Today I traveled across the pond. The journey began with an 8 hour flight on British Airways, a 4 hour bus ride on National Express, a lost cell phone, lost credit cards, lost driver’s license, and a lost American in England.
How did I get here…not physically, I just described that…but metaphorically? The journey began recently by starting my PhD in Literacy Studies at the University of South Florida. My professor shared a powerpoint of a quaint town called Cambridgeshire and I fell in love with the cobblestones, English roses, stone buildings, ancient doors. I had never considered engaging in something so intimate, so personal, so selfish- learning, wondering, and wandering.
Prior to that epic powerpoint, my journey began with 26 years as an educator, staff developer, coach and administrator. I am surrounded by complaints of education, burned out staffs, frustrated coaches, exhausted professionals. This trip is about rejuvenation and revelation. What else can I do in this career to continue to inspire teachers? I have visited many schools, many classrooms and I see amazing feats of learning and teaching. What would happen if I visited an entirely different culture to see how they handle this enormous task of teaching humans?
Prior to the 26 years as an educator, my journey to Cambridge began with a piece of chalk, a wooden bedroom closet door and a little brother who was forced to be my pupil as we played school. Hours locked in my room, my brother engaged in lessons and math problems because his big sister wouldn’t allow him to play with his Millennium Falcon until his math times tables were complete. After all, how can you build a spaceship and fly it around the galaxy fighting against dark forces if you don’t know math, right?
Fast forward to July 7, 2018, an exhausted and weary traveler dragged three suitcases around those cobblestones that looked so inviting in the pictures, across the picturesque village of stone buildings filled with history, and towards a destination unknown, like for real because HER PHONE STAYED ON THE BUS AND NOW HAD NO GPS TO GUIDE HER! As the rain began to fall, she whispered to herself with each step, “Don’t lose it. Don’t cry. You will be ok. You are where you are suppose to be.” Somehow, she landed on the front steps of the Warkworth House, where her university sisters helped her carry the load of overweight luggage, minus a cell phone and credit cards, up the narrow staircase to her new home for the month ahead.
Where will this journey lead has yet to be discovered. Getting lost was extremely frustrating and downright scary! Losing myself into this experience is exactly what this Lit Geek Girl needs to start a new chapter of her story.