in_stead: (maple leaf rag)

Am off to Heathrow and, thereafter, Canada! Someone call Tim Horton's and tell them to stock up!

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in_stead: (Default)

Long live the iPhone and the ability to have the internet in my pocket everywhere I go.

Hello. I got engaged tonight. I am too happy for words. I will describe the moment and everything in more detail when I (eventually) stop flapping and bouncing and billing and cooing.


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in_stead: (rain on the thames)


I have been in love with Pompeii since I was little -- I did projects on it for history class when I was in primary school -- but I've never been there! He started planning this since October and only told me tonight. I knew we were going somewhere, but not where!

in_stead: (maple leaf rag)
What was supposed to be Wednesday's observation got rescheduled to tomorrow.

Upside: more time to plan it, which I just spent ALL of today doing.

Downside: if it hadn't been rescheduled, it would have been over by now and I wouldn't have had to think about it anymore. And because I just gave up all of today to plan it, I didn't get any of my GCSE marking done, which is what I MEANT to spend all of today doing.


Anyway, Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! I am cooking up a feast next weekend, including pumpkin pie, in honour of the event. I would have done it this weekend, but I went down to Battle of Hastings annual recreation on the actual site of the original battle yesterday. It was lovely -- beautiful weather, fun and frolic, all the iconic moments re-enacted before my very eyes.

I took tons of pictures which I will be using to teach my little year 7s about the battle this year.
in_stead: (sandal weather)
No, like, for serious.

Were did my summer break go??!!

I'm back at school tomorrow, with students arriving the day after. New challenges and opportunities this year are both exciting and terrifying. Oh, yeah, and all my damn Canadian friends who moved here at the same time as me have moved back to Canada. Curse their hides!

Still, it's been a kicker of a holiday -- including camping, roadtrips throughout Canada and the US, a bit of work, a whole lot of reading, and general relaxation. All told, an excellent time was had by all.

But, no, really. Were did my summer break go??!!
in_stead: (simon says)
I have acquired a particularly virulent strain of the plague which had me curled up under the covers in jeans, thick socks, a long-sleeved top, and a sweatshirt earlier. Every time I got up, I started shaking with cold, so I spent most of the afternoon there. My mother called from Canada and told me to take something to lower the fever, which has helped, but I still feel disgusting. BF is looking after me and making me bland food and bringing me glasses of water, which is helping.

And at the end of a gorgeous weekend, in which BF, myself, and some friends headed up to the British Motorcycle Federation's annual massive event. There were motorbikes and people racing mopeds in stupid outfits and a Wall of Death and bands and barbeques and all sorts.

Tucking back up into bed now. I do not intend to come out until tomorrow afternoon. I have already emailed my cover work in to school. So there.
in_stead: (you are my)
Do you know what are great beyond all things?

Bank Holiday Mondays. Three day weekends.

I should be teaching children right now, but am instead curled up in an armchair, watching BF and his friend play Mario Cart on the WII, and poking the internet idly to see what falls out. There is a roast chicken and rosemary potatoes going in the oven, a fruit salad sitting on the side for dessert, and a great deal of the day left in which to zen and be happy.
in_stead: (signpost)
This weekend has been brilliant. Why? Because I've done not much of anything.

Life over the past three weeks has been manic to say the least.

Three weeks ago today, I was in Poland. A day later, I was in Germany. I was chaperoning a school trip of year 10 and 11s, focusing on WWII sites. We saw the Jewish quarter of Krakow, Auschwitz, and the conference centre in Berlin where the "final solution to the Jewish question" was arrived at over an hour and a half by a bunch of Nazis glugging cognac who adjourned the meeting early for the lovely buffet lunch that was being put on. This was a decision that led to the death of millions, and it was settled by a load of half-cut assholes in little to no time. The whole trip was brilliant, but exhausting, both mentally and physically.

A week ago Friday, I was in Cameroon, Africa. I had an 18 hour turnaround from Berlin to Buea, Cameroon. I had been there for ten days with my father, who was there on business. I was there for a laugh. We had been in the airport for seven hours, when we were informed our flight had been cancelled and we wouldn't be flying out until Sunday late at night. It took a great deal of yelling and flapping my arms and looking distressed, with a dash of lying thrown in, to convince the Air France people (who I will never be flying with again if I can avoid it) to switch Dad and I to a flight that got us back to the UK late afternoon Sunday. Cameroon was amazing and exhausting in equal measure. As was the case with Kenya two and a half years ago, the culture clash made me feel as though my skin had been stripped off and I was wandering around stripped down to my bare bones. But the emphasis is on the amazing.

