Thursday, 23 October 2008

London Education

Today came and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Or maybe it was. Prior to leaving for the UK, I debated the decision on a daily basis – should I, shouldn’t I? Again, I now find I’m debating myself daily – should I go home or shouldn’t I? And like then, I find I go in spurts throughout the day. At certain times I feel that I can deal with this; being here, continuing to make a go. It can’t be that bad, can it? Then enters that plaguing thought: can I afford to stay? (no) can I picture myself getting up everyday to confront classroom life? (sometimes yes, sometimes no).

After a lengthy meeting with my recruiting agency, I have discovered that I need to tap into my inner b*tch. I have no doubt in my mind that I can do that – I can be that person at the best of times. Heck – London does an excellent job of dragging that aspect of my personality out. When I get cut off the sidewalk now, I resist the temptation to tell the other individual to J off. Another week and I’ll be a full blown nutcase (along with many other dispondent Londoners). Because I am still new to London, I still look at other individuals, and often wonder why so many people look so sad. Even so, with all of the temptation to return home, I find that when I go for a my nightly stroll, I suddenly feel the overwhelming urge to try and make this work. Tonight I walked down to the Parliament buildings/Big Ben and Westminster Abby – and at that moment, I couldn’t help thinking – I have to make this work. And then my stomach started growling, and I can’t help remembering the financial situation I am currently in. Financial implying that I have money, whereas in reality I am so far broke that I don’t know how I will ever surface again. Then I start to think “well I’m this far invested, I need to make a go of it”. And so the arguments continue.

The hardest decision I faced today was the impending flat. I have opted not to rent, and continue to live out of a hotel. In the long run this is more expensive option, but right now, given that I really can’t afford to outfit a flat, the hotel seems like the cheaper option. It also provides me with an easy-out mind game: if things get too difficult, I won’t have to “get out” of having a flat. If I can make a go of teaching in the UK, and if I do opt to take a northern contract (which my agency guaranteed me they were looking for), living out of the hotel is really the best option. As I watch money going down the drain, I will just have to keep reminding myself of that.

Again I am caught in that moment where I need to figure out how to mesh London Leanne with Canada Leanne. I want to hang on to my old life – what happens when it no longer needs me? My friends, mom, dogs – what happens when I’m eliminated from all of that? Maybe that is the hardest part of being here – realizing that my life can go on without me. Part of me has been reluctant to find new friends here, or get involved in new activities. Yet I realize, if ever I want to achieve any of my goals, I need to let it go. Even my agency told me today: “You need to let your Canadian classroom experience go. Forget it. It doesn’t apply here.” And they are right. Shaping a new life isn’t as easy as it seems. UK Leanne needs to let go. I’ve never been good with letting go though.

Now for the bigger pain in my *ss. I spent well over $40,000 to go to school Actually…wait…my mom spent a good chunk of that – OSAP covered the rest (yes, I will pay it back! F*king student loans). My teacher education YEAR (single) was by far the most expensive of those years. Basically, all of those wonderful, idealized classes that I took while in teacher’s education, need to be forgotten. That would be $8, 000 out the window. Does that p*ss me off? Yup, you bet. Unbelievably so. We would joke in the program, that the program was useless. In truth, it really was. Everything you learn about teaching, you learn in the classroom. The curriculum classes deal almost exclusively with the Ontario curriculum. So really, when it comes to teaching in England, teacher’s college really was fairly unnecessary. Bitter, bitter, bitter.

While it might be my personal motto – I just don’t know anymore. Ultimately though, London is about my own education - not the education of the students.

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