Laughter and books make life a little easier

Old news, a new year and new news.

Let’s see. I don’t even know where to start. This post just got put off more and more until I’m not sure what the point of it was any more. I wanted to get back into the swing of things, but the problem is I’m not sure where the swing has got to in the time I’ve been out of the blogging loop. Right now I feel like this swing is on one of those merry-go-round things where they strap you into the swing and then start spinning you around faster and faster until you’re flying almost straight out. *rapid blinking* Okay, that was an overly-extended metaphor.

Let’s start again. More rationally this time (hopefully!).

Things that happened since I took a little blogging break that turned into a large one… I turned 22, almost without noticing. Seriously, I almost forgot my own birthday. I wrote a bunch of lame research papers and struggled to keep up with the roller-coaster of the last days at university. (There I go again – more fairground analogies!) Then it was exams and then I cut my hair off. Why? Well, it was exams because the academic year decided it was meant to be. Fortunately, this year my university was kind enough not to gift me with an exam for my birthday. Oh, you meant why my hair… Well, I wanted a change. I’m done with one stage in my life. I’m also done with long hair. (I still have quite a lot left. Also, I swear it’s grown an inch.)

Then it was holidays and I fell into a slump because… yeah, I already talked about that.

Now that you’re all up to date, let’s talk about new things, all the things that January brings us. But first, the news I’m sure everyone is dying to hear! πŸ˜›

I kinda, sorta got a job last week. I say “kinda” because getting the job doesn’t equal to doing a job that I get paid for. It’s part-time and the pay is better than I thought it would be, but it is still not nearly enough to live independently on, which is my goal at the moment. Yet, it’s a start. I can go from here.

This was the single application that I mentioned in my last post. It was to become an English tutor. Basically, giving extra classes to schoolkids. However, being accepted to the position is just the first step. You get paid per class and you can choose how many clients you want to accept. That’s why it’s part-time. But I haven’t done any of that yet. Basically, I only have the permission to start doing it.

In my last post I mentioned this single application and that I wasn’t sure if it was time to give up hearing from the place. Well, I did hear from them, just the day after I posted that. I was just sitting here, watching a YouTube video (educational, thankfully, so I felt better about it), when my phone rang: “Are you ready for your interview?” Well, was I going to say no? πŸ˜‰

Obviously, I had no prep for this. So I fumbled and stuttered my way through the next two minutes. When you put me on the spot like that I hardly know my own name, let alone why I thought that I could be a tutor in the first place. Afterwards I really thought I was chucked off the potential list, but then the lady said to expect an email soon. Soon was almost immediately and they now wanted to see my documents.

I opened up the list of documents they wanted. Besides the standard high school certificate and ID (which, let’s face it, was a little disappointing after all that work at university), they also wanted a reference. At first I couldn’t even understand what they wanted. What reference am I supposed to have that I didn’t know about? A job reference? A previous employer (that I didn’t have)? Eventually I realised that they meant the standard high school reference. I don’t know if this is the practice anywhere else, but here it’s common for the headmaster to give every school-leaver a written reference of recommendation. It’s a generic thing, because it’s not as though the headmaster would have known me out of the one and a half thousand other kids in the school!

I didn’t even know what I did with this reference four years ago, but luckily that’s what mothers are for. πŸ˜‰ To always know. I got it out and started reading it. The stuff I found was surprising.

Of course, they make you look really good in this reference and never mention that you can’t do physics to save your life or that the English teacher always yells at you or talk about that time you spilled stuff everywhere in the home economics lab.

There was a list of achievements – certificates won and so on. All academic stuff, of course, ’cause I’m a nerd. πŸ˜‰ Basically it was a lot of things I had completely forgotten about. It wasn’t important any more.

But then I got to a line that I once thought was branded into my brain.

It said “Awarded silver academic colours”. As I read that line I remembered how bitterly disappointed I was at that when I was eighteen. I remembered it all again. You got awarded “cotton” in eighth grade for academic prestige and then the next time you got it… something I’ve forgotten… and then bronze, then silver and then gold. So if you got it all five years of high school, you’d have gold by the time you left. But I missed one of the years, and so I only left with silver. What a failure.

