lishesquex: (xena - comic)
So nearly a month on from my second interview at Ruyton, the school has finally let me know they'll be appointing someone else for 2017 - someone with experience teaching Year 12 English.

There was the initial surge of hurt from the feeling of rejection, though it wasn't really a shock to me. I've been wanting this outcome anyway, as I've increasingly grown frustrated with the structures within Ruyton. So the upset-feeling that lodged inside me and made it difficult to speak was surprising and confusing. But now I've worked through that and I'm fine. There was a lot of support from Jason and Tim, the other newbies this year (who are also leaving next year). They know how hard I've worked, and they know it's bullshit that the school will let me teach Year 12 Classics with no prior experience but not Year 12 English. The amount of rage I feel about this is considerable. I try not to think too deeply about it.

Anyway, mostly I'm just glad to know what's happening with my life now. I can finally start looking forward instead of being forced to dwell in the rather miserable present.

The thing about Ruyton I'll miss most are my students. I've developed a really good rapport with my form class in particular and it will be sad to leave them.

Spring has done wonders for my brain. I started feeling better around the time the cherry blossoms appeared. I'm still exhausted because it's the end of Term 3 but the exhaustion is no longer tinged with hopelessness. Today the sky is blue and vast and it reminds me of all the possibilities out there.

Next Monday I'm going to Thailand to meet up with Ruth and Nora. I booked the trip two days ago in a kind of 'fuck it' mood and I'm really glad I did. There will be loads of marking waiting for me upon my return, and the job hunt will have to begin in earnest after that. But I'm looking forward to leaving Melbourne/Ruyton/winter/real life behind for a while and connecting with the world again.
lishesquex: (xena - comic)
Just saw this on a friend's Facebook page. Ridiculously accurate. Bolding/underlining things that currently apply.

INFJ – The Counselor

What stresses out an INFJ:
– Having to focus too much on sensory/concrete details
– An overload of sensory stimulation or noise
– Interruptions
– Distress within a close relationship
– Having their values violated
– Not enough alone time. Too much extraverting.
– Working with closed-minded people
– Lack of appreciation or understanding

– Unfamiliar environments with overwhelming amounts of details
– Having plans disrupted
– Not having a clear direction
– Lack of harmony
– Criticism and conflict
– Not being able to use their intuition or envision the future
– Having to focus too much on the present

When under stress, the INFJ feels fragmented or lost. They feel like they can’t be themselves, and feel an urge to act a part to “survive” or fit in. This disassociation can cause physical symptoms for the INFJ, like headaches, IBS, or nausea. The repressed feelings they’re holding onto can cause them to become immobilized. If they are under chronic extreme stress, they may fall into the grip of their inferior function, extraverted sensing. When this happens, they may engage in indulgent, self-destructive habits like binge-eating, cutting, over-exercising, alcoholism, or excessive pornography use. This often feels like an out-of-body experience to them. What they do provides no pleasure, but feels somewhat robotic and out of control. After this occurs, they dwell in self-hatred, falling even more into guilt over what they’ve done. They may become uncharacteristically angry and quick-tempered, unreasonable, and irrational. They may become obsessed with details in their outer world; obsessively cleaning or doing housework. They stumble over their words, and their intense feelings eventually lead them to a state of complete exhaustion.

Link here:

lishesquex: (iconomicon - choices)
Things I want to do today:
- Go to February board games
- Write my Supercat Viking AU
- Catch up on The 100
- Play guitar
- Go for a jog

Things I actually have to do today:
- Mark Year 8 descriptive writing pieces
- Mark Year 12 Classics homework
- Finish annotating Act II and Act III of Macbeth
- Go grocery shopping so I have food next week
lishesquex: (Default)
So I've been at RGS for a week now and here are my first impressions:

- Whoa the principal is kind of hot
- Whoa the students are really keen!
- The students say "thank you" after every lesson which is really sweet <3
- The students just do the work. Like... you tell them to do X and they just DO IT. How is this even a real place?
- It was easier than expected to slip back into my super-confident-and-charismatic work persona
- The school has anti-homophobia posters up around the senior school YAY
- When a kid comes across an Anton Chekhov quote in a magazine article, they're not like "Whodat", instead they're like "Oh didn't he write the play we performed with Scotch last year?"

