An update

May. 5th, 2014 10:05 pm
lishesquex: (xena - big sword fandom)
Went back to YVG to do a day of Casual Relief Teaching today and really enjoyed it. After a long holiday, it's nice to go out, be energized, have the chance to be tired again which means it's all the sweeter to come home and kick my feet up at the end of the day. No doubt I'll enjoy tomorrow's sleep-in more as well. Man, I never thought I'd say that I'd miss being tired. But it's true. It's nice to be tired sometimes. But I'm glad there's no day-after-day bone-crushing exhaustion which makes you want to cancel all social engagements because you just don't have the energy.

It was actually really nice to be able to work one-on-one with some students today. Usually as the classroom teacher you have to monitor EVERYTHING and EVERYONE and TEACH STUFF and that doesn't leave a lot of time for individual help. But two of my periods today were part of the Individual Learning Department and so I was able to help some kids with remedial English stuff.

It was also really nice to see people again and be part of a community. I was almost mobbed by a few of my former Year 8 girls who shrieked and got totes excited when they saw me, and a former Year 8 boy gave me a very respectful high five. So that was really sweet. It makes you feel all confident and idk, Captain Janeway-like.

The difference between Casual Relief Teaching and Actual Teaching is amaaazing. It was SO nice to finish at the end of the day with no worries about marking or lesson planning for the next day or emails to write to parents or meetings to go to. Of course it's a lot less intellectually stimulating but that also frees up your mind to think about and plan other things which there is so little time for in normal teaching.

I'll be going in again on Friday which I'm looking forward to. This is pretty perfect actually. Working two days a week on my own terms. Plenty of other things to occupy me when I'm not CRTing too - I need to finish planning Eurotrip 2014 and I'm still completing my Certificate IV in Training and Assessing.

And of course there's the fun things like:

Social Things
Ephie and Tara's boardgames birthday party
Swordcraft with Kerryn
Supanova with Jackie and Kerryn
Regular bike rides with Jeanette

TV Things
Vikings Season 2 - Loved it, especially the early episodes of the season. Felt like it kind of dragged towards the end. Until the finale, that is. I want a shieldmaiden gf like Lagertha.
Lost Girl Season 3 - Huge disappointment. Barely worth watching. Wanderer storyline sucked. In fact, whole plot was suck.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Have lately begun to enjoy it a lot more, especially after the Big Spoilery Events which occurred during Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Game of Thrones S3 - Still guiltily enjoying this show despite all the things that are problematic.
HIMYM finale - Did not hate it unlike 99% of viewers.
Bones S9 - Still one of my favs. Glad it got renewed for another season.

Book Things
Finished reading Vol. 1 to 5 of The Sandman series. Need to get the rest off Jackie soon.
Also read an old Rosemary Sutcliff novel called "The Lantern Bearers" which is the 1959 idea of a YA novel. LOVED IT. I read it in one sitting. It's so my type of book - basically melancholic/nostalgia-filled longing for a lost past/an elegy for Roman Britain. Historical fiction with a whiff of Arthurian legend. Solid character building too.
Now reading Adijan and Her Genie by LJ Baker which Ingrid recommended to me ages ago. Finding the writing a bit juvenile compared to the very dense style of Sutcliff that I've just been reading, but the plot has intrigued me enough for me to not abandon it.
With all this reading I am now only 2 books behind schedule in my goal to read 50 books this year.

Game Things
Been playing Hearthstone on the iPad which is perfect for giving me my WoW fix, but does not suck up my life. Thanks, Blizz!!
On the PC, I've been enjoying Expeditions: Conquistador which is a great little indie game which is not 'little' at all. Have clocked up almost 30 hours on it and there's plenty more to do.
lishesquex: (Default)
So tired today after the House Swimming Carnival.  It's been a day of too much sunshine, bright colours of red, blue, gold and green, and the constant weave of people. 

