Thursday, May 29, 2014

Global Competence

What exactly is global competence and what does it involve? According to Global Teacher Education, global competence involves investigating the world, recognizing perspectives, communicating ideas and taking action. I would like to pick one of the four areas to focus my attention on but they are all very important! Investigating the world is learning about the world beyond you immediate environment. This is similar to thinking globally, if you do not learn about the world you will have a hard time thinking globally. Recognizing perspectives allows you to differentiate your own perspectives from others. Recognizing others perspectives keeps you from seeing straight down the tunnel. You must use your peripheral vision and open your mind to others. Communicating ideas allows the world to go round! Different areas of the world think differently and if you are globally competent you are able to communicate easier to these audiences. Taking action! Being a criminal justice major, I like the sound of this. Just being in London for two weeks I realize you just act differently. Focussing more on police officers, they use there voices as their weapon of choice. Not so much in the United States, they use their voices but not to the extend of London officers. Being globally competent allows you to use your skills to act according to the situation.

Thinking globally, acting locally

Thinking globally, according to my definition, is being aware of your surroundings around the world. Being aware of current events allows you understand not only the effects in it's immediate location but how it can effect the world. As you can imagine, living in South Dakota is much different than London! It was hard to act like a local in London. It just two weeks it was almost impossible. In the last couple of days I was finally able to count their money easily and adjust to their lifestyle. Of course, at this point we were leaving. :( 
   Being a global citizen is not just traveling to different places. Being a global citizen is similar to my definition listed above. Having sense of belonging within the global community and understanding social, economic and political issues offers you a sense of being a global citizen. Studying abroad has definitely started my journey of becoming a global citizen! Everything on the trip has helped, everything from going to the courts and learning about their court system to just walking around outside and noticing how Londoners behaviors lead to global consequences.

Anti-American Sentiment and Global Consequences of Local Behaviors

   In previous blogs I have mentioned misinterpretations or stereotypes of Americans! I hate to say but most of the stereotypes are visible. I did notice that Americans are very loud and lazy. I noticed it in the underground, in resteraunts... Pretty much everywhere! There was occurrences that I even realized how loud I was being compared to Londoners. Talk about Americans being lazy. I am not sure most Americans could live in London do to the facts of how much walking you actually have to do! Also, common dress attire of Americans in more casual rather than business. Granted, dress attire changes depending on where you live in the United States. Most people in London wear anything but jeans and sweats. It was uncommon to see a Londoner wearing blue jeans.  I wouldn't necessarily say that it was very prominent in London but it was visible. 
   In my last blog I mentioned global consequences of local behaviors, such as, pollution. Since returning from London I have done some research on pollution and London is ranked in the top ten of most polluted cities according to most websites. Almost everyone smokes, there are lots of buses (or coaches as they would say) and the tube which causes soot in the air. In my mind, I believe most of the group got sick because our immune systems were not use to the pollution and all the germs from there massive population. Everyday after dinner I would come back to the room and blow my nose and guess what?? Black stuff would come out. Gross!
    A girl smoking. You walk into a cloud of smoke where ever you went.
You can see the extent of black soot in the underground.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Day Thirteen! May 24, 2014 Our Last Full Day in London

   It is about time to say goodbye to London! We depart tomorrow to head back to the states. I am ready to be home! I am ready to get away from the hectic lifestyle, everyone smoking, air pollution and ultimately the tube system. It has been a great and eventful two weeks. This study abroad opportunity has opened my eyes to a whole new world!! Granted some days were better than others but it was all worth it. It still amazes me how safe London actually is. London police officers don't even carry guns! They have weapons such has a baton and CS spray, but there most useful tactic are their voices. 
   This study aboard experience has broadened my horizons both educationallyand individually. American is called the melting pot but I believe London should be called the melting pot! There are over 300 languages spoken here. Talking about opening my eyes to a whole new world! I can't even imagine how difficult it would be to work in the criminal justice field here. If there was an doubt in my mind about not wanting to work in the criminal justice field, it is gone now! I have never been a fan of learning about the courts and how they function but this trip changed that. 
   I have meet so many amazing people on this trip and would like to say one last goodbye to Constable Watson, Joann and Sarah our VERY informative tour guides, Maria and everyone else that has put in all the hard work to bless us with such an amazing opportunity. 
   For our finale day we went to the London Dungeon, strolled up and down Oxford Street, ate at an amazing BBQ place for lunch and are planning on getting together for a last dinner as a group! London Dungeon was a haunted tour explaining the history of London! I was nervous to go at first but other members of our group reassured me that I HAVE to go and that it wasn't that scary. I am sure glad I did! (: 
   A big thank you shout out to Dr. Nobiling for putting up with all us students for two weeks and planning the whole trip! All her hard work paid off because the trip, as you can tell, was amazing! One suggestion I would make is, print off a list of all your favorite places to eat. When it doubt on where to eat, ask Dr. Nobiling! Thank you this opportunity! I would also like to say thank you to my roommates Michaela, Mary and kind of Nick for putting up with me for two weeks as well! I have never been so close to someone after just two weeks.(: 
See you all back in the United States!!

