Monday, June 30, 2008
Disclaimer: The other blog is mine and Paul's personal blog. It is about our time in Thailand and for the next year I am not a teacher, I am a Thai Boxer. Teachers swear, yes, but maybe not as much as Thai Boxers. If you are between the ages of 0 and 16 and you are reading this blog there will be occasional swear-words, because that's how I speak, but there will not be explicit content, because... well, why would there be?
If you're not an adult, then you are reading my blog without my permission and, as such, you should ask your parents.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
I have explained, in person, to my class why I left the school, which is that I was not well and had to take some time off. They accept this, and are aware that I did not leave because of them.
I apologise for any distress my posts may have caused, but have taken great care never to write about individual children, or specific incidents, nor have I ever given information which could identify the school or my pupils.
Now that the problem has been identified, it has been addressed. Further comments on the topic are welcome but will be moderated.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
When we said in the site description that this might turn out to be a guide to ruining your life, rather than a travel log, I think we may have been onto something.
Our date of departure looms ever closer, only 4 and a half weeks away, yet we’re no closer to selling the flat. Thanks to media scaremongering everyong is convinced we’re about to hit a recession and seems to be sitting tight on their property.
Weeks come and go with no viewers, then three will show up, interested, enthusiastic and full of promise, never to be seen again.
We’ve gone to fixed price, and then reduced fixed price.
We’ve forked out hundreds on new schedules, advertisements in the Scotsman property pages.
We rush to clean floors and surfaces, arrange flowers, open the windows and plump the cushions, only to sit for 2 hours every Thursday and Sunday, waiting for…. something.
Avoiding peering out of the windows. Avoiding biting nails.
I want to give up, purely because the stress is taking its toll, but I can’t give up a once in a lifetime opportunity to achieve my only real ambition. Paul wont let me give up anyway, he says we’re going, and that’s that. We just might be a little delayed, is all. He’s determined.
I don’t remind him that a couple of weeks ago he was equally determined that we were going on the 14th of July, and that was that.
I don’t think it matters how determined he is, or I am.
What matters is that Paul no longer has a job.
What matters is that, in 2 weeks time, I no longer have a job, and no chance of getting one now, having missed the current round of interviews.
What matters is our mortgage, our debts, our ties.
Not our plans, or how determined we may be to achieve them.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
If you weren't married you'd be single forever.
You present about as much threat to other women as a suicidal chinchilla does to a shark.
You decide chocolate is probably the answer to this problem.
You wonder - "Could this be how I got a weight problem....?"
You eat the chocolate anyway.
And so the cycle continues.
Saturday, May 03, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
I knock quietly, but enter decisively when there's no response and look around, expecting to find you somewhere obvious.
I pause at the door, searching for you, and find you where I least expect. You're on the floor, partially obscured by the duvet which has fallen off the double bed in the centre of the room - it looks recently slept in, the covers wrinkled and askew but cold to the touch. I'm temporarily halted by a sensory memory of the feeling of sliding in between cool, clean sheets at the end of a long, hot day, and when I bring myself back, grudgingly, to this dim and abandoned-feeling room, I worry briefly about how long I may have been standing and what you may be thinking about my strange behaviour.
With a sinking heart I realise I need not have worried.
Your eyes are open. They stare up - wide and huge, archetypally beautiful, with lashes which stretch up and out like feathers or wings. Your eyes stare up. Beautiful, black and lifeless.
I want to stop, be shocked and let my emotions stretch their legs. I want to wonder why you're on the floor and almost hidden, but I know I don't have time. Yet. So I move quickly, bending down and hitching my trousers up slightly at the knee to kneel beside you. I feel for a pulse, but there is none. Your skin feels... wrong. It is rubbery, thin and stretched tight like a balloon and it is neither warm nor cold, but simply wrong.
I notice with a lurch that your fingers are floppy, as blue as your face and utterly lacking in resistance or structure. I pinch you hard, and the slight squeak I hear initially makes my heart lurch back in the right direction, until I realise it was just the sound of the air within you shifting slightly.
I sit back on my heels, rubbing my eyes and pushing my glasses out and up and over my forehead.
I know there's nothing I can do, maybe could ever have done - you are who you are, and I can only question in dreams what might be if I had taken you with me.
But I didn't and that's for me, not you, to live with.
Standing up, my joints creaking, I turn and walk away, leaving you where you lie. As I close the door gently I feel your eyes on my back.
Wide, beautiful and black.
Friday, April 11, 2008
It's like a separate planet! The children not only don't swear at you, run away, walk out, threaten violence or refuse to work. They actually..... *smile*! They actually, and I could be wrong abou this, but they appear to actually want to learn.
I feel like a different person after 4 days at my new school - I actually remember why I wanted to teach, and that is that I do fundamentally like children. Younger children in particular generally avoid picking up the terrible inhibitions and complexes that we adults carry around without really noticing. Of course, that is provided they've had the right input from their parents to make that possible, which sadly the children at my previous skill often hadn't. They were contradictory that they lacked of emotional maturity but often had a very jaded and cynical attitude which we associate all to often with "maturity". Fortunately, my new class don't have that problem - they're exacty as they should be and I couldn't be happier.
Children keep you young. They make you smile and remind you that the world is fascinating.
They are unashamedly keen, interested and enthusiastic - they don't pretend not to care because it's not "cool" to care.
They usually know more than you think they do, but you have to ask the right way or they keep it to themselves. Most children are capable of far, far more than we give them credit for.
Children are deeply honest about things you wouldn't consider saying out loud. If your hair clashes with your jumper they tell you so, not because they want to upset you, but because it's true and they think you need to know.
Every day I remember another reason why this is the job I want to do, and I'm so happy to have landed in such a lovely school. However I do think that this will all work out for the best: without the experiences I've had I might never have decided to go to Thailand, and I wouldn't appreciate "normal" teaching for the great job it really is.
Things are finally looking up :)