in_stead: (signpost)
I have gotten to the point where I haven't posted in long enough that now I'm not posting because I am overwhelmed at the thought of trying to update adequately.

I have therefore decided to do my best to collapse the last month or so into a point-form list.

the list )

On that note, dinner is on the table and I am off. Will certainly make an effort to update more frequently. And in better prose, more detail, and proper grammar.
in_stead: (homework)
Last night at home before heading back. In a mildly disgruntling turn of events, my flight from North Bay to Toronto at 8:00pm was cancelled and they've rebooked me on a flight that leaves at 3:40pm instead. Which, fine, okay, but my flight from Toronto to England doesn't leave until 11:00pm, which is going to make for a very long bloody wait in Pearson International Airport.

It will give me time to finish marking at least...

Anyway, I have chosen to spend my last evening at home alternatively packing, chasing up stray belongings through the house, cuddling with my cat as he tries to eat my face, watching Bones with my mother, and wading through months of fandom wank that I missed while I was OLWOL (off line without leave!).

Ah, fandom. And wank. How I have missed thee...s...es...esss.

What is the plural of "thee"?

Never mind.
in_stead: (coffee)
Do you know what I don't have in England that I really miss?

A mom who makes coffee for me in the morning.

::heart::
in_stead: (take my bearings)
I realised, as I went to update, that I have been seriously negligent in explaining certain aspects of my life.

What I was going to say was: I'm in a hotel in Dorchester that unexpectedly has internet! Fortunately I have brought my laptop along due to my later plans for October half-term break. Oriana is learning to knit behind me and we're watching NCIS on tv. Fun!

Then I realised that A) I have never mentioned what my October half-term break plans are and, B) I have never explained ORIANA.

So. To begin with, the October half-term plans. Oriana and I have rented a car and are driving through southern England until about Tuesday morning. She picked me up at home this morning and we have wound our way down and west from London. We stopped at Fishbourne, a Roman palace. I took tons of pictures and bought a couple of resources to use when I start teaching the Romans next Monday.

We then drove on, quite intentionally going by way of exceptionally minor highways rather than the major routes in order to see more of England than the London city parts we've seen so far. The high point? The village of Cocking, which includes the Spread Eagle Hotel.

Oh, my.

We are going to continue on, wrapping around the south bits and looping up into Cornwall before cutting across and up to Cambridge for Tuesday morning. Oriana is then going to continue on while I stay in Cambridge and attempt to talk my way in to see the (*cue choirs of angels*) Stead papers. I'm heading back home by train Thursday night so that I can go into the school on Friday and sort out my classroom before I start teaching on Monday.

As for the explination of Oriana... Well, perhaps the short form, as I haven't got volumes to spare here. Oriana and I met when we were 11 years old. We met in a multi-school enrichment program in grade 4, then I switched elementary schools halfway through grade 5 and ended up in her class and we became good friends, which carried on until I moved provinces at the end of grade 9. We kept in contact but didn't see each other terribly often until we ended up in the same B.Ed. program this past year. We then independently decided to apply for positions in England through the same agency. I got my job at the end of June. Three days before school started in September, she was offered a position at the same school.

So. Here we are. In a hotel room in Dorchester. I am checking my email, she is learning to knit. It is now CSI on tv.
in_stead: (OH coffee)
Welcome to the vaguely hot-spot that I have found it someone else's kitchen. I doubt it's going to last, so I'm writing this quickly.

cutting for a ridiculous degree of rambling. )
in_stead: (teaching)
I think I might be getting the hang of this teaching thing again. I've had a couple of rough days, but I think I mostly handled it well. I don't mind so much if the kids are inclined towards misbehaviour -- I just hate it when I feel like I didn't handle myself very well in a situation. Except for my very first day back teaching, when I got frazzled and let myself get a little bamboozled by a few troublemakers, I haven't had that feeling. Sure, I've had a few kick-ups and the like, but I've conducted myself well and that's what makes all the difference.

