Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Day I Am Trying to Catch You Up

This post has actually been titled differently each day I've sat down to write it: The Day I Realized I've Been Here a Week, The Day I Bought Towels and Sheets, The Day I Toured Sheffield Hallam University, The Day I Lost My Mascara, The Day I Made Tacos, The Day I Got a Blockbuster Video Membership Card (yes, it's true folks) so, you see, it's just been an exciting few days since I've last posted. So much has been going on that I've not had a second to stop and write. So now, I've got one hour before Starbucks closes (yes, I'm at Starbucks because it's free wifi and I feel like a nut in a pub with my computer out stealing wifi while everyone else enjoys a pint and good company.)

So today I wake up to rock bands and singers and loudspeakers coming through my flat window. I live next to Sheffield's Botanical Gardens, and I knew something was coming from there. I had read in the Sheffield Telegraph about the upcoming Arts in the Park, but didn't clue in that it was today for some reason. After a quick breakfast, I packed my camera, computer, water bottle, and notebook and headed up my street instead of down. If I haven't complained about it yet, I will now. Sheffield is built on "seven hills." Fortunately, my mile and half walk into Sheffield Hallam is fairly level (and I'm now understanding the bus routes a little better), but most of the time I'm walking up and down hills to get where I'm going. Scratch that, most of the time I'm walking uphill both ways.

So I get to the top of the hill (not far, really) and see what I understand the locals to call "Teddy." This is King Edward VII School. I will be contacting them for some observations (which I've learned I need to call them "sit ins" because observation strikes a chord of "evaluation", which is SOOOO true, even in America.) Heck, maybe I'll just ask for a tour! I will be glad when my approval to get into these schools as a visitor gets back to me, which could be another week or so.
Do you think students at Teddy are more excited than our students to learn because they go to school in such a fascinating, old, gloriously English (okay, "Roman") structure? Ha. Yeah, I don't either.

 So, walking on...down Clarkehouse Road, I also run across Sheffield High School, established in 1878. Is this the school for you?

I finally made it to the Botanical Gardens where the Arts in the Park was happening. Here are a few pictures:

There were local/area artists set up inside painting, drawing, and chatting with people. I spoke with at least four, and got some great tips on local things to see and pubs to visit. Including the "crooked spire", Bolsover Castle, and the Thursday morning market in Chestershire, about a 20-minute train ride away. My "to do" list keeps growing.

This artist took a picture of what she's drawing because she couldn't bring physically bring in the flowers, but she wanted specifically to draw them because her daughter-in-law sent them to her. I love people.

My lunch, from a local farmer. Roasted pork sandwich with stuffing (think Thanksgiving,) and apple sauce.

I never stopped to read the signs for this area, but I was drawn to it over and over again. That's because it's their "North American Prairie Land" tribute. Which, as they put it, is now covered in corn. So true. But this area did remind me of our gardens in southern Mo.'s taken me an hour just to upload what few pics I have and now it's closing time at Starbucks. I'm headed out to meet my Fulbright buddy, Steve, who gave me these options for the night: eat at a new restaurant, see a movie, or stay in and wash my hair (me only, which I need to do, but I'll opt for dinner.) Enjoy...I'll try to post another tomorrow.