You may already be picking up a snob element and you would be right. Here are some more negative observations:

- There are students here who will look up your LinkedIn profile and turn their noses up at you if your CV isn't impressive enough
- If your first lesson is not academically rigorous, kids here will complain to their parents, and you will be called into the principal's office to attend a meeting with the parents, the principal and the Dean of English (this did not happen to me but it happened to someone else)
- There is a system called SEQTA on which you have to upload your basic lesson outlines and any resources you give the kids/homework after EVERY LESSON. The parents check. The school principals check. This is time-consuming af.
- I got moved out of my normal room for Year 12 Classics which was really devastating for various reasons both logistical and curriculum-related. So I emailed and phoned the Director of Studies (person in charge of timetables, rooms, extras and yard duties - you do not want to piss her off) to try and keep our room but she was like "I can't help you". So then I had a meeting with the VP in charge of curriculum and she said she'd either try to get our original room back or install an Apple TV in the new room we've been moved to. I hope I haven't pissed off the Director of Studies.
- There's a lot of meetings. A lot.
- PRESSURE. SO MUCH PRESSURE. I get the very strong feeling that if you don't bring your A-game 24/7, people will notice.

The good thing is that because I'm a conscientious little perfectionist, people have been noticing good things. I've gotten random praise/good feedback from the Year Level Coordinator and the Vice Principal already. Of course, the VP's comment was like "I talked to some of your Year 12 girls and asked them how they were going and they were really positive... raving about how you're a real expert and how enthusiastic you are." I was like "hah, I'm not an expert by any means" and she said "of course, but as long as the girls think you are..." Anyway, the point is, the school asks your students about how you're doing. That is kind of terrifying.

So for the forseeable future it's going to be 12-hour days and working on Saturday afternoons.

On the bright side, The 100 Season 3 Episode 3 was fucking amazing and the Supercat fandom is still wonderful and heart-warming. Life is pretty good.

New school

Feb. 2nd, 2016 06:15 pm
lishesquex: (xena - comic)

Oh my god so exhausted.

A new school year always hits you like a truck, but this is a new school with new things to learn and new people and oh god a brand new Year 12 subject. I'm also teaching the School Captain, the daughter of some famous media personality and the daughter of a the vice principal so NO PRESSURE AT ALL HAHA.

I love the school though. The kids are absolutely wonderful. They have a great sense of humour, they're eager to learn, eager to please, responsive... seriously every teacher's dream. I mean, it's still the second day of classes so it's still well within the honeymoon period. Things could still go pear shaped. But I feel like this school's version of "pear shaped" is still 100 times better than some other classes I've taught.

I have such a love/hate relationship with teaching. I leave every class feeling energised and buoyant, but then I come home and the exhaustion sets in and I seriously hate how little energy I have left for the things I still need to do. It's only 6pm goddamnit. 

Anyway, I'm forcing myself to finish my Classics reading before I watch today's episode of Supergirl, but I'm so tired I can't focus.


Jan. 6th, 2016 12:31 pm
lishesquex: (supercat)
Yesterday I took Kitteh to the vet for her annual injections and check up. Her weight is good; her teeth are good. I am happy. The vet fee lightened my wallet somewhat but at least I'm getting a decent income from tutoring at the moment. My new job starts on January 25th and I am very conscious of the time passing. Other than tutoring, I've just been trying to stay fit and do all my Classics reading. I finished The Odyssey yesterday. Surprisingly, I found I liked The Iliad a LOT more, despite the fact that it took me only three days to read the The Odyssey (compared to three weeks for the latter.) Sure Achilles is kind of whiny, but Odysseus is a douchey hypocrite. Anyway. Next up is Apology in 'The Last Days of Socrates' by Plato.

So what else is new with me? SUPERCAT, THAT'S WHAT.

