Dec. 26th, 2012 10:02 am
nimthiriel: (Broken Things)
So I know I'm done with classroom teaching. I'm a good teacher and I'm still passionate about education, but I can't work in a system that's as broken as ours. I don't even want to try for a private school and hope for better, because there is a limit to how much better it can be. Once this job in China finishes, I want to do something else. 

Thankfully, I now know what that is. I'm going to do either a Master of Sustainability, or whatever the most similar course is that Monash offers at the time. Had I the choice, I would have done Environmental Science as my major instead of maths (thanks a lot, mum) and probably been a lot happier for it, so now it's time to build on that. 

In my final year in China, I won't be applying for full-time classroom work. Instead, I'll be applying to university and hopefully getting in to this course. Then later, working in some other capacity that isn't teaching regularly in a school.

Wish me luck!


Jul. 9th, 2012 12:35 pm
nimthiriel: (Default)
 Saw my GP today and told him about my travel plans. I also told him that if it exists, I want to bie inoculated against it. The rabies vaccine sounds particularly nasty, but still better than rabies, so that will happen and so will the booster every 12 months. He sent me off to check whether I still have immunity against Hep A and B, and then once that comes back we'll look into all the other shots I'm going to need. So far I'll also need typhoid, cholera, diptheria, tetanus, possibly an MMR booster, and I may be able to skip encephalitis because I won't be in areas where it occurs. I'm a lot less trusting when it comes to the others!

I'm nervous about talking to work about my change of employment, mainly because I'm going to be asking for a lot. Hopefully they'll be generous and let me, but I can't pin my hopes on it. Annoyingly, I don't know exactly what the details are for this possible orientation in November, and whether it would be a paid thing. If it is, then I could just resign at the end of Term 3 and possibly manage on our savings, especially once we sell the car. But if it isn't paid, then I can't afford to go (though the thought of resigning at the end of term 3 and not having to write reports at the end of the year is kind of awesome).

So basically, I have to go to work, tell them I have to resign at the end of the year, and then mention the vague possibility of taking a month of unpaid leave and hoping they'll look a bit shocked and then nod and agree that yes, it is rather important so I should just let them know when that leave period starts. That's the daydream, anyway!

And, of course, when I resign and what we can afford will determine our living conditions for the next few months, and where we're living will determine what we can sell first and what we need to hold on to, which is a problem if we find someone to take our fridge but we still need one for another few weeks...

It's all a bit messy and stressful. I have a list, the problem is that too many things depend on other things and those on something else, and I don't know enough to start working on the big logistical problems, which are the ones I really want to have a plan for.

The good news though, is that when we come back we'll have enough for a deposit on a place. So I'm trying to focus on that, and on the things we're actually capable of doing. And I'll start getting more detailed information in he middle of August, which is also good.


Jun. 27th, 2012 06:39 pm
nimthiriel: (Default)
nimthiriel: (Default)
 Having worked myself up a lot about the job in Nanjing, I'm now working myself down again and preparing to be rejected. I know getting myself hyped up is a bad idea, but that is exactly what I've done. It's now been 2 weeks since my interview and 2 business days since they checked my references. They want to complete the process by Friday week, so there's only so locate that they can reasonably hold the 2nd-round interview. 

Now, I have been in the situation where I was made a job offer within a day of having an interview, but I don't know how normal that is. So, I am emotionally letting to and resigning myself to not having the job. Even if I do this, I'll be horribly upset if I don't get it. But It's still better than being brought down from the height of excitement.


Apparently not having my hopes up is the way to go. I just go asked for a 2nd-round interview! XD

Job update

Jun. 16th, 2012 09:08 pm
nimthiriel: (Wine)
The school I've applied to have checked my references, and they've done it BEFORE they finished the interview process! I know this because the HR lady told me so.

One of my references told me that she spent half an hour on the phone to them. I wonder what they said! I'm hoping that taking 30mins to either find something you don't like or to run out of questions to ask is a good thing...

I was also told I'll know in the next couple of weeks, because they don't want the process to drag on. Understandable, because there are only two weeks left of term and doing this stuff through the holidays probably isn't an option.

So, fingers are still crossed!


May. 22nd, 2012 01:37 pm
nimthiriel: (Default)
 It's been over a week since applications closed, and no phone all. I'm resigning myself to having missed out yet again. What bugs me though is that I didn't get an interview, but I did get one 3 years ago when I had less experience. I don't understand what could have happened to weaken my application I the meanwhile. 
nimthiriel: (Spit)
 An opportunity has come up again. This comes around every 3 years, and this will be the second time I've gone for it. The opportunity is to work in China for three years, taking groups of Australian students on tours and teaching them about the culture.

I have wanted this job since I did the program myself at the age of fourteen. There is nothing in my life that I have wanted for so long. I'm giddy, nervous, anxious, and hoping against hope that they hire me this time.

Adding to my desire for this is the fact that the timing couldn't be better. I'm in the mood for a change of pace and my husband is about to finish his Masters degree. His family have already agreed to look after our cats for a few years if we go overseas.  He has some writing projects that he really wants to work on. There is absolutely nothing tying us down, and our plans for the next few years are as flexible as it is possible to be.

This would be absolutely PERFECT for both of us. 

I'm trying not to get my hopes up, while still maintaining enough confidence that if I get an interview I go in confident and sure of myself, projecting the confident image that I know is so important for these things.

So wish me luck. If I've ever had a dream, this is it. If I get it, I'll celebrate. If I don't, then expect to see something like this post repeated in another three years!
nimthiriel: (Default)
I think I'm having one. I hear that it's reasonably normal to start questioning where you're going after a few years of being in the workforce, and I also hear it's not uncommon for teachers to leave the profession before they do a full 5 years of teaching.