Do you think I care now? Do you think anyone cares now? It doesn’t matter! Back then it felt like a black mark on my entire life. Back then it felt like the end of the world that I missed an A in maths with one percentage point and subsequently didn’t get my A-average in final exams.

I wish I knew how unimportant all of these things would be in just four years. I wish I knew back then that it was more important to be a person than to be an academic success.

There's no upper limit to the amount of Harry Potter quotes it's appropriate to have on my blog! ;)

There’s no upper limit to the amount of Harry Potter quotes it’s appropriate to have on my blog! πŸ˜‰

I don’t think I was really a person back then. I was too obsessed with something unimportant. And it felt good to read that and remember how I felt and gain perspective. Because I kind of felt the same way about my last exams at university than at school. It was a low rather than a high and it was nice to be reminded that in a few years it would just be water under the bridge and it wouldn’t matter. Who cares if I suck at some divisions of literature? There’s other things I can do. Just like I’ve forgotten the things that seemed so important in high school, this too shall fade.

Long story short shorter, I finally stopped staring at my reference, remembering all the old names and places, and sent my documents in. The next day I was approved.

This definitely isn’t the first step to independence. This is very far from that. But I finally feel like I’m moving forward again, after two months of feeling like I’m stagnating.

It’s weird, but I never pictured myself as a tutor until about 18 months ago. I always thought I would edit and write and nothing more to it. However, I’m really excited by this concept. It’s something I can believe in. I couldn’t happily work for a place whose ethics and mission I didn’t wholeheartedly agree with. Teaching seems to run in my blood and even though I’ve been repulsed by the thought that I might end up as a teacher for years, this is something different. This is not a teaching job, this is taking over after the teachers have gone home. For little money, even less respect and a lot of derision. Now, does that sound familiar? πŸ˜›


Now, continuing in that vein of progress and being a better person, here’s my single New Year’s Resolution:

New Year's revolutions


I generally refer to these things as “New Years Revolutions”, because they are generally revolutionary, bloody and don’t last long. I didn’t make this one because it’s January though, but because it is really necessary. I always put off responding to absolutely everything and it’s getting like a debilitating disease. Why am I posting this? To keep myself accountable. If no-one but me knows about it, I’m not going to keep at it!

Last year I also had a single Resolution to drink more water. I kept that one (it was a record), so I want to build on that success. It was hard in the beginning, but now I’m so dependent on my bottle of water. It really freaked out my mother the first day. “Why are you drinking so much water?!” I think it was because being constantly thirsty is one of the first symptoms of diabetes, which also runs in the family. I feel much better after doing this. For as far back as I can remember, I woke up every single morning with a sore throat. I thought it was normal. Only after I started this water drinking thing, I realised that it wasn’t normal and that it was actually dehydration. I haven’t had that sore throat in a year.

As this is now the length of a good second-year essay, I should stop. Go play some video games. Go on a quest. Try to not die.Β Enjoy the last weekend without work.

Talk to everyone soon,


7 responses

  1. Roy De Souza

    Hi, Elana, a wonderful post as usual. All the best in 2014!

    January 18, 2014 at 22:33

    • Thank you Roy, and the same to you! πŸ˜€

      January 19, 2014 at 21:09

  2. Yay, I’m glad things are looking up for you! Congratulations on the part-time job and successful tutoring application. Sometimes life does feel like it has gotten stuck in a rut and is stagnating. I know that feeling. But everything changes eventually. πŸ™‚

    January 18, 2014 at 23:49

  3. P.S. I love that Harry Potter quote. πŸ˜€

    January 18, 2014 at 23:50

    • Isn’t that the only thing that we can ever be certain of? Things change. For better or worse, change always comes. Thank you.
      Oh, me too! That quote has stuck with me for more than a decade! πŸ˜€

      January 19, 2014 at 21:11

  4. Welcome back to blogging! πŸ™‚

    January 19, 2014 at 02:55

    • Aw, thanks! πŸ™‚

      January 19, 2014 at 21:11

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