 My wonderful roommates and I at the Roman Bath!

Two of the few armed police officers I have seen while in London. They just happened to be at Westminster Abbey.

Michaela and I decided to be twins yesterday.

They put "LOOK RIGHT" and "LOOK LEFT" on the roads for tourists because we always look the wrong way for cars... 


Friday, May 23, 2014

Day Twelve! May 23, 2014 Oxford University, Stratford and Warwick Castle!

   Today was our last official day of scheduled tours! We went to Oxford University, Stratford and Warick Castle! Once again it was a rainy, gloomy day.
   Oxford University was interesting! It is the second highest rank prestigious school. Oxford contains 38 separate colleges and you only apply to one in particular. If you are not accepted into one of the colleges you can not apply to another one. People such as Bill Clinton and Isaac newton attended Oxford! Alice in Wonderland, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, and Lord of the Rings were all written by authors who attended Oxford along with many other books!
   Stratford is the town where William Shakespeare was born! We actually got to see the house in which he was born in. Right down the road was an amazing cafe/bakery where we ate lunch. I seriously had THE BEST carrot cake ever! They had soooooo many different desserts, it made the decision really hard. 
   The entire time we were at Warick Castle it was raining! My favorite part was the dungeon where criminals were held to rot away. It sounds weird I know... But it was a very unique place. 
          Only part of Oxford University
The stairs to the dungeon at Warick Castle
Inside the dungeon. They were actually in this position.
      William Shakespeare's birth place

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Day Eleven! May 22, 2014 Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace and 10 Downey Street

   We started the day at Buckingham Palace to watch the changing of the guards. We actually got to go into the gates of Buckingham Palace! (: Dr. Nobiling and Constable Watson kept it a secret till we got there. I feel unbelievably honored to be able to enter the gates! We were actually standing on the stairs of  the palace and leaning on the building. I am pretty sure that bystanders thought we were important and/or famous! People were probably taking pictures of us... little did they know. Since we were actually in the gates of Buckingham Palace we were unable to take pictures. 
   Constable Watson used his magic once again to get us onto Downing Street and right up to the front door of 10 Downing Street! For all who don't know, 10 Downing Street is where the Prime Minister lives. You can only imagine how much security was there! Honestly, today could not have been much better! (: I am still smiling because of the amazing opportunity. We ended the day at New Scotland Yard for a presentation by Constable Watson and Stuart Tracey! Their main focus was talking about the 2012 Olympics and how they prepared for the amazing event. 

10 Downing Street with Constable Watson on my right and Phil on the left (Sorry Phil, I can't remember your last name.) 
    One of the many gates at Buckingham Palace. This is the entrance we walked through. 
     Group picture of 10 Downing Street 

Day Ten! May 21, 2014 Paris

   The day trip to Paris started off rough! I woke up at 3:30am to get a taxi at 4:30 to make it to the train station. We finally arrived at Paris around 9:30am their time! When we arrived it was pouring and it was cold! As the day went on the weather did get better.(: We went to Notre Dame, The Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Pont des Arts (Lock Bridge), and Champs-Èlysées. As we were getting on the bus to leave it started to pour, good thing we were leaving! Overall, it was a pretty good experience! (: Now I can say I have been to Paris!!

