Thursday, 31 July 2014

Walking away and walking towards.

SURPRISE! I'm back! Don't get too excited, this doesn't mean I am suddenly going to become a regular updater again, but I felt like doing the odd post or two, and there are no rules in the blogging world, so that's what yer gettin'.

Plus, I'm at work still and nearly everyone else is on holiday, and all the people who are in have already been on holiday so I've got a lot of free time and I'm pretty miserable. Blogging always cheers me up. Plus I've had a couple of lovely comments on the blog recently so I definitely owe anyone checking in a couple of new updates!


With the end of another job in my sights, and the beginning of a new, terrifying one, I've been thinking a lot about transitioning and the swift changes that a relocation or a new job brings. I've spent so many hours talking to the people in my workplace. I've seen there faces so many times. I've only been here since November, but I've probably spent more time in a room with some of them than I have with some of my closest friends! I guess that's the craziness about a workplace. You're thrust into a space where you are expected to spend hours with others, and be friendly with anyone in your close proximity. The only thing you often have in common with these people is the job you do.

The weirdest thing is that I've spent all this time with these people and I know all these things about their lives (like my colleague whose husband cheated on her, and then she ended up with the husband of the woman he cheated with.. BOOM! How's that for an interesting 'where did you meet your husband?' story!). One of my colleagues even came to my house for a barbecue last weekend, so he's even seen my life outside of work (and saw me a bit tipsy if I'm honest). Yet I will probably never see these people again.

I've met my new colleagues for my new workplace, and again, we're just a bunch of people who share the same profession. It's strange to meet them and know that inevitably I will learn things about them, possibly even attend their weddings (two are engaged) and they will become my new workplace family. It's all very surreal. I guess it's the same with teaching. I spend ages with a class of young people, then they walk out the door into the real world and I barely even remember them a few years later.

The good thing is that despite these huge changes in my day-to-day contact, I feel pretty confident that I will find myself to be an accepted and vital part of the team. I don't struggle to find things in common with others and I'm pretty good at making friends with people. It's the walking away thats hard than the walking towards. It's sad to leave a place. And a house. And a village. There'll be a lot of goodbyes over the next few months.

I am incredibly excited about moving back to Nottingham though. My friend has already told me she wants me to join a ceramics class with her, although I might try to steer her towards textiles (I'd rather have too many cushions than too many pots). I'd never have done that in Leicester. There a lot of friends I can reconnect with and that prospect is mega-exciting.

How do you cope with leaving a workplace?

Monday, 16 June 2014


Afternoon all,

I have truly been neglecting my blog for a while now. I should have come back to check in and told everyone why a while ago, but I felt so guilty about not blogging that I didn't want to admit I wasn't blogging by blogging about blogging (if that makes any sense!?). Anyway, I have really enjoyed blogging and it's something that I want to come back to, but just not right now. I think the thing that made me lose motivation so completely was discovering so many other fantastic blogs! So many people are doing what I wanted to do so much better thna I could. I don't feel the blogging sphere really needs me, and since getting a new job in the direction I'd like to be moving and with so many more opportunities in the city I want to live in, I guess right now I don't really need it.

This isn't goodbye forever. I will be back. I can't promise it'll be soon, but blogging is definitely something that I don't want to walk away from. As soon as I get knocked up and on maternity leave, I can guarantee I'll be blogging every day - but I'm definitely not baby ready yet!

I've been totally inspired by a video blogger named Grav3yard girl who is basically an American version of myself. I'd love to do some video blogging but I'm afraid to put myself out there due to being a teacher. It's something I'll consider. Perhaps I can keep the content fairly teacher-friendly.

Anyway, I'll be leaving this blog open and available for anyone who would like to aimlessly wander through its content on a grey Sunday afternoon (or whatever time that suits you). Thank you so much for reading faithfully and I honestly believe I will be back once I have more time and inspiration. I may even check in soon-ish, now the pressure of feeling like I HAVE to blog is off.

Love to you all.

