7:22 PM

I Want To Ride My Bicycle

Posted by Melody

The title today is from a song by one of my favorite bands, can you name them without Googling it?

For breakfast this morning, I ordered the fried eggs and the full breakfast with yogurt, grapefruit juice, whole wheat toast, and coffee. Right after she placed my order, Chase comes in and orders the cheese toast. I meant to get that because it looks really good and super cheesy. I can't wait to try it in the morning!

Alright, so funny story. When I asked the lady taking my order if she could have the chef bust the yolk of my egg, she first did not realize what I meant by "bust it". Then I started saying a bunch of different synonyms so she would understand me. I finally found one that meshed with UK egg vocabulary. All was well with the world, and I did not have to die a little inside at the sight of a runny egg. Then she noticed how I pronounced the "L" in yolk. I guess British people say "yoke."

After breakfast, we all sat around and had tea (or coffee) with our conversation. I put brown sugar in my tea because it makes it warmer tasting. I have no clue why or how, it just does.

Andy told us to get our backpacks because he was going to give us our bikes. The kid in me has been long awaiting these bike assignments. I follow a lady's blog who posts about European fashion all the time. In every picture of a bike and a lady, there is a basket, and sometimes a little dog. Therefore, I was secretly hoping that our bikes had baskets on them, but they did not. I actually did a quick little search later in the day, torture I know, for bicycle baskets so I could see how much they were. While browsing, I came upon the most adorable picture with the cutest little bicycle basket...

An owner with his westie donning a beautiful bicycle basket...


Alf would look stunning in a bicycle basket. The plaid pattern and black Scottish Terriers just go together. Even the Scottie cookies from yesterday seemed to think so as well.

As I was anxiously waiting on Andy to come in and give us our bike assignments, I decided to pack my sandwich for lunch. Andy finally comes into the annex and tells us to go out and get a bike. Everyone chose their bike and we started ringing the bells and playing around. I have a very high pitched bell, pitched on C (ah, the curse of the music major to make something musical out of everything), which I took every opportunity to ring...many many times.

Andy told us to ride around the hotel until the tech guys came to install our Dongles. Dongle = mobile broadband. Some of the more adventurous students went to the main road and rode around. I went to the sidewalk bike lane and rode around the block a few times. I was so happy. I have not been on a bike for over 7 years, so this was a special treat for me. I think it is a safe bet to say that I was definitely the most enthused about getting a bike.

Tech guys came and we all loaded up into the annex. We sat there while they dealt with the school laptops to install the software needed to run the things. I got a little bored just sitting there, so I added some thoughts to my outline for my thesis. Once the installation was finished, we had a short break for lunch.

I went upstairs and took a nap because I kind of did not sleep all night...or any of it for that matter. I figured that an hour would help me reset enough to where I could understand where I was going on a bike. I woke up and hopped on my bike to go down the road with the group to the church where we are attending our classes. Biking was so much easier than I thought. The vast majority of the roads here are level. There was one hill coming up the subway ramp that was just a little bitty bit breathtaking, but I just switched to a lower gear and kept on a truckin'.

I think the thing that scared me the most today about biking on the road was that the double decked buses took up the entire lane; minus the double yellow lines that we were on. I could literally feel the wind from the buses and cars. It was startling me on the inside, but I was a calm, cool cucumber on the outside.

We get to the church and lock all of our bikes up together. Today was a free study day. Mainly the point of coming to the church today was to give us an orientation on how to come before actual real classes started. We stayed from 2pm until 6pm. I realized that we all have a lot of work to do before we leave this weekend for one of our many side excursions.

I talked to Andy about the various aspects to my thesis and the observation part of it. I did some research on possible schools and local teacher training colleges in the area that I could go observe and interview for my thesis. I typed an e-mail up to send to the teacher training schools and passed it forward to my primary supervisor so she could check it over. She was originally from England, so she understands how to talk and interact with the British culture more than I.

Curse of the music major? It is true. While we were all reading, we think a lot of people were playing Jumanji upstairs above us. They were stomping very rhythmically in a steady two-beat pattern, and the vibrations of something in the room was taking on a triplet pattern with every beat. Only music majors would notice something like that.

I had my first bite of lunch around 4:30pm. Most of the group soon left after that to get something to eat. Dr. Stephenson was leaving for the hotel, so I decided to go back with her...especially since it was dark outside. It really wasn't all that bad of a ride. I actually really liked it. I figured out tonight why they told us to bring a small flashlight. The headlight on the front of our bikes is meant to be more of a "I'm here" type thing, instead of actually lighting up paths. Carrying a flashlight...more of a reason to have a basket! The dream never dies.

I noticed when I got back that there is a hospitality tray in our room. We have a water boiler, instant coffee, teabags, brown and cane sugar, Splenda, little creamers (it says whole milk on the package), and little cups and saucers. I fixed myself some tea and I am now sipping on it. Warms a soul right up chipper I say. Hehe!

I am getting up around 7am tomorrow to get ready to go volunteer at the church. They have lunches on Friday for people with mental health issues. It is a good thing all around.

Goodnight poppets!

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