Monthly Archives: May 2014

Mr. Boring

Yesterday I went on a date with a twenty-five year-old “emotionally unavailable introvert”. Well, it gets me out the house I thought.

I’m an introvert and many of my friends are, so I know what we’re like, but Jesus, was the hour-and-a-half we spent together painful. He complained that all the women he’d been on dates with were boring, yet he was reticent, contradictory in his speech and really fucking dull. It was so hard to find things to talk about, given that the topics I raised were batted away, after a few seconds pause from him to consider.

On OKCupid there’s a section on what six things you couldn’t do without. One of the things I listed was a vibrator, as I figure this is pretty much standard equipment for the modern woman, and much as they can’t hug you or make you laugh, they’re good whether solo or partnered. He picked this small point to talk about, pooh-poohing my choice and my reasoning, seeming to take offence at the very idea of sex toys. Jesus. Grow a pair, dumbfuck. Why are some men so threatened by this?

Anyway, it’s the end of my week away from the whiteboardface booooo. Leia Ewok Village’s for a flat warming to round the week off hurrah.
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Post “Coffee”

Well, two coffees actually. So, I was gifted some Lego, and got some fresh air. The guy was nice, but there was no spark, no banter or challenge in conversation. Just chat, as you would with someone random, but with nothing more.

Sigh.

Every year that goes by without any meaningful interest I know that I become ever-so-slightly more hardened. It’s not that i’m not open to meeting someone, but perhaps i’m becoming too comfortable with failure, just as I am with regards my job search. I still try, but there’s definitely a blasé attitude that is creeping in. Protective I suppose, but self-sabotaging in other ways. Not everyone wants to have to fight their way through layers of cynicism, or at least it takes a rare person who’s willing to do so… :/

Or maybe I just haven’t found the right person who happens to be nearby yet.

Anyway, Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie was on offer at Sainsburys so in addition to the Lego at least I got something out of my afternoon’s wander.
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Freedom – “Coffee”

On half term break from work this week. Getting in my one a year, I have a date this afternoon for the first time in eight months, or should I say I am meeting a man for coffee.

Am I excited? NO.

At least I will get some fresh rainy air, and I need to pick up some groceries, so a trip into town will pay off no matter what happens. Also, the man is bringing some free Lego for me to have, which is obviously a mega bonus.

What I can’t work out, is why I feel SO very sad about “coffee” – sad to the point of tears, repeatedly. UGH.
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Thanks So Much :/

OKC FAIL

SIGH.
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14-15

Of all the years I’ve been teaching, 2014-15 is the first year I am actively not looking forward to. Why? Various reasons, mostly to do with things completely out of my control. So, things I shouldn’t worry about or get angry about, but I do, because I see kids’ education – and futures – being fucked, and my working life being made so much harder and even less fulfilling as a result.

Here’s what I have to work with:

  • Darkroom with four enlargers
  • Eight PCs with Photoshop CS6 in my room, with another eight in the department
Originally, there were THIRTY-FIVE kids on the list to do Photography; my understanding was that classes needed to contain a minimum of ten students, preferably fifteen, in order to run, so I asked my line manager if this meant we would have two classes – NO. So, kids who’d not put the subject first on their options forms were encouraged to choose other courses, bringing the total down by ten.

Now, not all of the twenty-five kids who say they’re going to do Photography will end up doing so, or they’ll opt to go elsewhere, but even if i’m optimistic, that still leaves a class of twenty.

In the past, if there was a large group in Art and Design – large being over ten – two teachers would be put on at the same time for four of the nine period sessions timetabled over two weeks. There is no chance of that happening now.

So, i’ll be expected to teach one class of around twenty, with eight computers if other classes are using them, with a darkroom where I can fit around eight kids in at once. To say I am apprehensive about this prospect is an understatement.

This year, my school is down £250,000 due to funding cuts to post-16 education. To tl;dr, sixth form colleges are allocated less money per student than school sixth forms, so, instead of saying, oh, education is so important – let’s up the funding of colleges, the government has decided to reduce funding for schools to college levels.

