in_stead: (Default)

Air India = awesome! Great leg room seat size, and comfort. Also, hopefully, great food!

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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: (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: (fuck bees)
Well. Spent my entire day yesterday dealing with an ugly situation that has, finally, with the influence of my mother, resolved itself happily.

There will, however, be unhappy letters. Angry letters, even.

Essentially, last October, I booked a return ticket that took me from Canada to England in December and from England to Canada in July with Travelocity. I lost my confirmation email and, after searching high and low for either the print out or the electronic copy of the email, decided to call both Travelocity and the airline I was supposed to be booked on.

The airline told me I was not booked on any flight they could see. Travelocity told me I had never made the booking.

I ended up calling four times and talking to three different people. [ profile] lazlet gave me the excellent advice of getting my credit card statement, which very clearly shows the payment. When I talked to the second person, she said to fax said statement to Travelocity, and then call back. I did this. When I called back, the person I got at the help desk kept just repeating that, no, there was no record of the booking and if there was no record of the booking, it hadn't been made. I told her that repeating the same information over and over again wasn't good enough, she needed to give me something more than that.

And she said, "Well, you're doing the same thing. You're just repeating the same information over and over again."

Stroppy cow.

Anyway, my mother finally managed, by calling the airline itself and wading through tons of maybe try this scenarios, to track down my ticket. As it turns out, because my original flight was cancelled at Christmas and I was moved on to one that left a bit earlier, the two parts of the ticket became disconnected on the system.

Still, stroppy cow at Travelocity is going to get a written piece of my mind in the near future.

Now am going for a bike ride with BF. Woot!
in_stead: (whee!)
I am so extraordinarily jet-lagged, but enjoying being home none the less. And I got a little bit of work done today -- I marked half of one class's end of term tests. This leaves me with only eight and a half more sets to go! Awesome!

Except not.

There are strange men in the house. They are putting new carpet down on our stairs. I am hiding in my mother's room reading porn the internet, watching made-for-TV Christmas movies, and otherwise veging out.

Bad Christmas movies on TV are one of my favourite parts of Christmas. Bad dialogue, bad acting, and a shmoopy ending. What's not to love?
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: (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.

in_stead: (signpost)
My family is getting just a little too jet-setting to be believed. My mother spent February in London. My sister went over March break on a band trip to Prague, with assorted side trips through Austria and Bavaria. My father, as of Saturday morning, is in Kenya, where he will be for another couple of weeks before heading off to Vietnam, then China before coming home. Once he gets back, it's my sister's turn again. She's heading down to New York for a long weekend on an art class trip.

I just felt absurd this morning when I got up and had to think long and hard before I could remember where in the world various members of my family are.



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