New blog

I’m starting a new blog. It’s going to be far less personal, more thought-based/intellectual (for lack of a better word). I’m going to write about the books that I read as a way to stay engaged with the kind of thinking I have most definitely switched off from since departing university.

If you’re interested, click here. I’m not liable to return to this blog too soon – though if I find myself wanting to express myself along the lines of anything that I’ve previously used this blog for, I may well coming back here now and then.

But, for my immediate future, this new blog will be my focus. Hope to see you there!

Thomas.

2012 in Review

This year has been an interesting year for me. There have been a few ups and a few downs. While I finish it feeling as though it has been worse than better, I also am of the belief that that’s just something I’m telling myself.

Starting with the most dominant thing in my life (such is the life that I lead): Work. I have continued at the school I find myself teaching in – though moved to a different faculty. First, some back story: Last year I began as a temporary English teacher at my school, and then interviewed for a permanent position that opened up in the History faculty. I was successful in that interview and, at the beginning of this year, I was moved over to the History faculty (and retained only my English year 12 class).

This faculty is, in a sense, much more dysfunctional than any I have found myself in. The politicking in there is toxic and infuriating. On a number of occasions I have had verbal altercations with persons I have to work with. I have, towards the end of the year, made a concerted effort to avoid these. I have been pretty successful at this. However, I cannot help but always feel on the edge of having another one.

Pure laziness is the main contributing factor to my frustration and anger. But also pure ignorance is another. I know that I am a contributing factor to any argument, but I know that I don’t go looking for these run-ins.

Anyway, my head teacher is all but retired and a temporary head teacher was required. I loathe the person who always gets the position and was hoping that  anyone else would get it. Unfortunately, such is the make-up of the faculty, no one else applied. I decided I might as well apply so that, at the least, the person who would get it would have to earn it. Although I acquitted myself well in the interview (I was told do by the interviewing deputy principal and then then principal), I was unsuccessful (no surprise). But so much has the person who got the position (for four weeks) upset the executive in the school that I was told that I would be getting some of the roles of the head teacher to give me experience so that (in the words of the principal) “When the job comes up for interview again, you will be in a much better position to get the job.” So, these holidays, I am working hard in an effort to get the next relieving head teachers position that will be coming up in 2013.

Through the year, my year 12s finished high school. I enjoyed taking them through. A lot of the results that came in surprised me for the good. There were some rather high scores, with one of the students in the class equalling the top Standard English score in the school (despite my class being streamed quite low). I think this will have been the last English class I teach though, at least at this school.

I taught all other history classes this year gone and only history in the coming year. I am enjoying it as I am much more adept at talking about history, planning and programming for it, and find it easier to learn myself. I am learning much (both content and pedagogy) as I teach history too, which is something I enjoy as well.

The other pressing thing in my life: My significant other. Last year I wrote something along the lines that I was in the early stages of courting a woman. I would have been going out with her for a short 3 weeks this time last year. We are still together, ticking up a year in early December.

We went to Hong Kong earlier in the year. This was a valuable learning experience as much as it was anything else. This being my first significant relationship (certainly the longest, by far, as well), I feel as though I am lost in the dark some times. Though, she is a very patient woman and tolerates all of my quicks and mishaps.

With all that being said, her grandmother is pressuring me into marrying her. While it began as an innocent joke of sorts, it has become more serious. I have my own benchmarks for when that will happen (as opposed to if), and as soon as they are fulfilled then I/we can move forward with it. It may well be that this time next year I’m writing something about that. It all depends on pieces falling into the right places.

I have returned to my film-watching ways this year too. I saw a number of very good movies through the year – at the cinema and elsewhere. That said, the next six months of movies are going to be amazing too. I have found a bit of an escape in movies again, much like they were when I was going through university. If I return to this blog on any serious basis (which is becoming likely for 2013 as I am in the process of abandoning a very time-strenuous hobby at the moment), it will be to deal with films for the most part I suspect.

The more as time goes on, the more useless I find Facebook other than for sharing photos and the very occasional communication with people. If I am brave enough, I will be all but removed from it next year. Twitter I find much more useful, but only to a degree. It allows me to communicate in pointed remarks, but lacks any substantive discussions that I have always wanted. Whether this is a good thing or not I’m not sure.

A year and a half ago, I ran for the committee for my golf club. I won a spot and have been working hard with the various things going on there. I was recently elevated to the position of vice president, with the idea that 2014 I will run as president. I am finding this is a good experience for me as I am learning a lot of things I am able to apply to the other facets of my life. I am also enjoy it because it keeps alive a link to the past that I’m not yet ready to cut.

Cricket is on at the moment, and I’m enjoying it. Not because there is anything spectacular, but because we are watching a very interesting phase in Australian cricket. The next ‘generation’ is coming through the ranks now and it is exciting to see the seeds get sewn for this cricket farmer.

US politics – I was as interested this year, but had little to say. Everything was self-evident in my opinion. Romney was never really under threat, Obama was going to win, and nothing was going to change the landscape – not in any significant degree. The recent shooting, while tragic, will accomplish little in the long term in America. Same with the fiscal discussion. Same with the recent election.

Australia politics … well, I’ve cut myself off from it due to sheer frustration. Going from a die-hard Rudd supporting (judge me on that for what it’s worth), I now can only stand the ALP slightly more that the Liberals (who I loathe). I find the whole spectacle just insulting to the country.

Things may well come to mind that I have forgotten, but that is largely what is on my mind right now. Hopefully other things to pop up so that I can write some sort of commentary about it and get back into substantive writing.

Thomas.

2012

If the world doesn’t end in a few days, I think I might come back to write a thing or two through the school holidays. I have some ideas on what I want t write about, but am looking for time.