Still not making lemonade

Hey Joan,

No, I cannot say that I’m ‘over it,’ or that I am any less sad but I am less something. I can’t find the word for it but I am less it.

There is a stage that I am sure is titled, “THE FUCK YOU ALL” stage. I am in a mild stage of that. I kind of find it refreshing. I am not being rude or giving the bird, but am not caring so much about what leadership thinks. Maybe that is my lesson out of all of this, to learn that giving a shit about what others think of me professionally, shouldn’t factor in my self-belief.

I delivered a PD to staff without much worry (when normally I would) – even when the head of the entire school turned up for the first time in my 18 months there. On a side note, she has either been out of the classroom too long – thus asking stupid questions or just wanted to appear like she could contribute. Either way, she displayed some qualities in that meeting that I am not a fan of. I have also given feedback to my head that I might not have in the past – in fear of him cracking the shits….because man, can he crack it. I don’t care anymore Joan if he doesn’t like what I say. As long as I say it from a place of integrity, where the interests of the children are at the centre – then I shall just say it.

Asking for feedback regarding my interview is something I am still not ready for. I have reflected on all my own deficiencies and could give you a handful of why I didn’t get the job – I just don’t want to hear from someone I don’t like too much. I figure you don’t want to read the things I am crap at – and I really don’t want a response from you telling me I am not those things. I shall own them. Work on them. Try to learn from them.

Being honest, I nearly pulled out of the interview, then nearly pulled out after the interview – because I actually thought that I didn’t want to work with these people. Turns out they didn’t want to work with me either. HAhahaha. I should see it as a blessing really. And I think I will…eventually. It just means I am stuck here. Setting personal goals like…driving more, having Eve time

Setting personal goals like…driving more, having Eve time etc etc will have to be my focus. I still do not want to do a masters. I do want to go to church more though. Drive first, church second – need the driving to do the church.

Anyway Joan, I just wanted you to know, that as terrible as last weekend was, that weekend has now finished.

Get your celebrating women thing in! I am going to do this weekend.

Love you Joan.

Eve

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Not one bit of strategy. Not one.

Dear Joan,

I currently have another entry being typed but I have pushed that aside so that I can…vent, cry …or whatever it looks/sounds/feels like in this ever so pretend world of the internet. This is probably the most honest space I have, between you, me (ella) and whatever other person chooses to skim over this letter.

You said you wanted to know what was going on in my life. Well in summary:

  • my school advertised a leadership job externally a week before telling us internally.
  • in 36 hours I got together a full application.
  • 5 days later I interviewed, as did the husband and 2 other internal candidates.
  • a week and a half later I found out I was the loser and my husband wasn’t.

Yep.

Let’s backtrack a little, to the 5 days in between submitting the application and having the interview. The hubby and I discussed a great deal of what if’s. I guess we both thought, it would be me or neither of us. Why? Because I do every damn thing at that school that relates to developing the whole school strategic plan – even shit I hate. I have worked hard. Not to say that he hasn’t, that would be unfair. But I put myself out there – repeatedly. Even he said that the fair and right thing would be for the job to be mine. What’s that? An echo from the past Eve? Something you said ringing in your ear?

I said to him – fair has nothing to do with it

And it does have nothing to do with it. I guess, the better person got the job. I know Joan, the husband will be friggen damn good at it.

HOWEVER

these are the things though, that I find hard:

  • When I did the in-house leadership course last year, my mentor told me, sometimes it comes down to having a penis or not. Sometimes they just want gender balance. AHHHHHH!
  • The husband was happy in the lower primary school. He wanted to be there. I never did and still don’t want to be but now I am stuck. He had direction.
  • I now have no direction. I am totally adrift – more Leonardo Dicaprio rather than Kate Winslet in Titanic.
  • I honestly feel like a big, fat LOSER. Yep. how tragic is that!?
  • That the husband and I always agreed that it isn’t possible for two people to do leadership in teaching – it is far too hard on the family – and now it is me having to take the step back.
  • That he will inevitably keep secrets from me – yes work secrets – but secrets nonetheless and I know he will – he did it twice this year already. Makes me feel second best – that work will come first and me second.
  • That I feel so selfish, and such a cow but I kind of wish he would just say sorry. hahahaha.

