So that’s that then! I am a fully qualified conductor!
Still weird to say it. But I am enjoying being introduced to the kids’ parents as a conductor. I am proud to hold that title, I have such respect for conductive education and what conductors do.
It is apparently something of a novelty that I am an American conductor. Although most people seem to think I am English (silly hybrid accent).
My past few months have been … something.
We handed in our dissertations in April. I wrote on the benefits of heterogeneity in conductive groups. I enjoyed the project overall, though it was tough getting it all together there at the end.
Just after finishing off my dissertation my mom and sisters came to visit! Which was amazing! I loved being able to show them my UK home and introduce them to friends and James’ family. It was a whirlwind trip with 9 days spread across Birmingham, Cardiff, London, and Stratford.
Whilst they were around we had an engagement/going away party for James and me, which was great. We got lucky and had a beautiful day and loads of lovely friends and family came out.
After my family left and I had finished my dissertation I quickly got bored so went back to Cardiff for an extra week in placement at Craig y Parc. Love, love, love Craig y Park (or as Hannah and I affectionately call it, Craggers).
After I got back I was soon off again, with James’ family to Devon. We spent several days in a cabin on the coast. So, so nice to get away and relax a bit and spend time with family.
After we got back I headed back to Cardiff for my hen do (bachelorette party) which my amazing housemate threw for me. Was really good fun. We conquered the high ropes course on Go Ape (some of us conquered, some of us faltered a bit :P), enjoyed afternoon tea at Waterloo Tea Rooms (highly recommend!), had dinner and games and hung out for the evening.
I officially graduated at the end of May. I was able to attend the ceremony which was great! Initially I was going to miss it because I had to be in Chicago for work but fortunately they moved the ceremony up so all of us international students could be there. I am missing my group, we got through a lot together over the past three years. It was certainly always interesting. We have gone our separate ways, one of us to Canada, one to the US, a couple in the UK, and a couple in transition.
After graduation it was a flurry of seeing people and saying really horrible gut-wrenching goodbyes to close friends who feel more like family. James and I spent the week between graduation and me leaving seeing people every evening. I’m not going to think about it, cause it makes me sick.
Between saying goodbyes and finishing some coursework for my psych degree I packed up all of my worldly belongings into a couple suitcases and a backpack. I flew out on May 30th. A non-eventful trip, which is generally good!
Upon landing, having traveled for nearly 24 hours, I changed in the airport bathroom and headed straight to a friend’s wedding with my sister. It was a beautiful wedding between two amazing people and I was so, so happy to be there with them. (We were a few minutes late so when we walked in my friend and her dad were standing at the end of the hall across from us ready to walk in! My friend laughed, she knew I was coming straight from England, and motioned for me to get into the sanctuary quick before they walked in!)
Got home that evening pretty shattered but excited to see my family! Some of whom I had not seen in over 9 months. I got to spend about a week with them. They are just great. While I was home I renewed everything that had expired while I was gone (license, debit card, phone, etc) and sorted some wedding stuff. (I went out once and tried to pay when the waiter ran my card and told me, “Sorry, this card is expired … 8 months expired.” Oops..)
All too quickly it was time to pack up again, this time for Chicago, where I am currently. I am working here for 2 months (living in a hotel!), doing the summer program at the Center for Independence through Conductive Education. So far I’ve done a week and a day and am loving it!
Yesterday I turned in my final assignment towards my bachelor’s degree in psychology and counseling. So I have officially completed that degree as well. It’s been pretty difficult this year juggling 2 degrees, practical placement, wedding planning, visa applications, and a cross-continental move. I am glad that I am on this side of the transition for a lot of those things at this point.
In the coming months I will be working here in Chicago, sneaking in a few visits home, doing more wedding planning, waiting impatiently for James’ visa to process, learning Spanish (trying..), and hopefully doing a bit more blogging now that things are at a more reasonable pace!
Thanks to all of you who have supported me in so many ways across these three years. Excited to see what the next three hold!
Coming soon: 10 Things Conductive Education Has Taught Me.