Saturday, 27 December 2008

A Year in Review

It is official – we live in a mud hole. Two days of unseasonably warm temperatures have left a disgustingly dirty landscape. It is actually the same temperature in Thunder Bay as it is in London at this moment – which is above 0 Celsius! Don’t get me wrong – I love warmth….unfortunately the mud that warmth creates a pain in the *ss. I went for a walk and came back with a coating of dirt…more laundry…grrrr….but it has been a pretty nice reprieve from the unseasonably cold temperatures (what ever happened to the average?).
Christmas was pretty quite – I struggled through two days without Starbucks, but held my head up high. Actually I just mainly ate…and ate…and ate. I have effectively ensured that I do not have to eat again until July; good stuff – great food.

Ok, so I’ve talked about the previous necessity for teachers to reflect on their lessons, abilities, etc. Today I’m reflecting on the past year, because I’m not really sure where it has gone!! No…there is more to this reflection than meets the eye; it was exactly a year ago that a recruitment agency contacted me about moving to….England…

December 27, 2007: Contacted by I*act Teachers in London, asking whether or not I would be interested in moving to England…sure! Why not?

Lulled in my own complacency for the majority of the month (2008 got off to a slow start); continued on a diet that I had started in late 2007 (ok this diet has been a substantial part of my year); interviewed with I*pact and decided that I wanted to move to England ASAP – but I was entirely detached from this decision, mainly because I was stagnating in my complacency (it also gave me an excuse to not look for a Thunder Bay job!)

Continued to stagnate in my complacency – truly I enjoyed it. Started to become a little disenfranchised with my recruiting agency, and began to look towards more lucrative pastures. Took a brief escape to Edmonton, just in time for a wicked deep freeze - returned to Thunder Bay in time the same deep freeze. Continued to obsess about health and weight.

Found a new recruiting agency, was interviewed by them, then quickly interviewed (and was hired) by a school in Banbury, England (this whole evolution took place in about a week); still completely disassociated with the whole decision, and quickly applied for a visa. This included a trip to Ottawa over March break – Ottawa had a record snowfall that weekend (a mere 50cm or more fell on the city overnight). That was kind of cool. Ha! Showed a Kobalt in a dog show, and had a great weekend with him – finished a couple of titles. Oh ya….and weight and such.

There was a plane ride, and suddenly I was in England, clueless. My agency, relieved that I was in England, kind of flew the coup. I quickly learned the distinction of what an academy is – and why you don’t necessarily want to teach in one (its not as prestigious as it sounds!). Also learned that I had undercut myself by about £5000. I was not off to a good start, and out of the disassociative decision arose panic. Ultimately I jumped too quickly, and really hadn’t made sure that there was water in the pool. Lessons learned. I*act asked me to stop into their offices on my way through London. Sure? Why not? I’ll try again. I think. Oh yeah – and worried incessantly about the weight thing (especially since I had established myself in my neighbourhood local, and was drinking a fair amount of beer).

Reflection. Increasing complacency, and much time spent pondering the future. Briefly became a resident at Starbucks. Spent the majority of the month pondering whether or not I really wanted to go back to England. And – dieting…and exercise.

More reflection. Plenty of time spent at city parks chasing geese with Kobalt. Quickly began to realize that I had no long term aspirations for making a career out of goose patrol. Not that I don’t like the job or Kobalt…
Out of boredom I decided to take classes in English and Political Science. Political Science and I got along really well; I wasn’t abstract enough to make it through English (seriously, what is the point of paying for this sort of course?).

Continued to work on goose control. Pondered England some more. Dieting. Ya that sums it up. Kobalt and I started herding sheep again, and had a really tumultuous start to our herding season…

A repetition of July. Just more geese, and it was moderately warmer and less rainy than July.

Great start – Kobalt finished an ASCA herding title (really it had nothing to do with me, I just watch him work and am basically a third tit). Two days after I decided to get off the pot, quit pondering, and go back to England - this time to London. The rest of the month was spent getting ready for that…and working for Elections Canada (isn’t that a joke now?)…and goosing…and working at a school…September was a moderate blur. Somewhere along the line I was also dieting…k, you really have to understand how much that dieting thing impacted 2008!

The month began in a haze of work; actually I worked right up until 2 hours before my flight departed for Toronto. While in Toronto there was a bit of panic when the flight attendants realized the plane was “broken” but were not sure why (note to Air Canada: some information is best left unshared). Arrived in London, and quickly settled into a six week stint of moving aimlessly through Pimlico between hostels, hotels, apartments, etc. Then came the fallout of the Credit Crunch, which the BBC jumped on like a bee to honey. Quickly became re-disillusioned with my recruitment agency, after a week long delay in work, and mediocre results in securing work. Random trips to Sheffield and Leeds…more weight worries, but interspersed with awesome curry.

Continuing worries. Misdirected information. Money, money, money. I realized I needed another agency, but until that happened I might as well just go home. Unfortunately I was settling into London when I decided to get out – funny how that works! Discovered Caffe Nero’s hot chocolate (not really the life changing thing you would expect in a year end reflection, but it is REALLY good). Oh wait…and Obama…the teenage girls in my classes were absolutely in love with Obama…as a side note, can we start to be honest about why he is seen as the “progressive” change!?!?!! Oh yes, and the credit crunch continued – but for some reason the American dollar gained strength against the Canadian dollar, and yet the British pound lost value against everyone (which adversely effected the daily wage…eeks)

Reflection. Reaffirmation in the sheer boringness of my thesis. Alexandra won X Factor. Waiting. Hope that I have finally found a decent recruiter. Reaffirmation that I can’t keep coming back to Thunder Bay (finding a career in a city without hope, is…hopeless.) And that brings us to today – having gone full circle; a year to the day that the England thing started…still worried about weight…and sure I’ll go to England…why not?


JP said...

Great Comments, even better photo especially when it is enlarged. Are you in Thunder Bay or England.

LCD said...

Thanks...Yes I'm in TBay at the moment, though I'm hoping to return to London in the coming weeks.

Jack said...

I find it fascinating that you worked in goose control while you were deciding what to do with your life. I remember one summer as I spent my days chasing geese out of people's ponds that that was when I decided I wanted to go into veterinary medicine. Sounds like goose control is a breeding ground for dreams and aspirations.