In the new lingo of the fangirls on Tumblr, I am 'trash' for Supercat. What is Supercat, you may ask? It's a femslash ship pairing Kara Danvers (Supergirl) and Cat Grant (her boss and the Queen of All Media). I haven't shipped a pairing this hard since... I don't know, maybe even T/7 back in the day, with Star Trek: Voyager. In the last week, I've gone and read every single half-way decent fic on AO3 and followed half a dozen new tumblrs. And last night, I finally started writing my first fan-fiction since 2003. Jesus Christ I'm old.

Guys, I'm really, really, REALLY excited about this ship and this show.

Seriously, just look how gay this gifset is
lishesquex: (Default)

1. What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before?
I went to a friend's wedding. Also, I caught the bouquet at that wedding. I went to the last official Xena Convention. I joined a gym. I danced on a stage in a club. I drank vermouth. I wrote 50,000 words of a novel.

Rest of the survey under the cut )

lishesquex: (Default)
So I just binge watched Jessica Jones because the unending forty degree heat made doing anything else impossible. IT WAS SO PAINFUL TO WATCH. Argh.

Reasons why I will not be watching Season 2 (if there is one):

1. The writers sacrifice character for plot again and again.
2. Jessica Jones makes AWFUL decisions. She has no impulse control and can't plan for shit.
3. Jessica Jones can't fight for shit either. She's a brawler like Hercules who doesn't know how to take down an enemy properly. SO INEFFICIENT. They just get up again the next minute. Someone needs to give her a crash course on pressure points.
4. All the minor characters are annoying. (Except Trish)
5. Just kill Kilgrave FFS.
6. Jessica Jones fails as both a superhero and a lesbian for taking Trish to the final showdown to use as bait. YOU DO NOT RISK YOUR GIRLFRIEND. EVER. Did Xena teach you nothing???
7. Queer baiting sucks.
8. For the first 10 episodes Jessica Jones is like "I can't Kilgrave because I need to save Hope so I can develop my own heroic narrative and assuage my sense of guilt so I'm going to let him run amok killing EVEN MORE PEOPLE". And then in the last two or three episodes she does a COMPLETE 180 DEGREE TURN and is suddenly like "I'm going to go charging out there to kill him even though I have a ruptured liver and NONE OF YOU CAN STOP ME."
9. Unnecessary stupidass boyfriends.
10. Krysten Ritter's face. It's superficial but her face bugs me, okay?



Uncle Paddy

Oct. 3rd, 2015 05:57 pm
lishesquex: (Default)

I went to the beach today with my mum and my aunt because it was a beautiful spring day. On the drive home, I found out that Uncle Paddy had passed away in 2013. It came as a shock to me because nobody had told me. I'm a little upset that nobody told me because I'd been close to him when I was little. 

Uncle Paddy was my Irish-Australian uncle-in-law who was the closest thing to a regular dad figure I had when I was growing up. (My actual father doesn't count as a dad figure because he never did anything except put food on the table). Uncle Paddy took me camping, took the time to explain things to me, and helped me with school projects.  I remember sitting on his shoulders during the street carnival that would happen in Mornington every year around Christmas. He took me on the giant slide and even went up with me.

I remember finding a toffee recipe in a library book, once, when I was staying at their place.  I wanted to make toffee but we didn't have all the ingredients and was ready to give up on the whole idea. But he was like "we can still make it... let's just pop down to the shops to pick up the ingredients." And I remember being totally astonished because my parents would never have ever made a deliberate trip to the shops just so I could make something.

I remember when I was in Grade 1 or 2 and I mentioned at the dinner table that the kids at school would call me "ching chong". And he was all fired up and ready to go kick some butts.

I also remember being upset and wanting to cry because he was a really tough teacher and would yell at me when I couldn't spell "Sydney" right. (After that I never forgot that a consonant could stand in for a vowel sound.)

He defended me when my parents said I read too much useless stuff like Greek mythology, because he knew it had cultural capital.

He used to call Xin "long tall Sally" or something, hah.

Uncle Paddy wasn't perfect either. He hated everything Japanese because his father had been killed in WWII as a pilot fighting the Japanese.  He even objected when I bought a Toyota car, and he never particularly liked that Kitteh was half Japanese Bobtail. In fact, he didn't much like cats at all and thought the best way to dispose of extra kittens was to put them in a sack with rocks and drown them in the dam on his farm. 

