Not Too Late

Oops, I guess it’s been over a month and a half since I last posted a blog.. A few people have asked if they missed a post, and I realized that I’ve been falling behind. I’m a week short from being in Melbourne for two months but it already feels like I’ve been here much longer! First of all, I’m having a blast here! That’s not just me trying to make everyone think that my life is spectacular while in reality I’m having the worst time, because really – my life is spectacular! I have really found my niche here, and I already feel so at home here, moreso than I did in London. Sure, some of the schools that I’ve been sent to aren’t the best, but it’s not the end of the

world (yet… I seem to slowly be losing my patience). When I last wrote about what I’ve been up to, it was still my first week in Melbourne and I was planning to go to work on Wednesday. Well long story short, that didn’t end up happening. And me working for the rest of that week didn’t end up happening either. I ended up giving myself an entire week off, which was really helpful for my transition to Melbourne. I got talking to my cousin Breann, and we decided to go to Wizard of Oz – the musical, on Wednesday. The musical only had two weeks left and in order to get cheap tickets, we’d have to go to a matinee production, so I decided to give myself the day off. The musical was good! Not the best I’ve seen (I think I actually preferred Wicked), but it was cool to see! After the musical, we found a cafe in a bookshop and enjoyed some coffee with dessert. On Thursday, I met up with one of the girls who I met at the Canadian brunch (Jessica), and she also brought another friend who had just moved to Melbourne as an au pair (from America) named Brianne. We walked up and down Chapel Street (by my house) before finding Prahran Market and had lunch at a restaurant there. After lunch, I had to get the train to Warragul because my tattoo appointment was at 4pm. We started walking back to my house because Jessica had her au pair family’s vehicle, so she was going to drive me to the station but upon realizing how long it would take us to walk and drive, I had thought that I wouldn’t make it to the station in time. I decided to walk to the nearest train station and transfer from there but I had went to the wrong side of the platform so as I went to walk to the other side, the warning lights started flashing and a gate came down, which blocked my path. I therefore had no choice but to watch my train stop, pick up the passengers, and leave right in front of me. I had missed the only way I could get to my tattoo… Feeling defeated, I started coming up with ideas in my head – should I try to catch a tram to the other train station? Should I call an uber? I messaged Jessica and she was nearly at her car so she said she would come pick me up and try to take me to the station. However, by the time she got to me

through the crazy traffic on Chapel Street, I knew it would be too late. She got me to the station about ten minutes after the train, meaning I had to wait 50 minutes for the next one. By that time, it was only about 2pm so I still had two hours until my tattoo, so it really sucked knowing that there was nothing I could do. I even contemplated looking up a car rental place nearby so that I could drive over. I didn’t have time to go back home to get my phone charger but luckily, there was a shop closeby so I had to buy a new phone cable, or it definitely wouldn’t last until Warragul. The good news was that the next train would arrive at the Warragul train station at 3:59pm and the tattoo place was only a 3-4 minute walk away, so I would hopefully only be 5 minutes late. I called the parlour and told them that I’d be late, and they seemed fine with it, and I ended up arriving exactly when I said I would! I already wrote about the tattoo so I’ll skip over that. After my tattoo, I went back to my old house because I still had a few more things that I had to take back to Melbourne. I visited with Paul and Gabi for a bit and then made my way back to the train station. My tattoo actually ended up hurting more on the train ride home than during the actual tattoo, and it lasted for the next day as well. I had decided that I would go to work the next day, but when I went to bed, I lied there for hours and I could NOT fall asleep! There was still so much adrenaline going through me so I decided to change my availability (since I’d get less than 5 hours of sleep) and decided to just start working the following week.

After my first day of teaching on Monday, I already started questioning what I had gotten myself into, and wondered if I had left the tomato farm too early. I decided that I needed to just power through, and I hoped that eventually, I’d get back into the swing of things. The teaching agency requires me to be at Flinders Street (the main station) by 7:30am everyday, so I have to leave my house by 7am. Then, I need to wait for a phonecall there. On my first Tuesday of work, I got to the station by 7:25am and waited for a phonecall. By 8:30, I still hadn’t gotten anything. I decided to just walk around central Melbourne until 10:30, and then I figured I probably wouldn’t be getting a call, so I went back home. Since then, I’ve gotten work everyday, which has been good. My teaching agency said that in order to guarantee myself work, I’d have to be flexible with the type of schools that I agree to go to, so they said

I’d get more work if I worked in primary schools. Even though I’m technically qualified to teach at primary schools, I hadn’t had any training in primary schools during university, nor had I any previous experience of working in primary schools. The agency (at first) said that if I got asked to go to primary schools, they’d try to give me the older years (years 5 & 6). They did really well the first couple of weeks, and I worked in secondary or year 5/6 the entire time. However, as the weeks went on, I started getting more year 3/4, then more prep and year 1/2. Actually, this past week, I ONLY worked with prep, or year 1 and 2. I still don’t know how to deal with them – I’m pretty sure I still treat them like they’re 15-year-olds. I don’t have the patience to deal with, “Johnny won’t let me play with him,” or “Lucy won’t let me read her book,” or “Kevin said stupid,” being said to me every ten seconds. Plus the germs… Oh, the germs!!!! I NEVER get sick and when I do, I get REALLY sick. Well now, for nearly the past month and a half, I’ve had an on and off cold or flu at all times. I’ve been stocking up on hand sanitizer, probiotics, throat lozenges, and cough, cold & flu medication in order to combat the billions of bacteria that I’m exposed to every day. I’ve had students walk up to me, sneeze directly into my lap, and walk away. Kids are coughing all over the place. I’ve been finding myself passing out before 9pm multiple times during the past two weeks because I’ve been completely worn out. And I’m continuously cancelling plans with people because I’d rather spend the evening in bed, resting. Last week, I had to call in sick for two days because I had gotten a throat infection. This week, it’s just a cold so I’ve just been having coughing attacks and crying in front of the class. I’ve been scheduled to teach science once since I’ve started here,

and that teacher didn’t leave any lesson plans, so it ended up basically being a free-for-all. The last time I was in a secondary school was over a month ago. So needless to say, no I’m not loving teaching here. The students are way better than in London, but the organization is killing me. I am seriously considering looking into other agencies, or looking into other career paths.

