7:30am is my new sleep in time!?!?

7:30am on a Saturday morning and I am awake? I never would have thought that I would wake up at this time without an alarm clock on a weekday let alone a Saturday. During the week I have to leave the house before 6am to get to work on time. My alarm is set at 4:45am and I’m usually up by about 5:20. There are still some normal me things that I do of a morning.

I know that my body clock has changed… but it still seems odd to me. During the school holidays slowly and slowly I was able to sleep in later. But these days as it gets closer to 9pm you’ll see me nodding off. My latest night on the school holidays would have been 11pm. Not very late by my standards…

It’s interesting how my job as changed my lifestyle and what I would consider quite dramatically. I sometimes dream back to last year and the years before. The days that I was part of the education system as a student. I had days off that I could claim as “study days”.  I felt my life to be very busy. I have only been a part of the working world for what? two months? And yet I am already noticing the dramatic shift.

I remember back to when I finished high-school and was moving on to uni. I had this feeling, as though I was in a grieving period where I was at a loss. I decided to take a year off. To this day I would say that, that was one of the best decisions I have ever made. However, during that year I wasn’t really transitioning. I didn’t have that “phase” as some might say. I was almost in limbo. I was missing school and did not know what was to come of me.

At the start of this year I worked in a factory. That taught me not to get a job in a factory. In the middle of year I travelled with my mother. That taught me to see the world, just maybe not with my mother… although surprisingly enough I would go overseas with her again. But that’s another story for another time. By the end of the year I was working at a general store. I loved that job. It taught me more about the confidence I had inside that there was there all along but that I had never believed existed. Once that year was over however, I was ready for my course to begin.

I started uni and in some ways it felt as though I was back at school again. The change was not that different. I was still missing school but for different reasons. I was missing my friends not school itself. It felt good to be in a place where I worked out a good routine, a good way to study and to enjoy my placements at schools. I can’t believe I am already reflecting back upon my uni life. It’s too soon.

It feels too soon for a lot of new changes. But I guess in working in before and after school I get to experience another year “off” so to speak. Everyday I am learning new things. About me, the children, the school and the parents. I am certainly seeing myself grow as a person. I have this kind of confidence that similarly to my job at the general store was always there but I never believed existed. 

Learning from life and our experiences is great. If it means waking up earlier to do so. Then I’m happy. I’m happy because I’m working, not everyone is these days. If life were as simple as putting all the pieces of the puzzle exactly where they were meant to go. We would all be bored. That would be sad.

I’m happy that I haven’t had things happen in my life just as they “should” be because I have learnt so much. I believe to be a much stronger person because of it.

Awake at 7:30am on a Saturday? I shouldn’t really complain and question it. I will choose to enjoy it. Enjoy listening to the birds outside my window. Enjoy relaxing in bed. Enjoy the fact that I’m awake earlier enough to go down to a gluten-free cafe and buy their amazing gf bread. Plus I have still had a two hour sleep in. So I think I’m doing pretty well. 🙂

Signing off – I need to get up, feed the cat and get me some (gf) bread!!

My new job!!

I started a new job on Monday! I work in before and after school which means that every day Monday to Friday I get to go to one school and provide care for children aged 5-12 in both the morning and afternoon. The split shift is a hard adjustment. The job itself is wonderful.

The morning starts with setting up the kitchen with breakfast for the children, wiping down the tables and discussing the days activities with my co-ordinator.

As the children arrive with their parents what they do varies. Some decide to go straight into playing a game, doing arts and crafts or their homework. The kids I work with are diligent with their schoolwork, polite and very fun to be around.

As they settle into the morning some ask for milo, cereal or toast. While others have already had their breakfast. There are only a few kids who come in the mornings with the most being about 10.

One of the kids insists I don’t give her enough milo. I laugh to myself as I used to be a lover of milo and would enjoy much more than she gets given. This is one of the great things about working with children. When you realise how similar you are or once were.

The afternoons are a much busier affair. We can have 20+ children. I know as a teacher that, that is normal. However, it’s very different in this job. Although there are activties planned it can be quite unstructured.

