5 Things I Learned This Semester

1. Say “yes” more often

This semester was, by far, my toughest academically. Towards the beginning of the year, I found myself getting too caught up with the piles of homework I had constantly waiting at home. That’s right: I was actually too concerned with homework. Several weeks went by, then another, and I realized that I was using homework as an excuse not to get out and do things.

Halfway through the semester, my Teaching Fellows cohort went on a Beach Retreat. I was legitimately stressed about this in general because we were told not to bring homework. What?! No homework?! While that might sound like heaven for some, I was freaking out internally.

Over the course of the weekend, these fears began to dissipate. I spent time sitting on the beach, talking with friends, and reflecting on this semester. As I reflected, I realized that I had been missing out on so many things that I had enjoyed freshman year because I was using a busy schedule as my excuse. I decided right then and there that the last half of my semester would be different – and it was.

Two days later, my friend Amanda texted me and asked if there was any way I could drive her home to Asheville, NC the next week so she could vote in her county. Normally, there is no way that I would say yes to something last minute like that! However, this was the sign I needed to bounce back from my boring first half. I said yes, emailed the professor whose class I’d be missing and asked to submit a paper early, got a cover for work, and started packing. The next night, we headed to Asheville. In 12 hours, we managed to fit in an incredible dinner, dessert, and sunrise on the parkway.

Days like this are the ones that won’t be forgotten. Don’t forget to break the rules and say yes sometimes.

 

2. Take time for the things that bring you joy

To continue alongside my previous thought, say yes in particular to things that bring you joy! Sometimes, this means saying no to others and saying yes to yourself. Yes, I deserve to have a night to myself tonight. Yes, I want to go on a hike today! Yes, I deserve that cookie! Yes, I want to read a book for fun tonight! Yes, I have time to go workout!

Sometimes, we get so caught up in the things that we “have” to do: meetings, class, homework, more meetings, that we forget to take some time for ourselves! Whether this means spending time on hobbies you enjoy, reading a book, or just relaxing, we all need to things that we like!

I notice that when I neglect myself, my relationships and academic life suffer. If I’m doing things that make me happy, then I’m happier!

So, treat yoself, grab that cookie, and take that bubble bath and then get back to your seemingly endless to do list.

 

3. When you’re in the right major you’ll know

Last year, because I brought in AP credits, I actually was not enrolled in a single English course! I thought that I was in the right major…but how would I know without a single college English course under my belt?!

This original uncertainty ended up being a good thing. I got to explore different fields, gain interesting perspectives, and by the time sophomore year came around, I knew that English was the field for me. While I enjoyed some of my core courses, English and Sociology classes just feel right. Exploration is a super important part of the college process! If you don’t have anything to compare your “major” courses too, how will you know you’re in the right place?!

This year, I am happily enrolled in all English, Sociology, and Education courses. I feel so lucky to take amazing classes alongside many people that I now call my best friends. In Teaching Literature, we focused on asking big philosophy questions: what is literature? why should we teach it? how should we teach it? Through TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), I spent my days volunteering at an Immigrant and Refugee Outreach Center in Greensboro and learning how to manage a multilingual classroom. Class became less of a chore and something I looked forward too.

Ultimately, I have learned how valuable a liberal arts education is. University is much less about getting a degree and much more about the education process. Living on campus at a University like Elon allows me to have educational experiences both in and out of the classroom each and every day.

 

4. Career choice is a lifelong process

Even if you know that you’re in the right major, it is perfectly okay to not know exactly what your life will look like in 5 years or 20 years. In fact, it is probably impossible for you to know. Instead, I try to focus on each experience I have and reflect on the things I learned and how I could use them in the future.

When I came to Elon, I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to be a Teaching Fellow. What if I changed my mind and didn’t want to teach anymore?! While I know now that English and education are “right” for me, I am still not sure exactly where I’ll end up.

