Tuesday, June 19, 2007

...Year 10 (finally!)

The summer holidays after year 9 was when my Dad took to the task of teaching Noddy and I had to 'suffer' as well. It was actually a bonus. You see I ended up going into Year 10 having already been exposed to the stuff we were going to do in Chemistry, Physics and Maths (sort of). But more importantly my maths teacher was Mrs. V- from my mini league. I started loving maths lessons again. The 'fun' element of maths returned. I can't remember where Ali was, but I recall Trevor sitting in front of me this time and once again Annie was next to me. This was the year when I started to do maths homework and maths questions when I was 'bored'. However, the real reason has to be the teacher. That's what it boils down to in the end.

Year 10 was also the year in which we had to go for work experience. As I child I used to love the whole idea of having an 'office' job. You know- your own computer, phone and telling people to make tea for you! Sweet, that's what I wanted to do. However I'm erm... 'lazy' to put it bluntly. I was strangely determined to get at least one rejection letter, just so that I could experience that 'feeling'. So when I class mate told me that he'd got rejected from Halifax, I went and sent them a letter and obviously got rejected! :D Obviously I was pretty pleased with this, however in my adventure to get rejected I hadn't considered finding an actual place. Computers and playing around with them (building them etc) was something else which I didn't understand much about, but enjoying learning about. So that had been another work experience placement option. However I didn't manage to find a place which had any places left, or more importantly they didn't want me!

Now enters the work experience coordinator. He had a list of placements and was handing them out! I found myself at the front of the queue, however not quite the first person there. I got a one week placement in an office department for the council. I didn't mind this, but was told I had to find another placement for the second week on my own. My back up plan had been to go to my local primary school and beg(ask) them for a placement. I didn't have to beg (thankfully) but I now had two placements.

For the record: the office placement was absolutely rubbish. I hated it. The only thing I enjoyed doing was photocopying loads of papers. Why? Because for some reason I like the smell of photocopied paper! :o Need anything photocopied? Drop me an email! I hated being cooped up in the office for the whole day. I felt like a caged animal- like Marty from Madagascar. I wanted to go to the wild. Honestly it stank. Obviously I couldn't sit still for more than a few hours and so I used to go for walkies! I ended up visiting every department in the whole building and annoying every single person who worked there- sweet! I was told, 'people actually do work here' and once again sent to my desk. They had me typing up bloody letters and inputting things into excel! A monkey could do that. (I actually deserved this since I should have found myself a placement!)

So after the week ended, I happily got my self out of there in a hurry. You see no one would talk to me! The people in the same room as me (there were 5/6 of them) talked amongst themselves but they ignored me. I didn't like that. :D As you've probably figured, I erm talk and erm talk and talk. That's why this post is going on forever, however as I'm writing it it doesn't seem long (been working on this for a few days you see!). Anyway, they were the people that laughed when I said that my two favorite subjects were maths and PE. Pft.

Ok, got that out of my system. The second week at the primary school was the complete opposite. It was indeed a life changing experience one could say! I loved every single second of it. I was too chicken to sit in the staff room amongst my primary school teachers! They expected me call them 'Linda', 'Ian', 'Jeremy' etc! That was asking too much from me so I content myself by just saying 'Mrs H' etc. They had been my teachers after all. [College and uni are slightly different, because some teachers prefer it if you call them by the first names, but I aways prefer saying either sir, Dr so and so, Prof ... . That's how it was with my PT- I used to say sir all the time or Dr......! After a while I suppose the whole class started saying his first name and so did I. I guess it's because I'm so used to saying Mr. m, as opposed to first names!]. Anyway, during playtimes I used to play football with the kids, instead of sitting in the staffroom which was another bonus.

This experience is what made me want to be a teacher. That's why I had to mention it. I'm not always confident and that seems to be my biggest problem, however I believe that one day I will be a teacher and won't be scared of being one as well! Nowadays I take motivation from my lecturers about this, since they so confidently stand in front of 300 students and teach. Wow. The thought of doing that scares me! (name change alert me thinks - post by chicken!).

EDIT: I am completing this post today, and well it may seem slightly disjoint since the part you have just read was written sometime in April! I seem to have had a bitter taste in my mouth for the past few days, which hasn't allowed me to post. A bitter taste about posting to be honest! However, I believe that's because I've been losing track on this blog and so return to 'my maths' with the hope that I can get rid of this taste as soon as possible! [I'm tempted to blame the genes again for my being lazy, but that's another story!]

Anyway the notion of me wanting to do a maths degree was set in motion now. My auntie (uncle's wife) is a primary school teacher, who has a QTS (qualified teaching status) which is a four year degree for teaching. She advised me not to do this, since it meant I had to be a teacher for the rest of my life. She wanted to do something different now but couldn't, and so was telling me to specialise in a field and then do teaching. Now I didn't know what to do at first. But worry not- I had a careers interview in the weeks after my placements, and there everything was set in place. I wanted to be a teacher. I liked maths. No I loved maths. So why not be a maths teacher?

Making this decision in year 10 seemed to have given me the opportunity, to start digging the road to actually accomplish my goal. It also made me more focused to a certain degree, since I knew which book I wanted. All I had to do was find a means of getting it.

Year 10 was the year FPD came into being- my scientific calculator! Well that's what it was named by my class. I'd rather not go into stories of my maths lessons (Trevor getting moved all the time!), but I lost my calculator for quite a while. Eventually I discovered it behind my bed, but FPD was missed badly by everyone (erm... well by me and Trevor anyway!).

