first day of my life

Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Monday, January 30, 2006

Day One KES

I was falling asleep trying to watch 'The Happiness of the Katakuris' but either it's a really awful film, or I'm just too tired to concentrate on anything~~ Hence this blog entry and then SLEEP. The fact that the fire alarm went off at 4am doesn't help (we had to stand outside in the freezing cold for I'd say 20 minutes - this is why university-owned accommodation really sucks) and all the information that I have to absorb at school it too too much~~ I'm starting to feel a bit panicky about teaching A-level French... I shouldn't (I'm more than qualified to teach it) but I just don't feel like I should be teaching these kids, that they deserve someone better than me to teach them! Perhaps it's just initial nerves. Let's hope they go away soon. Anyway, the day started off quite dull (just observing and supporting one class) and I felt a bit unwanted (I mean, the atmosphere amongst the staff here is just completely different to the old school). The day progressively got more useful though, and I now have ideas about what I'm going to be teaching the A-level kids. (Whch reminds me, I should pick up all my old A-level work when I go back to York next time.) I also sat in on parents' evening, which, surprisingly enough, was fairly interesting. Got to hear all about some of the kids that will be in my classes and how (generally) wonderful they are. So that's good. Doesn't look like I'll have discipline problems. Phew. Shouldn't speak too soon. Apart from that there's not much to say. I think things are too scary if you look too much at the big picture. For now I'm only going to think about tomorrow (and the weekend, of course).

Sunday, January 29, 2006

a good weekend

Here is a sample of what I got up to this weekend!! Friday was spent watching I Am Jack in Fibbers (first time for me to go there - woo!). I was impressed by them~~ Matt has a really great voice! I spent Saturday at E's 80th... Look at the fab cake (can you spot the fossils and the golf clubs??) I even managed to spend time with J in the Blue Fly Cafe (yummy yummy cake and scones!) and practise Afrcian Melody III (Einaudi yet again) on the piano. Today S took me for a drive out into Derbyshire (thanks S!) and we stopped off at a little viewing place where we could see (kind of) the seven hills of Sheffield! It's great knowing someone from Sheffield - feels like I have my own personal tour guide! Heehee. I learned more about Sheffield today than I did in the three years I lived here:-)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


I'm starting to think about going back to school on Monday~~ Feeling nervous, but also (a little bit) excited about the prospect of teaching the older ones (A-level French and Japanese...) Looking forward to getting the buzz back from standing at the front of the class (let's hope they don't eat me up first). Am thinking though that the next five months are going to be harder that the first five months. In lots of ways~~ Too many things to think about... jobs, lessons, assignments, where to live, where to work, whether to teach, and having a life too... Agh. Sorry for having a few too many blog entries like this one ;-( However, I am thinking that all this is do-able, if I want it to be. I think I have to stop thinking and just get on with it.

In the meantime I'm looking forward to the weekend, to the music and to seeing friends, and the 80th b-day party... Anyone around in York this weekend... come along to I Am Jack!

Oh, and Happy Birthday to Fran (today), WY (yesterday), Em (tomorrow), Ian (Thursday), Enid (Saturday), R (last Saturday)!! And more to come soon. There're just too many birthdays this month. Crazy.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Before Sunrise

I finally saw this film... Will write more as soon as I have some time:) Overall a good film, but I'm not too keen on either of the characters. Didn't it seem a bit pretentious in parts? Anyhow, I'll have a think about this one and decide what I really think.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Ask, The Smiths

Shyness is nice and
Shyness can stop you
From doing all the things in life
You'd like to

So, if there's something you'd like to try
If there's something you'd like to try
Ask me I won't say no, how could I?

Coyness is nice, and
Coyness can stop you
From saying all the things in
Life you'd like to

So, if there's something you'd like to try
If there's something you'd like to try
Ask me I won't say no, how could I?

Spending warm Summer days indoors
Writing frightening verse
To a buck-toothed girl in Luxembourg

Ask me, ask me, ask me
Ask me, ask me, ask me

Because if it's not Love
Then it's the bomb, the bomb, the bomb,
the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb
That will bring us together

Nature is a language - can't you read ?
Nature is a language - can't you read ?

So, ask me, ask me, ask me,
Ask me, ask me, ask me

Because if it's not Love
Then it's the bomb, the bomb, the bomb,
the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb
That will bring us together

If it's not Love
Then it's the bomb
Then it's the bomb
That will bring us together

So, ask me...

Sunday, January 15, 2006


I'm going to buy this movie and force anyone to watch it who hasn't already.

My most favourite Japanese film to date!

How is it possible to have seen so many quality films in so short a time?

And where am I going to find this piano music by Joe Hisaishi?

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Special Gunpowder

Further to WY being offered gunpowder tea, we thought it would be a good idea to taste it for ourselves and find out exactly what the stuff is. (No, we didn't go to the Chinese supermarket especially for this purpose, we just happened to see it when buying yakisoba sauce and rice...). Well, turns out that it is in fact just green tea, although slightly fishy-smelling green tea may I add. No gunpowder involved (although no instructions on the packet, so...) and no connection to Guy Fawkes (as far as we can tell).