Last semester, after taking a course called Sociology of Education, I added a Sociology minor to my 4-year plan. I do not know exactly how this fits in yet, but I absolutely love combining my fields of interest. Talking about things like the achievement gap, socioeconomic disparities, and tracking students is what I love. Additionally, after taking TESOL, I have developed an interest in working with speakers of other languages. Next year, I will be starting a research project and studying how ELL students are treated and regarded by my local school district. I am hoping to somehow combine all of my loves and experiences into a career path one day.

I have accepted that the only thing that I can do right now is fully immerse myself into each opportunity that I have. By doing this, I know that I will end up exactly where I am meant to be.

 

5. It goes by fast

I knew going into this (now past) semester that time was going to fly by. And like clockwork, it has now come to an end. It seems unreal that I am already packing up and preparing to go abroad to Oxford, England. Soon, my college undergraduate career will be halfway done.

Even though leaving Elon was bittersweet, I am trying to focus on living in the moment and loving each semester for what it has to offer. Yes, things will be different next time I’m back, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing!

Oxford, I’m ready for you!

 

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Courtney

Reflections Uncategorized

My Teaching Philosophy

** Disclaimer: This post is for a class project and is an example of a page that I would use for my future class website **

Preparing Students for the “Real World”

 

Hello, Parents!

I am so glad that you have taken the time to scroll through our class website. Having all of your students in class this year is an absolute pleasure and I cannot wait to get to know each one of you better throughout the course of the year. My contact info and personal information is under the “About Me” page on your left hand side. This site will be a resource for both you and your students. Please feel free to shoot me an email or call me about any concerns you may have or just to say hello! Additionally, my door is always open! Stop by anytime and email me if you would like to sit in on a class.

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In this technological day and age, there is a lot that we have to prepare students for. My job and duty as an educator goes deeper than just teaching students how to read. Fundamentally, my job is to prepare students to be educated citizens primed to contribute to society in the “real world”.

My goals are as follows:

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  1. Instill a LOVE of reading within each student
  2.  Encourage students to have a personal experience with each work they read 
  3. Expose students to new cultures and ideas through reading
  4. Prepare students for a diverse workforce in which they will be expected to know how to use technology

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Now, I know what you’re thinking…

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Most importantly:

I want your students to leave my class truly loving to read! Instead of asking them to memorize plot lines and giving them comprehension quizzes, I want them to focus on the language of the text! After all, this is what makes great books so special! Class time will be focused on literature they would not be able to read on their own.

A love of literature inspires a lifetime of reading. Books have the unique ability to provide a window into other worlds and teach us things. With a love of reading comes a lifetime of learning.

Multi-cultural literature

In my class, we will cover a variety of works that all have authors and main characters with different perspectives. These differences should be appreciated! I want my class to be a safe space where each individual’s opinion and personal experience is valued. However, anything that devalues or demeans other students will not be tolerated. Furthermore, I will have a classroom shelf full of a wide variety of Young Adult literature that the students can “check out” at any time.

Multimodal literature

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The term “multimodal” refers to anything that is characterized by several different forms of activities – just like this website! Even though you might not have noticed, the gifs used on this webpage help break up the text and enhance understanding. They serve to add to the overall experience, not take away from it. The same thing is true in multimodal teaching! This includes but is not limited to: film, audio, video, performance, pictures, and graphic novels.

What will class look like?

Depending on the assignment, students will be asked to read for homework and write down any questions that they have. Class time will be spent discussing whatever we are working on as a class. Literature often does not have a “right answer”, and we will talk about a work’s historical context and the multitude of ways that it can be interpreted.

Additionally…

Each book that we read in class will be accompanied by some sort of “multimodal” activity. This will not replace traditional classroom literature, but instead will be used to supplement and add to the students’ experience.

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I’m going to give a few examples of how this would work in my classroom. Once again, multimodal forms help enhance your students’ experience with text, not take away from it.

Raise your hand if you like watching movies, plays, or listening to audiovlvu8bvv67mvs

With that in mind, lets think about some great ways that we can combine traditional literature with various multimodal assignments!

