I’M IN ENGLAND!

Lisa:

Hi all! I’m back in England for the next 2 weeks so here’s my blog entry on my new blog!

Originally posted on The Life of A Midwestern:

Yes that’s right I’m home. Not my home away from home or my second home but I. Am. Home.

I have never felt so happy to be here. The plane ride sucked because I just wanted it to be that moment where I was leaving the terminal to find Mike waiting for me. That didn’t happen this time actually! You have no idea how much excitement was built up to see my husband (yes it’s still weird to say that) and find he was still trying to find a parking spot.

So while I nearly fell asleep in Revolution waiting for my food and a few times while cuddling Mike. I was extremely happy.

I walked into the house to the lovely smell of the house. I can only describe it as a mix between soap and fresh linen. Oh yeah and just before I walked into the house I…

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Hello!

Hello Ladies and Gents!

 

I just thought I’d say if any of you are wondering where I am. I have two other blogs!

One is my wedding blog

http://mikerandlisahwedding.wordpress.com/

The other is my new blog since my old one was only meant to be for when I was in the UK, I’m state side now and have been for a few months. There isn’t many updates but there are a few. I’ve been trying to update when there is something to talk about.

http://littlemissprissblog.wordpress.com/


New Blog

Okay I created a new blog. I couldn’t stay away for long. I just have urges now to write on here and I must give to them.

So if you want to follow me on my other blog, it’s littlemissprissblog.wordpress.com

I’m working on it at the moment so it’s not quite finished. I should have a new blog update on there this week.


Welcome Home?

So I’m home now. I got home safe. Though it doesn’t really feel like home anymore.

I have to say it has been so weird being back. I came home and the smell in the house was unfamiliar and not that pleasant. It was probably a mixture of stale cigarette smoke and the smell of animals. My room for the most part didn’t look that different. Just had a load of stuff my mom put in there but hadn’t gotten around to putting away. I filled two bags yesterday of stuff I want to get rid of. One was trash the other was clothes for donation. As soon as today is over with I’ll be working on the desk filled with my mom’s stuff so I have spot to put things. Do really wish I had cable in my room again. The converter box my parents had been disconnected since I wasn’t here and they got me something to watch basic cable with but the damn thing turned off on its own last night to save energy and I haven’t been able to get it on again. I got two litter boxes in my room now. I don’t think I need two in here but what can ya do?

My flight home was hell. I was stuck between two people. One was a nice English woman who I didn’t speak to much but was kind. The other was some American guy that didn’t say two words to me and kept writing stuff down and making charts and drawings and wouldn’t stop moving around! I couldn’t watch the inflight movie which I had a feeling would happen but I couldn’t really pull out my laptop to watch one of the two films I got. I did watch them when I got home but I read a book, did some word searches and listen to music most of the time on the flight.

As far as me crying I did okay until I got on the plane from Chicago to St. Louis. I was having an issue with getting to my seat. I thought I was looking at the right one but I’m beginning to wonder if I was one row off. Anyway I ended up being the last one seated and had a flight attendant get a bit snippy with my row since they were letting me in. I felt it was unnecessary. That set me off with missing Mike. Then I when I saw my mom I was set off again. Yesterday I did okay for the most part but that would be cause I kept myself busy. But today I have feeling it’s going to be hard. I’d much rather just stay home and hid under the covers but we’re going to my aunts. I almost want to drive myself so I can go home when I want to but it’s been over a year since I drove.

I’m finding that I don’t really know what to do with myself. Beyond cleaning my room there’s not much to do. I’ve watched a few films, cleaned parts of the house while my parents were at work. Looked at wedding stuff online and for the venue and did do a little job searching. I don’t really know where to start with the job searching, I’m looking at retail stuff but also library work but I don’t want to do too much searching before I go see my former boss that has offered to help look at my resume.

I supposed to hang out with a friend and one of my bridesmaids on Sunday. I don’t know what to do. It’s really hard to do anything when you have no money. I do about 25 dollars but that’s it. And I’d rather use it on something I need. Plus I got stuff I need to get and I wonder if I should wait for that.