I'm really not sure what I want out of my working life at the moment. I'm not sure what it'll take to make me feel happy. Well, I have a vague idea, but it's along the lines of "Not having to deal with administrative bullshit" and "feeling like my work is appreciated" and "the flexibility to go out for a coffee in my spare time without having to ask permission as well as signing out at the front office instead of my own building, even though that eats into 10mins of that spare time".

Basically, I want to be treated like and appreicated for being a responsible adult who can manage their time. 

If I could, then I would resign today, effective at the end of this term. I would advertise myself as a CRT for a few days a week with schools that are closer to home and as a tutor for some afternoons while I figure out what the hell it is I want to do with myself for the next 5-10 years. Unfortunately, this would be a significant loss of income and not one I can afford at the moment.

Still, at least I don't have the urge to buy expensive cars and date supermodels. That'd be even more awkward.
nimthiriel: (Default)
The Domestic Part:

We got a washing machine this morning! XD It does stuff! We got a Fisher Paykel front loader and did some washing in it today. It feels so much more like a home now! The last furniture we're waiting on is the coffee table and the TV stand. They should arrive within the next fortnight, and that will be awesome.

I also managed to finally get some more tidying of the study done, and we now have space for my husband's piano against the wall. There's a bit more to go, unfortunately. We're in that "bits and pieces" stage which basically means whe have a whole bunch of miscellaneous stuff in boxes and and on surfaces which don't really have anywhere specific to go. This means lots of sorting, which I hate.

We're also still very much deciding on where things belong. A few things ahve been moved from their oritinal space to somewhere else by now, including the bookshelves, drinking glasses, kitchen appliances, and various tools. Hopefully this won't happen too much over the next while and things will have definite homes to live in.

The Recipe Part:

I'm trying to catch up on cooking, so recipe #39 is home-made tomato sauce. Anyone who's been to a barbecue with me knows I do not like tomato sauce. My problem with most of the ones you get at the supermarket is that they're just too sweet. So, I decided it's high time I made my own!

I looked around online to get the general gist of how to make them, and from there I made it my own, so here it is.


1 brown onion
1tsp salt (or to taste)
1tbs oil
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
2 tbs tomato paste
3 cloves garlic
3tsp paprika


Chop the onion and cook it in a saucepan until it's soft.
Add the garlic and the salt and cook it for a few minutes, then add the tomato.
Cook that, stirring occasionally, for about 10mins.
Use a potato masher to crush it up a bit, add the paprika, and then cook for a few minutes more.
Take the pot off the flame and put it on a heat-proof mat. Allow it to cool a bit and then blend the mixture until it's smooth.
When it's cool enough, serve!

Ta-dah! :-) So there it is: Low in sugar, preservative-free, and really yummy.

I imagine you'd need to keep it refrigerated and use it up fairly quickly. This makes about 500mL, so you won't be running short.

The Career Part

I've started looking for jobs for next year. It's not that I particularly want to leave my current school, but I would be stupid to just assume that they'll have a position for me next year. I also do have good reasons for wanting to go elsewhere, such as the fact that I long to be in a school where the parents give a damn and where expulsion is a real threat.

I've applied to a campus of my old high school. It's 10-15mins away by bicycle and I'm seriously hoping that it's 3rd time lucky. The first time I applied was fresh out of uni and I didn't even get an interview. The second time was at the end of my first year teaching and I got a 2nd round interview (so, top 5 candidates sort of thing). I'm really hoping that this will be third time lucky. You have NO idea how badly I want this!

Wish me luck!


Aug. 21st, 2011 07:51 pm
nimthiriel: (Default)
Taking up physics at university while still working was done with two goals in mind:

1) Gain a method in teaching physics to make me more useful and employable in a school setting
2) Provide me with an intellectual challenge

While part 2 is definitely happening, it's had one unfortunate side effect: It's made me realise just how little intellectual stimulation I've had over the past 3-ish years. I'm using brain muscles that I forgot that I had, and it feels REALLY GOOD. But it's highlighted my dissatisfaction with my job. So far, the only thing that I feel has been "challenged" in this profession is my patience.

Teaching kids who don't give a damn is extremely unsatisfying, and I've had this problem since my first year out, when I encountered year 10 kids who insisted they "just want a formula" for the total surface area of every concievable 3D shape. No matter how much I tried to explain that they really should just find the surfaces, find the areas and add them up, they continued to repeat "I just want a formula". Had I been writing the exam, I'd have put in a doosey of a shape just to mess with them.

But this is the kind of attitude I'm fed up with. They don't want to understand, they just want the tricks to get them through the test and then they want to forget they'd ever done the topic. Until they have to do it again the following year.

I'm tired of dealing with kids who, in year 8, don't know ANY of their times tables except the 2s (along with the 5s, if you're lucky), and who don't realise (after having had it explained about a dozen times) that you can cancel the zeros when doing something like 500/1000. They don't even really understand that it's division. They can tell me that the line in the middle means "divide by", but only when I prompt them. It just doesn't occur to them on their own because they don't really "get" fractions, and they don't really seem to care to. They just want to know the "trick".

I'm tired of it. And that's not even mentioning the behavioural shit I have to deal with on a daily basis, and it's always the same shit from the same kids.

I may end up teaching year 11 maths next year which would mean kids who are interested, and hopefully that will be challenging enough (and hopefully the maths will be challenging enough), but at this stage I feel as though I'm quickly losing my passion for teaching and it seems mainly to be due to teaching dumb shits in years 7-10.

I'm seriously longing for academia. I want to go into research. I want the grades to go into research. But first I need that physics major, and that would require taking considerable time off. So all this may have to wait a number of years. I just feel like I need something to change in a big way because I'm starting to really dislike what I have to do every. Single. Fucking. Day. And that's not a good thing.


nimthiriel: (Default)

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