Tuesday, 19 July 2016

End Of Term Blues

I'm exhausted. Really exhausted.

Now that I've got that out the way, let me explain why I'm exhausted. I'm sure all of my teaching friends will understand what I mean when I say this year has felt like a VERY long year. For those of you who are not teachers, it goes a little bit like this. We work hard throughout the year and put in far more than our contracted hours, to the point where I suspect it gets more than a little bit dangerous for us to be working. Add to that all the usual stress of teaching and by the end of the year every teacher is literally at the end of their ability to stay awake.

Don't worry, I'm not about to go into some huge rant about how my job is harder than others, that's not the point of my blog. Besides it has been done far more eloquently by others than I could ever attempt to do. If you want to hear all about it simply do a quick Google search, you will find plenty. I'm simply setting the scene a little bit.

Wonderful People

As the academic year draws to a close I find myself needing the support of those that I hold close more and more. Not just to get me to the end of the year, but also to persevere with all that needs to be done for our forthcoming move to Malaysia. 

It's more than a little bit of a logistical nightmare having to try and move your entire family to a new country. Let alone the fact that I will be doing the first full term on my own whilst my wife is at home in the UK with my new born child and 3 year old son. Now, don't get me wrong, I simply cannot wait to experience everything that the other side of the world has to offer, but it's going to be hard. 

I simply cannot explain the overwhelming support I have had from friends and family. Simply put, I couldn't have asked for more. There hasn't been a single person who has in any way shape or form been anything other than positive about our little adventure. I think it is worth noting at this point that you cannot underestimate the need for support, I really didn't realise quite how much you need it until now. 

I'm going to gloss over the majority of the people that have been amazing, not because I value their support any less, but because it's the type that is just wonderful and very much what you might expect. I would like to focus a little on another kind of support, that is nothing more than absolutely genuine, but in a lot of ways makes the whole process unexpectedly hard. I'm talking about those who want to try and help, offer an opinion or tell you how to do something.

It is so hard to know what to say to people who offer their opinions and advice, especially when they are close to you. It's even harder when their intention is to try and take some of the pressure off, but in reality they add more. Please don't misunderstand me, I'm so very grateful to them for their advice, please don't stop giving it. What I mean is it's overwhelming when you have countless people all giving conflicting advice on everything from housing, cars, money to simply what do eat when you get there. It feels a little akin to being given advice from 12 different mortgage advisers when you only wanted 2.

I think the moral of this story is a simple one. So many people are supportive, have expressed their support and want to help us to succeed it has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. However for anyone who has never done this before, be warned, you are about to get A LOT of advice and support you weren't expecting to get. Take it willingly and gladly, but filter out what you really need, what is helpful for you, but most of all say thank you. A lot of people really don't get the support you might be.

A Painful Goodbye

In my last post I spoke about the need for us to sell a lot of our possessions, how some of these are difficult
to get rid of and how others are surprisingly easy. 

Anyone who knows me at all may well have guessed that one of the most difficult items for me to sell was going to be my very beloved fish tank. I grew up keeping cold water fish and I have always loved sitting in front of a tank watching, anyone who claims fish don't have a personality are simply wrong. I've always wanted Marine fish, and luckily I have an amazing wife who two years ago humored my request to get a small Marine setup. This grew and grew, and I am now the very proud owner of a large-ish 250l full marine tank with all the bells and whistles I could possible want. 

Last night was the night that I decided to take the step to list it on the various forums where I might find a buyer. So, pictures taken, full list of contents compiled and a few posts later the tank was up for sale. I'm hoping to get someone to take the whole lot as a setup, not only will this be easier for us, but it will be less painful knowing the tank will go on as it is (Silly I know, but you get attached). I made sure I was very clear about the fact that I would like it all sold as one, an important fact for the next part of my fishy tale. 

Much to my surprise I had comments quite quickly, some were quite positive and pleasant to read, some not so much. I had people criticising the price I had put on the tank (£500, not that unreasonable considering the equipment and livestock on offer), and I had others wanting to specifically buy individual parts of it. Please don't get me wrong, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it annoyed me that people were simply not reading the advert properly. I think my anger comes from the fact that in order to be in the Marine fish hobby, you have to be passionate about them, it takes a lot of time, effort and money to keep them. It almost felt like a slight on my as a person, perhaps even my family. 

A Bit Of Fun

As a bit of a sign off I thought I might just post a link to something that made me chuckle a bit. It's really a bit of an insight into the mindset of a teacher, but it will hopefully make my non-teacher readers giggle a little bit too. 


As always please let me know what you all think, comments are always welcome.

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