Thursday, 27 September 2012

Sadness and Stress (the happiest post in the world)

I was in the middle of writing a blog post on Sunday when I received the news that my beautiful cat Freddie had suddenly died. I would like to say I held it together but truth be told I was devastated. Freddie was lovely and I was very attached to him from the moment we brought him home six years ago. He was so much smaller than his brother and didn't even know how to drink milk properly at first. He was such a curious and sociable cat and would often follow me wherever I went round the house. While I've been at home recently he watched me play on the Wii a lot, his head going back and forwards, trying to figure out what on earth I was doing. I never once saw him remotely angry or vicious (except of course when he brought in mice).
He was found under a neighbours garden bench, and just looked asleep.
I know he was just a cat, but he was my cat and I loved him. He will be truly missed and the Rock house won't be the same without him.

Anyway, that's that. This is what I was writing before about my new job:

A combination of spoilt children brought up by maids and lack of organisation in the school, meant that on my first day I stepped into a classroom that was worse than any I have experienced before (that's right SEV people, they were in fact worse than aloysius). The principal's warning that morning that I should be strict, in no way prepared me for the running on the tables, the water fights, the actual fights and the screaming and shouting that were pretty much constant through my first and second day. I know I'm not the toughest person in the world and I don't claim to know everything about classroom management, but I really did try. When you've been given no reward or discipline system, however, and no pencils, paper or even teachers desk, it is basically impossible. I asked the principal if I could send students down to her office if necessary, to which she just laughed and said, "no we don't do that here." So what then? Eventually, after a few instances of taking children by the arm and hurling them out of the room (not my proudest educational moments) I finally found someone to call on in times of crisis. A non-English speaking intern who by goodness knows how to shout. By the end of the week, just the threat of bringing her in was enough to make most of the boys at least sit down, if not be quiet.
One week in, I think I'm going to be OK. Yes, the boys are still naughty and loud and one in particular is completely defiant and refuses to do anything- he lay on the floor, plumping up other people's bags to use as pillows in my last class- but they are also really sweet and hilarious. And it's amazing how a seven year old can be bought with the promise of a smiley face stamp on their hand.
And tomorrow, after I introduce the magical all controlling star chart, my students will finally be powerless to resist my rule. hahahahahahaahaha (evil laugh).

I can now tell you, after my second week, that things are getting there slowly. My star chart is up and running and I've also been to talk to the big bosses to vent my issues. They've agreed to give me a learning support assistant, so things are looking up!

Monday, 17 September 2012

One Shade of Black

Hmm where to start.... Probably in a place that isn't too overt and at risk of getting me thrown in prison. Joke! Or is it? Who knows.

Highlights so far have been as follows:
1. Being with Lee again (aww)
2. The vast selection of chocolate (sorry Korea, but what you have to offer chocolate-wise is truly pitiful)
3. The people we live with.

And now for the low lights, which I don't think I could simply list. I guess I'm just struggling to get to grips with things I already knew. It's not like I wasn't warned, but still, it's quite a shock to experience for real. 
On my first day, a man who didn't even acknowledge me came to pick me up to take me to the admin building. Madly trying to keep my ever slipping headscarf in place, I walked into a huge office, everyone averting their eyes as I walked past. I then sat, almost ignored, for an hour and a half while the men 'sorted' some of my work stuff out.
After that I was whisked away to the school, where I had to just walk in and introduce myself, as no one was expecting me. When I left home I was unaware that I would be going to school so I didn't have the regulation long black skirt on, meaning I was stuck wearing my abaya for the rest of the day. After a brief five minute introduction, the headteacher opened a classroom door to reveal a room full of kids running wild, and actually said the words 'would you like to start now?,' to which I replied a hasty 'no'  (adding a 'hell' before it in my head). I was then deposited in the staff room to talk to people who were too stressed to talk to me.
 After finding out that the students don't have all the books they need and that the school are understaffed and therefore I have to teach 6 of 7 lessons from the first day, I then had to wait ages for someone to sort out a driver for me to get home. When I finally did get back I was pretty much a wreck.

My hopes that maybe the kids would be nice and make it all worth while were sadly crushed the very next day when I started for real. But that, my friends, is a story for another time...

Ps dont worry too much because things have vastly improved already-I can't imagine what this post would've said if I'd written it yesterday or the day before! 


Wednesday, 5 September 2012


Recently I was reminiscing with a friend about Letterland, (do you remember it?) a magical place where every letter has its own personality. What a wonderful world it was! As you already know, I've been uncovering old books of late, and you'll never guess what I found-none other than the Letterland ABC. From the Hairy Hat man (homeless) to Poor Peter (depressed), it was a pleasure to re-read and re-live. I did notice that some of the characters are better than others, both in design and in characteristics. And it is with this in mind that I've decided the world of Letterland has a lot to answer for.
Yesterday, whilst at the self service check out of Sainsbury's, I had a little trouble self serving myself an avocado. The damn reduced sticker just wouldn't beep. So... rather than 'seek assistance' and be there for all of time, I imitated a BEEP of my own (Peter Kay would be proud) and popped the avocado casually in my bag. Just like that. And who do I blame for this instance of guiltless petty thievery? Robber Red, that's who!

My earliest role model, I quote, 'is a real trouble-maker in  Letterland.'
Everyone hates him and wants to see him locked up. Well thanks.
If only I had a name beginning with G, making the wonderful and flawless Golden Girl my mascot, maybe things would've turned out differently. But, as it is, I was destined from an early age to be the kind of person that steals reduced sale vegetables.

And as if Robber Red isn't bad enough, check out the personality of the letter 'X.' Thank goodness my name wasn't Xena! What on earth is this about?

It's the Kissing Cousins!

Now if that's not an advert for marrying within the family, I don't know what is.