Over the last week, I taught ever damn day, even though I had had zero time to prepare and catch up. I was 24 hours from Cameroon to the classroom as of Monday morning.

And this weekend? Little enough work, lots of lounging on the couch, seeing friends, doing laundry, napping, and otherwise actually catching up with life. There's been sunshine and relaxation and, generally, life has been great over the last two days.

Mind you, I've marked all of 6 books of the 30 I brought home, did very little lesson planning, and am otherwise getting behind professionally. But, still. The mental break was desperately needed this weekend.
in_stead: (teaching)
Whyyyy, whyyyyyyyyy, whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy??!!!!

Just had my second parents evening in the last two weeks. Another one next week. Normally they space these out a little more!

I've come home, fourteen hours after leaving it, with a raw voice and the kind of headache that makes the world spin in front of your eyes.

Yes, your child is fine.

Yes, your child is fine.

Yes, your child is fine.

No, your child is not fine, let's talk about how he/she can improve.

Yes, your child is fine.


In other news, next Thursday leaving on a school trip to Germany/Poland, and the Wednesday after that leaving for Cameroon with my father. Looking forward to the Easter holidays liek woah.
in_stead: (math)
BF and I went to France during the half-term break, where we both picked up a wicked flu bug that I am only just starting to get over. It might have helped if I had admitted to still being sick and staying home from work a day or two to recover, but that would be far too sensible and rational, so I have continued to drag myself in.

In other news, I have reports due for my Year 8 students on Friday, not to mention the fact that I am a Year 8 Form Tutor and will be responsible for editing the subject reports of my form kids the week after. At about 10 subject reports for each of the 30 kids in my form, that's about 300 individual pieces of paper.

My only consolation is that this is the biggest round of reports that I have to do this year. Once I get through this, it's clear sailing through to summer.

As well, my massive order of Russian mysteries and trashy romances arrived from Amazon this morning. As soon as I get two classes worth of reports done, I am going to reward myself with an hour on the couch with a book and a cup of tea.
in_stead: (teaching)
After a BRILLIANT holiday, I am back to work today. It is a real shock to the system. I had to get up and get dressed in teacher kit and pack a lunch and everything.

What are the odds that the kids are going to forget to come in today?

No, wait, I think I phrased that incorrectly. What are the odds of parents forgetting today is the day they get to kick the kids out of the house and probably have a day or so to themselves before going back to work?

Fairly low, I'd guess.

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: (sandal weather)
It's been a lovely, lovely, lovely week, full of fun and frolic and historical research and new leather jackets and sleeping in and catching up with friends and all sorts.

However, tomorrow is Monday and it is back to school for the last month and a half of term. Yay, children! School! Planning! Marking. Writing two hundred plus reports. Exams. Marking exams. Trying to convince the children to pay attention despite their overwhelming desire to be outside playing...trying to convince myself to plan and mark and work despite my overwhelming desire to be outside playing...

Nooooes. I don't wanna go back to work! Plz don't for to make me!
in_stead: (drift away)
Oh, dear.

Very tired.

The hot weather is bringing out the worst in my kids. We are in the middle of exam revision, which even I find to be equal parts boring and stressful and I'm not the one sitting down to write an exam, and the combination of the heat and the emotional turmoil is proving too much for their squishy little brains. Almost every class this week has felt like an uphill battle.

There was a chair thrown by one student at another student yesterday.

Added to that, we had a Parents' Evening last night that was my busiest yet. I teach 99 students in the year group that was coming last night (yes, exactly 99, and I counted), and 22 of those I teach both History and English, so I had to do double duty with them. I had a massive line at my table from fifteen minutes in that didn't disperse until almost an hour after it was supposed to end. Only I and the Head of Year were left at the end. I would have snuck out a little bit earlier -- the Parents' Evening was already scheduled to be three hours long, and I stayed for another forty-five minutes beyond, which brought me to a total thirteen hours straight in school -- but my table was positioned in such a way as I would have had to sneak past the line of waiting parents to get out.

