Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Julia Woodbury Update

Hello all you Londoners! I've been meaning to post an update for far too long, so here it goes:

I graduated from BYU last April with a major in English and minors in editing and ancient Near Eastern studies. I jumped right into an internship with the New Era, and once I finished four wonderful months with them, I moved over to an internship with the Joseph Smith Papers Project. I've been working with the project for almost 8months now, and I've loved every minute of it. If there were ever a crash course in church history, this would be it!
I've been living in Provo for the past while, but I signed a lease just yesterday for an apartment in Salt Lake, so if anyone wants to drop by for a visit, you are most welcome!
My sister and I are hanging our hopes on a trip to the British Isles this coming fall. Wish us and our finances luck! Wish you were all coming with us!

Best wishes to you all!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Andrew and Rachel (Seely) Grover

We are still in Provo. Andrew is working on a Masters in Public Administration and Rachel is teaching Hum 101 at BYU and absolutely loving it. Since London we dated, Andrew decided to major in Linguistics and get minors in Spanish and Arabic, Rachel graduated in English and Humanities, we got married, we went to more school, and we moved to Jordan for four months. In Jordan we lived part of the time at a research center where Rachel worked on her MA thesis and part of the time with a wonderful Palestinian family where Andrew could practice his Arabic. We also traveled a bit in the Middle East and Andrew finally met Rachel's brother Joseph who came home from his mission to Jerusalem, where the rest of the Seelys were at the time. Last year our darling daughter Miriam arrived the week we graduated (Andrew in Linguistics and Rachel with her MA in Art History). She is the joy of our lives and is now 10 months old! We hope this finds you all doing well, we have loved reading your updates.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Meagan (still) Lake

Hello, friends! It has been so long! TOO long! It's been wonderful to read about what you're all up to these days--where you are and the "great and important things" you're doing with your lives. I miss you, and I'm glad to hear that you're doing well!

For an update on me, here it is: I graduated from BYU in August 2008, then moved to Salt Lake and spent that fall interning with the Ensign. When the internship ended in December, I was unemployed and living with my grandparents (which was the awesome part of that equation.) After about a month of job searching, I ended up with a job as an aide in the special ed program at Park City High School. I started it thinking that it would be a short-term thing, and ended up LOVING it. I worked primarily with a boy with Asperger's and a blind girl. It was an awesome job. I got to hang out with teenagers, and learn Braille, and watch all those awkward high school moments but not be in them, and all sorts of other rocking things that got me really excited about teaching.

So when the school year ended, I quit, and in August I packed all of my worldly possessions into my rapidly-deteriorating 1995 Nissan Maxima and drove across the country to start grad school at the University of Virginia. I'm in my second semester of the Master in Teaching program here (Secondary English Education) and am in love with the school, the program, Charlottesville (the city UVa is in), and pretty much life. I'm observing/teaching a 7th grade English class in this total hickville middle school that's out in the middle of nowhere, and it is a RIOT. Those kids are GREAT!! My favorite story so far from my time with them is when we were reading a story about a boy who stumbles across a rattlesnake as he's walking one summer morning. He decides to kill the snake, but has a brief moment of internal conflict over destroying something so perfect and natural. I paused at that part of the story and asked the kids, "have any of you ever had a conflict like that with yourself?" Hunter (who happened to be decked out in camo that day) shot his hand into the air. "Yes, Hunter?" I said. "Well," he jumped in with his adorable southern drawl (written phonetically for effect), "I sorta had something lahke thayt happen when ah killed ma first deer, but then I jus looked down the barrel of the gun and shaht." Oscar's hand quickly went up after that. I called on him. "Ah kinda had the same thing with ma first deer, but I ain't never had a problem killin' squirrels!"

This is my life. And I absolutely love it.

I'll graduate next May (2011), and then will begin teaching high school English. I have absolutely no idea where I'll be living, so that will be one more grand adventure to live out in my own short story :)

We're getting hit with our third snowstorm in a week here, and oddly enough, snow sort of cripples central Virginia. Even the university shut down today, which apparently has happened only once or twice since Thomas Jefferson started this little place. Who would have thought?!

Anyhow. I, like many others, also have a blog, although it's a private one. But I'd love to add you if you want to be added :) To do so, go here.

Love to all,

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Nicki (Auman) Farrell

I'm so excited about this blog - I love hearing all of your updates! As for me, I got married in June 2007 to Matt Farrell, and our baby boy Owen was born in October 2008 - he is now 15 months old, and is the light of our lives. Matt is studying business and will graduate in April (hooray!). He's currently running the marketing department at a small company in Orem, but after he graduates, we have no idea where we'll end up... which is pretty scary but kind of exciting at the same time. I'm not working (a job in international politics is a little hard to find in Provo, Utah), so I get to stay at home every day with Owen - we build a lot of towers, throw a lot of balls and roll a lot of cars across our floor. I love it. :)

Owen at my sister's wedding over Christmas.

Matt has heard so much about London from me that he's decided we absolutely need to go there. Hopefully we'll make it there in the next couple of years so I can show him all the places that I love (Khan's, anyone?).

