1) Nicaragua was wonderful. I can’t believe how many things we did in three and a half days. We took a tour of Granada, during which we saw numerous neoclassical Catholic churches, went to Masaya and saw traditional dancing and part of the Passion, walked through and shopped in several different markets (some aimed at tourists, others more for locals), visited an afterschool program (where I met a super cool six year old), looked into a volcano crater and coughed from all of the sulfur, met an indigenous potter and watched him do his work (P.S. Suzanne, I have a mug for you and all of your tea/cake), danced until one of us got very drunk (Not me. I promise.), took part in a traditional procession for Palm Sunday, attended Mass, ate on the waterfront of Lake Nicaragua, and ate more ice cream than I’ve eaten in the past two months. Below are a few of the best shots I took. Sadly, my camera’s battery ran out on Friday, so I didn’t take any pictures Saturday or Sunday, but luckily my friends got plenty of shots. While I’m not a fan of going to a country and being super touristy all the time, it was good to be one for a few days.
2) Remember that time back in January of 2012 when I said I wanted to be Montessori teacher when I grew up? Well… guess where I’ll be student teaching next semester…
In a Montessori school. The Philadelphia Montessori Charter School to be exact, which means I’m not just getting Montessori teaching experience, but also urban teaching experience. Feeding two birds with one scone. Perfect. I’ll hopefully be in the 1st-3rd grade classroom, since this is the age I want to be Montessori certified in. Words can’t describe how happy I was when I saw the email from my education advisor with the news. This has been my first choice school for over a year now, and to finally know that I’ll actually get to be there for ten weeks next fall really is a dream come true. And it’s a perfect site for my thesis research. Make that three birds, one scone.
3) Speaking of my thesis… I received summer funding! Which means I can do a comprehensive lit review on my topic, begin to analyze all of my data from Costa Rica, and generally get a good start on it this summer so I won’t be so stressed out about it this coming fall, when I’ll be essentially working full time. The grant I received was the one I thought I had the best chance of receiving. It’s called the Joanna Rudge Long ’56 Award in Conflict Resolution and the official description is:
The Joanna Rudge Long’56 award is given to an undergraduate of Swarthmore College for a summer research project or summer internship “relating to the acquisition of skills in peaceful conflict resolution by elementary school age or younger children.”
Research projects may be designed and implemented by students or may be conducted in collaboration with faculty members of Swarthmore College or from other (academic or research) institutions.
Proposals may be for internships in established agencies or organizations that have programs, or are in the process of forming programs, specifically relating to the acquisition of skills in peaceful conflict resolution by elementary school age or younger children.
AKA It’s a grant specifically designed for researching little people and peace. I love my college.