Monthly Archives: July 2012

“Find out what it means to me…”

“Great teachers tend to push for higher standards. They speak up when they see something that is holding students back. Many principals are irritated by that. They prefer teachers who do not complain, even if they are not so hot in the classroom.”
WaPo – Large study says great teachers get little respect
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Weekend – Disappointment – Magic Mike

My first week of freedom had been going reasonably well, but over the last few days things have dipped somewhat; i’ve not been feeling very happy at all, and the weeping and sense of despair are back. Yays.

Saturday I met up with long-time-no-see Bobby Convey in Green Park, where we soaked up the Olympic atmosphere and a bottle of wonderfully terrible fizzy wine, accompanied with lots of cheese. And bitching. Green Park was rammed with people, and we got to watch the spectacle of the TFL workers corralling people into holding pens as they tried to make sure the Tube-goers weren’t crushed to death. The London 2012 t-shirts they had on sale were twenty-five motherfucking pounds. Twenty-five! I think I shall be buying mine from John Lewis…

I feel like such a misery guts at the moment. When I talk to friends I often find it hard not to cry, or press down the emotions I feel churning inside of me when I talk about the hopelessness I feel. I am NOT looking forward to going back to work, and can’t seem to escape this feeling, nor the very strong feeling that I have nothing to look forward to. I’m not getting away, and no matter how much I get out and about, i’ve still far too much time to sit and marinate in my own sadness and bitterness.

Maybe it’s better not to say anything any more, as rehashing my despair doesn’t do anything, and I don’t want to bring people down. Sigh.

I unintentionally helped Kennebec work through some issues he’d been having, leading to a big fucking let down. He seems like an honest-to-goodness stand up guy, who made an honest mistake that was not malice aforethought. I think i’m sensitive to being let down, as i’ve a lot of experience at being collateral damage from other people’s lack of reflection or clarity on what they want and need.

As I was saying to Bobby Convey – When i’m getting to know someone, I spend most of my time trying to remain calm, and a little detached, slapping down the pangs of hope that start to creep up on me, just in case i’m let down… disappointed… again.

So you work hard at not believing what they tell you, and bat away suggestions – “Fly me to Pittsburgh? Erm, no thanks… you’re not going to do that” – but they keep on and keep on, and maybe even follow through on some of their suggestions, the things you would never think to bring up, but they do.

They keep on and keep on, giving you a tantalising glimpse of what could be, and then suddenly realise the implications of what they’re saying, can’t back their talk up when called on it, or realise that they actually don’t want what they’ve been saying they’d do for you all along. You work hard on not getting your hopes up, but they work hard to raise those hopes, just to dash them in the end.


Bobby had no answer to this, other than saying “Fuck men”. She went on to tell me that a big part of being in a relationship is “giving up”, and she now shares a house with her partner, and they’ve been together for years. You can tell that the conversations we were having were all kinds of fun fun fun. There were stony faces all round and weeping of tears. GOOD TIMES!!!

This evening I met up with Flambé and we went to see Magic Mike. It had some Soderbergh touches, and was appropriately bleak in places, if not very deep, and actually pretty clichéd. However, I enjoyed it, and I can now see what other people see in Channing Tatum. Flambé particularly liked the scene where Tatum dressed up in baseball cap and sweats…
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Break – Week One


So i’m nearly at the end of my first week of Summer freedom. How’s it been going?

I’ve had dinner with my Dad, got my car MOT’d (it passed hurrah!), gone run/walking, sat out on my porch and read about Katharine Hepburn, done Pilates, watched several episodes of Deadwood, arranged to socialise with Bobby Convey and Flambé, continued to converse and flirt with Kennebec, drunk a few glasses of chilled rosé and generally tried not to melt.

I feel A LOT better than I did this time last week, when I was at work. Of course, it’s not like I don’t think about the place, but having time off has made me realise how it was affecting me. I’m not waking up early and being unable to get back to sleep, i’m not having to fight back tears in the car each morning, i’m not going to sleep worrying or excessively turning things over in my head. This is good.