Anyway I might do some cleaning before we go.

Oh yeah my cat Indy (who I swear not only lost weight but shrunk!) has been so happy to have me back. She looked shocked when I came home but has been staying with me most of the time. Twice I’ve woken up at 4am with her sleeping right on top of my bladder, which has also make my need to pee more needed. My jet lag is kind of eh. Tuesday I took a nap when I got home and then went to bed after like 10 but I was awake at 4am, got up to go to the bathroom and wasn’t able to go back to sleep. Last night I went to bed at 9:30 and then stayed in bed after I woke up. I don’t remember if I fell back to sleep but I was up at 7. I have been taking it easy.

Anyway this might be my last post on here. I need to get sorted and then I think about the other blog. Hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving.


Farewell England!

So my last day in England.

I got my dissertation on Saturday. Got to see my marks and comments. Of course got a little annoyed with some of it. One thing I wasn’t surprised with was some of the comments were repeats. I guess I just didn’t get what he wanted me to do. Either way it’s over with.

I’ve packed pretty much everything I can. There are a few things I have to leave behind. Hopefully some of it can fit in Mike’s bags when he comes otherwise it will just stay here or can be shipped to me if I really miss it.

I’ve not been as emotional or weepy as I thought I would be. But it’s a bit different this time. I know I’m going to see him at Christmas and even though it is quite a bit away I’ll see him in the Fall when we get married. The first two times when I saw him first and then he came to see me I started crying a few days before the end of the trip because I wanted more time with him. I remember after I dropped him off at the airport the first time I had to run to the bathroom so I could cry. I’m one of those people who hates to let others see me cry especially complete strangers so I prefer to weep in private. It was kind of funny cause I got to a point where I thought I was okay enough to leave the stall and a song came on and it was so freaking sad that it got me started all over again. Finally I thought I need to go home at least I can lock myself up in my room and cry! My mom didn’t understand why I was so upset cause I was going to see him again but it was the fact I hate being separate from him! Even when I was in Leeds I thought I preferred to be at his. Granted his house had a lot of benefits that my student studio didn’t have including silence at night!

I had a nice weekend. Friday we watched a few films together, Saturday we spent some quality time together before he had to go to a brass band concert and then we had people over as a last time game night. I’ve really been glad to get to know and become friends with some of Mike’s friends. I’ll be glad to see them again at the wedding. I even got a card today from one of his friends and his wife. Mike’s godmother gave me an early Christmas present of American money when I returned her books she lent me. Sunday we went to Bronte Country and I got see the house they lived in that was turned into a museum. I wish I could have taken photos but there was no photography or video allowed. I really enjoyed it and it made me want to read the books I have and the ones I don’t have yet. I think my favorite was Jane Eyre. I remember when we were in the car and saw the moors I kept thinking about Jane traveling through them when she left Mr. Rochester before coming to her cousins’ place.

Then there was Anne Bronte’s Agnes Grey when she was in Scarborough. I got to see what she saw going down the large hill to the beach (granted with a ton of arcades that weren’t Victorian). That’s one of the biggest things I’ve loved about these novels I can visual what they saw when they were writing the manuscripts.

Anyway I’m getting distracted. I really enjoyed it there obviously lol We looked around some shops. I finally got to try a macaron (the french kind not the coconut kind) it was a mini one. It was vanilla with marzipan in the middle. Mike had a chocolate one. I’m definitely going to have to start making them. We went to dinner at a restaurant I quite like and have been wanting to go to but it seems that they have gone down in the service and quality. Almost every time we’ve gone they’ve been out of food. It’s kind of surprising really if they’re that popular. But I enjoyed my lamb shank pie and churros sundae. I also had my very last glitterberry J20, it’s only around during the holidays and it tastes like cherry jolly ranchers.

Today I got a visit from the neighbor across the road. She was giving me a send off and we were talking about marriage and family. I can’t wait to see her again next year.