Some fucking EXIT strategy hey Joan. Two more years here and for what? I don’t feel like I am getting anything from it. I need the universe to deliver me something fucking awesome to counter balance this one. I’m not sure its pockets go deep enough (this will make more sense once I finish the other blog).

On the flip side, one of the what if’s was around if one of us got it and what travel would we do. We discussed Italy next year in April and the USA at the end of the year. Happy 40th to me! Here we come Rome and Naples. 10,000RM will get us all to Rome and back ($3,500ish aussie). I have never been so keen to rack up credit card debt!

I also thought I wanted to do a Masters. Nope. At least being the loser made that clear for me. Think of all the debt I saved there!

Travel isn’t sufficient enough to ease the two years but I have to cling to something. Maybe it will help this Leonardo Dicaprio climb on the raft instead of letting go!

Love you Joan,

Eve

P.S. I think of your adventure and hope it is providing you with much joy.

 

 

Round and Round the Malaysia go wheel.

Dear Joan,

I hate the question – So, are you enjoying Malaysia? Hate it. I am forced to say yes or my new stock standard answer – I like the chances it gives me for travel.

I hate it because if I had to answer with a simple yes or no, it would be a resounding no. Yep. No. Why? Well work takes up so much energy, time and being – that if that isn’t great then it has a massive impact. And yet that isn’t a simple explanation either. I like working with the other people in my immediate team. I like the kids. Management – eh. If I don’t believe in that – they are people that should hold the values of teaching at the core – then I simply struggle.

It isn’t just that. It would be unfair. The husband an I, for the entire 17 years (maybe 18) that we have been shacked up, have always struggled to find balance in term time as a couple. Now lets throw a few extra things into that mix – we now have kids, only one car, not the same network of people around us, work for a business so work many more hours on a weekend and all of a sudden there is no real us time for four blocks of ten weeks  a year. How did I fix this in Oz? UK? I created other networks to supplement that. It isn’t so easy here. I know it takes time. The networks, friends – I am trying hard on that – especially to make friends with locals. They are great and love a catch up on a weekday but not so much on a weekend. I only have a couple of mates from work and again, people are really caught up in their own lives. I don’t begrudge them that. It would be unfair and unreasonable.

We are also constricted by traffic. How crazy is that?! On a weekend, trying to get to a mall after 1pm is not worth it unless you want to sit and wait for a park for at least an hour. Going for a spontaneous coffee 20 mins away becomes an hour away – one way. It becomes not worth it. Not worth the fighting of siblings in the back of the car.

Going back to the work thing. When I am in a place that doesn’t share my ideals, and I have been there before, I question my career. Is it the right one? Which again, when faced with such a big question makes happiness in a place a little harder to grasp. We are defined so much by the job we hold – rightly or wrongly, by how we contribute to society, by how well we do said job. When this waivers for me I find it difficult.

I think the universe is trying to tell me it is the right one or at least that working with kids is the right thing. In earlier blogs I mentioned how former kids have contacted me and in the last couple of weeks I have had one previous and one current colleague say beautiful things to me – about me as a teacher. Sometimes I am not sure where their perceptions come from. My current one thanked me for bringing joy to the year last year (we are in different yr levels now). She said that I kept banging on about joy and it wasn’t till I left that she realised how much joy I brought to my class and the flow on effect it had to the team I was in. That would be a great thing to say in my eulogy – she brought joy to others – well some – to others she was just a pain in the arse. hahahahahahahahahahahaha. Though I am hoping we are old and grey before the line is needed.

I feel like this blog is a rehash of many other letters I have written to you. I guess I am just trying to sort my ideas out, what is happening in this noggin of mine.

Love you joan and any other eve’s dropper listening in (pardon the pun),

Love Eve

Post Script

On a completely different tangent but linked to the four lots of ten weeks – that is why teachers need holidays – to be human – to connect to their families. We invest so much into other families, we need the time to invest into ours. We don’t get weekends or weeknights like some other jobs. I just wanted to say that.

 

 

 

 

Leaders and No Emotions

Hey Joan,

When it rains it pours hey?!

Beauty and the Beast is playing in the background as I type this. I just want to say this: why do adults ruin beautiful innocent movies? Never have I once thought about beastiality or even Stockholm Syndrome when watching this film. Now at 38, grown ups feel compelled to reference these things.

