Part 9: Highs and lows in Warbleton.
A fly sits on top of my screen, taunting me, preening itself, rubbing its little insect hands together, working out how it could be even more annoying. I swear they recognise the fly swatter. As soon I bring its green vengeance upon them, off they fly, escaping the death squad. For now the game continues. Just like this game that I play here at school every day…
I am SO exhausted. Children are certainly the most tiring thing in the world. Teaching out here in one of the remotest parts of Australia, is making me feel like the crappiest Teacher ever. Rather than an experienced Teacher with 20 years under her belt, I feel like a graduate, wet behind the ears, a complete rookie, with kids running circles around me once again. I remember those days. And it hasn’t happened for awhile, until I came out here to teach. Accomplishing learning outcomes is futile. Getting a kid to sit long enough in a seat to listen and follow a simple instruction is the goal. Unbelievable. Inconceivable. There are wins and losses in every day, and today yet another good example of that. But I made it. Only just.
Today was the first day I felt like walking out. Fuck this shit. Lol. But no. I stuck it out. I even had a bit of a cry. Ashamed to admit it, but wow, some of these kids really push all those buttons. Surprisingly they were quick to apologise when they saw me upset with them. “Sorry Miss”. And then they were angels. They sat still, they listened, they were calm and they were good. Did I just need to show them that I was also human? I don’t know. But we made a connection, through the bleakest of circumstances. And I did not walk off, as much as I wanted to.
I have a bit of a motto, I don’t put up with a shit situation. And today was certainly shit. But I stuck it out. And I reached that turning point where it shifts from utter shit-ness to okay-ness to good-ness. The full circle. I was calm in the afternoon and did some painting with the girls, a different class, and they were great. Thank fully. I really had no energy left in my tank to deal with another shit class. So sometimes it is good to persevere.
Like every challenge in life, it is always good to see the positives. And I do see lots of great kids doing wonderful things. And I see lots of great teaching around me, which is so admirable. It is just a completely unique set of circumstances out here. I am creeping closer to the finish line now. As I battle through one day at a time, I am grateful to see the end of school every day.
Tonight I am off to play some Backgammon with a local guy I met through another friend. I am looking forward to zoning out a bit, talking some shit, and getting out of my own head for a bit. And I love games. I like engaging my brain differently.
I now need to go rescue my clothes from the 40 degree heat outside, and before they get nicked off the line! That happens apparently…
One more piece of random news. This morning a ravenous and straggly looking dog came to the door looking for food. He was very sheepish but was clearly starving. There are loads of dogs here in the community, and mostly they are fed, but are covered in fleas, and bites, and who knows what else. Anyhow, I had some left over spaghetti uneaten in the fridge, so I dumped that out for him, and he woofed it all down, grateful for every glutenous mouthful. It feels good to not throw my food in the bin but give it to the hungry dogs. I know the kids need more food too, but if I go feeding the kids, they will come by all the time expecting more food. Anyhow, like I said it is a different world out here.
I have just over a week left from writing this. By the time I post this, it will be less. YES! Bring on the day I am back on the dusty tarmac boarding the plane back to Alice, and a little bit of hotel luxury again before my keenly awaited return to perfect Perth. Oh how I miss everything about you. Especially the beach, and my garden, and my friends, and a cold cider, and fucking everything.