I’m going to miss Grey like crazy though. I picked him up earlier and thought I need to snuggle him a lot today and I nearly let loose the waterworks. I’ve got some quality time in with Mogs and Minnie as well. I wonder if Minnie will act weird now that I won’t be there. Mogs won’t be as bothered I’m sure but I wonder she’ll be afraid of me again the next time I’m around. I at least got to give her belly a good rub and a nice chin scratch.

I don’t know what I’m going to do when I get home. I did warn my mom I might be a bit tired and crabby. I’ll be glad to see Indy again. Things should be okay, I’ll just have to get used to everything again.

And before I know it Christmas will be here and I’ll have my most wanted present, Mike. :)

I might write another entry or two once I’m home again. But this is the end really. I’ve really enjoyed writing this blog and been happy to get more followers. I don’t think I ever expected to get so many people liking it and coming back for more. Hopefully they will like whatever I come up with next. :)

It’s been a great year.


My Review of Leeds Metropolitan University

I was thinking about doing this the other day when I went to Leeds and came home empty-handed. But at the time I was quite angry and thought maybe I should figure things out first before I continue this. But since then I thought I do need to get my opinion out there and say what I think of this school.

Now my perspective is from the point of an English-speaking international student. And one who wasn’t there during the week or two they had set out for international students welcome.

I have to say, I am extremely disappointed in my experience. For what I spent coming over and trying to understand things since it is very different from what I am used to, it definitely could have been better.

Now my first semester I was assigned a kind of course supervisor. I can’t remember the exact term but we met once a week the first semester. But before that all started I was supposed to meet with her my first day on campus to get familiar with a few things. First when I went to her office, she wasn’t there yet and we were set to meet at a certain time. Then she kind of explained a few things to me as far as the classes go but when it came to understand other things, she wasn’t really helpful. I was expected to know how things work or ask questions but then I didn’t know what to ask considering I had just been there for about 5 minutes. She walked me to my first class and introduced me to a few people, the majority of us there weren’t from England is the funny thing. At least not originally. And I think I was one of three whose first language was English, the other two in the class were English.

So there I was not really prepared for my class because I didn’t know what I needed material wise and sitting in a room full of people I didn’t know.

I was terrified!

By the end of that semester I knew all of the people because we either talked or had other classes together. A few I did make friends with as well. But being a shy person I just wanted to find a rock to hide under at the time. That particular class was fun actually, we all made websites that held a certain interest to us. We could pair up or work on our own. I had decided to work on my own. The reason I mention this is because there were two guys who paired together and made a website to help people understand how things work when coming to England. I thought it was a fantastic idea and was surprised that no one, not even the school really, had thought of this. It’s bad enough that I struggled with some things but for someone who can’t speak or understand English very well, it’s even harder. I wish I could remember the website because I would have liked to see if they continued with it.

Now the course supervisor we had for the semester, didn’t actually ever explain to us if we would meet during the second semester or talk any more about the group of us meeting up later for events or outings after the initial talk of planning it early in the semester. It was disappointing since a lot of us wanted to get together but our planner never planned anything. I ended up finding out about what my schedule was online for the second semester after many unsuccessful visits to her office and to the admissions telling me that there was nothing scheduled but I had to talk to her to find out for sure. Well it wasn’t for lack of trying!

Then there was my dissertation supervisor. At first I was actually really excited about it because I quite liked the guy. He taught one module early on before two other lecturers took over and when he found out I was American he used to go to me for answer to American things. (Things that I generally didn’t know much about but I pretended to lol). He also used to be a part of the librarianship course that was once taught at Leeds Met but then it got thrown in with the course I took since it could be cut to fit what you needed it for. Some of the classes I was rather disappointed in since they were so general, I felt they weren’t enough for the librarian/archivist part I wanted to focus on. I learned a lot but I had to focus my dissertation on the librarian/archivist side in order to really find what I needed/wanted. I met with my supervisor a LOT! I think we met every two weeks unless there was an issue. And then when we would meet he’d want to see what I was working on. At first he’d shred it to bits and when I worked on the stuff he wanted, he’d start nit-picking at little things. Little things I wondered if they really mattered. I was expected to write at a certain level that I knew I was far below besides writing standards are quite different in the states, even if he didn’t believe me. I didn’t know how to do any better with my writing because unless it’s pointed out to me, I don’t really see it. I had missed a chance to go to a report writing class in the first semester which was my fault but then I never found out about any others.