Example one: POETRY

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Poetry is often one of the most difficult units for students and even adults. When complicated poems are shoved in front of us and it can be frustrating. Students will start to believe that they can never understand poetry.

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A great introduction to poetry is having students write and perform their own poems. This helps to get them over the fear of poetry being “scary”. During this unit, I will provide a variety of different poetry books and spoken word performances for the students to browse during class. They will watch and read, find what they like, then base their own poem off of it. After several drafts, they will perform their own spoken word poetry piece for their classmates.

HERE are some great links to spoken word poems!

 

Example two: SHAKESPEARE/PERFORMANCE

Let’s talk about Shakespeare and be honest about it – Shakespeare is difficult!

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We do not want this to be the students’ reaction when they hear Shakespeare’s name! It is easy to forget that Shakespeare was written to be performed, not read on a page. During the Shakespeare unit, students will be given a plot summary so that they can focus on the language of the play and various ways it might be interpreted. Then, they will be split into groups and asked to perform a scene of my choice for the class. While the scene is chosen by me, interpretation will be up to the students.

This improves confidence, public speaking, and allows them to come up with their own interpretations of the text! They will be graded on group effort and style.

EXAMPLES of student performances 

 

 

Example three: FILM

Have you ever read a book and then watched the movie and absolutely hated it? This happens because when a book is turned into a movie, the director has to make certain choices that often change the meaning of the film.

This year, my class will be reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. After we have finished the book, we will watch the film and discuss how the director chooses to convey certain scenes. Students might have trouble pulling out imagery from the text, but when it comes to watching film they can do it easily. Students will gain a better understanding of literary terms and will be able to discuss how they are conveyed in a film. They will be graded on their understanding and written responses.

Watch the trailer and see if you can pull out some things to discuss!

 

Here are a few questions I would use for discussion points in class

1 – When the twin towers are falling, why is the scene filmed at an upward angle?

2 – Why do you think that both the book and movie are told from Oskar’s (the young boy) perspective?

3 – Why do you think that in the film version, the grandfather is introduced in the beginning instead of at the end?

4 – Why do directors make different choices than authors?

 

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These are just a few examples of ways that multimodal lessons can be implemented in the classroom. I want students to gain valuable and applicable information that can be used beyond my high school English class. A multimodal education provides some of those skills and benefits. Ultimately, we all just want to prepare students to be successful in whatever they choose to do!

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Class Projects ENG 363 Final

Pre-Abroad Feels

My plans –> Oxford, England

For those of you who haven’t heard, in exactly one month and two days I will be headed abroad to Oxford, England! My semester in Oxford at St. Clare’s International runs from January 8th – May 6th with a couple breaks in-between. I will be flying out of DFW on January 7th and returning on May 18th after a visit from my mom! While at St. Clare’s, I will be taking my usual English and Education classes, completing an internship in a local school, and spending my free time immersing myself in English culture and traveling as much as possible.

I cannot believe that my lifelong dream of traveling Europe will actually be set in motion in such a short time! Meanwhile, I have been spending my time procrastinating my finals work by spending my time researching trips.

 

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Travel Plans

As of now, I have a one trip in the works and a couple others on the list. We have two weeks off in the middle of April for Spring Break during which I plan to backpack with a couple friends through Vienna, Prague, Berlin, Hamburg, and Amsterdam over the course of 17 nights.

Several friends and family members have also been kind enough to plan trips with me! My boyfriend, Harrison, will be visiting me during his March Spring Break and my good friends Morgan and Ally are coming the week after! Additionally, extended family in Switzerland have offered to host me for a long weekend – an opportunity I am all too excited to take advantage of. At the end of my semester, my mom and grandparents are visiting and we will be exploring London, Paris, and the surrounding areas.

If you have any connections abroad or will be in Europe from January-May please let me know! I would love to make plans with you.