My face is slightly sun burnt, due to the fact that there was very little shade at the venue.  I finally managed to find a small patch of shade under a tree along with Simon and George (the heads of English and Humanities respectively).  I had a really good talk with them.  I think that what I'll miss most about teaching is the wonderful, quirky, idealistic people who make up the teaching profession.  I respect both of them enormously and will genuinely miss them when I leave.

I have volunteered to help out at the school's Open Day in March.  Somehow, knowing that I'm leaving soon makes me put more effort into my work. I think it's the feeling that it's not endless now, and there is rest in sight. 
lishesquex: (alias - close my eyes bw)
Today was a semi-frustrating day at work, again due to unnecessary meetings with parents.  I don't even want to go into it.

But there was a cool thing.  The cool thing was that I had lunch with the library staff and the visiting author, Myke Bartlett.  In the session he had with my class, he talked about "The Hero's Journey", which was interesting.  In my head, I was applying it to my forever-unwritten Viking story.  One day, I will write it.  In the mean time, here is a diagram:



He used lots of pop culture references like Star Wars and LOTR and Harry Potter to explain it to the kids.  They were young enough for Harry Potter but I think I was the only one who was geeking out about the other stuff.

Anyway, I enjoyed lunch with Myke and the librarians.  They're my kind of people.  It was nice to step into a different world for a while and take a breather.
lishesquex: (Default)
You know that awkward moment when you pass another co-worker/colleague in the hallway and you smile and say hi but they just ignore you and you don't know if they've heard or if they're just being rude? WELL. There's this one colleague who does that 70% of the time so I'd mostly given up on smiling and saying hi at her. And today I found out that she's super right-wing and is a member of Family First. NO MORE SMILES FOR YOU, LADY.

That is all.
lishesquex: (xena - callisto fool)
I just got home from watching my school's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. It was amazing. The acting was exceptional. The musical score was written by one of the Year 10 students and performed by our symphonic band. There were many, many laugh out loud moments that had the audience totally cracking up. I'm incredibly impressed.

I taught a lot of the Year 10s who are now in Year 12 (seniors) and I'm currently teaching two classes of Year 11s, so I knew most of the kids on the stage. Sometimes I feel inadequate teaching such talented young people. I couldn't do half the things they were doing up there tonight. So bravo to them. And I hope I remember this feeling on the days when teaching gets me down.
lishesquex: (iconomicon - pwnstar)
I'm feeling pretty good about my job today. Reasons for this are:

A) I got to come home early.
B) I finished writing a whole class of reports today quite easily, which makes me feel like this job is getting easier.
C) One of my Year 12 students gave me a very expensive bottle of French Champagne (Moët et Chandon) and a thank you card. The card said that he enjoyed the year and now looks at language and communication differently after doing English Language. \o/
D) The Moët et Chandon will go next to the De Bortoli Rococo Blanc de Blancs, which all the Year 12 teachers received last week on behalf of the De Bortoli family whose daughter was in Year 12 this year. (WIN)

Unfortunately, I remain violently allergic to alcohol. At least the bottles are pretty to look at.

Who wants to come help me drink this stuff? :D
lishesquex: (xena - splat)
The ranks of my Year 11 English Language class has swelled to 24 students this semester (from 19 previously). I have five new students, all bright and shiny, to mold into young linguists. Some of them might still switch out in the next week, but it's good to see so much interest in the subject. Even if it means more work for me.

Today I said "orly?" and one of my geeky boys said "yarly" back. I lol'ed inside.

Semester 2 preparations are kicking my butt though.

14 hour work day (with no lunch break!)
+ 1 hour travel
+ 1 hour getting up preparations
+ 1 hour dinner + packing bag/clothes for the next day
+ 8 hours sleep

= OH WAIT, THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH HOURS.
lishesquex: (Eurovision - Leto Svet)
Huh, I totally fell asleep last night IN MY CHAIR while posting this. Like seriously head lolling back, mouth open asleep.