Of course, talk to me at the end of tomorrow, which may very well turn out to be a crap teaching day, and I might have a completely different thing to say.

Teaching is all so emotionally roller-coastery. But, ultimately, fun. And I'm allowed to yell at children in this country! So much better than Canada. If only I could convince the government to make it legal for teachers to box ears again, all would be great. As it is, I have to content myself with STALKING TROUBLE MAKERS DOWN. I am building a good reputation as the teacher who will FIND YOU and MAKE YOU PAY. Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but certainly within the week and in a way that makes you want to cry and drop out of school and never come back.

I WIN AT TEACHING.
in_stead: (my dead historical boyfriend)
GIP -- my dead historical boyfriend! It's an actual photograph. I was suspicious at first given that Wellington died in 1852 and I thought that might be too early for photography, but it had been invented, so I am increasingly inclined to trust the caption that came with the picture.

I ::heart:: my dead historical boyfriend. His wife didn't understand him the way I do.

In other news, have survived my first week. Just barely. I feel as though I'm beginning to get the hang of things, a little, although that might be wishful thinking brought about by a day's distance.

Today, I spent a very restful and enjoyable time with [livejournal.com profile] the_oscar_cat and [livejournal.com profile] lazlet at the latter's house, watching a variety of pretty boys doing a variety of interesting things, including but not limited to: killing demons, riding bikes, getting head injuries and travelling back in time, and being smart. Fantastic.

Tomorrow, I am committed to giving the Frequently Lost British Historian's Walking Tour of London to a friend of mine from Canada who also got a teaching job in London. Lots of fun.
in_stead: (brolly)
I was going to post this last night, but then the internet most inconveniently turned off. So I was forced to stay over at [livejournal.com profile] lazlet's (no, I promise, it follows):

So. INTERNET. How about that.

Am over visiting with [livejournal.com profile] lazlet, who continues to be ever-so-tolerant of the fact that I always pack my laptop along when I drop by.

I am overwhelmed with things to say, so I probably won't say too terribly much.

School starts next week. I find that I am really terrifically nervous. I am trying not to think about it.

[livejournal.com profile] lazlet fed me Battenberg cakes. They alone make moving to England worth it.


Now, off to get ready for day two of induction and orientation to teaching in England. Oh, joy.
in_stead: (you are my)
I have broken in to [livejournal.com profile] lazlet's (using the keys she gave me) and am lying in wait to viciously attack her when she gets home from work (largely because we made plans to get take away and watch teevee this evening). The rabid guard cats gave me some trouble (by flicking a contemptuous glare in my direction and then ignoring me completely), but I have persevered and ultimately triumphed.

Life in London continues apace. I am through my "oh my GOD what have I DONE why didn't anyone TALK ME OUT OF THIS!!" phase and into a "OH MY GOD I live in LONDON this is the AWESOMEST THING EVER!!" phase, which is very nice.

I met my department head yesterday. He is very lovely. He showed up in a crumpled blue pinstripe jacket over a t-shirt, jeans, and chucks. I was wearing a moderately-crumpled (from the suitcase) brown pinstripe jacket, a black v-neck, jeans, and hiking boots.

After getting lost for three hours that one time, I've decided to leave my chucks at home until I can depend upon getting where I'm going without a great deal of walking around parts unknown.

I think I'm going to fit right in. As long as I can keep from wearing the same dress to the prom school as my department head each day.

In other news: EVERYONE SHOULD GO TO SEE THE HOLOCAUST EXHIBIT AT THE IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM. It is the best of it's kind I've ever seen.