I remember saying once, when I was 9 or 10 and probably just beginning to deal with my own queerness, that I didn't like Elton John (we were on a long car trip and Elton John was playing) and my aunt kept asking me why, to which I would shrug and say "just because". And Uncle Paddy was like "is it because he's a fag? I don't like him either".

We lost touch after my aunt moved to Singapore for her job, and then they eventually divorced. I would have liked to have had the opportunity to go to his funeral though.

lishesquex: (Default)
Wrote this one in London ages ago (during the winter). Found it on a scrap piece of paper:

I went to listen to the playlist
Made for you and found it deleted
Apparently in a fit of bitterness
Unremembered, or a glimmer of
Wisdom at last, perhaps.
My fingertips ache from the cold
With no song to strum, and the summertime
Strains of that harmonica
No longer swell like hope.
lishesquex: (voyager - only slightly lost)
Looks I'm going to be updating my LJ a bit more regularly, thanks to Habitica (Your Life the Role Playing Game).  One of my dailies is to either practise guitar or write in my journal. And today I didn't practise guitar...

It's a Sunday evening, three weeks since I left London.  Today I went for a 5km run and finished under 40 minutes.  I thought it was my best time but apparently Runkeeper says it's my 8th fastest run. I felt good the whole time though.

What I feel less good about is the uncertainty in my life right now.  I don't feel in control of my own destiny.  I should just relax and play some video games since my life is pretty easy right now (living at home, no need to do shopping/cooking etc), but I feel guilty when I'm not actively doing something productive.

So far, I've applied for two jobs.  Korowa hasn't called me back so I guess they're not interested. I might have a better chance with Ruyton since Danielle (my first ever Head of English who left Yarra only a year later) recommended me.

I should be looking for more but it's easy to sit back now that I'm pretty sure I've secured an interview and just pin all my hopes on that. Bad idea though.  Thing is, I'm not certain where I'll be living until Wednesday night, which is when I'm going to meet Ben, the third house mate in the Potentially Moving to Brunswick situation.

Today was Father's Day - we were going to take Dad out for yum cha but he decided we should go next week instead when all the restaurants are less busy.  Instead, he invited a whole bunch of guests over and cooked a big feast.  I babysat an 11 year old kid by (kind of) showing her how to play Hearthstone. I also beat her soundly at chess.  (I don't believe in coddling little children and making them feel smart by deliberately losing everything.)  Mum is currently in China sorting out financial things since the Australian dollar is so weak currently.

Also, it's Spring!  You know it's really spring when Kitteh starts bringing home dead things.
lishesquex: (xena - big sword fandom)
It's the kind of night where I'm walking home at 9pm and the sun is still out - in fact, it's setting on distant horizon - and I'm just grateful to be here where I am. The streets are still buzzing with people, and I'm glad to be here in this dirty, grimy city where things just feel alive.

I've just been to a Guardian (as in the news company) Book Club event where Jeanette Winterson and Helen Macdonald were speaking about their books and about life, loss, identity and all the big questions in general. It's still amazing to me that, two days ago, I was in Mallorca, on the beach, indulging in all the physical sensations of sun and wind and sea. And tonight I was in Islington Town Hall indulging in being intellectually awoken after a day of feeling mostly intellectually dead (aka teaching at YHS). Yes, I'm exhausted, but damn if this isn't cool.

Also, I got a selfie with Jeanette Winterson.

So now, this year, I have seen/met my sporting hero (Gro Hammerseng), literary hero (Jeanette Winterson) and alltimehero4lyf (Lucy Lawless aka Xena).

I didn't really set out to meet Jeanette Winterson. This event just came up so I bought a ticket. Just like how a similar event with Sarah Waters is coming up next Monday and I decided to go to that. London life is random and kind of amazing like that.

