7/17/2012

The Day I Officially Became a Teacher!

Last Friday, regardless of the fact it was the 13th, there were intense downpours and my feet were blistered, I smiled a big cheesy grin from the moment I woke up until the moment my head hit the pillow. I smiled when the eyelash glue was viciously burning my eyeballs (pain really is beauty people, and anyone who tells you differently is full of LIES!) I smiled when my obnoxious gown continuously slid down my shoulders. I even smiled when the bow on the back of my dress fell into the toilet. In fact, I smiled so much that my cheeks hurt and my eyes twitched. But I didn't care. I didn't care because last Friday was the day, on stage in front of thousands of people, I shook the chancellors hand  and beamed with pride. Last Friday was the day I could finally breathe a sigh of relief as I held my Post Graduate Certificate in Education: Early Years in my very own hands. Last Friday was the day all of that hard work was celebrated as I officially became a teacher. And boy did it feel good.

The weather man had lied to us all week...but what's new. I really don't know why I was surprised to wake up and find it unmercifully pissing down. After all, I am living in England, and last year I had lucked out and enjoyed sunshine, beautiful sunshine, on my graduation day. It was only fair that this year I get a bit of rain. We can't have it all. 6am came quickly, especially as I didn't get to bed until nearly 2. Regardless of 4 hours of sleep, nerves meant that I was surprisingly bubbly and energetic. The hubby, in-laws and myself all took turns sharing the bathroom in our attempts to primp and beautify, and of course there were the usual hiccups. It wasn't long before the hot water had run out, vindictive wrinkles refused to iron out of dress shirts and it only dawned on Carl 10 minutes before we were set to leave that he'd not unpacked or even found his damn dress shoes. Nevertheless, by 8am on the dot we were out the door and quickly posing outside for pictures.
Every year, Liverpool John Moores University holds the week of graduation ceremonies at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral. It is my favorite landmark in the entire city and because I'm a geek and love to share random factoids, I now fully intend to overload you with information you probably won't ever need to use in your lifetime. Nevertheless, (to add to effect please pretend I'm saying the following in an obnoxious squeaky tour guide voice over a muffled speaker) you may be astonished to know that the Anglican Cathedral is one of 2 cathedrals in Liverpool! It is the largest in the UK, the 5th largest in the whole world and took a total of 74 years to build. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, 74 YEARS! In addition to that, it has survived not one, but TWO World Wars! (okay, I'm bored.  I've put my muffled microphone down now...) Silliness aside, I'm so thankful that I've had the opportunity to graduate not once, but twice, in such a beautiful and special building. I love the Anglican Cathedral and it has been so wonderful to experience two of my life milestones in such a fantastic place.
Because I was struggling to hold an umbrella, keep my diploma/degree dry and not fall on my face in heels, I failed to video any of my graduation events. (Boo!) I did, however, manage to stumble upon this video of my graduation day which was posted on JMUs Alumni page. May you watch it now and bask in all of it's wet, Liverpudlian glory!
AND the University also recorded the moment we walked across the stage! The original link requires you search through nearly 2 hours of video to find the moment that I (and my fellow PGCE buddies) get our turn in the spotlight. But Carl has cleverly trimmed it so that it starts right at our degree (Even with a new last name I was first...again...and I was trying SO HARD not to face plant. This explains the awkward smile). You'll notice that it's a bit jumpy, I'm sorry about that. Carl tried to fix that but was unsuccessful. I just wanted to give my family and friends back home the opportunity to see me graduate. I missed you all SO MUCH on Friday and I fought back tears on multiple occasions. Mom and Dad, it truly wasn't the same not having you there. It genuinely made me sad that we never got pictures together and I sincerely missed a hug and kiss from you both. Nevertheless, I hope this crappy pixlated and jumpy video helps you to feel a part of my special day. You were always in my thoughts :)
video
After the graduation ceremony we returned my cap and gown, met with my fellow PGCE friends and family members for a few drinks, and headed back home for a quick unwind and spruce up. I desperately needed to sort my hair-do out before our dinner reservations. I'm not lying when I say that by the time 1pm had rolled around I was well and truly rockin' the curly fro and it wasn't at all flattering. But after attacking my head with a blow dryer and my hair straightener, I was ready to go. Before we headed out the door for dinner Carl took this picture (which is my favorite of the day) of me with my PGCE certificate/diploma. It's a framer. 
For my graduation meal we headed to our favorite Italian restaurant, Ruis. Over the years it's become an Anderson favorite for family events and celebrations. We ordered our usual's, for me their Mushroom Fettuccini Alfredo, for Carl their Chicken Cordon Bleu, for Lynne their Grilled Rump Steak with Peppercorn sauce and for Garry their Mushroom Stroganoff. Our meals were fantastic, and we washed them all down with a bit of celebratory bubbly. 
While we waited for our desserts, I read my beautiful cards and admired my gifts from friends and family. In addition to taking us out for dinner, Lynne and Garry gave me a beautiful crystal necklace (pictured above) which Lynne said she'd chosen in the star shape because I was a 'star pupil'. Seriously, how sweet? I am so spoilt to have such sweet in-laws. It wasn't long before the yummy desserts came and an embarrassing 'congratulations' song was blaring out of the speakers. In all honesty it took us about 890 attempts to light the damn sparklers (as the first lot went out in a record 2 seconds and it was an epic Kodak moment fail) and as I never use lighters, I ended up melting part of my nail. Bahaha! Thankfully, after about 5 minutes Carl was able to get all 4 of the extra sparklers lit. We practically started a small fire in the restaurant, I was embarrassed and blushing because of the corny celebratory song, but in the end we managed to get a good picture, so who the hell cares. 
I truly had an amazing graduation day, and I feel so blessed to have been able to share it with wonderful friends and family. I am SO PROUD of myself and my fellow teachers (YAY!) on such an exciting achievement. I can't believe how fast time has gone and that the next big step for me is my very own class. Yes, you read that right, my VERY OWN class!!! I can barely contain my excitement and I am fighting back the tears just thinking about what the future holds. I'm ecstatic to meet my little kiddies and shape their young minds every day. I truly feel like the luckiest girl in the whole entire world. 