It got to the point where I was actually dreading each visit because I had to brace myself for what he was going to say and it rarely was positive. One day I felt so low afterwards I actually went into the closest bathroom and cried. I know I don’t always handle criticism well and I tend to be extra sensitive about things but it was getting to the point where I felt like I couldn’t do anything right. Even when he liked something he still found something else to have an issue with, even if it was a word he wanted changed because it didn’t sound right.

So to find that my dissertation got such a low (but passing) grade was the final blow. I needed to know what it was I didn’t do. I’m going home in less than a week and I still don’t know! It’s been several weeks since the grades have gone in and when I went to the reception desk where I turned it in (another thing I had to find out about from someone, I wasn’t told where to turn in assignments!) there were lots there but not mine. There was only one other student he was a supervisor for besides me so it’s not like there were a lot to turn in. I was told he hasn’t turned in anything for dissertations. So I contacted the secondary supervisor as well as him after I left campus that day to ask about it and tell them I’m leaving.

I thought my wasted trip was going to be redeemed by him offering to send it to me. I told him the address I was at until Tuesday and then the American address after that. He said he would send it to Huddersfield and I thought, oh thank God! I emailed the second supervisor to let her know things were figured out so she didn’t have to worry. But then today I get an email saying my dissertation has been dropped off at the reception desk and was given an apology for the added stress and a small explanation.

So now I don’t know if it is being mailed to me. I did just send an email to verify what he meant. But I did say I could not make it to Leeds due to the rest of my money being spent on train and bus fare earlier this week. I had enough to buy my train ticket to the airport but I think I have less than 5 pounds in my bank account. Not even enough to draw money out from a machine. I could take what’s left in there out and close the account but I wanted to leave a little bit in just in case. So I’m kind of having a WTF moment.

I just kind of feel like it’s been one thing after another with this school.

Now there have been people who have been extremely helpful when it comes to issues I’ve had. The admin office for the postgraduates have been there when I needed them. They answered questions for me, I’ve been able to change a class thanks to them and they’ve also been able to confirm details I gave them that I couldn’t change online. I also had thought the research practice teachers were very helpful. They taught us what we needed to know and answered questions as best they could whether it was in person or by email. Sadly one of them retired so people won’t be able to rely on him anymore for help. There were also a few others but they were ones I never really felt close to, they just had a generally friendly and easy-going attitude.

These are the types of people who try to be as helpful as they can and are fully there for their job. I wish there were more of them out there for the international students. I really feel that if there was more done to reach out to the international students and more care for those that aren’t familiar with the system (or even just realize, they’re not used to this, they might need some help) it would be a much better experience. It really does matter if people care or not because it shines through in their performance.

I don’t know if I would have chosen Leeds Met again if I had the chance. I know I wouldn’t choose my accommodation again! I would have saved loads lol But there’s not much to be done now. So it’s one of those life lessons that you can take something away from and then move on. So that’s what I’m going to do.

 

UPDATE: I am getting my dissertation mailed to me. For some odd reason he decided to listen to what the receptionist told him rather than what we talked about considering the receptionist misunderstood that I could not come in next week to pick my dissertation up since I was leaving Tuesday. And I did tell him I had no money. Anyhow I had to contact the receptionist to ask for it to be mailed. So now the whole mess that shouldn’t have happened is now cleared up and I will see my dissertation. Whether or not it’s before I leave for home is another thing but at least I will see it.


So Much Stuff, So Few Bags!