From yesterday:

Work is stressing me out immensely at the moment. I worked more than 60 hours this week. I am still really enjoying teaching my senior classes even though it's so stressful. My Year 12s got a lower SAC average than the other class for the first time this year and I subsequently had a nightmare about all my kids failing and me being this horrible teacher. UGH STRESS. It doesn't help that the school exec are doing appraisals of Year 12 teachers' kids' results. Basically, at the end of the year, if my students don't perform above a certain level (something like a 34 study score average), I will have a meeting with my verynothot!boss and he will be like "EXPLAIN TO ME WHY THESE KIDS DO NOT HAVE BETTER MARKS."

This week was LOTE week and today all the Year 8s had to come dressed up in a different country/culture's clothes. Most of the kids came in various types of ethnic apparal, but there were three or four boys who came draped in Australian flags walking around with this cocky, challenging look. I can't remember when it was exactly that the Australian flag got hijacked by racists to become a symbol of White Power, but it's quite discomforting and sad to see.

Anyway. EUROVISION. I have banned myself from reading or watching the news until Eurovision is over so I don't accidentally spoil myself like I did last year. I watched Semi Final 1 tonight and was a little disappointed with the selection of countries that got through to the Final. I'm sad Finland and Slovakia did not get in. But at least Moldova, Serbia and Iceland made it through.
lishesquex: (Default)

Kitteh knows how to open a door by pressing down on the door handle now.  First she learns how to fetch, then she knows how to open doors.  Next step: WORLD DOMINATION.

Parents are unemployed due to the new cafe owner suddenly shutting down the business with no warning.  Mum is applying for jobs every night - I've been proofreading her resume and cover letters. Money isn't really an issue yet, but I am going to start paying rent.

Work is really stressing me out at the moment.  The Year 7s are starting Archaeology, the Year 11s are about to start English Across Time (yay Old English!) and the Year 12s are about to start Spoken Language.  I am literally two pages ahead of all of them at the moment.  I've also got several stacks of essays and homework to correct.  And I need to write an exam paper that needs to be printed by next week.  And when all of that is done, there are exams to mark, followed by having to write 93 individualised student reports.  Last year around this time I was working 13 or 14 hour days every day.  Ugh, do not want.

I really hate this time of the year.  Thankfully, Eurovision is coming up soon.  EUROVISION.  Hot European girls in skimpy outfits, hilarious accents, an (over)abundance of billowing capes and flags, political intrigue, and the very best of Europop.   <3

lishesquex: (xena - splat)
Fifteen hour days are not fun. I have a splitting headache and my throat feels as if I've been talking for 10 hours straight. OH WAIT, I THAT'S BECAUSE I HAVE.

Oh my sweet pyjamas. You feel so nice after wearing a suit all day.

*crawls into bed and lies a fetal position*
lishesquex: (buffy - faith this is life)
It's been a good break. I played a lot of WoW. A lot. Like, averaging 8 hours per day. I don't regret it though. It was good times.

I have renamed my kitteh Kahlan. We still occasionally forget and call her Moko. Hell, we still sometimes forget and call her Stormy. She is going to be one very confused cat.

Tomorrow I start work again. It's a curriculum day, although we don't really get any time to plan. It'll be meetings all day - not even about the curriculum, but about school goals and professional learning plans and other pointless things that have no direct impact on our teaching. Blah. Term 2 is going to be long and hard, and I'm not looking forward to it. There are parent teacher interviews coming up in the first weeks, and towards the end there will be report writing. Plus, the sun sets at around 6pm these days, and rises at about 6:20am, so I'll be going to and coming home from work in the dark on most days, which I absolutely hate. Still, it can't be as bad as last year, right?

Anyway... GOODBAI FOREVER, WORLD.
lishesquex: (buffy - faith this is life)

There is something moderately to severely depressing about arriving home and signing onto WoW to find that all your friends signed off in the last hour or three.  I need more local friends.  So tonight (what's left of it) is a choice of playing Mass Effect or reading "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao".  At least I have Moko Kitteh to keep me company.

Kylie's Facebook status update today was: "got a strange letter today from a Swedish linguist who read about the 'challenges I face' in the Age and wants to help me..."  I wish I got random letters from Swedish linguists.  :-(  You, my flist, know of my great passion for linguists and Swedes.  Put them together and it's like a giant double chocolate coated caramel Tim Tam.  Irresistable.  Mmmm Swedish linguists nom nom nom.