I still feel the need to get away. I’m considering whether or not fleeing the country towards the end of next month is feasible, or indeed advisable, given the potential cost, and whom I might want to visit. Yes, i’m considering meeting an “internet friend” in a foreign clime. I might have fun, or it might be an unbridled disaster. I don’t think this will be the case though; if we don’t get on then there would be plenty to see and do, and I would be going somewhere i’ve never been before.

My Mum always offers to partner up with me for holidays, but i’d much prefer to go somewhere on my own. There are LOTS of things that need to be decided upon before I book anything, so I may end up going nowhere. Time will tell.
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“Free Radicals”

Len Lye
Free Radicals

via order is optional
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Glass Ceiling

Jill Greenberg - Glass Ceiling

Image from series Glass Ceiling by Jill Greenberg. From her artist statement:
“The ‘Glass Ceiling’ project is about the ‘set up’ of being a woman.”

“As these athletes attempt to pose for me the water knocks them into awkward positions. The heels are overtly absurd and hinder their movement, amplifying their lack of control in this world.”

“‘The disciplinary project of femininity is a setup, it requires such radical and extensive bodily transformation, that a woman is destined in some degree to fail.‘”

“This quote by Sandra Lee Bartky was the crux of my senior thesis, ‘The Female Object’ at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1989. At the conclusion of the multimedia presentation that was the “Female Object,” the final projected slide declared ‘Exit the Powder Room.’ It was my assertion that this project of femininity is a self-created distraction from accomplishing more serious goals.”
I love this work. It encapsulates so many of the areas I take an interest in, and expresses her ideas very clearly.
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First Weekend of Freedom

A downer, but things improved as the weather changed, and I distracted myself from thoughts of work and relationships by starting running again and reading my book on Katharine Hepburn. I need to write a more comprehensive post to explain what’s been going on with me over the last few weeks, but errands to run and all that, so I actually need to get up before 9am. Boo. So, shower, sleep.
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Oh, HOORAY, it’s nearly the Summer break.

Six weeks spending the majority of those 1008 hours in a 4m x 4m room, before going back to a job I *deeply* dislike, where as the weeks tick by i’ll be reminded of the relationship I once had.

Image: Trinity nuclear test fireball, 16 milliseconds after detonation
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One and a half more days to go.
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Tired and upset and wanting this week to be over already.

Funnily enough, engaging in email flirtations with men on living on different continents to mine doesn’t stop me feeling that particular mix of sadness, anger, bristling at injustice and despair that fills so much of my days recently. This is especially true when you find that you actually connect with someone, but geography puts them out of reach.

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High percentage fun

Bored of the (lack of) choice offered in my town on the dating site I am on, I often browse through high percentage matches located anywhere, not just nearby. The men are usually awesome, and just the sort I wish there were more of near me, rather than thousands of miles away.

Anyway, sometimes i’ll message them, or sometimes they’ll message me; we usually express admiration for each other’s profile and collectively sigh at being separated by such a distance.

One such gentleman three-thousand miles away initiated a week or so back, and we’ve struck up quite the textual flirtation; he (i’ll have to think of a codename for him) is making my work days a little easier to get through.
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Holy Fuck:

Indy/HanHarrison Ford is seventy years old today.

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Having a bit of a shit time of it the last few days, interspersed with a good weekend of friends, dim sum, karaoke and art. I feel exhausted and can’t wait until a week on Friday, when school breaks up.

A break from working won’t solve my problems however. I’ve been feeling increasingly disillusioned with work, actually hopeless to be honest. Combination of the education system being broken, interference from management, not being stretched in my job, shitty living conditions and post-Coppell blues. I’m still not having unbroken nights during the week; whether this is down to noise from other tenants, workplace stress or something else i’m not quite sure. I just want to wake up in the morning and not feel like a zombie :(

This thread on the TES sums up quite neatly some of the thoughts i’ve been having lately. I still don’t know what the answers are, if they exist. Lots of options, but then very few practical ones it seems. And no, I don’t cry in the car to and from work; I manage to keep my tears at the brimming stage, rather than brimming-over…

TES – How many days do you…
“Drive to and from school in tears, and very possibly spend some time in tears during the day as well, before you decide enough is enough?