Ooh, ooh, [livejournal.com profile] lazlet's home!
in_stead: (brolly)
Am here and safe and tucked up in [livejournal.com profile] lazlet's spare room. My bottom is numb and I am jetlagged, but, you know, in England. It was a remarkably lovely trip. I never once stood in a line for longer than fifteen minutes, I was not patted down by security at either end, and nothing was lost or confiscated at any stage of the journey. The plane left and landed precisely on time, I had a seat at one of the emergency exit doors which meant plenty of leg room, and the food wasn't even that bad. I was out of Heathrow and on the road within an hour of the plane's wheels hitting tarmac -- unheard of! -- and the ever lovely [livejournal.com profile] lazlet met me with tea.

In other news, I now live at Greenwich Mean Time. This makes me immeasurably happy in about the same region that the toaster panic took place.
in_stead: (brolly)
Am at a hotel in Toronto. After an epic unpacking and repacking, I have got my two suitcases and two carry-ons down to regulation weight.

Sort of. Well, mostly. Very, very close.

And I am hoping that whoever is checking me in tomorrow is just a little bit flexible -- to the tune of a pound or two per bag, according to the bathroom scale that we brought with us from North Bay -- when we're all at the scale tomorrow.

Um. Hi. Last night in Canada.

*panicflail*
in_stead: (fuck bees)
Leaving tomorrow first thing to drive down to Toronto. Day after, getting on the plane. The Ontario College of Teachers is missing documentation from me that I SENT THEM ages ago, but I am apparently still working within the reasonable processing time and should only start panicking two weeks from now. I am going in to get my university laptop wiped today. I can only hope that my current criminal records check is back at the police station, because they were only willing to promise it would be done on WEDNESDAY, which is of no help to me whatsoever.

And now, a wonderful metaphor for my state of being the last couple of days, as presented by Grover:

*WEEPS* )
in_stead: (brolly)
countdown )


In other news, my thanks to everyone who replied to yesterday's toaster panic. It has now passed.

Back to packing up. Someone is moving into my room shortly after I leave it -- a temporary answer to a family friend's housing crisis, wherein he had an apartment for the year and then it fell through unexpectedly and he is in Manitoba and only came out for a weekend a while back to settle the housing issue and can't come back now to fix it, so -- which has raised the bar significantly. I really honestly have to pack everything up.

Also, I am running out of room in my suitcases, but not out of things that need to be packed.

Um.
in_stead: (pain in my head)
I woke up this morning with a migraine and the deep and abiding worry that they may not have a toaster at my prospective residence in London. What would I do without a toaster? It would be intolerable. And, of course, I probably couldn't afford to buy a toaster until after I get paid for the first time, half way through September. How can I possibly manage without toast for a month?

I am plagued with these weighty concerns. It is a trial, I tell you.


one week, exactly, as of an hour ago. O.O
in_stead: (brolly)
So. Hi. Eight days.

I am told that I will not be able to get internet in at my place of residence. I have also heard, on the sly, from people who were staying there in February that there is someone in the area that has WiFi and that internet may be bootlegged so long as you are willing to spend all your time balancing your computer on the window sill.

Which, of course, I am, particularly as the other option is an internet cafe that is many blocks away.

I am not sure how well I will manage with possibly very limited internet access. What will I do without email? LJ? Fandom? Porn? Unlimited information on every single topic in existance right at my fingertips? Did I mention porn?

Other points of concern to occur to me as the date of my flight out looms ever nearer:

- I am a creature of extremely predictable nutritional habits. I've had Bran Flakes for breakfast almost every single day for years. I always buy exactly the same kind of jam and peanut butter and coffee. I have one thing at every restaurant I go to regularly that I always, always order. I am going to have to get all new regular things when I move to England. This is a daunting task. I am not sure I am equal to it.
- I do not have slippers. I need slippers. It's England. It's damp there. My feet will get cold.
- What if I am a terrible teacher? I'm not -- I am, in fact, a very good teacher. I have the evaluations and glowing letters of recommendation to prove it. But they are, perhaps, wrong. What if I screw up the lives of all the children I come into contact with? I believe I would feel bad about that.
- London is VERY BIG. On the other hand, Stead once lived there. As did Wellington. I'm sure I'll manage.
- I will have to learn how to ride my bike on the other side of the road. I am bound to get confused. I must see if I can find a handbook of some sort to guide me through this transition.
- What if I forget something very important?

