Marked for death

September 8, 2008

So, I was driving home from school at 5:45 this afternoon, thinking how I really should update my blog and I’m pretty sure I had some vague idea about content….

Yeah, dunno what happened to that?!  But the kitten is mewing outside the door because I shut him out so I could eat without having kitten-foot-garnish on my dinner.  And I really should check his litter tray…

School is exhausting.  The kids have a whole week of tests, which means that I have a whole week of marking tests, which really is a far more rigorous process than marking their everyday work.  This is what my desk looks like at the moment, drowing under a barrage of standardised testing:

Yes, the board to the right of my desk is pink.  Yes, I like it that way.

Extra special bonus points go to the people who decided that the kids should take tests designed to be taken at the end of the year, thus containing lots of topics that the kids JUST HAVEN’T COVERED YET!!  Which probably explains why the two tests I have marked so far yielded scores of 4 and 8 out of, like, 57 or something.  According to my handy teacher’s guide, any score under 14 is unquantifiable as an actual grade.  Way to make the kids feel good about themselves.

At least I will look like a fantastic teacher when their marks increase by, like 500% in the summer!  Hehe.


Painted Lady

August 31, 2008

I have just been painting my bedroom.  With a brush.  Because we are cheapskates in this house who buy rollers from Wilkinsons for like £2.99 instead of shelling out decent cash at B&Q or Homebase.  But really, because we are of the school of thought that’s all “Hey, I’ve just painted that whole wall, I deserve a rest, I’ll wash that roller out later, I swear”.  If by “later” you mean “in four months time when the paint on it has solidified into a lumpy mass thus rendering it useless in the application of, I don’t know, ANYTHING”.  So I went old school and painted with a brush.

The painting is necessary because the decor left by the previous tenants is unbearable.  (Except not that unbearable, because I have lived here for almost a year and this is the first time I have got off my lazy arse to do anything about it.)  We decided to go for white emulsion because nothing else really seemed to tie the room together, being as how my furniture is a mishmash of woods and stains and cheap MDF.  One day I aspire to have matching bedroom furniture.  It will be a great day indeed.

Cold feet

August 28, 2008

I have had the opportunity to go into school yesterday and today, but I haven’t taken up the offer.  I have plenty to do in order to get my classroom set up before the children start next Thursday, but despite the fact that I have been bursting with enthusiasm all summer it has now waned and I can’t seem to find the motivation.  I know I will get it done – and hopefully K is getting the day off on Tuesday so can come in with me for the purposes of being my general dogsbody – but right now, the thought is just not inspiring me.

The writing is going slowly at the moment, but it’s still all I want to do right now and some part of me is desperate to stay home and write write write.  Unfortunately that would involve K earning enough to keep me in chocolate and new pairs of Converse and that just isn’t the case at the moment.  Plus I am really looking forward to having an actual decent wage coming in and thinking about things like new bedroom furniture and mortgages like a proper grown up.

And I know that I love my class (so far anyway) and only a few weeks ago I couldn’t wait to help them shape their young impressionable minds into reasoned and valuable members of society.  I am sure that what I am feeling is cold feet, akin to what you allegedly feel before your wedding day – THREE YEARS of my life have been building up to this moment, that’s a pretty tall order to fill, but I’m not sure how to push through it.

But push through it I will, without a doubt, and I know I will love having my class and my own classroom and all the fun things that will happen this year.  I’m sure I will learn a lot. 

And who knows, maybe I’ll get another book out of it.

Bank holiday blues

August 26, 2008

I spent this weekend in Manchester.  I drank beer and vodka, visited clubs where the floors were so sticky your feet actually became superglued to them, partied to Roisin Murphy of Moloko by the main stage, went shopping and played a very silly drinking game where if one of us were to say “Ahoy” and raise their hand to their forehead, everyone else had to repond in kind.  Or face the penalty!  It was fun.

We went with two friends with the idea that I could share the driving, but as there were only two drivers out of the four of us, and as there was only one driver who wasn’t stoned out of the four of us, the joy of driving to Manchester and back fell to me.

In the spirit of the British bank holiday, we came down the slip road yesterday to witness the M6 in disguise as a busy car park.  Thankfully the traffic cleared when we reached Staffordshire and then moved mercifully quickly until we reached the M6 Toll, whereupon it ground to a rather unsatisfactory halt.  Conveniently just after the moment I turned to K and said, “I think I need a wee.”

So my rapidly swelling bladder and I had to fight through the traffic.  And to add insult to injury we had to pay £4.50 for the luxury of driving on the M6 Toll.

Finally we dropped the other two off and got home, having been on the road about 6 hours.  We then discovered that the kitten had had explosive diarrhoea and we were out of cat litter, so I had to speed to the nearest Co-op to get supplies.  Then I bent my nail back trying to open the living room door.  Being awake was no fun anymore.

Hercules is going to the vet today to get his second lot of jabs and his microchip so I will get my revenge for having to clear up his poo.

In other news, my novel is now over 22K words, but today is probably the last chance I will have to do any serious work on it for a while, as the school opens tomorrow and I keep having anxiety dreams about not being ready when my class start back in nine days time, so I will probably be in school every day from tomorrow onwards.

I should probably get showered as we have to be at the vets’ in 40 minutes.

How this blog nearly got called ‘I am NOT teacher’

August 20, 2008

When the past comes up and bites you in the arse

I wasn’t going to write about my history on here, for the simple fact of that’s what it is: history.  My depressive teens and early 20s are so alien to me now they feel like a lifetime ago and every time I look back and realise I only said a final goodbye to my social worker less than two years ago, I am shocked.

That’s not me any more.  I can’t imagine feeling like that again.

 But today I had to sit in front of a doctor I had never met before and convince him that I am  sane, responsible and trustworthy. 

I have spent three years at university working hard on assignments and school placements alike, in order to do a job that I love, and here is someone who has maybe twenty minutes to make a judgement on whether I should be allowed to perform that job.  To me, the only way in which my past seems relevant is that I will hopefully be able to relate to and empathise with any children or parents I come across who are going through similar issues.

I don’t suppose any of my colleagues without a history like mine had to explain why they took recreational drugs at the age of eighteen.  For all I know, they take them now, but they didn’t have a doctor with a medical report in front of him saying all of this.

Clearly teaching is a career in which a certain level of professional behaviour is expected outside of work, but how much does it matter?  Were I still at risk of self harming would you want me teaching your child?  What about if I went out drinking every night? (I don’t)  What if it was only at the weekend?  (Okay, I often do)What if I’d once been arrested for petty theft five years ago? (I wasn’t)  I felt like everything I’d ever done was being called into question all because I ticked the box that said ‘Depression/mood disorder’.

Ask anyone who has known me for the past few years and they’ll tell you I’m a changed person.  Will it be different when that history is ten years in my past?  Twenty?

I felt my job, my career, everything I have worked for over the past three years almost slip away from me today.  Thankfully, my emotional stability is ridiculously apparent when you actually talk to me and I get to keep the job I love.

All that, and I had to pay 50p to park.

Hello world!

August 14, 2008

Testing, testing.  Is this thing on?

So here I am.  Welcome to my new home.  Pull up a chair, make yourself comfortable, help yourself to a Diet Coke.

And check back soon.  ‘Cause who knows, I might actually write something!