Friday, May 7, 2010

where the wind blows me...

I've always been a bit of a gypsy, ever since I first when on a student exchange when I was 17, to Germany. Once i discovered there was a whole world out there that I had yet to discover, I was hooked. Life was never the same, if every day didnt hold some form of challenge. Where the wind blows me tends to be my answer when people ask me what my plans are for the next 12 months - "I dont know what Im going to do, Ill end up wherever the wind blows me". Most people who know me, know this will be my answer. I decide for certain once every few months where im going to move to, what Im going to go and how Im going to get there... Opportunities come and go, and if one I like pops up, I pack up and take it.

Thats how I ended up in a small country town an hour north of the capital. Also how I ended up on an island 30mins by ferry off the coast of WA. But that only accounts for the last 7 months or so... Friends often ring me to ask what Im doing on the weekend, or if I want to do something that night, but my answer half the time is that I cant, because Im in Kalgoorlie, or Lancelin, or Margaret River, or somewhere thats NOT home. However I find alot of the time, its really hard to find people to go with me on roadtrips. People are really hesitant to do anything that involves them being too far away from their house, to bail whenever they want to. This is one reason why Im moving around all the time... I find that Im constantly looking to see and do new things, whereas alot of other people around my age are bogged down with life. Their job, garden, new house, renovating said house, kids, dogs, watching their boyfriend play cricket/football/rugby/chess... Which is fine, its probably really nice to be satisfied with staying within a 30km radius of your home, and have everything that interests you within that area. But I just cant do it... So thats the reason for the name of my blog, and ill be writing about whatever takes my fancy. Which is usually music, food, cooking, or work...

I work in a district high school, which means the students can only complete up to year 10, when they are aged 15. There are some students who are able to complete their upper school education, but the quality of education is lower than other schools who offer classes up to year 12, and cost to the school is high. The school catchment area is massive, spanning to the coast, 80km away, including isolated towns and farms where students come from a range of socio-economic and domestic situations. We have rich kids with huge properties and old money, kids coming from culturally desolate "estates" in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but houses, blocks of land and a supermarket. There are students with junkies as parents, students who cant live with their parents because one is in jail and the other one is deemed unfit to parent any of their 7 children, some children come to school on their own, mum and dad passed out on the couch, practically raising their siblings on their own. Some students travel an hour each way to get to school, and arrive tired, hungry and disengaged because their day has started with an hour of starting out the window of the bus half asleep. We have some kids from other countries, mostly south east asian, who are sitting in my classes with electronic translators, because they simply do not understand what is going on, and they have no teaching aide. Some kids come to school, and are a joy to teach, they ask intelligent questions, participate constructively and do their best to learn and enjoy themselves. Other students come to school because its better than being at home, some students get so drunk at recess time, by the lunch break they're vomiting in the toilets, wishing they hadn't taken that rum from the yr 6 kid who didnt really know what they were doing... I have an up and down school, full of good, bad and indifferent kids. But they're kids all the same, they say and do funny things, and life as a high school teacher always yields entertaining stories, which Im sure you're going to hear about!

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