        Champs-Èlysées with Michaela!
                       Notre Dame
  Arc de Triomphe (mind the construction)
               The famous Lock Bridge!
                     The Louvre

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Day Nine! May 20, 2014 Supreme Court

  The Supreme Court is a new idea here in London! It actually started just 5 years ago in 2009. They had the highest court of appeals before the Supreme Courts, but it was held in the House of Lords. Now that the court has moved to a different location it makes accessibility easier. People may not have know that it was open to the public when it was held in the House of Lords. The Supreme Court get anywhere from 400 or so people up to 1,000 visitors a day! We also got to sit in a court case, a very interesting one at that! Yes, the judges and the barristers still wear wigs in court. They are made of horse hair and cost around £500! 
         The front of the Supreme Court.
           Symbol of the Supreme Court
  Judicial Committee of the Privy Council

Monday, May 19, 2014

Day Eight! May 19, 2014 Trooping of the Colors and Kings College

   Trooping of the colors was an amazing experience! We were blessed to be able to stand in an area that was not open to the public! We were so close to the guards and their horses. It was a practice parade for the real parade that takes the second Saturday in June. The parade is to celebrate the Queens birthday, even though her real birthday is in April I believe. It was really warm outside and the guards were wearing their really heavy uniforms that do not breath whatsoever. Constable Watson guessed that on a day like today around 3 people would pass out.  We witnessed only one guy pass out! Thank gosh because it was scary, but it is not uncommon. 
   Kings College is a school of law and looked huge from my perspective. We got an informative presentation from Dr. Thomas MacManus. He helped us understand and compare the England justice system to the United States justice system. There are many differences between England and the United States! There are so many that I am going to list a few.
   The drinking age here is 18 compared to 21.
   Guns are obviously illegal here besides shot guns.
   Jaywalking is not illegal here! There are people walking everywhere all the time! The car drivers could care less if you are in there way, they will hit you. 
   Open containers of alcohol are okay except on the tubes/buses and on South Bank. 
   There is no death penalty and they actually just recently changed it so that you could get sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. 

Day Seven! May 18, 2014 Roman Baths and Stonehenge

   Our journey today took us to Stonehenge and the Roman baths! Stonehenge was not what I was expecting but I thought it was in better condition than it is was. Stonehenge is in alignment with the sun and is believed to be used as a calendar. There is evidence that people have lived there up to 8,00 years ago! There are two sizes of rocks used in Stonehenge: larger ones and smaller ones. The larger stones weigh up to 40 tons and the smaller ones  weight up to 5 tons. Whoever built Stonehenge has to drag the stones to area! It took about 200 men to move the larger stones. 
  The Roman baths were amazing! Up till the 1600's they stopped bathing in the water and started drinking it. The water is believed to have special powers such as fertility. The water contains a whopping 43 minerals! The water is a steady 46C and it is drinkable. I actually drank it and it was delicious even though it was hot. There is a sacred spring overflow that people can throw coins in to make a blessing or curse another person.
               Sacred spring overflow

       We did not drink this water! We drank clear water (thank gosh)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Day Six! May 17, 2014 Houses of Parliament

   Today we toured the House of Parliament before the Westminster Abbey and finished the day at the Tower of London. The Houses of Parliament contains the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The House of Commons is similar to our House of Representatives and the House of Lords can be compared to our Senate in the United States. The House of Commons has more power than the House of Lords because the Lords can only hold the bill for 13 months, if no decision is made the House of Commons win. Taxes and finances are only debated in the House of Commons. Also, the Queen is banned from the House of Commons, can’t vote and can’t show opinion in public. In the House of Lords the government sits to the right of the Queen and the opposition sits to the left.  The House of Commons is symbolized by the color green and the House of Lords are symbolized by the color red. All laws in England have grown from the Magna Carta from 1215 which is similar to our constitution.  The House of Lords and the House of Commons are open to the public.

Day Six! May 17, 2014 Westminster Abbey

   We began the tour of Westminster Abbey at the royal entrance (west side).  A royal shield is at this entrance and contains the unicorn for Scotland and the lion for England. The royal entrance is the same entrance Katherine Middleton walked through for her wedding to marry Prince William. Martin Luther King sits right above the royal entrance, as well, right below the royal shield. There are over 3,000 people buried and/or remembered in Westminster Abbey. People such as Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill, C.S Lewis, many kings and queens along with many others are buried in the Abbey. It was an interesting feeling knowing that we were walking on tombs almost everywhere we walked. A tomb of an unknown worrier has a Congressional Medal of Honor from the First World War. The worrier is unknown because the body was taken off the battle ground from the war and in 1920 was buried. It is the most visited tomb of a warrior in the world and is the last burial to take place in Westminster. This tomb is the only tomb in Westminster Abbey that people are unable to walk on.
   Westminster Abbey was built in the 1200’s and took around 500 years to complete! The architecture of the Abbey is absolutely fantastic and is considered gothic architecture. The most famous piece of furniture is a coronation chair from 1308, which King Richard II first sat in. King Richard II actually invented the handkerchief! Everyone who has been crowned in Westminster Abbey has sat in the same chair since 1308. Most of the tombs in Westminster Abbey are amazing but the biggest and grandest belongs to Henric Carey Baro de Hvnson.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Day Five! May 16, 2014 Hyde Park