Kids are unable to choose courses that best fit them, and there is the very real possibility that there will be entire local authorities where a particular subject will not be offered, for example technology, languages, PE. What about opportunities for all?

Additionally, funding pressures are beginning to trickle down from the sixth form to kids taking GCSE (ages 15-16). This year, my GCSE groups contain 14-16 pupils; next year, my new class will contain 24. Where we would have run four exam groups, now kids are being shoehorned into three classes of upwards of twenty pupils.

The most I have taught before in a GCSE class has been 23, and it was incredibly difficult, what with Art being so reliant upon one-to-one feedback sessions, not to mention working with a wide range of abilities and behavioural issues.

So I am profoundly apprehensive about the year to come.

Yet another year passes without successfully landing a new position. I am still very unhappy.

What have I achieved…?

:(

Related:

Guardian – How can government justify cuts when there’s money for a £45m free school?
Independent – Could state sixth-forms soon become a thing of the past?
TES – Sixth forms keep their money – for three years
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Itchy

Wow. Something actually new in my life, though not exactly welcome…

The birds that have been nesting under the eaves of the roof appear to have gifted me a gift that is keeping on giving: bird mites, in waves, dropping through the roof space and into my bathrooms. How generous!

These bloodsucking fuckers are rather gross, in that they bite, and are looking for new mammal, so I am currently sporting small welts where they have feasted unnoticed. Not anything like as bad as bedbugs appear to be, but itchy and horrid nonetheless.

All of this fortuitously corresponds to the death of the boiler that provides hot water to the flat, and this will be week two of bathing courtesy of kettles and buckets. So i’m itchy and missing having access to lots of hot running water.

Yays :(
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Pride

Yesterday, in what I think is the first time in my entire life, my Mum told me that she is proud of me, or at least proud of what i’ve achieved career-wise.

Are they the same thing? I am unsure.
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Escape

As I become increasingly disheartened at work, with “dating” AKA The Great Nought and life in general, I find my mind turns to the holidays. Yeah, anywhere but here. Healthy!

Browsing AirBnB, i’ve realised that a non-Favourite Aunt-hosted trip to Colorado might actually be feasible. Stupid amounts of money will need to be spent, but what am I saving for… A house? A car? Reproducing…? No, experiences.

I still think of the beauty I saw in the mountains, valleys and plains a year on, so if I can swing it, it seems like it would be worth doing again.

I need to wait ’til the end of the month before trying to organise anything, just in case I do actually get a new job HAHA. I guess I just want something to feel positive about… perhaps waiting for the boiler to be fixed and doing bucket bathing is what’s brought the Summer to mind. Yes, this is day three without hot water. Kettles kettles kettles.
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Done

Application ten sent.

Über fancy private school, other side of the country, chances slim to zero of an interview. OH WELL.
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Overheard

“Meet up with me before you take the mushrooms, yeah?”
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Cupboard Confessional

Awww… today had one of those moments where I love being a teacher. Sixth former turned up to my lesson looking like a wreck, and I asked if she wanted to talk about it. She went out to try and pull herself together and then asked to speak to me; I asked whether it was a school-related issue or of a more personal nature.

“Personal. I wondered if you could help me? I know you’ll not be judgemental.” Into the art storage cupboard of privacy we went, where she outs herself, and tells me that her ex is being super controlling and shitty towards her, and she wondered what best to do.

I have her a pep talk about how much value she had, and how anyone who doesn’t see that is not worth her time nor tears, and asked her to go away and think about what she wanted to do. I told her I thought her ex sounded like someone she should stay away from, who was possibly abusive, and she should consider involving school if things continue.

Thanks to the Wellbeing course, I explained how she’s not responsible for her ex, nor anyone else; she can only control her own thoughts and behaviour, and should not worry about other people. Be strong!

She seemed to take comfort from all of this, listening and clearly thinking about what I was saying. I get a lot of satisfaction out of helping my kids with both their school and personal troubles – though I can’t fix the world – and I felt privileged that she felt I was someone she could seek advice from.

“Thank you Miss…” means a lot in such situations.
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