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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Last School Day with Ursuline High School, Wimbledon

Our last day at Ursuline High School was a memorable one.  The teachers started the day by joining the faculty for the weekly briefing in the staff room.  We were able to convey our heart-felt appreciation for their lovely hospitality by presenting the school with a gift of commemorative tiles featuring Ursuline Academy through the years.  In return, we were delighted to receive a beautiful book about Wimbledon.  Both schools are thrilled with the five years of our partnership and hope for many more.

After the staff meeting the students and teachers were treated to a cooking lesson.  We made delicious English scones, raspberry muffins, and cheese straws.  The girls learned how to measure out the ingredients (the Brits use scales to weigh instead of “cups”), roll out pastry dough , etc.  Not only was it an excellent cooking lesson, the food was divine!  

Once the treats were finished, in true Serviam spirit, we wrapped them up and walked over to Beaumont nursing center.  The girls spent time visiting with the elderly residents, sharing our homemade refreshments, and learning more about the fascinating people who call Beaumont home.  I’m not sure who enjoyed the visit more- the students or the residents!

Finally, we ended the afternoon with a picnic on Wimbledon Common with our English sisters.  The girls even played a spirited game of “rounders” (a cross between softball and cricket) after lunch.  Still not sure what the final score on the game was, but the laughter from the girls seemed to indicate that EVERYONE won today.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Touring Literary London

We had another walking tour through London today, but, this time, the focus was entirely on British literature.  We saw the stomping grounds of Dickens, Keats, and Shakespeare.  The day also included a picnic and afternoon break  in the shadow of the Tate museum and the Millennium Bridge.  We ended the day with a performance of “As You Like It” at the world famous Globe Theatre.  The theatre provided fabulous paper hats for the “groundlings” to keep out the sun.  Despite the fact that we stood for 2.5 hours, we loved the performance and seeing so many of the places that we studied earlier this summer in our Literary London class.

Globe Theatre

Not everyone can look this attractive in paper hats

Peeking out to say "Cheers!" from London

Dr. Baxter enjoys a literary moment in London

Millennium Bridge

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Harry Potter Day in London

It was a magnificent day!  Even though the temperatures set a national record (93 degrees!), we persevered in making it to the Harry Potter Studio.  

We started out the day at our sister school, Ursuline High School,  observing and attending lessons. Later, we visited Wimbledon village for lunch and a brief walk about the high street.  We then took 2 trains and a bus to Watford for our big day visiting the Harry Potter studios. 

The students AND the teachers (even Dr. da Silva who had no previous Potter experience) were very impressed with the detailed sets, props and costumes from the movies.  Many of our students are now actively investigating possible careers in set design and costumes as a result.   The tour ended with the enormous model of Hogwarts that was used in the movies – we all agree that it was the best part.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Day at Ursuline High School

Our England delegation continues to have a wonderful adventures in the UK. Unfortunately, they are experiencing a rather intense heat wave in the UK and, of course, there is very little air conditioning. Despite these challenges, all attitudes remain upbeat and excited about the daily activities.

Today was a special day because our students gave a presentation to the Wimbledon students about life and culture in Texas. The Wimbledon students were particularly interested in the food from Texas and also on the topic of "speaking like a real Texan." Some of our most proper and enthusiastic British sisters are already incorporating "y'all" into their daily expressions!

Another excellent activity at Ursuline High School was the "Bookclub" meeting. The students met to discuss various poems and works of British literature that our UA students studies earlier this summer in their "Literary London" class. Their exchange of ideas was great fun!  

The evening was particularly thrilling because the group went out to the London theatre to see a production of "War Horse." All agreed that it was a superb production and many concluded the evening tearfully from the emotional ending of the play.  


Monday, June 29, 2015

Our Walking Tour of London

Today was a whirlwind trip through London! We started the day with a birthday celebration for Margaret and Izzy at the school and then boarded the train for London.  Our guide took us to see the London Eye, Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey, St. James’ Park, White Hall, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and Regent’s Park.  We ended the day with a picnic lunch in front of the London Eye.

Tomorrow we will be back at the school to make our presentation about Ursuline Dallas.  It has been a packed week so far, but we are learning a lot and having a great time!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Weekend in London

We asked our students to share a few photos of their weekend in London and with their host sisters. As you can see in the photos, the students made the most of the weekend and visited some of the most famous sites in and around London. While the students were enjoying the weekend with their host families, our teachers visited Cambridge and learned a great deal about the history of Cambridge University. It was a wonderful weekend for all! 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

UA teachers visit Hampton Court

This afternoon we received the following festive news from Ms. Clark, the leader of our Wimbledon delegation:

So, today while the students enjoyed time with their host families, the teachers went on a boat ride to Hampton Court.  We learned all about how the fabled palace of Archbishop Woolsey was built, renovated and lived in by a host of British royalty including: Henry VIII and his wives, William II and his wife Mary II, William III and many more.  We also enjoyed a delightful lunch on the river Thames and a stroll about Hampton Court Village with our wonderful host, Debra Beale.