Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Autumn equinox 2016

It’s Equinox break in Term 1, 2016, and what’s happening? It's been a while, so I have sub-headings.


Well, I have been applying for jobs.

Most of the jobs have been part time or temporary at Catholic schools. The only jobs advertised within the Department of Education (my natural home, you would think) are rural or regional. My interview with the Department is a month away.

I can't tell you how sick I am of reading the word 'passionate'.

I have registered to do casual work and thought that once everything was set to ‘go’ that I would be getting a call each morning and running out the door to go wherever needed. But no. I have been getting up each morning and there have been no calls. Well, I’ve had two calls, but they were in the afternoons, and I didn’t see them in time to respond. So, I’ve probably fallen off those lists. (There are 40,000 casual teachers in NSW.) A bit sad, really.

I’ve been doing professional development. I’ve been to two English Teachers’ professional development days, which I’ve paid for myself. I really am quite capable of doing the job my peers are currently doing. I’m doing a course on The State of Education in Australia, in which we have guest speakers who are politicians or professors. The group is small so we have good access to knowledgeable people and can ask questions. I did training to be an adjudicator of debating. What more could I do?

I have two students I tutor, which I enjoy, and I’m happy to take on more students. I put in a lot of preparation for my students. I’ve approached the coaching colleges, but they want teachers with three years experience.

I’m also applying for non-teaching jobs. I’m overqualified for these jobs but haven’t got an interview yet.

So I’m looking at plans B, C, D, E, and F.

I’m writing two books and preparing sessions I can present at schools (even though I don’t like the privatisation of education that is happening, little by little, in public schools, but what else can I do?)

I’m thinking I’ll end up patching together some sort of part time and piecemeal work.

I’m open to any suggestions. However, I'm not prepared to pretend to be a Christian when I'm not. (There is lots of casual work available in Catholic primary schools, but I would need a priest or minister to endorse me to be able to work in that system. It's not going to happen.)

Wish me luck!


The family is fine. The two teenagers are working at fast food outlets. One is a vegetarian and one is vegan - we are all compromised in one way or another. We are now a vegetarian household. The youngest still wants to eat meat, and is visiting friends and neighbours more regularly at mealtimes. She says she wants to marry a butcher. I’ve been telling friends she will work for meat.

We’re thinking about how to rearrange the house to be more functional for older children. Does anyone want a free piano?

The youngest is unhappy at school, and truly, I would homeschool her if we could forego any potential earnings.

It is coming up to a year since my mother died. We have celebrated the first Christmas without her, her birthday, now Easter, soon Mothers’ Day. Over the past few years I have been kind of steeling myself for when she goes. I’m not sure it helped. I’ve been more functional than I was when my sister died, but I can’t talk about it anymore than this.


As I think I’ve already said, since the stem cell transplant I find it a bit difficult to know when I’m really sick. I don’t know if I should expect to ever be really energetic again, so I just plow on. It’s hard to know what is caused by side effects of the medication and what is simply ageing.

It may be that there is never anything wrong with me that can’t be helped with exercise. I do know that I’m not as strong or flexible as I once was, so I can work on that.

The long, hot summer seemed endless. It was uncomfortably hot. I had a solstice party, which I’ll continue to do, but it seems a long time ago. I’m relieved it’s autumn.

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