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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Over and Out

It’s finally time to say goodbye to this blog. I’ve been pretty absent this year, probably because as I got entangled with work experience and the professional life, there was less and less I could write about freely without risking some scary disciplinary hearing 😛

It’s the day before Christmas and my Checklist for 2012 is complete. All I need now is for it to actually be 2012. On January 1, 2012, I will board a plane for Europe. I don’t know when I’m coming back.

All I know is I need this. I know I’ll miss my family and friends, but coming back to Durban was only ever going to be temporary.

Four years in Grahamstown I will never forget, but the frames of High, African and Somerset Street were much too tight to keep me in.

This year I found something that I can only really describe as a miracle.

I found a man worthy of my time. Ten months later, my EU passport sits next to his UK Ancestry Visa, our Northface jackets match (by pure accident, I swear), and on Google Maps we measure the few kilometres between our future homes.

How surreal to board a plane knowing only fragments of what is to come.

I don’t know what I will find when I land in Bristol, but I know for sure I will document what I can of it. But not here. This chapter must close.

To all three people who have followed these ramblings over the years, and most importantly, who have been my friends over these years, thank you 🙂

I’ll link you to my new blog once it’s up 🙂

It’s time to string up the tinsel.

x

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An evening at Red Cafe’

The boyfriend and I (yes I just said that) decided we wanted to explore Gtown for a new dining experience. So we started off with an exploration of New Street and High Street on foot. We had heard rumours about the evening menu at Red Cafe’ on New Street. But everytime we tried to go there, it was fully booked. Or closed. Or it was hailing. You know the Gtown ways. But tonight, everything was working out for us. We got there at 6.30, it was almost empty yet it didn’t feel lonely at all. There must’ve been about 3 staff members in total, that I could see. The soft red lighting and dinky candles on the tables gave the cafe’ a really inviting, warm atmosphere. Perfect to counter the windy madness of the night outside.

 

Now, you must understand, my boyfriend has four stomachs. In one dinner, Red Cafe’ managed to fill them all.

As a starter, I had an amazing Sushi Rolls platter, consisting of chunks of avo, cream cheese and prawns held together by a paper-thin strip of cucumber, topped by smoked salmon.

My man had a bruschetta with a pate’ made of Parmigiano (Parmesan), goat’s cheese. feta, spring onion and pesto!

Unbelievably professional presentation, perfect food… you know I was drooling all over the place.

 

As a main dish, I had fried and crumbed prawns and calamari, with lovely rice and veggies. Again, gorgeous presentation and fantastic taste. The boyfriend helped himself to a generous portion of vegetarian pasta, served with a mushroom, spinach and feta sauce.

 

Then came the holy dessert of awesome. Now you know my relationship to sweet things. So you can imagine my utter glee when they presented us with a massive plate featuring a sticky toffee pudding, lathered delicately in butterscotch sauce. No, this is not a pastoral poem. It really was that delicately. So pretty. So delicious.

 

The entire night, the service was lovely and welcoming. Lou and Morgan go out of their way to make their guests feel at home in their cosy restaurant.

Overall I can’t find a single thing to complain about (and that’s rare, considering whose blog this is :P) – I will definitely be booking a table there again soon!

I really hope more people hear about the wonders happening inside the Red Cafe kitchen…you guys need to become famous!

 

 

 

Song of the Day

 

This may not work. But as a stress-busting technique, I have decided to compose a song a day (read: when I have time) to capture the feelings and events of Teaching Practice.
Here goes:

6am, waking up in the morning
It’s not even dawn yet, not even fucking dawn yet
I would like to eat but I have morning nausea
So I take my pills and try not to chunder
Drivin’ out and fast, everybody’s rushin’
Try not to hit a donkey
Watch out for the cow, I see a gooooat (a goaaat!)
Chillin’ in the staff room
Stressing in the copy room
Gotta make my mind up
Who will crap on me neeeext?

English, Drama
Panic attacks daily
Ms G is looking forward to retirement, expirement
Hockey, netball
How did I end up with this?
I should have told them I’m a paraplegic, no shit

Plagiarism, plagiarism (yeah)
Illiteracy, illiteracy (yeah)
Sparknotes, Sparknotes
Marking work is ever so much fun!

 

Does this sound like Rebecca Black’s Friday? Maybe it’s because I hear it sung on the corridors so often it’s gotten stuck in my head

 

Ms G over and out

 

Disclaimer: please read my disclaimer

What Just Happened

Hands up if you thought Ms G was dead?

I’m the first to raise my quivering digits. The past five weeks of teaching practice have been GRUELLING to put it in a gentle, splendid way. If I was to be crass and hyperbolic about it, well, there would probably be drawings of dead people. The dead people being me. I nearly died. I nearly DIED.

As you may have begun to notice, ever so perceptibly, I am no longer as close to death as I claim I once was. By “once”, I mean two days ago. By all this pompous wit, I mean I have been watching comedy by Stephen Fry (and his loveliness taints me, oh, but how).

So, let’s talk about my resurrection. I have come down with a Universe-cursed anxiety-vexed shit-load amount of issues such as mouth ulcers, enflamed and infected cuts, headaches, sore throat, croaky voice, blocked ears, nausea, bad things coming out of ugly places, pimples, dirty hair (ok that one is my bad), mess, unvacuumed floors, skipping meals, eating crap, eating food with MSG in it, ordering cake, not eating cake, THROWING AWAY CAKE – and herein would lie my darkest of sins…

…Except there is this one: I have fallen behind with my work – a sacrilege deserving multiple exclamation points!!!