Today's after school meeting was depressing.  All about enrolment numbers and the challenges posed by the economy and how the school needs to send a clear message to the community about achievement and excellence and results and how teachers are the key for achieveing all of this and oh by the way we're bringing in an appraisal system to rate each of you and your performance as teachers because you all don't have enough extra shit in your lives already.  It's truly depressing how commercial and beaurocratic the education sector is becoming.  Anyway, this Saturday is the school Open Day during which Year 7 students (along with their parents and grandparents) are required to attend classes in the morning, and certain teachers have to teach.  All so that the community can see the school in action.  On a Saturday.  It's just a giant advertising campaign and a lot of people resent being forced to give up their free time for it.  Thankfully, I'm not required to attend this year.

In other news, I bought a plane ticket to Munich last Friday. The Iceland Trip is definitely on.  Incidentally, I also received a very nice postcard from Munich at around the same time, which I am going to stick up on my office wall at work along with pictures of Moko Kitteh.

lishesquex: (iconomicon - pwnstar)

I'm back from Year 7 camp.  It was actually pretty awesome.  I learnt how to sail.  I rode a mountain bike through bush trails.  I played soccer on the beach at sunset with my Year 7s.  I read a book while watching my Year 7s canoe, and came out to to my hot-boss-colleague while sitting in a sunburnt and windswept field with her for two hours.  Amazingly, I didn't even get grumpy at my kids despite living with them for five days.  They're a pretty great bunch of kids.

My kitten is a whole week older and a fair bit bigger.  I'm sorry to have missed out on a week of kittehness.

lishesquex: (star trek - same thing we do every night)
Just got back from Middle School Information Night. About an hour of it was me in a classroom with 20 odd parents asking questions and me presenting information to them. It was pretty terrifying actually. I think I managed to cover everything and only slipped into the wrong register once ("you guys").

I'm exhausted now. My mind is like... quibbering in a corner somewhere. Is quibber even a word?

Disappointingly the hot Swedish MILF parent turned out to be a Czech parent (but still tall, blonde, and hot). She was sooo grateful that her son is enjoying school. Extremely friendly. I like her.

I apologise for becoming increasingly boring and only posting about work these days. It's because there's not much else to post about when my working hours are from 7am to 7pm on average.

In other news, I am amused becuase thirty seconds of a conversation with Ingrid and she had managed to cover bestiality, dungeons and holy vaginas. Lulz.

P.S. MOKO KITTEEEEHY SAYS HAI.


Moar pics )
lishesquex: (xena - xena on argo)
I had a really long and vivid nightmare this morning in which my mother died.  It was awful and felt so real that I woke up almost crying.  In the dream, one of my biggest regrets was not coming out and telling her the truth before she died.  I felt bad about not showing her such a huge part of myself.  When I woke up, it made me seriously consider coming out.  I'm still thinking about it.

I'm actually really enjoying work at the moment.  The Year 7s are still angelic.  I never thought I'd enjoy teaching such young kids, but they're so cute and well behaved at the moment.  Also, I have some awesome kids in the class.  One girl wants to be an Air Force pilot when she grows up.  Another wrote down Jane Austen and Tamora Pierce as her favorite authors.  WIN.

On the other end of the scale, teaching VCE English Language is also a total buzz.  The Year 12 class is small, and the students are all motivated and interested.  It feels SO good to be able to teach instead of discipline or babysit, which is what a lot of last year felt like.  The long hours I'm spending on preparation still sucks monky balls, but the high I get after a lesson goes completely right almost makes up for it.

Wtf, self

Jan. 28th, 2010 01:42 am
lishesquex: (xena - splat)

Played almost 7 hours of WoW today, after getting back home from work.  Stayed up far too late.  Am going to hate myself with a fiery passion when I wake up.

Meeting the Year 7s for the first time tomorrow.  Remember, Lish:  don't smile, look angry, and cultivate a steely, mysterious look.  Also, don't say "cool".

