We have a new house — and yes, this time we own it.
This is a big thing for me, and for my wife and family, and naturally we’re very happy about it. First of all though is the little matter of moving house! It’s only a very small move in terms of distance, but when you do this in any way it’s still a big thing, and this time we’re doing it all ourselves (well, with a little family help, but that’s it).
So I’ll be off work for a few days, offline possibly longer, and generally busy moving stuff. There will be a transfer of Internet and all that too… but we’ll still have our phones if nothing else!
Well, it’s exciting, it’s big, and it’s a serious life move. We like our new house, so I should post some pics once we’re over there.
Well the less said about Wests performance tonight the better…. 26-0? I mean, I know Manly is good, but oh dear. And Wests play Melbourne next week…
In other news, I found out I was “this close” to winning another writing competition/fellowship thing, but was a finalist and fell just short again. Then I found out one of the winners was someone pretty well known and very experience and published, so I don’t know if I should feel good or bad about that.
But I really have to work out how to get myself that one step further to success…
Now that’s the end of a long, big week. It was never tough per se, but it was long, and busy, and tiring, and now that it’s over I just want to make sleep the highest priority!
Got the Google Teacher application in, am seriously looking at one other job related thing, and loads of work projects of course. New desktops arrived that have been going around, and next week comes the big DER laptop shipment…
At home, the main thing will be my writing again. Slacked a bit on the novel in the last week, but once sleep is recovered that’s where I will be…
And the rain… it poured and poured today, so much so people outside of town either couldn’t get to work or can’t get home. Looks like it will be another weekend of this:
But the more they do, the better they get, and the smarter it is for them
Nice thing happened today — as I mentioned yesterday I’m putting together a little video for my application to the Google Certified Teacher program. I decided it had to ben done in the media publications class, which is after all where I do my most directly “teacherly” work.
And the class were so good about it! We basically did a normal class thing — photo editing in Photoshop, and I got around the class and helped out various students. This time though it was filmed, sometimes by me, sometimes by other students. They played along well, sometimes wanting to do the “Mr Turner helps me so much!” exaggeration thing, but the footage I’ve got looks pretty good.
There’s 5-6 minutes of video but only 1 is required for the final product. I’ll do a voice over, and maybe some extra stuff on Monday, but the job now is to edit this together and see what else it needs in terms of music or effects. Hopefully it will be a nice showreel — it’s due on Thursday!
Unsurprisingly, I am looking at whatever I can to stay relevant in my job and improve my chances of more work now and in the future. There’s a few different routes I’m taking.
I just completed a TAFE course at the end of last year and got the certificate today. Known very generically as “Certificate III in Government (School Support Services) it was totally paid for by work, and while it seemed it would be quite boring at first it was actually pretty interesting, covering a wide range of professional duties within schools, and typical professional admin and organisational stuff. A good experience to work through, and hopefully a good qualification for the future.
More excitingly, after last month’s Google Apps summit several opportunities there have been made available. There’s something called being a “Google Certified Teacher” and the two-day course associated with that is on in Sydney in May. You have to be selected, so it’s a decent honour and qualification to get. There’s a short form to fill out, but the main thing is a one minute video. Fun
Actually, the video is an excellent challenge in itself and I’ll make it through showing my interactions with the Media Publication class at school. Most work I’ve ever done in a classroom, and hopefully another thing I can get into!
Best of all, I put in my application for the Westwords Writers Fellowship. Professional development of a whole different kind — writing mentorship, putting on workshops for kids in western Sydney, and even some money to help with my writing. Now that’s the prize right there!
I realised it’s my third work anniversary today. Three years to the day since I started working at Coonabarabran High School.
It’s the longest lasting full time job I’ve ever had. (Let that one sink in).
And I’m not bored at all. I don’t want “a change”. I don’t feel the need to leave any time soon. I guess that’s because I’ve made the job what I want it to be, for the most part, and regularly found new things to do to help the school and myself. Every day is an adventure.
It helps my family being so close to home and the boys school, having such good hours (when a 5:30pm finish is “late”) and working in school holidays is sometimes even better!
We all love to live in Coonabarabran, and we want the arrangement we have to stay like this for at least a while longer yet!
(Of course, as many will know, there are issues that affect my job category after the end of this year. I am confident (more confident that most), but I will have to do everything I can to prolong things, then wait and see. This is a positive post, and I won’t dwell on anything else!)
It might sound like a meaningless distinction, but I think it matters. Do you try to change everything in the world, or even everything in your field of expertise, or do you just change what is closest to you, what is manipulable by you, what is within your reach?
I see this a lot online — people see a problem, but all they want to really do is talk forever about it. Doesn’t matter the field, the action becomes talk, instead of action to change what they can change.
Yes, this relates to a specific area that is very important to me now, and no, I won’t go into anymore detail here
Secret? Well, I hope not!
I wrote 2000 words tonight…. An hour and a bit burst only. Very impressed with the effort
If I go quiet here for a reason I will be busy!
The middle day of a long weekend is supposed to be one where you don’t get much done, but I feel as if I made some use of it…
So much Twitter conversation today, which does feel productive most of the time. I made a small reply to US author Joe Hill about US gun laws that he retweeted to 164,000 followers, so that gave me a constant stream of retweets, follows and replies all day. I’m sure there are books that explain how to do these things to build followers and audience, but when you really do it effectively you do it completely by accident and without planning!
I made bagels tonight for the first time in several months (that’s what being away for six weeks, major surgery, and the Christmas period does for regular schedules). My flour bin was covered with, and full of ants, which is anger-inducing in this house and way too common. I’ve been happy enough with this house for so many reasons, but it’s trying my patience now! After clearing the bins (and realising there was a bag of sugar in there), the important bagel stuff was fine and the bagels went to order
There is an idea for my Youth Bytes novel… a way that I may keep the core story and characters, but completely rework it. It will probably take a few months at least, but I’ve made a start and am cautiously optimistic. Too late for some competitions, maybe just fine for some others, but the work is the important thing.
Is it a time-management problem? Or a motivation problem? Most of the time I think it’s very hard to say.
I have not been writing as much recently as I would ideally like. Coming off the year I had last year, that’s probably not particularly surprising. There was way too much going on at every possible level to get any real kind of good work out of myself.
But we are past that now. This is a new time. And I can feel the drive coming back — or at least re-focusing itself properly. This is good.
Honestly, I think if you spend the whole year planning for your son to have a kidney transplant (while getting several more operations on the way) and in fact being the donor yourself, you just don’t get much else done. Stephen King is a mad prolific bastard, but after he was hit by a car he didn’t write anything much for 12 months or more. I think we had a slow-motion crisis in which we knew what was going to happen for a year, and it took all our strength up leading to it.
But like I said, that time is past. There’s a bunch of serious opportunities this year, and my phobia of editing/revision just has to end. I’m getting into the work again now, and this is where is begins. Again.
(That’s enough of the personal motivation speeches… back to work!)