My girls love princesses, want to be princesses. I am just fine with that. People look at it like it is a dirty thing. Why shouldn’t they want to be a princess? Because people see them as docile and weak? What a pity their thoughts are so narrow. My princess girls are strong, compassionate, strong willed, creative, dry witted. I would also be fine with them as mechanics, astronauts, check out chicks, authors, artists, scientists. But if being a mermaid or a princess is what they want to be when they grow up, good luck to them.

Ah, so glad that I got that off my chest but I was actually going to write about my emotional intelligence and how I feel it hinders me from progressing in teaching. This letters to you go all over the shop. hahahaha

Let me explain.

I find so many leaders devoid of emotion, and yet I cry if I am really over tired. Most leaders in teaching are emotionless to their staff – ruthless almost – bar one. But even he keeps his emotions completely away from school. It seems like the phrase – “That’s teaching for you,” gets thrown around for everything – parents being rude to you, working a 60 hour week but only being paid for 40, the treatment of graduate teachers. Saying that to people you know who work hard just seems so flippant and disrespectful. I don’t think I could do that.

I am also not good at arguing on the hop. I need time to reflect and think about it. Talk it through. But how can you do that if you have an irate staff member or parent in your office? I also don’t know how I could keep myself in check when I knew someone was doing a very shit job. Teaching is the one job that it is almost impossible to get sacked from. How crazy is that!

Joy. I also like joy. I have had one marvellous role model for that. But it seems like a rare thing. Joy in my current school looks like a head who tells the children how long they can cheer for, or clap for or that they cannot sing along when someone plays the piano. Controlled joy is not really joy is it Joan?

Maybe I am just a yes person, so leadership isn’t my bag? Maybe middle management. Hmmm though I have a terrible poker face. I face this crossroad every so often in my career and I step away from it. Maybe I should look at a masters. I saw this wonderful one at Harvard. International Policy. Setting up policy for refugee children, schools in Afghanistan. When I saw this course it was the first time I got excited about the prospect of future study. Reality says I need to find one in Oz that does one that I like as I can access HELP. We have up to 100,000 bucks to use for study purposes.

Ahhh. I just wish it was easy. This choice.

Love you Joan,

Eve

 

 

 

 

 

 

40 days? What’s that?

Dearest Joan,

In my most terrible Adele singing voice, “Hello from the other side.” Buggered if I know if they are the lyrics but I have never been one to follow true to them anyway.

Reading your email made me cry. Thanks for the kind words, though please do not think that is what I am fishing for. I don’t think you would but i just need to make sure you know that.

My most favourite correspondence with you of late was your text about going to your old shopping centre and hoping that no one saw you. Geez did I laugh. It so made me wish I was there with you, so we could hope together that we wouldn’t be seen there. Mind you, if you stayed in DP or moved back to DP that would be ok, as long as it was because it made you happy.

Reading your recount of your latest adventure sounded quite sublime. Perhaps I may have even turned a little green – there I go breaking a commandment. I was jealous of your disconnectedness to people, yet the relationship you built with strangers. And yet, here we are in KL for that very same reason (well one of) – so that the expectation from others lessoned – so that we could beat to our own drum.

Insert music here that signifies a realisation of how dumb the protagonist actually is.

None of us really beat to our own drum. The beauty of humans is that we are all interconnected. My drum cannot beat without considering those around me, my family, friends, people i work with. All i can do is alter my drum beat to match the one i hear.

My beat doesn’t have to work too hard around you Joan. I think that is the blessing our time apart offered us. Acceptance. Complete and utterly. It just beats. With my family it is a little on the off beat, but dare I say, most Maltese women who break with tradition would say that. With my little family – my beat is whatever it needs to be. I can accept all of those, all within reason of course.

Work. The beat. My moral code guides this one. It is important. So knowing that my drum beat is so adversely different to others is making life a little tough right now. I can’t turn work off, put it in a box, leave it to office hours. Teaching is not that. That is why I need a reset every ten weeks. Trusting people, is for me, what makes me me. Why wouldn’t I trust someone? I place my trust in people first and foremost. This does lead to some emotional problems for me, for I take it so personally, when someone makes such terrible decisions and choices. Today I thought this, to err is to be human, to forgive divine. Oh Joan, I have to dig deep to be divine.

