Sunday, June 2, 2013

TFA Induction

I have officially moved into my dorms at Arizona State University, where I will be living this next month for what Teach for America calls "Institute", aka really intensive teacher training before starting my job in Colorado! But before I start training tomorrow, I wanted to post about my first TFA experience: Induction.

I got to induction last Wednesday, May 29, just two short days after returning from my epic Europe trip. Luckily I had time to sleep in between Europe and Colorado because induction was non-stop! I flew into Denver and then drove with TFA to Colorado Springs, where we checked into the dorms of Colorado College. That campus was insanely beautiful! Induction for me was an emotional roller coaster. From arriving without an official job placement, to being hired by the Harrison 2 School District in Colorado Springs (heyooo new adventures) to finding out the next day that I would be teaching 4th grade at Oak Creek Elementary School, my emotions were all over the place (shout out to my roommate Mac for sitting on the phone with me every night as I tried to process all those feelings). But, even with all of that going on, I had an amazing time. The whole purpose of induction is to act as an orientation for the incoming TFA Corps members. And seriously, it was a crazy awesome orientation. There were lots of sessions that got us so pumped up to teach, inspired us in every possible way, and lots of time to get to know the people we'd be working along side for the next two years.

I met some amazing people, ate some really incredible food, and constantly admired the mountains around me. I'm so excited for this next chapter! Here are just a few photos I snapped during my time at induction, as well as on the 12 hour car ride to Arizona, and today, my first official day at ASU. 

I know the next few weeks are going to be ridiculously challenging in many ways, but I'm ready for them, and looking forward to all that I am about to learn. Hurray for being in yet another state, and for the beginning of my Teach for America experience!
 The drive from Denver to Colorado Springs: stunning. This one was taken by my friend Brad. There Brad, there's your photo credit. 
Mountains everywhere! 
This was on the chalkboard in one of my session rooms. I thought it was fitting, and reminded me of my cottage. Maybe I'll bring the YOLO to Colorado Springs!
 Kiersten, Claire and I took a small break from life on the campus and explored the city a bit. Claire is a Colorado native so she took us to the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. Walking around this place was crazy because it was so picturesque... it didn't seem real!
The grounds of the Broadmoor. It was the classiest, most gorgeous hotel! We also laughed the entire time which made this day even more fun.
The view from my dorm. Hello again mountains! 
 Induction closing BBQ outside with the most gorgeous view.
A few of the Colorado girls. We have over 100 corps members from Colorado this year-- crazy!
RSS right before departing for Arizona! 
We drove through Colorado, into New Mexico and then to Arizona. The sunset in New Mexico was out of control and this photo does not do it justice! 
We did a quick Target trip when we arrived in Arizona. Here's Kiersten modeling the teacher shirts we bought, over a grandma bathing suit we made her try on. I love that I've found girls who laugh as much as I do. Constant entertainment! 
And lastly...the balmy Phoenix weather to welcome us to AZ. 

Here's to a very hot and exciting first week!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

London, England

Our last stop on this crazy whirlwind Euro-adventure was London, England! We were so happy to arrive in a country where we were fluent in the language. We were met with torrential downpours for the entirety of our trip but amidst the skies opening up and pouring down on us, we were able to see some amazing sights!


London was royal. 

We walked out of the metro stop on our very first day and BAM! Met this guy. Say hello to our new friend Ben.
The London eye
Westminster Abbey 
There's Ben again, peeking through
More of the Abbey
A terrible iPhone photo of the London Bridge from afar
This pretty much sums up our time in London...
Marie bought a sweatshirt to avoid getting hypothermia. And loved the British cider.
Pub food!
It was pretty great...
Marie bought us tickets to see the BEST play ever at the world famous Apollo Theater!! And let me just say, it did NOT disappoint. And the actors having accents was so fun, too! Best gift ever, Marie.

Ahhhh!! I only cried twice. 
We found the daintiest tea shop! They color coordinate their teas with their biscuts (cookies) which I was loving every second of. 
I loved London!

And I loved this entire trip! I can't believe it's over but now, onto the next chapter. Tomorrow I leave for Denver, Colorado and then on Saturday for Phoenix, Arizona where I will spend 6 weeks training for Teach for America. I can't believe the time has come for real life to start! As nervous as I am, I have faith that God has put me exactly where I'm meant to be. 

Grace & Peace

Paris, France

There are so many good things I can say about Paris, France. After a crazy overnight train ride from Rome to Paris, we arrived in the city that was destined to be one of our favorites. I probably took 1,000 too many photos here but my excuse is that everything is so gorgeous! I couldn't help myself. The five days we spent in this amazing city were some of the best of the trip. Not even some serious rain could stop us from loving it!


Paris was sparkling. 

Visiting Versailles!
We could not understand how they got the gold to be so SHINY! The palace was amazing.
One of the 2,300 (what?!) rooms. 
A gorgeous fireplace with firewood the size of Marie's body. 
More stunning ceilings. 
The hall of mirrors!

Taking selfies in the hall of mirrors because we are that classy. 

The palace was cool but let me tell you about the GARDENS. Seriously the largest backyard I've ever seen. 
Wandering, and getting lost!
Full blown forests and tiny paths that lead to more fun places.

The smallest section of Marie Antoinette's backyard. 

More houses on the property.
A visit to the Louvre!
Inside the glass pyramid 
The statue of Athena Nike. 
There she is! (Along with 400 tourists all trying to take pictures of her. It was hot and sweaty and people pushed. A lot.)
The view from the top of the Arc de Triomphe 

I don't have any words to describe the food in Paris. All I will say, however, is that everyday we ate at minimum 12 beignets each. 
Checked out one of the largest flea markets in the world! 
So many vintage keys, which hold so much meaning for me. I had to buy one, of course!
Seriously though, this market was out of control. I need to live in France so I can decorate my house with every item from these shops. 
Arc de Triomphe!
Walking under!
The eiffel tower was so cool for me because you literally see it everywhere! Even in the rain I have never been happier. 
But really though...everywhere!
Loved the streets of Paris, too!
For those of you who know my roommate Jyllian (also visiting Paris with her family) you know that this is a very significant moment for us. From our kitchen plates to Christmas tree oranaments, this girl is OBSESSED with all things Eiffel Tower so to watch it sparkle with her was surreal. And, one of the top 5 best moments of my life. Truly. 
After the sparkles we ordered the best desserts in a little French restaurant and laughed until we cried. It was so fun to have two of my best friends together with me in a beautiful city!
Musee d'Orsay!
Hey mom...I found my wedding reception site!
The Love Lock Bridge
So. Many. Locks. 
Marie put a lock on the bridge with her mom's initials. Such a moving moment in honor of one of the greatest women in the entire world. 

Notre Dame!
Rie lighting a candle for her mama
This church was breathtaking!

The garden of Notre Dame
The entire trip I was in macaroon HEAVEN!
It makes sense now that my favorite dessert would come from Paris. All good things come from Paris. 
Nutella crepes and walking through the Louvre gardens!

Last stop...London!