Look out world. Here I come.

15 comments:

  1. Congratulations! Such a great accomplishment.

    Are you planning on starting your teaching career in England or will you be returning to the USA at some point? It's a hard choice; my husband and I are trying to decide whether to move back to England in the next few years or whether we should move elsewhere in the USA.

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    1. Hi Katie!

      The hubby and I are moving back to America within the next couple of weeks :) I'm starting my teaching career back home in Vermont! There are just far more opportunities for us back home and we feel it's a great place to raise kids of our own :)

      Good luck with your decision to head back to England or stay in the states! What other states are you considering? :)

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    2. Thanks! We're thinking of Washington, Oregon or Florida. I'm not sure yet. I kinda want to start a family and raise them around my family in England, so it's hard to let myself get too settled as I have my heart set on moving back.

      Good luck on your move back- how exciting! :)

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  2. Aww I seriously had tears in my eyes when I watched the clip of you getting your degree. I know how hard you worked for this day! Soo proud of you girl!

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    1. Aww, thanks Jen! You're a doll :) xoxo

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  3. Hi , I LOVE your dress. please share where you got it because I may just run and grab it :) I'll be your little mini me :P xoox

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    1. Hi, Cait!

      Aw, thanks lovely! I actually got it here in England from an online shop in London. It was a limited edition dress, but I think you may still be able to purchase it their eBay shop! Here's the link:

      http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LADY-VINTAGE-Audrey-Hepburn-50s-Swing-Dress-with-Belt-in-5-Fab-Prints-Size-8-20-/251054454142?pt=UK_Women_s_Dresses&var=&hash=item3a7402f57e#ht_4129wt_1271

      I got the Mocha and white polka dot :) xoxo

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  4. Here is something you didn't know. Your mother cries just the same watching a video of you graduating or being present. My thoughts were with you as well. I think this is my favorite post yet.

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    1. Aww, Mom. I'm glad you liked this post and it makes me smile to know you enjoyed seeing it :) I think you may have passed on the crying thing because it's my latest fad. Crying over everything. Haha! xoxo

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  5. You look amazing in that dress, Amanda! I am so proud of you! Thanks so much for posting a recap... I feel like I was somehow part of your special day now! Congrats! I know you will be a WONDERFUL teacher! Big hugs and lots of love from this girl :) xoxoxoxo

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    1. Kenz you're such a sweetheart! Thanks babydoll for such a genuinely kind and wonderful comment! Lots of love hunny xoxoxo

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