And cut to a new topic – that matches the previous one in a real round a bout kind of way. Persist. But if it was a film you would be irritated at the edit.

So, it turns out I am shit at keeping Lenten promises.

Firstly, I did the typical shallow – no choc. 2 days in a row I broke this. Not even consciously. What is with that? Hey JC, thanks for giving your life to open the pearly gates of heaven but 40 days of no choc is not possible. The funny thing is, this morning for brekkie we had pancakes. Kids smeared choc spread everywhere and I wouldn’t even lick my fingers.

Secondly, I remember someone saying to me that a Lenten promise should be about making a better version of you. I have always loved that. So, another promise I totally suck at is not saying horrible things about people. Yes, yes you read correctly. In saying that, it is linked to school and my struggles there. BUT, I have been surprised at how horrible I am. Glass houses and all. I would have a very airy glass house at the moment. Stepping back from it all though, I look at it as I realisation and a 40 day discussion with God about me and how to try and turn it all around. God, JC, Mary, the odd saint – we talk often. I pray every night. Makes me feel like I understand mum a little more too these days.

Next shitty edit.

Well I feel like a summary should occur for things that have happened but I won’t really be talking about:

  • Kris and I paid a fortune to attend the symphony but we didn’t get in.
  • We went to see a great version of Romeo and Juliet this week.
  • The youngest discovered that boys don’t have a the same body parts as a girl.
  • The oldest is asking me awkward questions about the birds and the bees.
  • Bring on Japan!
  • We finally bought plants.
  • Borsz is writing little things that are just lovely.

Anyway, Joan, I too cherish our time in the company of each other, albeit infrequent and short.

 

(me, rocking a monocle and a hat!)

 

Eve

 

Report Writing Season

Dearest Joan,

I have obviously been absent and will continue to be for a little while.

It is Report Writing Season. It consumes me and my family.

I dislike it muchly.

I do have my next blog cooking away. Time is just needed to execute it.

Love

Eve

The Cup Runneth Over

Friday 6th November 2015

Dear Joan,

The first and foremost thing I want to address is the lack of me asking about you. I don’t want to give information about you away. Just because I’m writing to you, doesn’t give me the right to share your details with the world. Secondly, I don’t want you to feel obliged to respond, ever. Life gets busy and we as humans, already have so much on our plate. The only response I truly want is for you to take a few minutes out to read it and pop into my head.

Moving on…..I am brimming with so many emotions and being at work just feeds the overflowing cup. To sound big headed, I am thought of highly at school – a potential power player. I am regarded by management to be hard working, enthusiastic, a team player. My colleagues respect me as a peer. I get on board, give things a go and am equally happy to self-reflect on failures and successes. I have been gently guided to the path of leadership. Receiving an email today about a leadership course that I was going to be on next year just made me feel disappointed. Disappointed that I am not going to be able to do it. This isn’t the first time I have walked away from management opportunities. BUT this is the first time where I am second guessing the decision.

Some friends felt I was sacrificing a lot with the move to Malaysia and that I was doing it for my hubby. His work place isn’t forward thinking, innovative, exciting or challenging. He has been essentially unhappy at his place for a while. They questioned why I would change countries when he could just change jobs. Back then I told them they were crazy. Hmmm maybe they saw it clearer than I did. Don’t get me wrong, my seven year itch started in year three and I could not fathom the thought that this here is my forever with nothing else. I just love my school. Love my work ethic here. Love the clientele and the innovation of the school. I just don’t like walking into a school and being just another teacher. How terrible does that sound?! Imagine saying just another doctor, just another nurse, just another policeman. It is terrible but that is how I feel. I don’t just want to sit in the background. I am also worried I won’t be the best teacher working with kids of privilege. What if the husband flourishes? And I don’t? That he finds his place and I lose mine? What if the big kid finally finds her groove in a school? And I just become a sore thumb?

Trusting in the path I am on. Trusting in the choices I have made so far. That is all I can do. AND if it turns out to be the wrong choice, then we will know rather than have regrets. Regrets are far worse.

Love you Joan,

Eve