We do ball games, arts and crafts, colouring competitions, cooking, etc. It can be very busy!

The kids are all different too as some don’t really want to participate. As someone who experienced going to both before and after school care I can really appreciate where they’re coming from. They want to be at home.

With a bit of encouragement to have them join in there is a fine line between wanting them to participate and be a part of the group and not pushing them in doing something they don’t want to do.

In drips and drabs the children leave until eventually there is no one left and it’s time to go home. As the assistant I’m not always there for this depending on ratios and on a Friday it’s a most common occurance… which is good because by then I’m ready to go home early.

So far everyday I’ve been thinking to myself “am I seriously getting paid for this?” “I’m having too much fun!”

I think that’s a sign that I pretty much love my new job.

Teaching is still on the cards but for now I’m pretty happy!!

Siging off – I need a nap! 😉

I can go the distance!

3pjudr

I’m inspired by Disney as though I’m still a little girl – but this song although I’m not aspiring to be a hero I feel is very reminiscent of what I am trying to achieve. I think that if I didn’t do everything in my power to achieve my life goals then I wouldn’t have the same satisfaction as I did once I got there.

If finding a job takes more than 70 job applications with most of them being rejected before I find the school that’s right for me then, then so be it.

I want this more than anything at this stage of my life and I will do what it takes to get there.

If it means singing a long to songs such as “I can go the distance” featured in the Disney film “Hercules” in order to help in boosting my confidence than so be it. I have to hold on to the belief that I will get there in the end.

Like anything I’ve so far achieved, it takes what it takes to get there and I just have to do what that is!

In the meantime – got anymore Disney songs I can sing to reflect how I’m feeling??

Signing of for more singing! 🙂

Woah… short post!

It’s strange but good to be home!

 

 

 

 

I’ve just come home from living in a very remote community in the Northern Territory, Australia. I was there for a six week teaching placement and have to say that although my days and weeks were difficult, challenging and I struggled a bit even with thoughts of wanting to go home, that it was one of the best, amazing and inspirational experiences that I have ever had in my life so far. In fact now that I’m home even though I’m very happy to be here I’ve started to realise how desperately I would have liked to stay. I’m tired, missing the kids and finding it hard to adjust being back in Melbourne.

I can tell you being back here and re-adjusting to Melbourne life is almost harder than my first week in the community I was in and it’s mainly due to being around lots of people and also being in my room alone… When I first arrived in that community, all I thought was how blissfully peaceful it was and how nice it was with the sun going down as we were un-packing the car.

The first challenge that I had to face was living in a school library, only having a cold tap at the sink, de-frosting meat for all our cooking and having to check for frogs and toads in the toilet. As the weeks progressed I noticed how much I was missing simple comforts of life and a lot of things that I took for granted.

Amongst having to boil a kettle for washing dishes, I started to miss sitting on a couch, I wasn’t able to use my personal laptop for connecting to the internet (instead was supplied with the use of a school’s one), the internet itself was slow so no blogging etc, all the food I had to eat was already there and apart from a really expensive and basic shop there was no backup. We were five hours to the nearest town so there was also the factor of isolation. If it wasn’t for my fellow student teacher I quite possibly would have gone home earlier than originally planned – she was the person who I talked to, cooked with, worked with, watch movies with, etc and I’m happy to report I have made a new friend!

Apart from the teaching we were able to get go down to the local river, go for walks and when back in Katherine on a school trip see some amazing sights! A boat cruise down Katherine Gorge was probably the high-light, with amazing cliffs, clear water and a place to swim – you could not have asked for anything better to do!

Now that I’m home I’m asking myself – did it really happen? Because it almost feels like it didn’t. I’m sitting here in my room thinking – what am I doing here? I should be somewhere else, shouldn’t I? I’ve been to have a “real” coffee, eat at the Vic Markets with my Dad, gone to the milkbar because I was out of milk, sit on my bed, pat my cat and say hello to some of house-mates. The funniest part about coming back to Melbourne is apart from seeing family and friends the two things that I’m looking forward to the most is being able to use a hot tap and sitting on a couch!

