Hi world, one month away already! And this week, I’ve actually started to become more homesick 😦 Maybe because during the first 3-4 weeks, I was constantly running around, trying to get everything organized and now, I have more time to just do nothing. Or overthink, as I tend to do quite often.
On Saturday, I went to check out a Japanese Festival called Japan Matsuri in Trafalgar Square, which was absolutely insane. I love festivals and I usually just go for the food, and that’s exactly what I did. They had rows of tents of different Japanese cuisine but I stuck to the classics and got some spring rolls and some gyoza (yum!). I also tried a matcha latte, which was interesting! The festival also had tents with information and tours for travelling Japan, and then they also had origami and cartoon drawings. Of course, there was a huge stage that had performances constantly going on. It was a gorgeous day, so hundreds of people came to check out the festival. After that, I went home and my flatmates downstairs invited me to go out with them for drinks! We took the bus to a pub closeby, which was extremely cheap (11 pounds for a round of 4 drinks!). They all seem a few years younger than me, but they were all extremely nice and I enjoyed their conversations! We stayed there until the pub closed (1am) and then walked to KFC, got a 12-piece bucket meal, and took it back to the flat. Didn’t get to bed until about 3, which I thought would be fine since I’d get to sleep in the next day. However, when I woke up on Sunday, it was 8 and my body wouldn’t let me sleep in any longer.
I decided to go explore Richmond, which is an absolute gorgeous area! I found a French cafe called Paul, which is at almost every metro station in Paris (but they are much harder to find over here). I ended up getting some quiche, and the best mocha I’ve ever had in my life. It was basically just melted chocolate mixed with some coffee. So rich and thick, absolutely delicious! After that, I found a park (as usual) and enjoyed some time in the sun. I then met up with a friend for dinner and coffee, and then headed home.
On Monday, I woke up nice and early to wait for my call, which was extremely difficult since I think I only got 5-6 hours of sleep the night before. By 8:30, I thought I was safe and could go back to bed… but then I got a phone call at 8:50, asking me to go to another all girls’ school. I didn’t get there until 10:30, which was when the second period was nearly done. And I actually got to do chemistry! All I can say about the school was wow. I’ve never been in a more well-behaved school in my life, and I doubt I’ll be able to find one that’s better. I almost felt like there was no need for me to be in the classroom. During the last period especially, when it was the oldest girls, I was actually bored because they were all doing their work quietly and I was sitting there wishing I brought a book or something to do. Just a walk in the park, I loved it! That night, I met up with a friend who I had met the week before. I must have totally forgot to write about that, but last Thursday, I went to this social night. Basically, you sit at a table with 3-5 other people and chat with whoever for 15 minutes and then everyone gets up and finds another table with all new people to sit at. And this goes on for about 2-3 hours and then you meet a whole bunch of new people! Which is perfect for me since the amount of people who I know in London can be counted on one hand. So anyway, I met this girl (Becky) at that social night and she’s a nanny here in London, so we were easily able to relate with each other on that. On Monday night, we decided to meet up for drinks and catch up, which was nice! I find that it’s better for me to get out as many nights as possible, since I’m still at the flat alone (or was when I was writing this) and have no one to spend time with haha I actually really miss that about the hostels – just being able to walk into your ‘living room’ and choose any 20 people to talk to. Maybe I’ll have to go there once every two weeks or something… That day, I also found out that I had a job at a new school, and I would be there from Tuesday to Friday so I didn’t have to worry about waiting for phone calls, yay!