In addition to the excitingness of trying out the gunpowder tea, we also managed to fit in a trip to The Showroom to see Whale Rider, have a posh cup of coffee in the hotel overlooking the Winter Gardens (and be served by a very confused waiter who gave us free shortbread) and eat a pasty in The Blue Moon Cafe just near the cathedral (highly recommended). I ate yakisoba for the first time in... erm... a year and a half (and missed you Fre in the process!), although WY I think you are a good yakisoba-making assistant. But I'm already hungry again (surprise surprise).

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Spanish 1

I quite randomly and unexpectedly went to beginner's Spanish at King Edward's tonight... I had met the guy, W, just today during my first induction day at the school (this is where I'm gonna be teaching too from the end of the month~~) and then I turned up to his adult Spanish evening class. (Wonder what he thought of me.) Anyhow, he didn't seem to mind that I join in even though I'd missed the whole of the first term. It was so cool!! I learned how to use some verbs like 'desayunar' and 'comer' and then say stuff like 'desayuno a las seis... desayuno cereales y cafe...' and I can (kind of) tell the time too. Kind of (because I haven't really learned the numbers yet). So, yes, I did something quite random and it seemed to work out ok!

But the main event of today was SE1 at King Edward's... Yes, yes, I know it is one of the top schools in Sheffield and that I should count myself lucky to be there and not in the middle of the Peak District having to take a million buses to get there to maybe a school that barely recognises languages... but for some reason I love my old school so much more than this one! Everything's different~~ loads of ICT in the classrooms (I'm gonna miss my reliable OHTs) and keys for everywhere and limits on photocopying! The staff are lovely (as teachers in general are) but somehow I just want to go back to Aldercar and back to the cupboard they called the office and the rubbishy classrooms. Why is change so hard?!

Anyway, on the brighter side of things, S made いなりずし, which I can't wait to try tomorrow for lunch~~.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Bright Space

Here you can listen to Demi's Ben's friend's band: The Bright Space. They've been voted as New Favourite Band by Steve Lamacq! Listen to it now!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

second day, new term

Been back two days now. Two days into the new term. Back in uni of course since the second placement doesn't start until the end of the month~~ Already feeling nervous about that but trying not to think too much right now. Gonna miss T this time round, since I have to work with S now (who scares me slightly since he used to be in the army. Thank god we don't have to team-teach: I think our styles would be somewhat different). It's just going take up so much energy~ I don't know if there's any energy left inside of me :p

I joined this week (thanks to Mary's free voucher) and have ordered some Japanese stuff (not that there was a huge choice), including Kikujiro (wonder if it's any good). Also Before Sunrise and Before Sunset (high time I saw those) and Kal Ho Naa Ho (the movie Fre and I saw in Mumbai). Classic Bollywood!!

I found out we have two days off towards the end of January. I fancy taking a trip somewhere (anywhere). Are there any good exhibitions in London? Or perhaps we can come and see you, Rich.

Started to research bullying (will be my research for my time at King Edward VII School) and it's a complex area I'm beginning to realise. Still, there'll be plenty to write about. A teacher is no longer just a teacher, but a counsellor, social worker, friend, judge... Grr. It's not easy.

Monday, January 09, 2006

see this film!

Maybe it's too shocking for some, but I seriously recommend this film (not that it needs recommending since all the reviews are brilliant). Not quite sure how they got a long film out of a short story though~~ It made me cry (I've been crying too much lately at films and books).

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Producers: disappointing

I saw this film last night~~ Not too sure about it though. Very good in parts, but too long... I reckon it would be great to see on the stage. What I was impressed with though was that the whole thing was filmed outside the Shubert Theatre (isn't that where we saw Monty Python's Spamalot?). But why has there been a complete lack of anything good at the cinema recently? I guess Brokeback Mountain is coming soon, as is A Cock and Bull Story ("The best film ever, ever, ever...", according to The Guardian).

Back to Sheffield soon then... Ready for the next phase. (Am I?) As WY said, wouldn't life be great if it just consisted of being on holiday, reading, watching movies, blogging, music and doing only things that are fun...

I added a funny photo of J and I at Wakefield Sculpture Park. It's good to have a computer again, even if it isn't my NYC Soho Apple Store bought one:(

Monday, January 02, 2006

Martha Wainwright

I bought a copy of Martha Wainwright's new album today... just to see if she is as good as her genes promise... (Indeed she is.) Although Rufus appears on one of the tracks (Bring Back My Heart: "I know I said/For you to take it/But you don't use it/And I got none in return"), she sings in her own unique style... tracks filled with raw energy alongside the ballads that are beautiful and haunting. Far Away is by far the most beautiful song...

Not the happiest of albums, but colourful and rich nevertheless. You will not be disappointed.

You can hear Far Away from Martha's website: