though, and it is a life skills that not every student might get otherwise.  And like I mentioned earlier, today was

“Miss Stahl, will you try on my nose?!” “Only if I can take a selfie with it.”

Red Nose Day.  This day is taken very seriously here!  The students were allowed to wear their normal clothes, teachers were allowed to wear jeans (though no one told me, so I wore my dress), and there were little red noses all over the school.
I have been here for 6 days and know that my house is about 500 meters from the sea, yet I still hadn’t seen it for myself.  So I decided today after school that I would head down that way and spend my evening walking along the beach.  And that is exactly what I did!

It took me all of two minutes to make it to the seafront, and it was a beautiful sight.  We had a lovely, sunny day today, and everyone was out taking advantage of it.  I walked along the beach, admiring the colorful rocks and shapes in the sand.

There were runners, bikers,  and walkers all over the paths.  And dogs.  Lots of dogs.  Lots and lots and lots of dogs.  Little dogs. Big dogs.  Dogs being walked by their owners.  Dogs walking their owners.  Dogs on leashes.  Dogs free roaming near their owner.  Dogs in the water… Literally in the freezing cold water.  The dog scene here is insane!  It makes me miss my furry friend back home (miss you, Maylee!).

I walked up and down the paths all the way to Bognor Regis, which is the bigger town just down the way from mine.

 

There were so many picturesque homes next to the seafront.  I felt like such a tourist pausing to find the proper angle to capture the sunset light with the homes in the proper position to get the picture just right.  I have quickly stopped worrying about the looks you get when you stop to take a selfie in the rain, or with the plane, or on the pier.  Do whatcha gotta do.

Today’s post doesn’t have too much entertainment, but I hope the photos will suffice!  We all know I take plenty!

I have loved my time in this wonderful country.  After the horrible attack in London on Wednesday, it made my heart break for this place I am calling my temporary home.  The students were all concerned and talking to me about what they knew, and they were confused why people would do cruel things like this.  I wish I had an answer for them!  All I can tell them is to try and spread kindness to all they meet and hope, one by one, that it can make a difference.

“Ah, kindness. What a simple way to tell another struggling soul that there is love to be found in this world.”

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