Lucinda xxx

Sunday, 8 June 2014


I am so sorry for my absence. I promise to post in the next week!!!! In Devon at the moment. The weather is beaaaautiful and the dog can't believe his luck with all the beach walks 

Monday, 31 March 2014

Weekend in Nottingham and two year anniversary

It was two years since my Dad died last Friday. I felt the pressure to feel particlarly sad on the day, although I don't know why that's important. I feel sad whenever I think of Dad dying, but life must go on and there isn't much good to be achieved to wallow from morning to night - that's what time alone is for. I felt sad, and appeciated the few texts from friends I received (it really meant a lot that some had remembered), but it was still just another day that he was gone.

My home town

At my Mum's during the evening we didn't talk about Dad a lot. We were busy talking about my new job, and discussing my move to Nottingham. Mum mentioned him during dinner though and we gave a toast and thought about how proud he would have been. I'd give anything to tell him and see his face. He saw me become a teacher, get a degree and learn to drive, but he didn't get to see me own a home, or get married, or have children. I guess there's always something. It's always too early when people leave.

The rest of the weekend was fine. I saw some friends on Saturday night and felt excited to return home. It made me remember the social life I once had! It feels like teachers don't want to socialise outside of work, and I haven't made any friends in Leicester, so it will be so nice returning to a place where I can, at least now and then, go out for a drink and catch up with people or attend life drawing classes (I need to show you guys my drawings from that!).

Then on mother's day my brother and I went for a meal with Mum. It was nice to go out with our significant others but just as a family for a change. Not that I don't want my boyfriend involved in my family... I love that he is, but it was nice to just be together as a three. We ate in Petit Paris - a sweet little French restaurant with slightly grumpy waiters and nice food. Then for the rest of the weekend Mum and I talked about houses and where I would live in Nottingham. It's pretty exciting but we need to sell the house in Leicester first.

How was your weekend?

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Airbrushing - should it be banned?

My Functional Skills students are coming up with ideas to present and discuss for Speaking and Listening. One idea I keep putting forward - for the beauty students in particular to discuss - is the idea of airbrushing and photoshop. After reading this post over at The Styling Dutchman, I decided to write a blog post about the issue.

For a long time, I thought celebrities were naturally stunning, and photographers used fancy lighting and make-up to have them looking their best. I didn't consider this to be 'cheating' - the camera captured what was actually visable to the photographer. However, with the growth of technology, photoshopping, or using other photo editing software to enhance photos is becoming almost commonplace. Obviously the reasons are clear - celebrities sell items. The better looking the celebrity, the more we want the item, because the more we want to be like the celebrity.

There isn't really anyone to blame for this phenomena. Individuals in charge or marketing are paid to sell items in the more effective way possible. The problem with this tactic is that we can't pretend people aren't influenced by these images. Look at the image above. Britney Spears has a perfectly fine body in the image, yet this body has been changed to appear more slender and with more even skin in the second. The image most young women are going to see, and perhaps aspire to, is no longer a representation of a real person. They have also added more makeup to define the eyes and adjusted the shine on Britney's face so it appears thinner.

If I were a celebrity I would feel saddened that someone had manipulated my image. It's a judgement on your figure, or skin, or general looks. God forbid the public were to see a photograph of Harry Styles looking like a normal teenage boy.

The good news is that these photos are accessiable on the internet. It is possible to see that these images are a misrepresentation of the true article. Perhaps, by viewing these we can relax a little in the knowledge that even our favourite celebrities can't achieve the perfection we are used to seeing. Even they fall short of society's standards and have to be changed. Would it not be easier for us all to lower our expectations and appreciate that we are all human. 99% of us attempt to change the way we look, even just by brushing our hair, before walking out of our front door because we all wake up looking less than perfect.

I know this is completely idealistic. Harry Styles makes his money from his adoring fans finding him physically attractive and the more teenage girls he can enslave, the more secure his popularity. I understand this, and I accept it. But I will continue to cheer myself up by googling 'celebrities before and after photoshop' every once in a while.

How do you feel about photograph manipulation?


