Well I’ve successfully managed to totally neglect my journal for over three weeks now. You’ve missed a lot, most of which consists of Uni turning from a pleasure back into a more familiar pain as every unit declared open war upon my life in the form of assignment projectiles. I have taken seven, count ’em, seven units this semester on top of my prac, and all of them have big nasty assignments involved, some worth (get this) 100% of my semester grade. One assignment, entire units mark. You screw up, you fail. Lovely, huh? So I’ve been hacking and screaming at odd hours of the night and day, which means that coincidentally, most of the time me and Chris have come into contact, one of us is asleep. It’s actually been really draining on me and I’ve felt pretty battered and tired for the past couple of weeks now, it’s one of those feelings that no amount of sleep is going to get rid of, it’s just too much work and not enough play (or pay for that matter).
But it hasn’t been all misery and suffering, aside from having to formally type up lesson plans, prac has been working out pretty well. There are only two real other downers at the moment, (a) That I’m working full time and not getting paid, and (b) that the day starts before noon. My regular morning routine has been usurped by a new, more unpleasant, early version. Basically it mimics my previous itinerary, except the sun doesn’t exist, less consciousness (and thus more incidental injury) is involved, and there are an additional forty thousand or so extra things I have to take with me.
Although this does mean that I am now deep in the belly of the beast that is the Western Australian education system. Aside from the occasional outliers which sustain themselves entirely on rice crackers and lettuce leaves, the staple diet of our average teacher seems to consist of coffee, chocolate biscuits and toasted sandwiches. This works out just fine for me, as making lunch in the morning can be done while almost entirely asleep, involving grabbing two pieces of bread, building a cheese castle on one piece and then inserting as appropriate whatever other condiments or leftovers I have in the fridge from the past month (I find it best to eat the growing/moving items first, before they begin to establish a leftovers hierarchy). All that’s left to do is whack the other bit of bread on, wrap the thing in gladwrap, realise one hand is still attached to the sandwich, curse worthless appendages, throw out gladwrap, use a new piece of gladwrap large enough to hold a pool party, and throw mercilessly into the abyss of your chosen backpack.
I’ve taught a good dozen classes now, and there still haven’t been any fatalities or mortal woundings. The only casualty so far in one of my lessons has been one girls jumper getting smeared with carbon buildup when she picked up some old metalware that was actually more carbon buildup than it was metalware. The same can’t be said for my mentor teacher however, who managed to drum up business for a nearby hospital after a state teachers conference when he was demonstrating what he refers to as a ‘tennis ball launcher’. Personally I refer to said item as a ‘goddamned potato cannon’, but it’s all in the phonetics I’m sure. He intended to show how he was using different methods to teach projectile motion and asked the group to come outside to see a demonstration, but of course, being people in suits, they opted to stay inside, and my mentor teacher decided to fire the device inside to suit. Being bureaucrats and obviously unfamiliar with the phenomenon of the ‘goddamned potato cannon’, they also thought this was a top idea. A bit of butane gas and the click of a flint later, and the tennis ball found its mark, striking a woman directly in the head. In the eye. Knocked clear of her chair, she was quickly moved to emergency at Royal Perth, where she probably sat for some hours contracting all manner of new and exciting diseases. But she was intending to go back to see her doctor again the following Tuesday, you know, when the swelling had gone down.
I considered going defence forces before this diploma, but it just didn’t seem violent enough.