So I’m going through stuff that I want to pack and I’m realizing I just don’t have the room.

I only have two bags and two carry on and it’s just not enough to hold everything. I don’t think I realized how much I had here. Some of it is stuff I asked my mom to send me and I’m beginning to regret it since I don’t have the room. I got tons of shoes that I haven’t worn but asked to be sent and three pairs are converse. I love converse shoes. My first pair was some high top flames that I had been coveting. I stupidly got rid of them a few years ago cause I got unwanted attention from wearing them at church a few times. I was only a teenager but was easily influenced. I think the last time I wore them was to my prom (which I still love that I did) and then got rid of them. They didn’t really go with anything anyway but I loved them still. I got a grey, purple and green pair at the moment. I used to wear them all the time back in St. Louis but then I wasn’t using my feet as my main point of transportation. They are not walking shoes at least the canvas Chuck Taylors aren’t. But I’ve also acquired two new pairs that I can’t live without. They are nice and I can just slip them on and wear them anywhere, dress up or down or just to put out the trash. So I’m beginning to wonder if I should get rid of my chucks. I hate the idea of doing so cause I once wanted to own a pair in every color. It might be one of the many things I asked to be sent back to me or a few things I ask Mike to bring with him at Christmas.

Then there’s a few other things. I got coffee mugs, figures, an antique musical jewelry box, a blanket that was my grandmother’s and I’ve had since she passed away 13 years ago but is falling apart terribly.  I also got a ton of books I’ve acquired as well. I’ve tried hard not to buy books when I’ve been here but when I see a classic that’s on my list of books to read I end up buying it. I think I got the entire collection of Sherlock Holmes books for about £1.50. I have yet to read those because my list has become so long.

I think some of the mugs I’m just keeping here until I either come back for them or ask for them to be sent. My jewelry box I won’t be sure about until I go back home. I do have one more back to pack and I might find I have room for things like some photos or a few books. The shoes are just material things, I’m a lot different now than I used to be and might find I don’t miss them.

But my grandma’s blanket is another thing. I don’t know what to do. It is falling apart so I can’t really use it and I don’t think it’s even repairable. I stopped using it last year around this time because I realized I couldn’t keep washing it without it shedding more and more of its material. I’ve also gotten used to not having a small blanket handy when I get cold though it might be different when I go home. I wouldn’t mind a new one. It’s really hard to say at the moment. I do still have a week before I leave.

I booked my ticket and got my first class train ticket (I’m not dragging four things of luggage with me to fight for a seat in standard.) It really overwhelmed earlier just finding things I can pack now. Luckily I was home alone and could have a good cry. I haven’t really had a chance to cry. Last night and Friday while I was in bed I did well up but I couldn’t really let it out for fear of waking Mike. Leaving him or watching him go has been the hardest thing for me to deal with. I just want to stay with him and that be it. But we got about a year a part to deal with before the wedding and who knows how longer after we’re married. We need to meet certain requirements as far as immigration goes either way.

Anyway don’t mind me as I question what to do. I know things will get better I just need to allow myself to be upset. I don’t want to build it up. I also don’t think it’s truly hit me yet. At least I get Mike for Christmas :)


Meet Me in St. Louis

My time here has an expiry date.

My flight out of England has been booked. And I got mixed feelings.

I’m coming home on the 20th and will be home just days in time of Thanksgiving celebrations. I’ll be seeing friends and family I haven’t seen in person in over a year and I’m pretty sure my cat will be jumping for joy.

But then I’m leaving behind the life I’ve gotten used to here, my new cat Grey who won’t know where I’ve gone and Mike my fiancé. Thankfully I’ll be seeing Mike at Christmas. And I know I’m coming back here. I just hate that a lot of things are coming to an end.

Like this blog for instance. This blog was only meant to be for my year here but I’m finding I quite enjoy it. I like putting stuff on here and sharing it. I find that little things like my photos and when I talk about my cats get a lot of notice. Photos I wasn’t that surprised by but the cats yes! lol

I am planning on having a different blog after this. I already got my wedding one up. I don’t know what to make the focus of my next one to be. I don’t mind it being about me and having it as a general blog. But then there’s the design and layout and the name of the blog and how often I want to update it.

