Saturday, July 10, 2010

July 10th: Friends in Varaždin

Posted in Marcus Sanderlin |

As I was taking care of my daily requirements in Croatia, I began to think about the various people I have met while on this trip. As I thought, it became increasing clear how the hospitality and friendships made while here has come to better my experience. While I had my cohort of McNair scholars with me, I can only smile with the memories and stories shared with the residents of Varaždin. From chats about the educational system, to sharing life experiences and memories, I really have to say I appreciate each and every person I have interacted with while in Croatia.  The long list includes: the students and faculty of FOI, students from Liverpool, and the residents of Varaždin. From showing me where the cafeteria is and how to say rice and chicken, to simply asking how I was doing, this experience would not have been the same without each of you.  For that, I say hvala.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

July 9th: Last few days and sustainability at large

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Croatia has been an experience I will never forget. For a person who said he would never leave the U.S., I now reflect with a completely altered view of the world around me.  This experience has also altered my opinion of other countries. Croatia is a place that I would have never thought to visit. Yet now, from the puzzling question of “Where is Croatia?” stands a completely different person. Having been immersed within the culture, learning about their ways of life and opinions on the world, I have come to learn so much about myself.

Walking around the city of Varaždin I notice everything; from the clean streets, to the friendliness of the people and beauty of the city. It seemed each morning as I began my day; I couldn’t help but to walk outside and be happy that I was here.  The weather feels great and the surroundings are gorgeous.

What truly compliments this is how clean the city is and how much citizens care to keep it this way. It is not hard to see how Varaždin is a model location for sustainability. With citizens being educated as early as elementary school, residents seem to hold each other accountable for upholding the standard of sustainability. With recycling cans all over the city, use of water spouts and ground faucets, and using friends and other biodegradable items to nourish the soil. Also other means such as not having air conditioning their dorms and many building, as well as using the students dorms as hotels in the summer when they are not being occupied by students are other examples of sustainability.

As an educator, it was very interesting to tour the school and see how even at the elementary level, students are taught the importance of recycling and taking care of their environment. This is outstanding to me, because what happens is students are able to bring that knowledge home. As an aspiring educator, I would love to see recycling be more infused in the curriculum. This experience has changed me.  Upon my return, I will be looking into doing more myself to recycle and possibility be an advocate on campus for recycling efforts.

In general, the memories and friendships made here are priceless, and I could not have hoped for more out of this trip. As I approach these last few days, I find myself truly cherishing this experience and the last few days in this amazing city with the great friends I have come to know.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

July 7th: So this is how the world looks…

Posted in Marcus Sanderlin |

Greetings all!  Well topic of the evening will be cultural enrichment. I have learned a great deal from being here in Varaždin. Being here in this very cultured country, filled with so much history, it is hard to grasp it all in such a short period time. As we toured castles and historic landmarks, I snapped picture after picture to one day share this experience with my classroom of students. As I looked at castles that date back to the 16th and 17th century, I thought of how young the United States truly is. In essence, some of the buildings located in Croatia, are older that U.S. as a whole. Being able to experience this was such a mind opening experience.

The highlight of my day was the opportunity I had to tour the first elementary school in Varaždin. To stand in a building as prestigious as this was an amazing feeling as a future educator.  I bombarded the principal with several questions about the school system, how she runs the school, as well as various issues she faces on an everyday basis. As the answers came, I compared the differences between the Croatian and American educational system. Thinking about the differences, I took note with hopes to use some of the strategies the not used in the U.S. to improve my future classrooms and schools.

I would also like to note how UCF has prepared me for this trip. As I journeyed around the city of Varaždin, we are presented several opportunities to met officials, officers and leaders within the society who cared to better our experience while in Croatia. During these meetings, the experiences gained in various programs at UCF have been truly helpful. A great example is being a member of the Presidents Leadership Council. Small gestures such as standing when officers enter the room, or how to properly introduce myself and ask questions, allowed me, along side the other McNair scholars to display the caliber of the UCF students. As I reflect on the things that I would normally do out of habit, I became more obvious how my upbringing and involvements at UCF have prepared me for life.

With that, I bid you all a good evening.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Trip Reflection: Marcus Sanderlin

Posted in Marcus Sanderlin |

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Trip Reflection: Marcus Sanderlin

Posted in Marcus Sanderlin |

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day One in Croatia

Friday, July 2, 2010

Arrival in Croatia: Marcus Sanderlin

Marcus comments on his arrival to Zagreb, Croatia.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Scholar Spotlight: Marcus Sanderlin

Marcus was born and raised in Saint Petersburg, Fl. He chose to become an elementary education major based on his love for assisting his community and youth. Marcus takes an active role as a student leader at the UCF. He is the current president of the John T. Washington Honor Society, member of the President’s Leadership Council, treasurer of the Epsilon Eta Chapter of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Incorporated, a Brother to Brother mentor, along with being involved in several other organizations. Marcus goal to acquire his Ph.D. in education administration.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Pre-Trip Expectations: Marcus Sanderlin