And when you do decide that enough is enough, what do you do then?”
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New WFMU love and highly recommended: Monica. An excellent mix indeed, with more variety I must admit than Jones & X.Ray, but I love the boys for other reasons, i.e. banter, wrestling talk and paranoid theories.

Why’s Monica’s show good? Latin rhythms, Nina Simone, Roxy Music, Luther Vandross and Zambian music all within the space of half an hour.
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Progress – Stacey

Have got my personal, real name site up and running with some actual work on it. Huzzah.

I have rather fallen for Stacey, a small application that enables you to simply build a portfolio without too much fuss; I’m using it with Assemblage to create a very pleasing site. It’s still in the process of being sorted, and I need to take photos of the stuff i’ve got at work, but i’m relatively happy with what’s up at the moment.

So all that time learning Blueprint was for nowt, but whatevs, learning is goood.
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Makeup tutorial superstar Lauren Luke’s latest…

“How To Look Your Best The Morning After”

This video makes me cry.

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Push Down Your Ego – Canteen – Saatchi Gallery – Progress

I had a really enjoyable Saturday this weekend gone; I went into Lahndahn tahn to see the final degree show of one of my former charges as she graduated from her Winchester BA Illustration course. It was inspiring to see the work of the students; most was of a very good standard, and I enjoyed seeing the work of people at the jumping off point in their careers.

My former charge was a wonderful sixth former when I taught her: smart, hard-working and exploratory, absorbing all the ideas you threw her way and running with them to their conclusion – as a good A Level student should be, and a calibre that used to be much more frequently encountered but is a rarity now. Grrr.

Anyway, she dealt with some terribly difficult circumstances brilliantly and is now settled down happily with a partner; life is full of promise for her. At the time I taught her I was sure she’d go on to great things, so it’s hugely pleasing to see someone doing well.

Whilst there I took the opportunity to push the boat out and spend seven whole pounds on two prints produced by some of the graduates:

Anna White Anna White

Oliver McAinsh Oliver McAinsh
Grace McAuliffe

Yes, this is Biggie Smalls in knitwear.

After the show I splurged on lunch at Canteen in Spitalfields; it was grand to have a nice chat with the front-of-house and people watch under the glass canopy. When my brain isn’t addled from lack of restful sleep, I am finding that a bit of Coppell has rubbed off on me, in that I am much more communicative with people when out and about. A good thing I think.

Spitalfields and the area around it has changed a lot over the last few years and it was interesting to see the variety of fancy pants shops that are now located in what was a somewhat scummy part of London. So, smoked haddock, lemon dressed spinach and mashed potato with hollandaise followed by lemon posset, all washed down with a big bottle of cold cider. Yummmm.

Saatchi Several stops round on the Circle line and in a super fancy pants part of London, lay the Kings Road and my inaugural visit to the Saatchi Gallery.

They have a large exhibition on at the moment of contemporary photography, and as it’s free I felt I would be an idiot to pass it up.

It was a bit of a strange experience, in that the galleries were busy and loud places, as if the palace of art that was all available to buy was a shopping mall.

Anyway, I appreciated that the small version of the catalogue was only a tenner, even if I wasn’t hugely taken with the actual art on display. I did like the building though, a converted military school.

The weather was grand and it was great to see so much fresh art. The idea of having hours to spend making is an exciting one; although I have six weeks of freedom coming up, the lack of space to make means doing much is a no-no. Boooooo.

Things are faaar from perfect in my life, but times are better of late. I cry infrequently and laugh more, and I feel like i’m doing more, even if that is running for three minutes and managing my finances better. These small things are helping, a lot.
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