A weird thing happened. I started writing a job application a couple of weeks ago, as I progressed through the pages I thought I’m not sure I’m good enough for this role yet. I abandoned the application and didn’t think any more of it. But, then, I saw an email in my inbox saying I had been invited to an interview. It’s on Wednesday. The same day as another interview I am having in University of Brighton.
The past few days have been full of soul searching, self-doubt and general messiness. My mental health has changed completely; I’m not sure if it’s medication, a placebo effect or the self-care research I am constantly doing. I’m keeping my mind occupied, but when I mismanage my health I tune in to my feelings. This has been interesting.
Sometimes my head feels noisy, like a dull murmur of a cafe and I used to be afraid. But when I tried to listen in to the conversations, I heard nothing. The noise started sounding like static. Then I imagined it as a radio, so I imagined a dial. I turned it down, and up. Sometimes words were there – but fragmented and nonthreatening. I am learning more about words, I try to teach myself new words everyday (mostly thanks to crosswords) or remember long forgotten words. I sleep soundly thinking about words ebbing and flowing.
I spent the weekend trying to decide which job interview to go for. Over time, I realised that the only reason I liked the University of Brighton role was because it’s in University of Brighton. It’s familiar, it’s safe, it’s full of hopes and dreams. But the other role is full of the unknown.
I withdrew from the University of Brighton role last night. I hope I made a good decision. I feel like a change is in the air.
I bought a zoom lens in a charity shop this week. I saw that it didn’t fit my camera and thought the inside of the lens would look interesting as a frame. My idea reminded me of Devour by Christopher Jonassen. I made the images into an animated gif. Enjoy (you have to click to view).
animated gifs using a zoom lens
Hmm. When I saw this blog post about the role of parents in learning, I didn’t know how to approach it. My parents have had no input in my learning, but they definitely had an impact on it. I don’t want to say they were unsupportive, as they did what they thought was best for me, but education was not respected in my household growing up. I’m sure that if going to school was not a legal requirement, I would not have been there.
That’s not to say that they would have been pleased if I dropped out. On the contrary, they wanted me to go and get decent grades but they didn’t want me to pursue post-compulsory education. They wanted me to do well enough to be employable. They didn’t believe that I was capable of more than minimum wage work, but they thought I’d have a job for life and possibly I’d get promoted over time (for context, they had a 1970s mentality in the 2000s – times had changed, but they hadn’t).
I often wonder what my life would like like if my parents supported my education. But the idea is so alien that I cannot begin to imagine it. Even now, they don’t talk about my time in university – my Mum occasionally asks How’s college? I know it’s just small talk because my answer has been the same for years.
I’m not sure education is something they really understand. It’s not surprising. It sounds like my parents had a bad time in school; it’s no wonder they left early. My Dad went out to work, my Mum went home to care for an ill Mother. Nobody checked up on them. I don’t know much about school during the 1950s, but I don’t think learning support was around and teachers seemed like another species. I haven’t met a teacher nowadays who doesn’t talk about student-centred learning, from my parents’ accounts of their schools it sounds like it was all about discipline. And it was the same for my grandparents and great-grandparents.
I look at my sister and my nephew and I’m happy to say that I think we have decades of supportive learning ahead.
Even though it’s early days, learning is something my sister and brother-in-law care deeply about. I do too. I’m saving up to get my nephew his first Schoenhut and I’m very excited about when I’ll be able to take him to museums (I don’t know whether he’ll be as excited though!) I understand baby development is complex and all methods have their share of criticism, but we are learning about ways to help him learn.
And I wonder if that’s the key with learning? It’s not whether you are doing it right or wrong, it’s whether you’re doing it and enjoying it.
The pattern continues. Yesterday, a few hours after posting my one hundredth blog post, I was invited to a job interview at the university. I could not believe it when I opened the email. I had given up hope of getting a full-time permanent job in Brighton and had started looking elsewhere.
It’s just an interview. But the romantic in me (which I’m deeply ashamed of) wants to take it as a sign that things will get better. Perhaps that Brighton really is my true Home and it’s putting pies on the windowsill to entice me back. Not that it’s certain I’ll be able to get to eat the pie, but I’m liking the scent wafting my way.
I wanted to do a special update for my one hundredth blog post. It’s election day, my leaving party (well, get-together) at work and the first time ever I have run out of money before the end of the first week of the month. I’m hungry and I feel like I am living in a bubble.
The light this morning looked very dramatic when I woke. It hurt my eyes.