Hyde park and the Natural History Museum were on the agenda for today! Hyde Park was absolutely beautiful! It was full of amazing greenery and fountains. We could not ask for better weather to take a stroll in the park. The Natural History museum was unbelievable as well! The size and architecture of the building was unreal. 
        (This picture does not do it justice)

Day Four! May 15, 2014 Special Operations

   Today involved going to central London to tour the special operations room (SOR) in a different building belonging to the metropolitan police department, looked at the closed circuit TV's (cctv) system, sat in on a presentation from Sergeant Matt Andrews and participated in dojo training. His main topic of the presentation explained how the people that work in the SOR must remain calm, controlled, and professional when handling events and chaos. He mentioned three levels of operations: gold, silver, and bronze. Officers in the SOR gold level are in charge of the strategy behind the operation. Silver is in charge of tactics within the operation and bronze officers work in a specific area on the streets. The department must ask themselves what lessons they have learned once the situation is controlled to make themselves stronger as a department.
   While looking at the cctv area of the department we learned that you are ALWAYS on camera when in the city. There are over 20,000 cameras in central London! Knowing that you are on camera everywhere you go is kind of creepy! They can zoom in and out to watch your every move. They even have cameras all over the building, which they watch in the same building (interesting). The thing is, the Londoners don't mind it. Their lifestyle is very different than what most people I know are use to. Everything from the underground tube rides which is compared to our subway system to even their toilets differ from the United States. Every time we use a new toilet we can never figure out how flush the toilet. London is a 24 hour city, it never stops.
   In dojo training we learned officer tactics. Two trainers demonstrated tactics and we partnered up to practice the tactics on each other. We learned the standard defense stance, arm fighting tactics, leg fighting tactics, handcuffing and how to properly use CS spray which is there version of our pepper spray. They believe pepper spray is harmful and has a very slight chance of causing cancer. Pepper spray is oil based and lasts longer than CS spray. CS spray contains crystals that stuns the individual and must be blown off by the breeze. It was an amazing opportunity and I thank the trainers and Constable Richard Watson for the spending their day training us.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Day Three! May 14, 2014 Magistrate Courts

   Day three consisted of getting a tour from Joann at the Magistrate Courts! We got to sit in on two different cases, one case involved an assault and getting a continuation of the trial because of evidence that was not obtained yet. The other case involved a man getting tried for taking prohibited items into the prison (a cell phone and drugs). One of the main differences between the courts in the United States and the Magistrate Court is that the defendant does not sit next to their lawyers, they sit in a glass box/area away from their lawyer. Also, names of the court room work group differ a little, for instance, a prosecutor in the United States is called a Royal Crown prosecutor in London.
   During the afternoon we went to the National Gallery and saw paintings from some of the most known artists including Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Paul Cezanne, and Georges Seurat just to name a few. The gallery was massive, we felt as if we were lost as soon as we entered the building. Outside the National Gallery was all kinds of street performers that were entertaining. We also decided to go to M&M World. I have never seen anything like it! You would think by now that I would be use to how big all the buildings are here, I could not be more wrong. M&M World was four level and was filled in every M&M souvenir you could think of!

                                                                     M&M World

House of Parliament (for yesterday's blog)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Day Two! May 13, 2014 London Eye

   Day two was our first full day here in London! I started my day off with my first experience of an English breakfast, I was not impressed! We got to meet Constable Watson, took a tour of the metropolitan police department and finished the day at the London Eye! Constable Watson gave an informative presentation and demonstrated how to use their handcuffs. He also gave us a tour of the holding facilities in the police department. The most interesting part of the tour was Constable Watson mentioned that they only hold one person per cell, they never put more than one. The London Eye was breathtaking! I took many pictures but the circumstances of the hotel wifi will not let me upload pictures. Pictures will be posted soon!
London Eye