There were a couple of parent interviews where this setup made me feel distinctly trapped. It's all very well to have your back to the wall, but that's only a comforting position if you also have a clear path to the door. And parents kept sneaking up from the side, anyway.


Anyway, one more day. I can make it through one more day, can't I? Yes. Then it is half term and I get a whole week to nap, excepting the overnight trip up to Cambridge I am taking to get stuck into the Stead papers again. But, no. Mostly sleeping. And riding my bike. And getting caught up with work that I've been letting slide all this term because I've been just so tired all the time. And geeking out over movies with the BF. And seeing the friends that I've let slide for as long as I've been letting the work slide for much the same reason.

I am looking forward to it immensely.

Just need to get through tomorrow.
in_stead: (simon says)
I think the only people who might be looking forward to going back to school less than me are my students. And then only because they know that I'm going to take my lack of desire to be there out on them.

Or, rather, the very smart ones will realise that. The rest of them will just be shocked at the new depths of horribleness I discover over the coming week.

I don't waaaaaaaaaaant to go back to being a responsible adult! I would much rather frolic in the sun and drink wine and not work and stuff! Stupid need to eat. Stupid need for money to buy food. Stupid need to work for the money.
in_stead: (the ninth hole)
Am, sadly, returned now from Paris. School starts again tomorrow, which means I have an extremely large amount of work to do today.

I am having a little trouble getting going on it.

As such, have concieved of the following plan.

I am going to:

1. Shower.
2. Pack a lunch.
3. Pick up my bucket of work.
4. Go sit in the park to do it.

I feel that this is an excellent plan and will get started on it immediately...after I finish my coffee.
in_stead: (simon says)
My sister leaving today to go back to Canada = WOE.

Too much to do and not enough time to do it in = WOE.

Getting up at 3:30am tomorrow morning to make it to Heathrow by 7:00am = WOE.

Meeting up with BFF in Paris tomorrow = YAY!
in_stead: (signpost)
My sister arrives in twenty-two hours and forty minutes!

Or, um, so.

in_stead: (signpost)
I have arrived in Boston, safe and sound. And all the students even made it through, too! There was a slightly hairy moment when our flight from London to Frankfurt was delayed enough that it looked like we might miss the connection, a moment made none the better by the unexpected and clearly temporary security check point set up between the two gates where we all had to take our shoes off and be groped by frightening German security people.

Still, here we are.

I am having an outrageous amount of fun so far. The students are all wonderful kids, so I am, of course, proceeding to be absolutely horrible to them. I mock, I make fun, I poke, and I generally badger. This is how I demonstrate affection, and the students are holding up well.

We went on a big walking tour yesterday, culminating in a trip up the Prudential Tower to the observation deck on top. I got some gorgeous pictures of Boston just as the sun was setting, which I will upload when I get home. We will being doing more walking and touring this morning, then swinging by to visit the Boston Aquarium this afternoon. Tomorrow we do Harvard and the JFK Memorial library, before heading off to New York on Wednesday.

In other news, there is STILL NO SNOW. Where do I have to bloody go to get some winter weather?

I say that, mind you, but on Thursday the all the schools in my district closed for a snow day. There was maybe three inches of snow, all of which melted by Friday morning.

I did my best not to mock. I made good use of the time, instead, and sorted and filed and put up a new display in my classroom and the like. In JEANS, because all the students were gone and so I didn't have to look pretty anymore.

And on that note, it's time to do the wake-up rounds. Being a teacher is FUN.
in_stead: (bike)
[ profile] lazlet has run to the post office, leaving me alone with her house and her cats and other things. Including her computer. I have THREE SECONDS until she gets back and we leave for a wild weekend of cycling and fun with [ profile] the_oscar_cat and [ profile] kx.

Therefore, I will be brief.

My second term of teaching progresses apace. My two momentous pieces of news are as follows.

First, I was finally observed by my head of department and it went really, really well. Of course, I feel like a complete fraud because the students never behave as well for me as they did while he was sitting in the back of the room, but there you go.

Second, there is a field-trip taking place over February half-term break for the older kids -- Year 11s, I think -- to Boston and New York. The one other female staff member in my department was set to go along to supervise. Unfortunately, due to family health issues, she had to back out and they've asked me to go along instead as they need a female member of staff along to chase the female students of of the women's toilets and the like.

So, yay.

Oops, there's [ profile] lazlet! Must go.


in_stead: (Default)

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