There is one thing I want to crab about though. STA Travel. I have only used it once before this. It wasn’t for student prices I don’t think. Maybe it was but I first used it to get a flight home to St. Louis after going to Minnesota for week with a friend. She was staying cause it was her mom’s house and I had to come back to go to work. I had to call them because I didn’t know until a few days before I left that I deleted my flight ticket from my email. They claimed I needed a student card to prove I was a student because if I didn’t they ask for proof and I didn’t have any. I got the stupid card and it was never asked for and I never used it for the whole year I had it.

So back to today when I was trying to buy my ticket at a student price. I went all the way through until I got to a point where it was asking me for an ISIC card. I didn’t have one and I wasn’t about to pay for one to prove I was still a student. So I had to go back and redo everything and tweak things as far as not going one way (if you don’t know already, if you get a one way flight ticket, it will cost you more than getting round trip ticket) even though I’m not coming back to England for a year. So it was more expensive than the student price but it was less expensive than the other sites I was looking at. I guess I should start going through stuff and seeing what to keep here and what to take with me. I think I’m going to have to pay for a second bag but it is actually a lot cheaper than I thought. Just got to make sure it is under the weight limit.

Don’t think I will ever get anything through STA Travel again though. It really is a scam to demand a card from someone who has student ID as well as a passport that says I’m here on student visa. Oh well it’s all done now. Wish me luck! I’m not a very calm traveller when it comes to planes. I don’t think it’s the plane ride but the trying to get to the area in time and making the next flight. The biggest problem I might have in the flight is motion sickness and I’m out of my motion sickness pills. I’m sure I can get some though. See you soon St. Louis!


Guy Fawkes Day

Last week was rough. I’ve been going through a lot lately and been having trouble communicating with people so when I do it comes off wrong or I just end up losing it. I’ve been quite emotionally and I think it’s because of me not knowing if I’m leaving soon or not. There are a few other things but mostly it’s the question of when am I leaving?

I found out my grade for my dissertation finally. I’m happy to say that I passed though not with flying colors. At least I’m done, at least I can say I now have a masters, but until I pick up my dissertation up it’s going to be bugging me about why I got the grade that I did. I can say now that my supervisor was quite hard on me for a lot of things. I do wonder if the English was not up to par but then I would think that shouldn’t account for such a large part of the grade. I don’t know really since I really thought I was doing what he wanted. I know he had to nit pick a lot since he couldn’t find a lot he had issues with but I don’t know.

Anyway it’s Guy Fawkes Day and I wanted to share a little something with ya.

 

“Remember remember the fifth of November

Gunpowder treason and plot.

I see no reason why gunpowder, treason

Should ever be forgot…”

 

I’m more than sure I probably shared this last year and with V for Vendetta having come out there’s not many who don’t know what it is that I’m talking about.

However there might be a few. So Guy Fawkes was with a group of men in the early 1600s who were conspiring to blow up Parliament but was caught while he was guarding the explosives. The group was called the Gunpower Plot. I don’t think he was the only one that was caught but I can’t remember. However we were discussing the other night that one thing was for certain, we couldn’t want to die the way he did. Hung, drawn and quarter is not a nice way to go, but he pissed off the King and had to be made an example of I guess.

There are many that might say that we need a Guy Fawkes now with the way the government is going. We definitely need something.

Anyhow it might not be known in America that on the 5th of November bonfires are made all over the place in celebration of the failure of the plot. Fireworks are allowed to be shot off and if you don’t go to a large bonfire, many people just have one of their own. We tried it this year but the fire didn’t last long and we just ate inside until we shot off fireworks. Though I wonder if many have the bonfires in memory of Guy Fawkes since he’s not really considered a villan now. Just food for thought.

©Lisa Helker


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