 

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Visa Applications & Internships

I had absolutely no idea that my Visa application would be such a hassle! This semester has been filled with Study Abroad meetings and numerous hours dedicated to filling out my Visa, going to fingerprint appointments, and getting everything in order. I will be on a Tier 4 Student Visa which allows me to work/intern.

Luckily, Teaching Fellows has hooked us up with awesome teaching internships when I am abroad where I will be working with 15-16 year old second language students at Cherwell Secondary School in Oxford! One day a week we will be spending a full day working in the school. Additionally, I will be enrolled in a comparative education course as part of my studies and am really looking forward to studying a new culture while living there.

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Nerves

Despite being ridiculously pumped to go abroad, I’ll admit that I am a bit nervous too! I don’t think that it has really set in that I will be away from America for a full 4.5 months! Mainly, I am worried that the time difference will create a barrier between those who I have relationships with at home and myself. I know that balancing will be necessary so that I do not spend too much time communicating with those back home to the point of missing out on new things! Furthermore, I really want to make friends with some of the international students which I know will require extra effort since they may not be in my classes. Like any semester, being abroad is full of ups and downs that I must prepare for.

 

Overall, I am extraordinarily excited to embark on this journey! Please feel free to follow this blog to keep up with what I am doing abroad and here at Elon! Again, if you have any advice or insight on what places I must visit, I would love to hear it.

 

Thank you to my family for making this all possible!

Much love,

Courtney

 

 

 

Reflections Study Abroad 2016 Trips

Belize

This past summer, my family decided to try something brand new. In August, the four of us set off for the adventure of a lifetime to the beautiful country of Belize! This vacation was my very first time traveling somewhere extremely different than the United States and I absolutely loved it. Belize, I will be back!

Unfortunately, right before the trip, my grandmother ended up in the ICU and we were not sure if we were going to still go. Thankfully, she began to recover and we were able to take off knowing that she would be okay – but as a result, no last minute planning was completed!

GETTING TO BELIZE

Let’s just say that the first day of this trip was a borderline disaster. A quick outline the things that went wrong:

  1. I left my phone on the plane
  2. My dad’s luggage was lost
  3. Because we had to spend time trying to get his luggage back, we almost missed our rental car window
  4. Due to a recent hurricane, they did not have a rental car (with air conditioning) to give us and we had to sit outside the rental place for over an hour
  5. We ended up with a Honda Element which did NOT have the much needed 4-wheel drive
  6. As a result of the delay, we ended up having to drive in the dark with no GPS or idea of direction and we were all getting hangry
  7. At dinner, my mom realized that she had been giving us directions to the wrong hotel

FINALLY, after many hours of uncertainty, we arrived at our first destination – the gorgeous Cahal Pech Village Resort. My family had our own little two story hut with a bedroom on each level. The grounds were beautiful with a stunning view of San Ignacio and the resort’s two pools. This was the perfect place to relax after long days exploring!

 

DAY 1

Our resort provided a lovely traditional Belizean breakfast and after digging in, we were off. Day 1 of our trip was spent at the Mayan ruins of Xunantunich – only a short drive from our hotel thanks to our good ol’ Honda Element. These ruins are a current excavation sites, still being uncovered by various universities! We hired a local guide who gave us a tour of the grounds and told us the ruins’ history. We even saw wild monkeys! The climb up to the top of the ruins is absolutely stunning. However, there are no railings so if you’re scared of heights (Mumsy), this might not be for you! We ate lunch at Benny’s Kitchen was absolutely INCREDIBLE. It is super close to the ruins and is cheap, local, and oh so good. They even serve gibnut – a squirrel-type rodent. We spent the rest of this evening hanging out at the pool and exploring downtown San Ignacio. Dinner was at Ko-Ox Han nah. I got the lamb burger and it was fantastic.

