Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa
Serving it up at Manenberg Primary!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Futbol, fear, and ... papyrus?

Hey everyone!

People have always said that London is a bustling, busy city, and I have definitely adopted that mantra over the last few weeks. I was looking through the pictures I've taken over the last few weeks, and realized that there aren't that many of them ... whoops :)

I visited my first school (or should I say, academy - yes, a post on the British educational system is necessary) yesterday, which was a blast. I had my coffee in hand (funky unicorn mug and everything), so I was ready to go! Do I look like a teacher?

[Taken at 6:53 AM]

But before I make those posts, I wanted to write a post that has little to do with school dinners. This post will talk about Futbol, fear, and papyrus - yes, it's been a busy time to say the least. 

Futbol and Fear

Several of the questions I received while interviewing for the Keegan Fellowship had nothing to do with my research. And no, I am not referring to the, "Tell us about yourself" kind of questions :) Rather, the questions gauged my willingness to experience new things, as well as my curiosity/exploratory nature. I believe the selection committee was looking for someone who would enjoy putting themselves out there. I definitely was not the only applicant to exhibit this - but I can definitively say, I have faced a fear that I thought I would never overcome. Talk about putting myself out there!

Long story short, I had a serious soccer incident in 2009 that ended my soccer career, changed my life trajectory, and instilled in me a significant fear of contact sports. I was a pretty good soccer player, and was seriously considering playing the sport in college. After having knee surgery and physical therapy, I was never able to get back onto the field; whenever people would run at me (regardless of where this was, i.e. on a soccer field, in the school hallway), I instinctively recoiled. I had convinced myself that I would never try soccer again.

Oh ho ho. Last Wednesday, I played soccer for the first time in seven years. Another Vandy alum asked if I could join their intramural team, and my mind immediately screamed, "NO." But for reasons I don't understand, I could hear myself saying out loud, "Sure, I'd love to play." What just happened?! Talk about an out of body experience!

No, I was no longer a skilled player - I made some poor passes, I didn't score any goals. At least I didn't have any own goals! What I did have, though, was this ethereal high at the end of the game: I had faced my fear and played soccer. My knee actually did quite well, despite the cold weather and lack of soccer cleats. 

Though I will not be the next Mia Hamm, perhaps I'll play intramurals back in the US. But that's not the important thing to me. I just love that I can.


This will have to be a quick story because I've got to run! Another thing that I've never tried before is Toastmasters. Toastmasters is a non-profit that helps people become better public speakers and communicators, which I think everyone can benefit from. My Vandy friend took me to the meeting that she went to (at 7 am ... their chapter is called the Toastmasters Early Birds for a reason), and I figured I would sit in the audience and watch as people spoke eloquent speeches! 

Haha. Nope!

There is a section of Toastmasters where people are given random topics to build a 30-60 second impromptu speech off of. Half asleep from being so tired, I was surprised to hear my name called, followed by the word, "papyrus."

Haha, what?! 

Well, I gave a 47 second speech on papyrus, and won the award for the impromptu speeches! Wooo!

[I'm smiling like that to hide the bags under my eyes hehe]

Coming up soon is a post about my first visit to a UK school - get excited! Thanks for reading through this blogpost, I appreciate your support so much. 


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