Sabbatical OVER! Has it been two months already? No ways, talk about time flies when you are having fun. Was I having fun though? Who really knows? There was so much to get done, personally and academically and just all spheres of life, and wow, life really moves whether you are on the train or not. Of course, we prefer to be on the train but we acknowledge that sometimes we need to get off at a specific stop, detour to a new train station and climb on again.
Train analogy, BOOM! In the bag, safe and secure. I have actually realised that I really enjoy making analogies to enhance whatever message I am trying to share. I think that is the type of educator I will be one day, very soon.
The past two months, I guess I needed to climb off the blogging train just to allow myself to rethink what do I want to say next and what direction and impact do I want to make with this blog. I also took the opportunity to pursue other writing opportunities for myself, through that process I realised that even though I want to get it done and attempt to publish a life changing book, I cannot rush the process, two months was simply not enough, hence I am much further than I was two months ago, but still not done, maybe I am too much of a perfectionist, but that is the content that you signed up for. Unfortunately, mediocre is not on the vocabulary list.
In this two month period, I have been crafting in academics, trying to prepare for the working world. Believe it or not I am going to be a full on student-teacher for the next 7 weeks. Just so that we are all on the same page, I am in postgrad, studying towards my Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). I am specialising in Mathematics and Economics Senior Phase and FET. Wow, that is a mouthful to say, but you know what I am super excited and super nervous!!!! To calm my nervous, I joke a lot, so recently I said to someone “I cannot believe that I am about to be responsible for a child passing or failing” – Bad joke. Of course, I am not completely responsible, I am merely an aid and it is a learning opportunity for me as well. I actually feel confident, because at some point for mathematics, I had to take a competency test at grade 12 level, and the girl smashed it!! I, for one, am not one to believe that a test determines your ability to teach, but it is a step in the right direction, content knowledge and that is a positive from me.
Disclaimer: For Teaching Prac (TP) I will only be engaging in Mathematics, can’t always get both.
In addition to that, lesson planning was a large part of the “training.” Give me any template and I can fill it with a lesson plan from Intro to Body to Conclusion, let that happen in real life, factoring in all the improvisation due to unforeseen circumstances, what a train ride that is going to be.
Let’s move on. In June I celebrated my 22nd birthday – feeling so much older as I just typed that out. But you are probably thinking, young teacher vibes and for those that have stood next to me, young and short teacher vibes. If you could give me a school uniform, I definitely still look like I am not even close to matriculating! I think it is going to be a very funny experience, not just for TP but for the rest of my life so long as I choose to be in the classroom enriching lives. My birthday celebration was really fun, it was small and intimate, exactly what I wanted. I made an observation between myself and most of my friends, and that is, the older we get, the more we just want to be with people that we genuinely care about. No presents (although still welcomed), no big fancy event, just the genuine intimacy and connection. Almost as though we are learning to cherish the precious moments in time, because we are getting to a point of realisation that they will not always be there. That could be something that generally comes with age, alternatively it could be that the pandemic that is COVID19 that has brought out these emotions and thoughts, maybe both!
July was a tragic month for me, normally I would not want to label an entire month as tragic, especially since the whole of it was not actually tragic, there was very limited celebration and that just made me more confused about what exactly am I meant to feel? It started off very exciting, all I saw was me graduating officially as an undergraduate, that was all that mattered. I had set ideas and plans thought through with the help of my aunt, we were just ready to party for a whole 3 days if we could! Within the first week of the month, she got COVID and Pneumonia, turns out that that is pretty common, so much so that it is called Covid-Pneumonia, as though it is one thing or a packaged deal. That shook my system but I had not realised the intensity of it, all I knew was that she had beat this before, so I trusted that she will recover again. My bad, I last spoke to her the day before she went to hospital, and within less than 2 days of being in hospital, she passed on. That was what turned the entire month upside down for me. I lost my person, like my other half, so quickly. I was ready to just let go of life.
Literally in the next week, in fact, the next day after the funeral, I was in graduation week. The very week we were hyping about, I had no one to hype with, not in the same way at least. Graduation was just a moment to just celebrate, it did not feel right, so I got over it pretty quick, but you learn to still put on a small show when someone congratulates you because they are happy so, it does not hurt to be happy in that moment too.
Literally in the next week on the day of the virtual memorial, I started experiencing COVID symptoms! WILD! I know, absolutely crazy! July was cancelled for me in every way possible. Everything just stopped for me and I did not like that at all. I made another observation, nothing new, because we already know this, life is so short, at any moment we can just blink and everything we hoped for and dreamed about can be gone and taken away from us before we have even had a chance to see it through. Very quickly you become aware of what is worth fighting for and what you actually care about. My symptoms felt heavy to me, but I think they were universally categorised as mild to moderate.
Another observation is that with every experience you become launched into a community of people going through something similar. It is the craziest thing, all of a sudden I was having so many conversations about what it feels like to have COVID and understanding how different people went through the motions. It was like an AA meeting(s) but for COVID recoverees. It is like you have to qualify for the club before you can even find the club. I guess it was a support thing.
July had a lot of growth points, that were difficult to take in because of my losses as well as my sickness. I acknowledge that they exist. I did a lot of personal development reading. I read in a powerful book that our mind has to acknowledge both the positives and the negatives of a situation in order to think clearly. I can tell you, truer words were never spoken/read.
In that spirit the last two weekends of July there were 2 massive events (virtual). I attended a mind blowing Leadership Development Weekend in my sick bed. I learned so many things and gained insight and wisdom that I cannot wait to implement, we will observe over time the person I become but I can assure that I know I will be great #selfhype.
Then the very next weekend, I attended an education summit titled Disrupt(Ed) Summit, I must say the mind blowing continues. The inspiration was powerful in both weekends. The personal transformation is yet to come. Just keep watching the space!
My last two months have been fairly packed. I am surprised at how much can happen in a short space of time. One last observation: there is something funny about the idea of time, and that is, it is so deceptive, when you look towards it, it feels like there is a lot of it. When you look back on it, you realise that it was not nearly enough. Quite cheeky I think, the lesson is probably to stop procrastinating and actually get things done!
I had so much to say, I know. At least you know that I did not leave for luxury, I enjoy writing too much. I am making a slight change. I want to shift my weekly posts to Sundays, no special reason, just a new plan to test out. Podcasts will still happen, for auditory supporters.
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