DAY 2

The absolute adventure of a lifetime – the ATM Cave Tour in Cayo, Belize. In order to do this tour, you definitely have to be in good shape, not claustrophobic, and ready for an adventure! If you’re ready and willing, this will be a day you can’t forget. Remember your water shoes or tennis shoes you don’t mind ruining. Our day started early. We met the group at a gas station and then followed the van (badly) to the site. The Honda Element proved its worth and kept us safe on the rocky road, even as we went through small streams. Pro-tip: turn your air conditioning off as you go through the water so your car doesn’t suck it up. They hooked us up with helmets and life vests and we were ready to go. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take cameras so I don’t have any photos from inside the actual cave. You hike about 40 minutes to and from the cave through the Belizean jungle. This involves crossing a few small rivers where you must lay on your back and use a rope to pull yourself across. Finally, you arrive at the cave entrance!

We spent about 3.5 hours actually inside the water-filled cave. It was breathtaking. We crawled through tight spaces, floated the current, and took in the huge cave formations. You follow the guide in a line and each person relays the information back to the next person! Some parts are tricky, but you work together and get through it! By the halfway point, I was exhausted but it was SO worth. We climbed up into a dry part of the cave where there are skeletons, ceramics, and stoneware left by the Mayans, most likely from sacrifices. It is assumed that they took victims in alive and killed them there. The most incredible part was how close the artifacts were! Only a pink line of tape separates tourists from the skulls. This would never happen in America!

DAY 3

On day 3, we spent a bit more time in the city before heading to our next destination, a jungle treehouse style home in the Belize EcoVillage. It is DEFINITELY off the grid! Once again, the Honda Element was put to the test. This home was about 8 miles off a main road. We were bouncing all over the place. Our EcoVillage home was an absolute dream. It was basically an upscale, glorified treehouse. It used solar panels for power and recycled rain water for the water source. Because this home was so remote, we had a local woman come and cook our meals named Lucy! Lucy was the most incredible host. Her adorable daughter came with her each day and was a great helper. We woke up to fresh coffee and Belizean breakfasts and ended each day with a meal to come home to. This was such a life saver! She even packed our lunches for us. This evening was just spent relaxing at this huge 3-story home and enjoying the outdoor living space and hammocks. Lucy greeted us with juice and a snack and life was pure bliss.

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DAY 4

Once again, this day definitely lands in the “top 10 days of my life” list thus far. Lucy’s family owns the nearby Martz farm where we spent most of our time during this part of the trip. If you visit, you MUST do the pontoon waterfall tour. You can even rent jungle lodging at the farm itself. When you drive up, an entire gorgeous pack of dogs greet you. Evan and Lucy’s sister, Millie, took us down to the water and got us set up on the boat that they built themselves. The pontoon boat travels slowly down the Macal river and you really get to relax and take in the scenery. Evan and Millie were crazy knowledgeable about the area and I loved getting to ask all of the questions I wanted to about their culture. Evan and I were the same age and got along very well! In fact, we are still in touch. We spent about 1.5 hours just touring around before the real adventure began. Evan and Millie took us to 3 different waterfalls, all of which were so different!

First, we parked the pontoon boat and hiked about a quarter mile to a gorgeous traditional waterfall. We stripped off our shoes and dove straight into the cold water. Evan taught us how to walk on the rocks behind the waterfall and swim through. While the water is strong, it is an incredible feeling! We spent about 20-30 minutes just enjoying this pool.

Next, the cliff-jump fall. I actually got to cliff jump for the first time! My dad and I were the only ones brave enough, and I’ll admit that I got quite nervous once I was up there. It was about 40 feet. Afterwards, we found a nice sunny spot for lunch.

Lastly, we climbed a granite waterfall. This one is almost impossible to explain. It had multiple levels with a small pool between each. Evan and Millie were expert guides, letting us all know where to put our feet so we wouldn’t slip. Each “level” of the waterfall had a new stunning view to take in. Definitely an experience of a lifetime!