So tonight I am happy. I hope you guys are happy too, out there wherever you are.
lishesquex: (xena - chakram red)


Cat-sitting for Meng at her place
Went on Lesbians Afoot group walk and had a nice pub lunch
Ordered itsu (Japanese takeaway) for dinner
Marathoning downloaded Xena on my laptop and being SUPER emotional about everything

Episodes I have cried whilst watching (so far):

-The Greater Good (when Xena "dies" and Gabrielle holds it together in front of everyone else and quietly kisses Xena goodbye but then in a later scene lets out her pain and rage against a tree)

- Callisto (when Xena and Callisto are racing on horseback at Wainamu lake and roll down the sanddunes and I remembered being there with Julia)

-Is There a Doctor in the House (when Gabrielle "dies" and Xena absolutely refuses to accept it and keeps fighting to resuscitate her and everyone else is like "she's dead, let it go bruh" but Xena keeps trying anyway because she will never give up on Gabrielle)

-Orphan of War (when Solan breaks his arm and Xena splints it for him and then holds him like she never got to do when he was a baby AND the final scene where Xena has to say goodbye to Solan a second time and she can't tell him the truth and the look on her face as she's walking away is PURE HEARTBREAK)

UGH I love this show so much. Why does it have to be all over?  I want it to be 1999 again.  I think I'm being extra emotional because of Leonard Nimoy dying yesterday. The first thing I thought about after I processed the initial shock is "what will I do when it's a Xena actor who dies?" and I can't even bear to think about it.  CANNOT.

Also I'm PMSing so that could be why I'm so freaking emotional. But I think it's also that I've finally come down from the Xena convention high and now there's this intense loneliness and barrenness.  Last week I was surrounded by people who just got this part of me. This crazy, obsessed, fangirly part of me that most people write off as a strange quirk or teenage obsession. But it's more than that and always have been more than that. The Xena fandom helped me grow up: to me, it's family, friendship, lovers, childhood hopes and futures dreams all rolled into one. And at Xena Con, I met people for whom it was the same. That kind of belonging is so rare for me and I don't know if I'll ever find it again.

lishesquex: (Default)
I'm so tired right now. Man.

So I'm at work and instead of trying to mark the giant stack of essays I need to get through I'm going to write a quick post here because jet lag is making it impossible to concentrate.

Xena con. Oh man it was awesome. I was quite worried leading up to it because I kept expecting the worst and I just wouldn't be able to bear it if it turned out to be anything less than awesome. This fandom means so much to me and I didn't want that belief to be shattered.

When I arrived with [ profile] pebblinon the Thursday evening it was a bit awkward because we didn't know anyone or quite what was going on, but I quickly discovered that Xenites really are the warmest, most friendly people. It sounds like hyperbole but it's true. I've never found it so easy to belong in a group or make so many new friends in such a short time.

The actors were amazing to listen to - some I had no idea were so awesome before I head them speak. I always thought Alex Tydings (Aphrodite) was cute but it turns out she's intelligent, articulate and incredibly charismatic as well. I could go on forever about her right now due to the mega insta-crush that I developed but this is also true of many of the other actors, some of whom are actively trying to make the world a better place.

So in short, Xena con has restored my faith in humanity. There are so many wonderful, kind people out there and I got to meet them in a highly concentrated dose last weekend. I'm feeling refreshed, younger, happier, more hopeful. Also I'm feeling ~feelingsy~ again if you know what I mean. I've spent so much time recently not feeling much strongly it's nice to feel some passion for something again.
lishesquex: (Default)
I thought about just skipping this tradition this year since I'm currently gripped by a mild winter depression that is going to affect all my answers. But I'm going to try and ignore that nagging, negative inner voice and try to write about this year without too much angst/pessimism.

1. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?
I moved to a new country and began living by myself.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions and will you make more for next year?

Resolutions from 2014:
#1 Stay happy, busy and focused after I quit working full time. Do not slide into emo uselessness. (Yep, mostly did this one)
#2 Move overseas for at least a year. No chickening out! (Check!)
#3 Stay active and fit. (Er, did not really stick to this one after I moved. In my defence, it's super hard to stay active with London weather being so crap.)
#4 Learn and become familiar with at least 10 family recipes before moving overseas. (Didn't fully manage 10 recipes either)

New resolutions for 2015:
#1 Be bold
#2 Get fit again

More under the cut )

50. Post one picture that accurately represents this year.
I can't pick a single picture since too many different things have happened but here's an album with a picture for every day sine I left Australia:

lishesquex: (Default)
Okay I need to rant about my new housemate.

