The small things. Plus a plea for your help! :)

I’m still knee-deep in corrections before the end of term. It seems that as soon as I mark a class’s essays or tests and hand them back to the kids, then another lot of essays gets written and handed in. It’s a never-ending task. I don’t mind the creative/personal reflective pieces so much, but I have 28 kids in each of my year 9 classes. That’s a lot of formal text response essays about ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ that I have to wade through before I leave for my holidays.

It’s these sorts of things that make FIRE seem very attractive.

But then I have a day like yesterday. It was a sparkling autumn day in Melbourne and I jumped on the train with my year 12 Theatre Studies class and we went to the city to see the best of last year’s cohort perform their monologues.

The performance was at the Arts Centre, which is just on the other side of the Yarra River. We arrived at the station, I gave them 45 minutes to grab some lunch and to meet me down by the river, and they set off. When we all met back up, food in hand, we sat by the river and talked, sang songs, (well, they ARE Theatre kids!) and we got to know each other a little better. I’ve taught most of them for English or Drama when they were younger, but the relationship you have with year 12s is a lot different to when they are in the junior forms.

When we had half an hour to go, we wandered across the road to the Arts Centre and settled in. This year’s monologues were fantastic and we all had a great time watching them. Some of my kids saw kids from other schools that they knew, which was nice, including one fairly good-looking boy that apparently one of my girls has had a mad crush on for ages. She turned tomato-red when she realised I’d overheard what she was saying. The other kids cackled like loons.

We all caught the same train carriage back and I sat amongst them and we “did chatting”, as Christopher from ‘Curious Incident’ would say. As the train pulled in to our station nearly all of them got off, calling out, “See you tomorrow, Ms Frogdancer!” and “Seeya, