I’ve been ‘blogging’ for a year now. Whew. The time has flown by. I did feel though that to mark this momentous occasion, I should talk about how ‘blogging’ (can you tell I don’t like that word?) has affected my year. It has been suggested to me that a better name for this would be “Girl with Many Cardigans” or “Girl in Blue Flowery Dress” (to be fair, I do have one of those for every day in the week). Still, for myself, I think the one I chose sums me up the best, being Girl with her Head in a Book has been enormous fun.
I am a literature student, although my degree was English and French. Most of my family are multi-lingual, I am not. I can speak French because I worked my behind off and I passed the French part of my degree because I took literature modules. Attempts to learn other languages have not gone particularly well so I accept my weaknesses. Some learn many languages, I read books. Quickly. My degree therefore is basically a piece of paper which grades how well I read books for five years, with one year off in the middle to live in France.
It’s funny, I was an annoying little girl who always carried books around when I was at school, at secondary school I limited myself to taking in three a day as if I might run out. Things changed as I got older. Although during my degree I did read off and on, it was slow and more often than not would get sidelined for whatever I was supposed to be reading. Not all of which actually got read … specifically anything by Virginia Woolf. But then I graduated. Reading-wise, I was set free … I’ve grown up and I’m not the little girl who carries three books around the playground but yet still I always have whatever I’m reading in my handbag, even at work. Partly it’s because I’m so used to travelling by train or bus that I expect that I’ll need something for the commute, forgetting that I can drive now and I have my own car so for the safety of my fellow road-users I should just keep my eyes on the road.
I have really enjoyed writing this ‘blog’ (don’t like that word either … ) and I do hope to keep writing for next year as well but as a disclaimer, I have a job that comes with homework now. It’s exciting but still … the holidays are over. My best friend has on several occasions quoted the comedian Chris Addison who described ‘the year nobody ever talks about, the one directly after graduation’. Graduation provokes a necessary but still painful transition out into the real world – you can pretend all you want but university is still school but with more fun attached. I am ready for the next phase.
If I’m honest, I started writing this as a distraction to what was going on around me. I had finished my postgraduate qualification and had to move home. In fact, at the very beginning of this, I was still making my uncomfortable visits to the Job Centre, one of those phases that you only recognise how much you hated once it’s over. Being told that I shouldn’t have gone into teaching when the birth rate was in decline that I probably would never find anything but that you never know some people occasionally get lucky was not great for the old self esteem. So I read lots to take my mind off things and baked lots of cakes. Then there was the supply teaching phase and many, many hours spent on public transport and on draughty Northern railway stations. Reading. Then, there was Learning Support, which was wonderful but it did mean getting a lift into work with my Dad super duper early, so again I read to put the time in during the hour and a half before everybody else arrived in work.
Now though, I have a job where no matter how early I get in, I still have lots of things which I should be doing. In my break and lunch times, I still have children coming to talk over their worries and concerns. I don’t get to read nearly as much. When I get home, the Literacy and Maths books claim first priority. Still, I have survived my first half term and am now officially a Good Teacher (rated by both my pupils and the new Ofsted framework) – I am happy and grateful to be where I am. Reading remains part of my Wind Down Routine before sleep – I hope to keep on posting. For now though, having an outlet for my thoughts kept me sane during a difficult year so thank you for reading!
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