She has the most UNCOMFORTABLE chair ever in my room. It's her chair. But it's in my room. And today I brought up a second hand computer chair to use instead because the uncomfortable one (white, plastic, slanted backwards, too high for my short legs, weird metal legs that I keep stubbing my toes on, etc.) is giving me back pain. I asked if we could put the uncomfortable plastic chair somewhere else, for example, on the balcony where THERE IS PLENTY OF ROOM. And she was like "no, it'll weather... I'd prefer if you'd keep it in your room" so I was like "okay can we keep it somewhere else in the flat because my room can't fit 2 chairs and an exercise ball". And her response was the same: "I'd prefer it if you kept it in your room." I was like "but there's plenty of space in the living room, like... around the dining table, or in this corner where it's not bothering anyone." And she was like...

wait for it...

"Well, I'd really prefer it if you kept it in your room."

Omg facepalm. Well, because I'd had a long day at work and was not ready to back down because I was ANGRY, I just moved the chair into a spare space in the living room because HELLO THERE ARE SPARE SPACES HERE and said "Can we just put it here for the moment and if it's super annoying we can find somewhere else for it" and she finally acquiesced because what was she gonna do - force the chair back into my room?

Anyway. I think it's ridiculous that this isn't even her flat - she's leasing it and we're sharing the rent - and she acts like she owns the damn place. Sure she's been here longer and her crap is in all the cupboards and she takes up 3/4 of the freezer, but YOU CAN'T KEEP YOUR DAMN CHAIR IN MY ROOM.


I suspect there will be further battles over the location of this accursed butt-rest. I will keep you updated.
lishesquex: (Default)
Okay, is it me or has LJ no longer got a "next/previous page" function??
lishesquex: (xena - big sword fandom)
I just booked myself a room at Marriott Burbank for 20-22 Feb 2015.

It's really happening, guys. I'm going to my first and last ever Xena con. Last because, well, it's the last official one they're ever doing. It'll be the 20th anniversary. Holy shit man, I can't believe it's been that long.

I managed to get the special group rate at $145 per night which is still pretty expensive but do-able. I guess I'd better start looking for cheap flights from the UK next.

Does anyone on my flist wanna meet up with me there? I know it's a long shot but it would be really fun. I'm also gonna go to Xena Prom which is the annual after party that my friend Penny organises. So whaddya say? My room is twin share so you could even split the accommodation costs...

I'm really excited about this. Like, in a very nervous kind of way. It's been a childhood dream forever to attend a Xena con, ya know? I'm a little worried that it's going to be the biggest let down and then childhood dream will be all blown up to smithereens. And part of me is also worried that it's going to be the awesomest thing ever and that'll be sad too since this is the last one and there can be no repeats. But the worst thing would be if it were to be just okay in this middling way in which everything is okay at the moment; I don't think I could stand that. Man, I need to stop being so neurotic about this. It's still month away.

lishesquex: (voyager - only slightly lost)
I guess it's time for an update. It's been so long and my feed is so empty these days I keep feeling like there's not much point.

So I went on my big Eurotrip 2014 and now I'm back. But I'm leaving for London in a week and a half, and that's kinda scary.

The big things to have happened recently:

1) I resigned from YVG (where I worked the last 5 years - my first real job)
2) I got a job at a school in London. It's just a one term contract but that suits me fine because I want to do supply teaching after that so I can travel more. The school is a Charedi Jewish Girls' School in Stamford Hill.

I'm about 7 books behind in my "Read 50 books this year" Goodreads challenge and I don't think living in London is going to leave me much time for reading. Then again, there will be long commutes to work, so I guess there is hope yet. I finished reading Neil Gaiman's Sandman series which I borrowed from Jackie and they were amazing. I named my Warlock deck on Hearthstone "Morpheus" as a tribute.