That is all I have to say about that.
in_stead: (tour)
Stage 14 is currently in progress )

In other news, I have received an email from the department head of the school in England and so now, finally, have some very concrete details about my position. For the first month to six weeks of the school year, I'm going to be doing supply and coverage in the school. Then the history teacher I'm replacing is going on maternity leave and I'll take over her class.

My father is disappointed, but I am actually feeling an enormous amount of relief. A lot of what I've been fretting about has just become a non-issue. I'm going to have six weeks of working in the school to really get a handle on school policy and procedure, I'm going to be working with the teacher for those six weeks and will be able to talk to her about what she's done in the past, what she finds works and doesn't work, how she has structured her program. It's going to feel like an orientation session, which is not something that new teachers are generally lucky enough to get.

Rather, teachers tend to get thrown to the wolves with only a pointy stick and a lot of hope into the classroom...with only a pointy stick and a lot of hope.

So! All in all, good day.

I'm heading up to Ottawa on Tuesday and looking forward to it immensely. I am going to go to all the places I love best -- Highlander, Elgin St. Diner, Chapters, Planet Coffee, World Exchange Theatre, and [livejournal.com profile] mcee's bed. Awesome!
in_stead: (dalektic)
I got an email from my headmaster. See icon. I'm swinging back to super-excited from super-terrified.

And now: Tour! Hi, Tour, hi! I was lost and morose without you yesterday!
in_stead: (newspaper)
It's like England is saying "Hi! Hi! Oh, hello, hi, welcome!"


*happy flails*
in_stead: (bike)
Last night, I dreamed that someone stole my bike. I was devestated. When I woke up, I went to give my bike a reassuring hug.

Then I went on my first bike ride since The Incident.

It was 11 minutes and 46 seconds long, which is 1 minute and 46 seconds longer than my physiotherapist cleared me for, but honestly. I'm pretty sore now, sure, but it was totally worth it. Tomorrow: 12 minutes!

Packing continues apace (which is to say, very slowly). It is beginning to sink in that a month from now, I will be moving to England. This realisation is accompanied by a lovely warm glow that spreads out from my belly button region.

It is also beginning to sink in that six weeks from now, I will be walking into my own classroom full of my own students. This realisation is accompanied by a general feeling of cold terror.

meep!

To do today:

- pay off my laptop up at the university
- mail the final documentation missing from my file at the Ontario College of Teachers in order to become a fully registered teacher
- mail my signed contract off to the folks in England ha ha, it's TOO LATE to go back, you've HIRED ME FOR REAL!!1!
- continue to sort and pack belongings
- go to physiotherapy
- feel lost and adrift when there is no Tour to watch tonight (stupid rest day)
- mope
- pack some more
in_stead: (read more)
So, I've started sorting and packing my belongings -- which mostly consist of books, and how very much the student cliche am I? -- for storage while I'm in England. My parents' garage has a big, empty space under the roof -- we're going to lay plywood down over the rafters, stack my boxes up, and tarp the whole pile to keep the lot dry.

And it's surprising me how very difficult I'm finding it to pack up my history books. I got rid of a lot of them in the last move, and more again with this sorting, so all that remains are the ones that I really, really love. All the old Stead and Victorian publishing sources, bits of literary and journalism theory, meta-sources on the history of popular culture and British imperialism, and a pile of Wellington biographies and biopics.

I don't want to box them up for an indefinite period of storage! I want to bring them with me and keep them and pet them and love them and even, occasionally, read them!

*CLINGS*

In other news, the packing process is proving quite interesting. I pick up an empty box, balance it on a chair, fill it up with books, and then call someone to come and take it away as I am still not allowed to lift anything. I could get used to this oi, you, come'ere and do the heavy lifting for me approach to life.

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