I never thought I would be excited by such simple things, but there you go.

It’s strange and good to be home and there is not much else to say.

Signing off while thinking to myself – wow I can actually blog again!

 

 

 

Regaining my imagination…

I want to write a story that is based on the home/house that I grew up in and possibly then have it extend to other areas of Australia that I’ve been…

I’m about to go to the Northern Territory!! I will be living and working in Pigeon Hole for six weeks and will get to be amongst the people of that community… This trip is part of what is called SWIRL or Story-writing in rural locations and is run by my uni and also happens to be my last ever teaching placement.

I am so excited, scared, and simply just awaiting all the possibilities of what will come from this experience.

When asked “what do you wish to bring?” I thought and thought for an appropriate response and came up with – an open mind. I think in this case instead of being the teacher I will be very much the learner. I don’t really know what I’m getting into, about where I’m going, what to expect or how I’ll cope living in such a remote area.

Some people might think I’m mad and I’m happy to accept that, maybe I’m mad and maybe we’re all mad. But what good would it be if all we did was sit at home and did not take on adventures like this? I don’t think I’m any less mad than someone deciding to go to Europe by themselves, am I? 

I feel very much inspired by this and I think it might have something to with always wanting to be a story-teller. For some reason creative writing to me as always been something that even though I have had to work at (a lot!!) I have still very much enjoyed…Some of this comes through with reasons as to why I wanted to be a teacher as well so equally it’s both just great!

I want to write about home because no matter how I far I am from it I’m always thinking about it, it’s always there in the back of my mind, I have such a love for the place that I grew up in that I think wherever I go it will be with me… People have often said that home is where the heart is amongst other sayings of similar ilk but to me – home is where the cat sits on your lap and where you find fairies hiding in the garden.  For me I wasn’t the one who moved – it was my mum… I have lived in other places since she moved out and am now back here but without her… It’s a long story!!!

The idea behind my ‘home is…’ is that I have a cat (last year I had two cats 😦 ) and wherever he goes I feel at home because he is comforting. The fairies though are because when I was a child I very much believed in them and I think even as an adult if you look at a garden very closely you can see that somehow they are there – they take you wherever you need to go and I think that comes back to them being ‘make believe’ or ‘magic’ – they create the colours, the leaves, the petals, the branches, the soil, etc of what makes the garden so beautiful and warm. Because they can fly – they fly with you…and it doesn’t matter where you are or who you live with…

{I think that our mind can very much be in a ‘real’ world and in a ‘fantasy’ world… ‘real’ = cat ‘fantasy’ = fairies…}

 

I am very lucky to live in an old terrace house… The floor boards creek under feet, there are cracks in the walls, there is a door with an old-fashioned key that allows you to enter a part of the garden…

My imagination as a child would be racing with stories… Stories of a made up past; I used to think of so many past lives that this house had and so many fantasy style lives that this house had…

They were intertwined with other people’s imaginations but my favourite stories were those that were merged with the author of the Secret Garden, the Little Princess and Little Lord Fauntleroy — I remember creating my own secret garden and pretending that I lived in boarding school. The funny thing was that I took these imaginings with me…

There was an old brick building as big as big could be… It had tennis courts you see… I used to walk past dreaming of whom lived there and dreaming of all they could have had… What was this place so grand and strange…? I wonder? Who lives there?

Little did I know that red brick building that I used to imagine as a grand house was the school that I attended… I laugh now when I think back to that child who was me but in the same light I also wish I had that same imagination.

Imagination is lost somehow and that loss begins when we go to school… Is it possible to harness it and not drag it down? I don’t it’s primary school, I think it comes more once we reach secondary school…

Hopefully I can allow the very real stories of the children in the NT to open my mind to a whole new world of stories, stories that have been passed down from generation to generation and stories that will keep being passed on. I’m writing this now with anxious butterflies in my stomach just thinking of what is ahead of me…

Goodness!!!