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DAY 5

On our final full day in Belize, Jacob and I decided to sign up for a horseback at farm at Martz farm. Evan’s Uncle, Joe Martinez, got us saddled up and we set off. We spent several hours horse backing through the gorgeous jungle and countryside of Belize. At several points, we got off the horses and just sat with quiet river views and Joe recited some poetry for us.With only 2 years of formal elementary education, Joe has helped turn Martz farm into the business it is today. He has applied building skills he learned working in the US to build all of the great buildings on the farm, and loves writing poetry. Getting to talk with Joe was such a treat, and this was yet another trip highlight! After the ride, Jacob and I hung out with Evan and Joe in the kitchen (located in its own building). I had a hard time saying goodbye!

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DAY 6

It was officially time to head out. After checking out and saying our final goodbye to Lucy and her daughter, we headed back to the airport. Thankfully, we had time for one final stop: The Belize Zoo! This place exceeded my expectations solely because of how different it is than American zoos. You really felt like you were in the jungle as you walked around and the animals were as close to their natural habitat as possible. Fences were low and one harmless animal even escaped while we were there! This was the perfect little ending to our trip.

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IMPACT

Although it may sound cheesy, this trip really did change my outlook on life. Their slower way of life is so appealing and the locals are so nice. I now know that the busy suburbs are not the place for me. I want to raise my kids somewhere that they can explore the outdoors and have genuine experiences with nature! I would take a smaller house and more land and outdoor space any day! Evan and his entire family also had a huge impact on me. I learned that you do not need formal education to be successful and have a happy lifestyle. There is more to life than money and a big house. Take time to be alone, do what you enjoy, and just breathe. I already can’t wait to go back!

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Belize Trips

Spring Break in the Hamptons

Yet again, I have another long overdue post! I’m currently preparing to spend my Spring semester (2017) abroad and I am just in the traveling zone! While abroad, I plan on posting regularly about my new adventures. Therefore, there will be an eclectic mix of education related and personal posts – exactly what I had originally planned!

In the spring of my freshman year I was coasting through, just planning to go home to Texas. Then, on a random Wednesday dinner at Colonnades, my friend Connor randomly asked if I would be interested in joining him and some other friends on a road trip to the Hamptons. I immediately knew that I had to go. When else would I ever have the opportunity to go to the Hamptons?! I called both parents and BEGGED them to let me stay with my friends until Thursday and then take a weekend plane home to Texas for Easter weekend and my birthday celebration. Thankfully, they agreed.

A couple weeks later and my squad was off! I was crazy excited for my first trip to New York. We left on a Friday after class and booked it to Jersey where Connor lives. When we finally got in at 2:00 am, Mrs. Mathis had authentic Jersey pizza and air mattress beds made up for all of us. Early the next morning, we headed into New York City after more leftover pizza and coffee (of course).

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Jersey train station

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I couldn’t believe how expensive this forty-five minute train ride was at $20! When we got off the train and walked outside I was immediately overwhelmed. I knew that there would be big buildings and lots of people but nothing can prepare you for the chaos. People will just run into you and push you aside if you are in the way. You must dash around people to keep up and Con kept yelling, “those who live below the Mason Dixon Line, KEEP UP!” AKA Alex Hale were lagging a bit behind. We only had an afternoon so we mostly just walked around. I saw Rockefeller Center and Times Square and lots of areas I’d only seen on TV. Before heading out, we went to a fun small comedy show. While I enjoyed getting to see the city, our group of 8 was a bit large!

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The Hamptons at last! We left Con’s around 10am and headed to Cody’s incredible Hampton home in Sag Harbor. I was super excited to finally see what his house was like. I got to ride with my good friend Alex Hale and jam out to his dad tunes per usual over the two and a half hours or so to Cody’s. The crossing into the Hamptons is apparent. You can tell simply by the cars traveling the opposite direction. Range Rovers, G Wagons, and Mercedes galore. Alex and I got there before everyone else and had time to take in the exterior.

