Meeting the new residency landlords, Mr & Mrs Smith, (all names have been changed to be kept anonymous) and my roommate, Annie, went well, as they openly welcomed me into their home. I couldn't help but feel relieved and oh-so-lucky to have been offered an affordable room at a place that is only 5 minutes away by bus, from the school. The house is in a picturesque setting of similar styles along the street, with a cozy atmosphere, and the interior is much more roomy than I had expected. There were a few surprises about the residence: there are 4 large dogs, 6 cats, and 7 residents in this house. The animals stay outside mostly. Good thing I like dogs and cats!
After getting s little settled, since it was 11:00am, I wanted to stay up most of the day, to try and get to sleep at night fall & try to adjust my sleeping. So, I decided to go out for a walk into town to see some of the shops and neighborhood. The roomie Annie joined along side me and showed me the area. I was happy to find that the downtown area of Dorking was really only a 5-10 minute walk from the house. That includes the grocery stores, shops, post office, restaurants, cafes, a park, and pubs. This also means I will be walking quite a lot & this is so good!
The first experience of grocery shopping was fun as I was noticing all of the different kinds of foods & merchandise they have that is both similar and different than in the US. Things that made me smile: Yogurt, Cheese, Creams, Bread, Chocolate, Berries, Granola, Honey, Salads, & Pasty Pies. There are only a few things here that I have had a hard time finding the right kind: Coffee, Paper, 3-ring-binders. Everyone here drinks tea and if they do drink coffee, they are not coffee snobs like myself. Most drink instant coffee and to me, that is only used as a last resort. All of their paper sizes are much different, and that means so are their binders, folders, etc.
Moving onto another start of the week, after I slept and rested most of the weekend, on Monday, I went to my first day at Boxhill School in Dorking, Surrey UK. Annie was kind enough to escort me to the bus and the school, so that I could meet with my cooperating teacher. That was a great day where I met so many people: the staff, administrators, professors, and students in many classes. Fortunately, the first week was meant as observation. I was able to adjust to my settings, soak it all in, and learn about what is to come for the lessons. I did find out that I will be working with not only one cooperative teacher, Mrs L in her textiles art classes, but also work with two other art teachers, Mrs Beth and Mr M (he is the head of the art department). So, I will have a very heavy schedule and work load in the upcoming weeks. By October, it will be busy, and by November I will be slammed with exciting work! On Friday, I met with my Educators Abroad supervisor Mr. T, and we went over my first impressions, adjustments, observations, and expectations of the program. Everything has been a success thus far.