Almost There!..

…by Kayla / from the United States / Master of Public Health 2017-2018

Aug 1st Poem:

 Just 23 days left before final dissertation is due for me

Recently its been countless hours in the  library

And many many  cups of  hot tea

Aiming for that Masters degree

By the tender age of 23

Today marks the beginning of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

and some of the shows are free!

….I am not good at poetry , but I will aim to be for  next month’s blog. For this July update, I will be using pictures and short captions to recap this past month of my life.

KS5

In early July , some of my friends and I took a short day trip to the beautiful Pentland Hills in Edinburgh. We walked for three hours to get to the peak of one of the hills . We literally walked amongst thousands of sheep and was able to explore one of the most beautiful parts of the city. With me in this picture is my good friend Aleichia. Coincidentally we both studied in Corpus Christi together and somehow , someway we both ended up pursuing our Masters degree at the University of Edinburgh , half way across the world together at the same time. Funny how this world works sometimes. It is so good to have a familiar face here. Side note:  Approximately 30 minutes after this photo was taken I was almost attacked by a swan.

KS6

There was lots of political tension with President Donald Trump’s visit to the UK this past month . I live close to the Scottish Parliament and I saw people walking with posters gathering together to share their views. Since I have been living aboard it still amazes me the level of awareness and involvement people from other countries have in US politics. In a way I think it very interesting to see this dynamic. At this gathering people did not only  discuss news about Donald Trump , but they used this gathering as a platform to discuss issues in relation to Brexit  and many other current events around the globe. As you can see there are a lot of blue European Union flags in the photo.

KS7

Some of you may know that I have been an RA since my sophomore year as an undergraduate at TAMUCC. This photo was taken at my very last RA event I would ever lead. I took an excited group of post graduate students to the local bowling alley , Tenpin in Fountain Park. For some of these students it was their very first time  bowling, and they loved it! Leading off-site events can be quite the task as an RA due to all the paper work  , but this  event was a great Monday night activity to look forward to.

KS8

The definite highlight of my July was the visit from my sweet  friend (of over 10 years) Mackenzie and  her mom (Mama Sapp). They started their journey in Ireland , then met me at the Edinburgh Airport , next  travelled up to the Highlands, and I was then able to send them off back to the States this past Friday in Glasgow. While they were  here in Edinburgh  it was also the  Jazz and Blues festival , which featured lots of shows that reminded me of my home town New Orleans. Edinburgh adventures are always better when exploring this city with the ones you love.

I am finally headed towards the final stages of my dissertation. I  hope to have a full draft completed and  start editing by next week. My biggest challenge is working through the structure and  presentation my work. I have so many readings in my head  on mental health, Education Scotland policies, and teacher pedagogy . Although it has been a tough journey, I have to say that I have learned a lot by doing this dissertation and I can see clear connections of the public health field with education systems. My favourite part by far was conducting the interviews for my study. My least favourite part was transcribing those interviews.

KS9

This photo was take at Portebello Beach with the people that keep me going. Dylan (also from Texas) and May (from England) are two of my closes friends in Edinburgh, they are also in the MPH programme with me. We have made many memories together this past year , and I am so thankful for them. They are both staying in Scotland after the programme ends and they try to persuade me to stay almost every day. I will truly miss them but there is no doubt that they will be life long friends.

 

Last Friday I was invited to attend  the  Festival of Life  concert in Glasgow at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre. (SEC). The city of Glasgow is the biggest and most populated city in Scotland. Glasgow truly holds a special place in my heart. This photo shows one of the rare days when it is not raining in Glasgow. The weather was  perfect.  This link shows a little bit about the concert – http://www.festivaloflife.org.uk/#section-about

KS10

This picture was taken by my sweet friend Aleena when we were walking to Authentic, our Tuesday Night young adults fellowship/ bible study night. I usually walk from the library  to this side of town almost every  Tuesday evening  and it always reminds me of how much I am going to miss this city.

Every August Edinburgh hostess biggest theatre show in the world.Talented artists, musicians, actors, and actresses will be displaying their work all around the city .The population of this magical city will triple.Everywhere I in this city I see the beginning stages of the Fringe with construction , stage set up, and thousands of advertisements. At the local grocery stores you can pic up a Fringe show magazine showing the over 200 shows a day you can choose to go to.

In away this seeing  beginning stages of  set up for the festival  is so symbolic to my life .A year ago around this time I remember receiving my approved Visa application to live in the UK . I must have done thousands of google searches out of excitement  on things I wanted to do during my time in Edinburgh. I thought about the kind of people I wanted to surround myself around, and what I wanted to be apart of. But I had no idea what to expect. Now that this journey draws near to an end I realized that I could not have planed  what I have experienced here on my own. His plans are so much greater than our own and I am so thankful for that.

I hope make this last month of my journey in Edinburgh a great one, even in the midst of dissertation season.

Thank you for following my journey.  Stay tune for August updates!

Also, I am happy to be receiving messages concerning my blog from prospective students all over the world.

If you have question about the MPH program please contact me directly ; kaylastovall95@gmail.com


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