On Tuesday, I still had to get up at the exact same time, as it takes quite a bit longer to get to this school. Of course, my time management in the morning sucked so I was struggling to get everything ready and get out the door in time. London has really awesome apps (including GoogleMaps), which tells you exactly all the information you need in order to get to another place by using public transportation – walking times, bus and train times, delay times, etc. However, I never understand how they measure the time it takes to walk to a place. I’ve learned really fast that I can never rely on that time. Like do they expect a person to walk a certain amount of metres per minute and then just do the math? And who is their sample person? I feel like it’s Bigfoot, or someone with the largest steps in the world. I would consider myself a quick walker, but I can never keep up with the time that these programs say I should be doing and then I find myself either missing the bus/train, or sprinting to make it there in time. In this situation, my legs were absolutely burning – like not just part of my leg.. my entire leg was just releasing lactic acid all over the place (sorry, it’s the biologist in me). I’m going to have to start figuring out this walking time thing, cause while it wakes me up, the stress of wondering if I’m going to make it to a school on time or not doesn’t work in my favour. Anyway, I got to the school and they have the most high-tech security system I’ve ever seen. We’re given security cards that we can’t even get into the school (as well as any of the classrooms) with unless we have them. I was thinking, “Wow, this must be a really great school with amazing students.” Boy, was I in for a surprise… Again, I was teaching science all day but the school was somewhat unprepared, as in they only gave me what I’d be teaching at the beginning of each period. Which somewhat made it difficult for me since in London, there’s no time in between periods; students are just expected to move from one class to another in as little time as possible. So then the students sit there waiting for us to figure out what they’re supposed to be learning, and then get completely out of hand. Anyway, the first period started and as soon as the students (year 10) walk into the classroom, I get bombarded with questions, “Did Mr. Farrington leave? Did he go crazy? Is he coming back? Are you our new teacher? Did he get fired?” Well, this seems like a bad sign… The students then proceeded to tell me that during yesterday’s class, the teacher just up and left in the middle of class and they haven’t seen him since. (The head teacher later confirmed this and added that not only did he leave, he left back home to Australia! Sounds like a crazy bunch of kids if the teacher sent himself home after TWO WEEKS!) This was my first hint that I had my work cut out for me. The students then asked, “Did you come all the way from Canada JUST to teach us today?” “Why would you come here?!” “This is the worst school ever, you’ll find out after a few classes.” Great… I then had another period of year 10’s and found out I’d have them AGAIN for two more periods in the afternoon! I thought double periods were bad enough in Canada, but what kind of evil person would plan three hours of science with the same students?! The predictions that the first period made definitely started to come true when I was teaching those three periods. Absolutely insane! I didn’t think I’d find classes worse than my 9’s during my internship, but they exist! The students don’t listen at all, don’t take any responsibility for their actions, they’re in the mindset that nothing is their fault. By the third period, I just gave up haha there was literally nothing I could do. So that was a great first day.. The principal came to talk to me after and started talking about how he didn’t want me to have to do long-term supply unless they absolutely needed me. Pretty sure I wouldn’t agree to it anyway. That night, the friend who I had met with on Monday wrote me and informed me that her family had a spare ticket to the rugby game on Saturday, and was wondering if I wanted to come(!!). A once in a lifetime opportunity to go to the rugby World Cup, where tickets are about 500 pounds?! Most definitely I’ll go!
Wednesday was a lot better cause most of the day was spent with year 7’s, who I’ve decided is my favourite year; I’ve only had good experiences with them at every school I’m at. They’re still at the stage where they want to learn and do their work, but can talk at the same time. The head science teacher asked if I’d be willing to stay longer than just this week and I told her I wasn’t willing to do long-term supply, but I would be willing to stay for a week or so until they found a replacement – to which later the technician informed me that was a bad idea, cause they’ll take their time finding someone and they haven’t had the best of luck in the past. And the kids aren’t great (her words, not mine), “but you didn’t hear it from me.”
On Thursday, I only ended up having to teach for the first three periods! Meaning I had three spares. But because I wasn’t willing to do full-time teaching (because I don’t want to have to do lesson plans and marking during my evenings), the head science teacher said they wanted to get their money’s worth with me since they were paying me for the full day, so I could use my three spares to plan what I’d be teaching for my classes the next day. Lovely. It was somewhat of a struggle since I’m not familiar with the U.K. curriculum, but I think I did an okay job. After school, I got home and Jess and her sister had come back from their trip. We went to a night market in Kingston, which was supercool! Lots to see and eat 🙂
On Friday, I ended up having a double with the year 10’s who drove their teacher to leave. I hadn’t had them since Tuesday, but they were absolutely insane! I had to keep a resting bitch face on for the entire period (which I’m not sure really looked intimidating but oh well). Then when I proceeded to keep them after class to waste their time since they wasted my time, it was all my fault. “Well this isn’t fair!” “But drama’s my favourite class!” “But we’ll get detention if we’re late for the next class!” And they STILL wouldn’t be quiet. After that class, I luckily had a spare so I could take some deep breaths and calm my nerves. It takes a lot to do that to me! To say the least, I was extremely happy when the day was over! Anyway, I’m spending the weekend at my friend’s family’s house in Sevenoaks so it’ll be easier to get to and from the rugby game. Heading there now! Hope everyone has a good weekend! Love always
I’m Good – The Mowgli’s