Just finished watching Orange Is The New Black S2 and I loved the ending. Can't wait for Season 3.

I've been feeling kind of flat for a while now, and I'm not sure what it is. Could still be travel tiredness, or winter blues, or just the fact that I'm in this weird in-between space right now, waiting to move to a new country but not there yet. It may be covering up a whole lot of anticipation and fear, but I'm just not feeling all that much.
lishesquex: (voyager - only slightly lost)
I'll be leaving for Europe in exactly a month. Here's my itinerary in brief:

8 June Flying
9 June - 14 June Prague
14 June - 18 June Berlin
18 June - 24 June Lyon
24 June - 26 June Paris
26 June - 4th July London
4th July - 7th July Rome
7th July - 10th July Florence
10th July - 12th July Venice
13th July Dubrovnik
14th July Corfu
15th July Katakolon
16th July Santorini
17th July Ephesus
18th July - 24th July Istanbul
25th July - Flying

All the connections, hostels/hotels and such have been booked now so it's all very real.  I found that as I planned each section of the trip, I got super excited about that part.  I'm excited about Prague because I'll be by myself in a brand new city, and the hostel I booked seems really cool/interesting and I look forward to meeting fellow travellers and being brave and spontaneous and outgoing for a while.  I'm excited about Berlin because it'll be nice to see Daria again and I've booked an apartment, so, in a way, it'll be a little experiment in living by myself in a foreign city for a few days.  I'm excited about Lyon because I'll get to hang out with Ingrid and we'll enjoy each other's company regardless of what we do. I'm excited about Paris because it'll be Rianna's first time in a European city and I'll enjoy her amazement, and we'll both enjoy the pastries. I'm excited about London because I remember falling in love with the city when I was there all too briefly two years ago; it felt like the centre of the world. And I'm doubly excited because I'll get to see Ruth and Xin again, two of my favourite people. Italy - I won't lie - right now I'm mainly excited about Italy because I'm dreaming of all the food, especially the gelato, that I'm going to eat. And I'm excited about the cruise because it'll be nice to relax after all the overland travelling, and mum will be there and I want to share in her amazement because it'll be her first time in Europe too. And I'm excited about Istanbul because it's Constantinople and it's Byzantine and it'll be spectacularly different from any other city I've been to, I think.

After all of this, I'll be coming back home for a month and then, in late August, I will very likely be heading back to Europe - this time to stay for a year.  ANZUK contacted me after I sent them my CV and they're very keen for me to work in London as either a Supply Teacher (British-speak for Casual Relief Teacher) or in a long term position. Apparently my five years experience is rare and in high demand over there.  I'm still not 100% certain what I want to do.  A part of me still wants to go with the original plan of teaching in a language centre in a non-English speaking European country like Berlin, which has the benefit of being fairly cheap and central.  But I feel like London would be a much less lonely experience because I already have friends there, and I can make more because I'll speak the language, and there's so much of the UK I haven't been to that would be easy to get to on weekends.

I suppose if I hate CRTing in London schools, I can always try to find work at a language centre there instead, or make the move to Berlin or Prague.  I'll earn a lot less CRTing than I would in a long term position, but it gives me the flexibility to travel as much as I want. I suppose the only way a school could tempt me with a long term position like a 1 year contract would be if the salary could at least match what I'm getting at YVG, which would have to make it close to £45K. I'm not sure many schools can offer that much, unless they were an independent school, and then there would be a lot of pressure.  Another option is to take one of those CRT positions which are for a term - this would give me the initial stability of working in a single place while I get set up in London, and after that I could take it week by week or day by day. So many options. Charlotte (the ANZUK rep) is calling me back on Monday so I'll have to read over all the forms and documents she's sent me and make some kind of decision. 

I started writing this entry without knowing what I'd decide, but I think it's helped clear up a few things in my head. I will probably head for London in September and CRT in the schools.  If I like it, great. If I don't like it, I can always do something different/go somewhere else.  A year-long position isn't worth it because I'd get paid more here anyway, and the whole point is to travel and experience new things. I'll just have to be brave.


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September 2016

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