I have fallen behind with my work. I, the Queen of Supreme Wisdom and All Things Organised, was photocopying worksheets five minutes before they needed to be distributed, I got in trouble with various grown-ups about various adulty things that I didn’t do, and most shamefully, I did not meet my own tip-top levels of perfection that I have been demanding since birth and THUS
I managed to add disease to anxiety and completely collapsed in the middle of the week.

So I took a day and a half off work to sleep. I ate three meals a day. And I SLEPT. Like a cat on codeine.

And now, just nine hours until I’m expected back at school, I can honestly say I feel better. And I no longer want to become one with my duvet. And I have worked my tits off so I can be three days ahead of schedule, as the grown-ups expect me to be.

The moral of this high-winded post? You can’t do it all. So panic less, and breathe more.

Don’t anyone tell me to work more, or to stress less, because I will hit you with a weapon made of dictionaries, filing cabinets and anxiety medication.

Myth-busting time: For all those foo’s who thought that teachers work only until 2p.m. I’ll have you know that Ms G (and most other staff I know) works well into the afternoon, way past 5p.m. Then I spend my nights marking, worrying about the increasing rate of pregnant learners, and debating whether I should do an impromptu sex-ed talk the next time someone asks me what contraception is.

Sometimes I look for that piece of paper thingy with the lines, and I find I have already filed it away neatly…

I think I have become a filing somnambulist.

 

(Also, did you notice: Ms G and MSG? Am I a monosodium glutamate? Ahahaha aha — oh dear.)

Tweets to post when the internet comes back on

  1. Don’t be so optimistic. “IF the internet comes back on, in your lifetime” is a much more realistic title.

  2. There is a banana bread special at PNP but I am too busy to go pillage. Can someone go in my place? *hungry growl*

  3.  I just spent 30 mins decorating the cover of my Drama portfolio. I will get marks for this.

  4. Drama is a real subject, I swear. We have rubrics and things. Tables and graphs. Serious shit.

  5. I love kokies so much.

My work is on the Jiggered website!

Last year I worked on writing some poetry on top of a few photos I had taken. You can see some of the originals here and here.

 

This year, they got published online by a wonderful independent magazine called Jiggered.

What I like most about them is their passion, above all, for art. This isn’t about money or egos. It’s about getting people’s work seen, encouraging creative expression and artistic interest.

 

You can catch Jiggered at www.jiggered.co.za

In a few weeks, those of you who are in Grahamstown will be able to buy the printed edition, which contains a (slightly adapted) version of my post on Risky Multitasking, explaining why I no longer drive while eating Steers ice-cream.

 

Yes, I am beyond stoked that people actually find me funny and are willing to put my words on paper and click Print and watch the computer freeze and click Print again until it actually works. Thank you 🙂

 

You can buy Jiggered at the Red Cafe on High Street, Grahamstown, as well as from the university’s Block House and from the Jehovah’s Witness door-to-door guys.

What. That IS what they do.

Uh, what’s this now?!

Look, Life.

I thought you followed the pedagogical approach known as scaffolding. I thought you introduced a simple concept, and then slowly built up to more complex concepts which reinforced this simple concept.

For example

This one time, I tried to eat yoghurt and blow-dry my hair at the same time, and I ended up with peach-flavoured hair balls.

Later on, I tried to write notes while eating fish, and ended up with scribble-licious hake.

Through this process, you taught me that multitasking can be very dangerous.

So then

This one time, I tried to have a real relationship with this kid. And he turned out to be an arrogant douche poop-head.

And another time, I met this really wonderful guy, and then he decided we should just be friends.

Through this process, you taught me that cats are my best friends, jerseys can never be too baggy, and hair can hardly ever be too dirty. Oh, and that I am going to die alone, surrounded by all the kids I taught, cats I fed, computers I broke and amateur theatre scripts I wrote, but absolutely no. true. loves.

WHY then. Do you bring this man in.

I had to rip off all my egocentric post-its

with mantras such as BE THE LONE WOLF

SUCK IT UP BITCH

and TINA FEY ISN’T REALLY HAPPILY MARRIED.

I’d gotten so used to

one coffee cup, one yoghurt bowl, one slab of choc, maybe two in the winter.

I can’t cook for two and I certainly can’t breathe for two either.

I don’t cry because I’m happy

and I can’t fucking write unless I’m breaking.

And no one breaks when their house is lit up and shining.

Still, he breaks me.

Rips to shreds my mantras,

Leans unknowingly against a wall,

doesn’t even hear the crash of brick upon brick of my self-imposed fortress coming apart.

The trust in my heart

running frantically from wall to wall because it KNOWS it is supposed to leave.

This is its cue

I taught it well

I taught it from experience:

this is the moment where you take your leave

and I close up my windows and I go to sleep.

You do not let in further

You do not give the keys

Shut up the shutters tight

Block out his speech.

So what do we do now?

My heart and I,

You with your soft hands, big eyes, blossoming heart.

I have no manual for this.

We are well beyond the mantras and the walls.

I keep waking up to you and you keep coming home to me and we keep walking in step and this is still and still and still happening-

I take another step

breathe in another of your breaths

and love – in all ways rushing around me totally – is here,

finally.

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