Anyway, keep the updates coming! I love hearing from all of you. Also, here's an idea - we could all put links to our blogs on here, just to make it easier for everyone to find them (I don't know how people with private blogs feel about that. We have a blog but it's definitely not private - my mom and grandma would never be able to remember how to get on :).

Amanda (Marie) Dambrink

I have loved hearing good news about everybody over the course of the past few years--so many weddings and degrees and babies and other adventures! I'm glad we have a more efficient forum here for catching up with each other. :)

As for me, after graduating from BYU in 2008 I moved to DC and enjoyed living out there for a little over a year before accepting a teaching assistantship at Ohio University, where I am now pursuing a master's degree in English with a creative nonfiction emphasis. I've been back to London once, just for a few days, and I've done some exploring in Ireland, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium (including a pilgrimage to Ypres), and Germany. Also, I still love Jeremy Bentham.

And, for good measure, here's an ode in photo form to some of our favorite people (with the exception of Sister Seely, who somehow is not in any of my pictures--which I suspect was done on purpose, on her part, sneaky Sister Seely):

And how perfect is this picture of Brother Tate? Love that man.

Megan Winegar Update

Hello friends! I can't believe we've been back for four years!
In 2008 some of you know I went back to London to work as Dr. Benfell's TA and program facilitator, so I got to revisit a lot of our favorite places (and sit through the Shakespeare class again so that I could be the TA.) It was wonderful, but I missed you all. However, London itself was just as wonderful the second time around, and I loved feeling like I was coming home because everything felt so familiar. (My grad program just sent out an email about another study abroad there and it's SO tempting.)
The London trip was the last thing I did at BYU before I graduated, but by the time I came home I had decided to go to grad school instead of trying to get a teaching job right away. I spent last year doing internships, studying for and taking the GRE, applying for grad schools, answering phones, doing some internet marketing, and trying to figure out what to do with my life.
I'm currently attending the School of Library and Information Science at Indiana University. I haven't decided yet whether this was an economically sound decision, but I love my program and I love Bloomington. I live with two other girls from the YSA branch here, and since they're also studying Library Science, we have named our apartment after as many famous library things as possible (D'CALC: Dewey Carnegie Alexandria Library of Congress) and we have two librarian action figures. It really ended up being a great place for me (even though I wanted to go to Ann Arbor to live with Katherine Fisher instead. Stupid Michigan with their crazy-expensive tuition.) and I love it.

At a regional activity that was almost in Ohio. Not really worth it for the activity, but it was funny that so many people drove so far for a corn maze.

Halloween costume take one. I think we ended up with three.

My roommate and I made Thanksgiving for everyone who had to stay in Bloomington. It was a complete success, even though the turkey guts were gross.

I ALSO have a blog and I know some of you have also seen the blog project I've been working on with some friends (in fact a couple of people claim to be working on guest posts for it - hint hint) because we advertise it obnoxiously on facebook.

Nicole (Elder) Dyer

Hi all! It's been four years since we were all together in the prep class, right? It started midway through the winter semester. We were all so excited. I feel like that first meeting was some kind of huge blind date. We were all wondering who our London friends would be. We met in that dark room in the JFSB with Dr. Benfell and every week it seems like we talked about how to be safe in London, which classes would be offered, bedding, laundry, what to pack, and all the stuff we had all been wondering about. We wrote down our roommate preferences, but little did we know we were all basically going to become roommates. Who could have imagined that a bedroom exists for 14, 12, or even 6 people? Not your typical dorms, but in an amazing way. I couldn't have asked for better roommates or friends!

Meagan Lake and I shared the same bunk and scratched lines from Shakespeare into the bunk's wooden slats above my head. I'm pretty sure I was on the lower bunk, right Meagan? Serves me right for being one day late. At least I wasn't the only one.

I remember such random, specific moments from being in London that spring - drying my hair in the bathroom next to the window overlooking palace court, being shooed out of the lower floors during class time by the cleaning ladies, sitting in the window seat in the library, eating a plateful of fried food for dinner, making nutella sandwiches for lunch, wanting so badly to lay down and nap in the Louvre, eating digestives - Is that really what we called them? Wow. It's so foreign sounding after 3 1/2 years!

I love hearing about all of your lives, now that you've all gone through such significant changes. As for me, I married Lance Dyer, the love of my life, in December 2008. I couldn't have been more lucky. We moved to Tucson, Arizona, and he works as an engineer for Raytheon designing missiles. I work for a public charter school, Sonoran Science Academy, and am teaching social studies to 6th, 7th and 8th graders. We recently have very exciting news - we're expecting a baby in July. I couldn't be more happy, especially that I will not be teaching again next year! (Needless to say, middle school is a challenge.) I've been feeling very healthy so far, so much so that I feel like it's unfair to all those women with terrible morning sickness. What a humongous blessing it has been, since I don't know how I could have continued teaching while feeling ill. We don't know boy/girl yet, and we don't have any good names picked out. All we have is our recent craigslist purchase, a beautiful crib!

That's us. Can't wait to hear from you all. I will find my London pictures and post some of them. I want to see yours too.

Sending love to you all,


p.s. We have a blog too. I enjoy reading so many of your blogs - Rachel Martinez's, Monica's, Cathryn's, Janssen's, Merrick's, Meagan's, Megan Z's, Amanda D's - and I'm excited to discover that more of you blog too.