2 days

Jan. 25th, 2010 12:58 am
lishesquex: (OMG ONOZ)

So, I'm about to hit full-on panic mode because work starts in two days and I AM NOT READY.  I've more or less planned the Year 11 curriculum, although I haven't planned any lessons for the first week yet.  Still not up to scratch for Year 12 though.  And I haven't even looked at my other classes yet.  Oh god oh god oh god oh god fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

I'm going into work nice and early tomorrow.  I swear it, self.

Also: OH THANK GOD FOR FAST INTERNET AGAIN.

lishesquex: (buffy - faith this is life)
I refresh my LJ and think to myself "Lish, you really need to update - you haven't updated properly in ages."  But I don't have anything important or even mildly interesting to say.

Work officially finished for the year last Friday, so I've already had a week of break.  We had the Christmas service and then the end of year staff lunch at a rather fancy place called Potter's out in Warrandyte.  I actually enjoyed the lunch, which is unlike me.  Mostly, I hung out with Nicole, who is the other English Language teacher.  We made linguistics jokes during the service, like noting how many imperative sentences there were in the prayers during the service.  Lulz.

It seems that I have survived my first year of teaching.  I feel like I should be proud, or relieved, or something.  But what I feel instead is anxiety about next year.  I really don't think next year is going to be any easier.  :-/ 

Anyway, I'm enjoying my break so far, but sliding into antisocial hermitage again.  So, before I turn completely into a cave troll... who wants to hang out?
lishesquex: (buffy - faith this is life)

The boringness of exam supervision, let me tell you it.

9:35 - I take over from the first teacher and walk into a room full of kids who are about to finish their exams after only half the alloted time.  The exam is for Year 9/10 Journalism.

9:36 - I read over the exam paper they're doing.

9:45 - Unable to correct essays or even read the paper due to school rules, I am forced to make endless circles around the room like a slowly dying blowfly, only with less noise, and more slowly.  To relieve my boredom, I count how many times I circle the room.

9:55 - I begin to memorise student names as I make my way around the room.  The goal is to know them all by the end of the exam.

10:00 - A girl asks to go to the toilet.  I say no.

10:05 - I have counted that I've made 14 trips around the room.  Most of the kids have finished their exams by now.  Four are sleeping with their heads down on the desk.  Five are drawing.  Seven are staring blankly into space.  Two are staring out the window.  Four or five diligent ones are still going strong.  I give up counting my trips as they have all blurred together by now.

10:10 - I notice that one boy is drawing hundreds of little flies on his sheet of paper.  Am slightly disturbed by his drawings.  Have, by now, memorised all student names.  Begin drafting LJ entry about the boringness of exam supervision in my head.

10:15 - Boy has given up drawing on paper and has started to decorate his hand.

10:16 - Notice that boy drawing on his hand has drawn a different smiley face on each knuckle.  Am amused.

10:20 - Announce that the end of the exam is in five minutes.  Twenty three students silently scream hooray in their minds.  Two scribble furiously.

10:25 - Finally announce end of exam.  Collect 25 papers, count them, bundle them off to the teacher(s) they belong to.

______

The fact that teachers aren't allowed to do corrections (or anything, for that matter) during exam supervision would be far less frustrating if it weren't for the fact that I have so much work.  Fourteen hour days are not fun.  :-(

lishesquex: (Default)
To-Do List:

Corrections

Mark Year 10 Mockingbird creative tasks  [ x ]
Mark Year 10 Literature poetry folios [ x ]
Mark Year 9 poetry folios [   ]
Mark Year 8.1 essays [ x ]
Mark Year 8.2 essays [ x ]
Mark Year 9 exams [ x ]
Mark Year 10 exams [ x ]
Mark Year 10 Literature exams [ x ]

Reports
Write Year 9 Tutorial reports [ x ]
Write 8.2 reports  [ x ]
Write 8.1 reports  [ x ]
Write Year 9 reports [ x ]
Write Year 10 reports [ x ]
Write Year 10 Lit reports [ x ]

...

/wrists

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