Signing off to get some rest. 🙂 


 

Oh Baby It’s Cold Outside!

You know you are on holidays when it gets to 3:00am and you’re still awake. The day couldn’t have gone any slower and your pjs become the attire of choice…unless you need to buy chocolate. Well at least this is what happens in winter. Winter days are filled with dreaming up your next hearty but comforting dish and you can’t help but to indulge on baked goods… and knowing that tomorrow you’ll be wearing 3 jumpers just to keep warm makes it all the worth-while. This morning I nearly decided that  I would read all day long with a cup of tea and a cat on my lap, but as I realised there were forms to fill in for my up-coming N.T trip this wasn’t going to be possible…

But I will make it up to myself 🙂

At this point in time though it’s not just that I’m on holidays it’s also that I’m really close to finishing my degree! The day that I never thought would come is soon here and although I’m excited I can’t help but to take a big swallow and sigh!!

I cannot believe that I’m sitting here half-way to finishing my degree – I keep having this terrible dream that I’m in a classroom on my first day and all I do is stare at the kids… I don’t know what to do on my first day – I will, I know I will…but in the back of my mind I’m second-guessing myself… It’s almost like I need other people to stop saying that I’ll be fine and to say I’ll be rubbish – just so I can be determined to prove to them they’re wrong…but that’s crazy!!!!!

All these irrational thoughts are crazy… I just hope I’m not the only on thinking them…

Am I the only one thinking them?

This is crazy! This is crazy! This is crazy!

Why do I do this to myself? Think like this?

I guess it’s partly human nature and partly going back to not believing in myself and also partly totally normal but still!!

Urggghhh…

I’m sure it will all come into place I just sometimes wish we didn’t have to go through all of this before it did or that I could just magically see exactly where I’ll be next year.

Ahhh I seriously dislike not knowing what I’ll be doing…

This is crazy! This is crazy! This is crazy!

*deep breath*

Tonight I will dream:

Knowing what to do, knowing that mistakes are ok and knowing that I will be ok no matter what happens.

Tomorrow I will:

Write a list of things that still needs to happen before NT and tick them off as I do them so that I’m not sitting around stressing

and then we’ll go from there…

Is it too late to bake a cake?

I’m conjuring in my mind the perfect layered cake perfectly decorated, GF and utterly delicious…

Right now… maybe I’ll have a sneaky scoop of ice-cream with drinking chocolate on top? hmmm yes… Ice-cream in winter that’s what we all need!!

Ok. Good plan.

Lets go and execute it!!!

Lesson of the day (haven’t done one for ages…):

RELAX! It’s all good. 🙂

Signing off to make a yummy concoction.

Printers, photocopiers, scanners and staplers!!!

You’ve completed the assignment, you’ve put together the last piece of the lesson and are ready to print.

As simple as that sounds it never is. You print and print and print…then it gets to the last page and the printer flashes: ERROR! ERROR! ERROR!

You think…oh drat what now – all I want is for this to be printed!!! Urggh!

So you unjam the paper, put more paper in the machine and make sure there is enough ink. All great so you print and print and print.

The printing is finished. YAY!!! We all shout for joy.

So you grab the stapler to staple the pages together. All simple again.

But wait. NO. You staple the pages TEN times before the stapler runs out of staplers.

A trip to the supermarket is needed.

You come home.

Staple – go through what seems like the box and FINALLY the pages get stapled together!!

YAY another small victory.

Then you put together the pieces of a lesson plan – the lesson that you have to teach TOMORROW!

This needs to be scanned…that needs to be photocopied… The scanner is having the issues…

The photocopier is OUT OF INK…

There aren’t any other solutions…

Do you make the templates yourself – yes!! Urgh…

So much effort, just for one small activity…

No one else notices… 😦

The next day the kids do some GREAT work.

All the stress gone.

YAY now some real celebration can commence until the next battle with the printer, photocopier, scanner and stapler – especially the dreaded stapler.

Apparently once you’re a real teacher you can bluff your way through these situations.

Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Looking forward to that.

Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs or staplers bite.

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