Previously I've mentioned that there was an element of 'completing the work first' between a few of us years 7-9. Well namely between either Annie, Trevor, Ali and myself. Annie being left handed was handy, since I was right handed but she moved shortly after the year started and Ash sat next to me. All four of us were separated and I think it was in year 10 that I realised that I would never finish before Trevor, never mind Ali! So Trevor and Ali continued their battle to see who would finish the exercise first, and although I still did 'compete', only I knew and I think that I started focusing more on getting the work done rather than getting it done first. You may have noticed that in all my accounts of my secondary school years, I mention this 'competition'. I will comment some other time on this, but I think that indirectly encouraged us to get the work done. I confess to having a competitive streak in me, but one thing this has allowed me to become is a good loser. In terms of football, no one likes losing. No one. But what's important is that when you do lose, you realise why you lost and you aim to overcome your weaknesses.

Another aside, but I watched bits of the movie Fearless today, and what was said was that we have competitions not to show that we know such a such thing (it was martial arts, still...) but rather to see what our weaknesses are so that we can learn to overcome them. This should be our aim, I believe. When playing football I know that I tend to sometimes try to do too much with the ball, and I'm not a very good 'crosser' of the ball. Playing games exposes my weaknesses and so next time I try to keep it simple. Also in losing, it is important not to take credit away from the winner. The weakness was with you, not the winner. I have had experiences where I might have been frustrated with losing, but I always made sure that I shook hands with the other team- always. Last year I semi-coached a football team in my secondary school for a tournament. It was darn hard since I'd been given the team (some of the players had no idea!) and was told to coach them.

During the tournament, although my team lost one nil because of a penalty, they ruined the whole ethos of the competition. They were kids and learning I suppose, but the event had been to try and build bridges with other schools. All these kids saw when playing was that they wanted revenge for losing last time! They were in year 8-9 BTW. They weren't playing for the game or the tournament, but to 'teach the other team a lesson'. No matter what rubbish the other team gave to us, I advised my team not to fall for it. I mean if someone is swearing at you and calling you a loser etc, what's going to make them more angry is that you don't rise to the bait! I told them to play the game for playing it and not for personal reasons.(they didn't)

I also believe it's important that if you win, say in football, you shouldn't go over the top and rub it into the other teams face. This all depends on ones intentions for competing I believe. When I say good loser, I mean I appreciate that I was outplayed -this taught me to never give up. It doesn't mean that I never play to win. That's imperative if you ever want to win!

I flew off on another tangent there (oops got to be careful about that!), but I will surely be discussing this in more detail with regards to my maths, in the coming weeks.(hopefully) Year 10 was a great year for my maths. Two factors caused this: my dad and my year 10 maths teacher. Also my year 10 maths teacher used to tell us to write our notes in a black pen, and do the exercise in a blue pen. Till this date that is what I do! All my lecture notes are in black pen, and all the exercise and work that I hand in is in blue. She also used to make us date our work, and that has been a big help when the pile of papers grow! [I do use any pen for rough work etc but the lecture notes have to be written in black ink!]

Once again please excuse the disjointness, I feel that if I didn't complete this post today, it would forever remain incomplete!

For my own sake, some not so funny thing that I remember from a maths lesson in year 10. A few of my friends used to watch Home and Away. They'd been discussing Miles being dead. Maths lesson was after break. I remember that the teacher said something about Miles and I automatically said Miles is dead. She wasn't impressed!


Jake said...

As I child I used to love the whole idea of having an 'office' job. You know- your own computer, phone and telling people to make tea for you!

Believe me, the novelty wears off fairly quickly.

I think that the only people who have tea made for them would be relatively high up in the ranks too. In most places, everyone pitches in and makes tea for everyone else.

They had me typing up bloody letters and inputting things into excel! A monkey could do that.

To be fair; a lot of office jobs are pretty basic, not just the junior ones.

I once did a couple of months as an agency worker and did mostly data input for a company. It was one of the more positive office working experiences I had actually, people were nice, I didn't have to speak to anyone on the phone, they left me to get on with it, My mind was free to think about what I wanted to during the day and they even thanked me when the job was done. They even offered me a full tim job, which I foolishly didn't accept as I had already been offered one elsewhere on slightly higher pay - I should have stuck to what I knew. When you are an agency worker, you are often filling in for unexpected abscences or clearing unexpected workloads so people are generally pretty pleased to have you there as long as you do a good job.

She advised me not to do this, since it meant I had to be a teacher for the rest of my life.

This isn't true: I worked with a guy who qualified as a teacher, worked in a secondary school and then decided he wanted to quit before he started disliking the job so went to work for the company I was at instead.

You have to consider that if you are qualified as a teacher, you still have a degree and you also have experience that many people would consider valuable.

beans said...

As a child I think it was the tv programmes that we used to watch that made us think the tea thing!I was about 14 at that time, and didn't really understand what working actually meant. You're right about the tea, everyone made it for each other.

I suppose I got bored. They didn't really know what to make me do you see. At that age I was ok using excel and word, and they probably had thought that it'd take me the whole day to get the work done! Believe it or not, I even met the director of the place! The second in command guy had an office in the other side and I took over his job! (well he photocopied his badge for me which had assistant director on it, and so he worked for me!). I left promising the director I'd be back for his office. :o (He was a nice guy though, took it fairly well. ;) )

Yes, I was a mad kid then... don't think I've changed much! (I'm sure it was the IT guys who complained of me). They had probably never met someone like me. I never had to answer the phone as well which was a relief! I don't suppose it was too bad, maybe another work experience placement will help me settle that claim.

I still don't think my auntie is aware about what you said! She's been going mad looking for part time work in teaching! I'll let her know. :)