Monday, 24 March 2014

Well, well, well... Something to think about

If you've been following this blog for a while, you'll know I have been working in some jobs that I haven't exactly loved. I have been teaching Functional Skills - a lower level qualification, and GCSE English to students who haven't already passed at GCSE. Most of the students don't like English and have enrolled on vocational courses such as hairdressing, bricklaying and public services. Suffice to say, they're not the easiest to get interested in English.

I interviewed for a job in Nottingham last week. I applied for it at the last second, mostly because it is in Nottingham, includes A level teaching, and is more money.  After the first round of interviews I got an email saying sorry, you don't have the job. I emailed them for feedback (for the first time ever) and received a reply saying - we've made a mistake, you did get through. During the second round, I didn't think I had a chance as in walked a woman interviewing for the same position who was head of deparment at her current workplace and has nine years' teaching experience. However, I found out this morning that.... I got the job. Little old me. Apparently I did great in the teaching interview and I am great with teenagers... but I already knew that.

Now I need to weigh it up and decide if it the right route to take. It would definitely add some skills to my CV - teaching A level English being a key one. I would also be on more money. The downsides are I would need to move from the home I have recently bought and live with my Mum Monday-Friday, only seeing my boyfriend at weekends. The long-term goal would be to spend the extra money on doing up the house and moving to Nottingham. The other worry is that I would be the ONLY English teacher in the school. I'm used to working on my own, but I would be responsible to the entire GCSE achievement for English. It's not as bad as it sounds though. There will only be year ten students in the first year, and after a year I imagine they'll need another English teacher on board so we could then share the burden.

Another thing scaring me as I swore I would never teach in a secondary school. I didn't want to deal with teenagers. However, teaching in Further Education isn't really very different - I teach teenagers who don't like English. In fact, at least in school I'd be teaching students for the first time, rather than pushing them through a retake. I'd also get to teach the students who will get an A-C, so some might actually listen to me, and do homework!

It's a really daunting prospect, but I think I will probably go for it and hope I swim rather than sink. Teaching will never be easy but the worst think I feel I can do is sit still - I always want to be acquiring new skills and trying new things. Also, I would really like to teach Psychology at some point and this could help me in two ways - in a year they may want someone to teach Psychology at the new job, and being employed by a secondary school gets my foot in the door if I want to apply to other secondary schools in the future.

Why did you decide to take the job you are in?

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Job interview - do you use a sick day?

Luckily I don't use my real name on my blog, so I can tell you, I had a job interview yesterday. It was for a new school in Nottingham and would be fairly big pay increase. Originally I had an informal interview at the end of a day last week, so didn't have to take a day off work. Then I was told I didn't get through, so I emailed and asked for some feedback anyway. They replied and said they'd made a mistake and I had got through after all!

The interview was mid-morning yesterday. I had a dilemma. Do I not go to the interview, tell my current work I'm sick, or tell my current work I'm looking for a new job. I've only been in my current position for 4 months. I didn't get the kind of work I applied for when I joined, and since joining I have been told the college is in a lot of debt. As I'm still in my initial 6 months at the college and have been there for less than two years, I could be dismissed for looking for work (particularly if they are making cuts to staff, which they are!). Therefore I decided to tell them I was ill.

I have already taken two sick days this year. One was because my boyfriend had some bad news and needed my support (I won't go into detail), and the other I was genuinely ill. My boss informed me today as I arrived back into work that, this being my third ill day means that I am not allowed to take any more days off until January next year for sickness or I'm in breach of my contract. To be honest, I don't think I've got much chance of getting this job (I met another interviewee who had nine years teaching experience!), so I was planning on continuing to apply for other jobs. However, now, I can't claim to be sick if I get an interview so I would be forced to tell my current employer that I'm looking elsewhere. I'm worried I'll get treated differently if I do happen to stay - rubbish timetable, rubbish groups.

Basically I need to either get this job or stay where I am for another year. It's an awful position to be in as the job I'm currently in wasn't as advertised and I don't feel they listen to staff suggestions of how to improve. Therefore I'm stuck. For the long term. Or I risk being fired for taking too many  days off ill. I really want a job in Nottingham, or at least one that I feel happier in.

What would you do?