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The style in the Hamptons was not what I was expecting. The houses have a kind of wood exterior that is painted. Cody’s house was all white and modern looking with windows everywhere. It was gorgeous! The others arrived shortly and we walked inside. I have never been more amazed in my entire life. The inside was absolutely stunning. Everywhere you looked was sleek and white, and Cody’s mom had left gifts for us on the counters. Cody gave us a house tour and everyone snapped pictures. Each bedroom was furnished with a walk in custom closet, smart TV, and gorgeous bathroom with a rain shower. I never wanted to leave. That shower changed my life. Additionally, Cody’s parents left us an abundance of groceries. That night for dinner they treated us at a local steakhouse. 

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DAY 1

This first full day was just a lazy day. We woke up late and went to walk around town. Sarah and I were drawn to an adorable little local bookstore. I love places like that. It saddens me to think that actual bookstores won’t exist forever. I bought a book that didn’t look like my type on impulse probably because of the cover. It was called Euphoria (more about it later). We also went to some adorable little boutiques downtown. Unfortunately, I started feeling unwell that night. My throat was killing me and I decided that I should probably go to the doctor the next day. I couldn’t sleep this night and went into Jenna and Connor’s room just for company. I don’t think I’ve felt such deep affection for friends in a long time. They are the lifelong college friends that everyone talks about and I love them so much!

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DAY 2

Tuesday started off with the doctor’s trip. Mumsy found a little local doctor right downtown. Cody and Jenna came with me. It was a weird little place. The doctor and receptionist seemed quite rude. My quick strep came back negative but I took the antibiotics anyway because I feel so bad. I’m glad I did because I certainly feel a lot better. Later in the day everyone went to a movie in the afternoon but since I wasn’t feeling well I stayed home and started my book, Euphoria. I was drawn in immediately. It is about 3 anthropologists studying tribes in New Guinea in the 1930’s. Two are married and the other man is lonely and attracted to the other woman. Nearly the whole book goes on without an affair happening, tension building. 

When the others got back we decided to eat at the Irish Pub downtown. I ordered gnocchi with clam sauce – it was wonderful. I didn’t feel that well again that night but stayed up late finishing my book. I have not sobbed at the ending of a book like that in a good long time. I think what is different about Euphoria is that it isn’t your typical romance novel. The love isn’t about the sex – it is about intellectual attraction. It all builds throughout the entire novel and it is only at the end that physical things come into play. The threat of death forces them to leave, though and it ends tragically before they can end up together. I sobbed. Absolutely sobbed.

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DAY 3

Thankfully, I was feeling a lot better this morning. We took a group trip over to Manuak about 30 minutes or so away to the beach and famous lighthouse. The view was absolutely breathtaking. The beach was rocky, yet pristine. We took pictures and adventured around enjoying the beautiful weather. I need to insert a couple pictures here. My life just seems so unreal. I’m pretty sure we will be taking the summer trip to Belize and England is only 9 months away (I am posting this so late and it is only one month away!!!). I turn 19 in 6 days (now actually 19!) That also seems crazy. After the beach we went downtown and found a cute local pizza place to eat. Most places were closed still since the Hamptons aren’t yet in season. I had shrimp scampi over linguini and it was delicious. For dinner we had a “scramble.” I had a grilled cheese with bacon and avocado and I am certainly not complaining.

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Last Day

This catches us up to today. I woke up at 8 am, packed my last minute things, ate some yogurt, and Alex and I were off. I was in charge of driving today since he has to drive the rest of the way to Elon tonight. The drive was nice and easy except for the part right around NYC. It was quite the experience, however. I loved having the opportunity to experience New York. We stopped halfway for lunch at a little New Jersey rest stop. I was good and had a Greek salad. I “dropped myself off” at the airport and said goodbye to Alex and now he’s driving and I’m on this plane. It was delayed a bit too which is frustrating so I should get into Love Field around 7:45 Dallas time.

Easter Weekend

Spending Easter Weekend home with my family was lovely! We went to brunch at my grandparents, dyed Easter eggs, and relaxed! Since my birthday was the Tuesday I’d be going back to class, we also celebrated. Overall, it was the perfect way to end my first college Spring Break. Texas was definitely just a bit warmer than the Hamptons!

Trips United States