Saturday 2 November 2019

Weeknote: 2/11

Well crocheting really (incidentally, I always, without fail, type that as corcheting and have to correct it. Just another example of why it is a dark pursuit.)

The blanket is coming along, and looks quite nice, even to my pensive, critical eye. I am onto the third row of the second block of red now and have about 6 rows left after this one. Pictures tomorrow, no doubt. I've managed to get some sort of hang of it, although observing other people, I can see that it's a fairly unique hang. But it will do.

Not too much longer to go and it will be done; in fact, I am thinking of setting it aside for a short time because I'm flying to Edinburgh next month and it would be good plane knitting. Also - I would really like to finish Volt, in time for the ski holiday I'm going on just before Christmas, so I want to pick that up again soon. I did treat myself to a couple of rows of ribbing on the bus. Once I get past the ribbing and the feature cable at the bottom, I hope to find I'm flying through it, because stocking stitch takes no effort on my part in the evenings and I can watch the TV at the same time.

Going to:
I was in London at the weekend and on Monday, I participated in a focus group for history teachers that was hosted at Southwark Cathedral by an obscure company that works with authors. I am a member but they found me through a different channel. The brightest and best of the history teaching world were there, plus me, and another teacher I recommended, because I thought it would be a good idea if some actual teachers were part of the group, since the others have all flown the classroom now and the discussion was around teaching resources. The fee they paid me for the day covered my entire weekend spend, including travel, so it was worthwhile just for that, but also great to have someone encourage you to rabbit on about teaching all day. Very refreshing for my practice.

The rest of the week has been something of a haze, to be honest. I had drinks with a history teacher acquaintance in Bristol on Tuesday afternoon and lunch with an old colleague on Wednesday. I forced myself back to Bikram on Thursday night - FINALLY, it has been 5 months since my last visit - for the Halloween special. I can feel the gratitude in my body although it is never easy going back. But, Sib said at the weekend that he'd been to class in Surbiton and our mutual instructor (who lives in London but comes to Bristol once a month still to teach here) mentioned she hadn't seen me for a long time. Shamed.

Overall it's been a very relaxing half term, though I am feeling oppressed by the piles of marking I really do have to do before I go back.

Entertained by:
I've been trying to catch up on recorded television so I've been watching The Confession, which just makes me sad because it's a true story, but is very engaging. I've also been watching The Accident - similarly sad, even though it's not true. The Bake Off final was an obvious highlight of the week, as was the Apprentice, when I was able to scoff at the contestants not knowing when WW2 started.

I've been listening to Louis Theroux's autobiography, Gotta Get Theroux This, which he narrates himself for Audible. I struggle a bit with audio books - my attention span is poor and I often find myself having to repeat bits because I've just drifted off - but occasionally I hit on one that really grabs me. Louis Theroux does all the accents and it's just hilarious. I find him quite comical at the best of times. I tweeted about this and he quoted my tweet, saying he was pleased to find someone else who found the accents funny rather than offensive. A big day.

I've tried a couple of new podcasts too - Heavyweight, which seems to be mainly human interest stories, and Throughline by NPR, which seems to be telling history stories from an alternative perspective. I started with the Ken Burns Country Music episode and the way he talks about History was so powerful I was nearly in tears on the bus. I can't explain it. Maybe it is the marking overwhelming me. But, he just captured the nature of the discipline so neatly, I wanted to play it to my classes.

I think we've covered this, haven't we? Generally quite relaxed. Sleeping lots. Looking forward to the coming months. Questioning my career path, which seems to happen annually at this time of year (should I stop teaching? Should I go part time? Should I ask for a sabbatical? I had this conversation with a friend in Devon who I hadn't seen for 4 years, and she pointed out we'd had this same basic conversation 4 years earlier).

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