 

During my first week of teaching, the photographer who wanted to do a photoshoot with me wrote, and asked if I would be available that Thursday. He was wanting to do a graffiti shoot, and was hoping for the ripped jeans and leather jacket look. Looking through my closet, I really only have cute and innocent clothes since I’m a teacher. I’m not going to show up to school dressed up as some bad-ass rocker chick, or someone about to go out to the club. I don’t have any “going out” clothes because I rarely go out and if I do, I’ll still wear something modest. I’m not all that fashion-inclined. I buy stuff and keep it until it’s no longer wearable. I still own clothes that I bought in 2008. I don’t buy things because they’re trendy – I buy them because they’re cheap. And I’m PROUD of all the good deals I find – if someone says, “I like your dress,” I’ll respond with, “Thanks, it was 15 dollars!” Practicality is more important to me than how I look. If it takes longer than ten minutes to do a hairstyle, it’s not worth my time. Same goes for makeup. I guess I’m pretty low-maintenance compared to other people around Melbourne. One thing I noticed when I went for my first bottomless brunch was how different everyone looked. It was like I was in a different world! It was the first time I had seen people with lip injections in real life, and I found myself continuously looking at them because I was shocked as to how much their lips were protruding from their face. I felt like an alien observing humans for the first time. I don’t think the photographer realized that he may have chosen the wrong girl to be his model. I suddenly remembered that I DO have a “cool” dress that I got from Yang for my birthday and excitedly went looking through my clothes to find it. However, I couldn’t… I then remembered that I decided to take it out of my suitcase because I only wore the dress in London once. No cool clothes for me… So then I basically started looking up how to be cool. When, I finally decided that I might as well just go for ripped jeans and a leather jacket, I started doing my research to do it in the cheapest way possible. First of all, I’ve never bought a pair of ripped jeans in my life. Why would you pay full price for something that isn’t as functional? What is the practicality of having ripped jeans, other than for the style? Plus it’s winter.. who wants to shave their legs in winter? So now, what am I supposed to do – just shave those three areas? And every time I try to put on the ripped jeans, my foot gets stuck in the hole and I have to stop myself from tripping and falling. I walked to the Big W (Walmart) on the look-out for “cool clothes.” They actually had a bunch of stuff on sale and I walked out with my first pair of ripped jeans on sale for $15 (woot woot!). The next day, I went to K-Mart to search some more. They also had a bunch of stuff on sale so I got a hoodie on sale for $7, a light spring/fall jacket for $12, and some heeled boots on sale for $15. A leather jacket was found on Facebook Marketplace for $30 (originally 60), so in my opinion, I think I did pretty good with finding deals! On Thursday, I had to run home from work and get ready for the shoot. I decided not to bother with trying to curl my hair since

it would only stay for about 5-10 minutes before falling straight again. I continuously questioned if this was actually a good idea since I would be going into dark alleyways with a random man/stranger who I had talked to for less than an hour. I think every possible scenario had passed through my mind about how the night could go. My parents had taught me about Stranger Danger, but I have also learned to do any new experiences when given the opportunity. My flatmate seemed legitimately concerned when I told her if I didn’t come home that night, to send help. Anyway, everything worked out fine. Justin came and picked me up at about 7:30 or 8, and we were out until 11 before I said that I needed to get back home since I’d be waking up at 5:30 the next morning. It was absolutely freezing that night, so I was just focused on trying to stay warm! He was basically just wanting to try out a new style of photography – lighting up certain areas without using any editing whatsoever (all pictures are non-edited). So a lot of it just had to do with me being patient so he could move his lights around in order to get what he wanted. It was a fun experience, and the pictures turned out quite good! I’ve attached the private link if you want to take a look – https://www.jzaffphotography.com/Graffiti-shoot-Janelle-26th-July-2018/n-cs7vjv/

That weekend, I had dinner with my flatmates. It was the first time (after two weeks) that all of us were in the same room together. Since then, I can probably count the number of times that we’ve all been together on two hands. Everyone has very different schedules! Many times, I’ll hear Laura come home from her night shift at 7am, right before I’m about to head to work. However, both girls are lovely and when we do see each other, it’s always nice to catch up with what’s happened during the week. That Sunday, I went to another bottomless brunch with some of the Canadian girls, as well as some au pair girls. These events have been an awesome way to expand my friend base here in Melbourne, and many of the girls that I met at the first brunch have met up with me multiple times since then. It makes it a lot easier to go to more events once you know at least one person – we all agreed that it’s the first event that’s most difficult to go to but once you get it over with, it’s so worth it! Anyway, that brings me to the end of July and I feel like if I write about August as well, people might get bored and stop reading (if they haven’t already). Therefore, I’ll write about August in another post when I have more time to write. I hope everyone enjoyed their summer in Canada! I want to feel bad that you’re going into winter but I can’t because I’m really looking forward to summer here, so I think it’s about time that we did the switch… 😀 Love always
 
Not Too Late – Moon Taxi

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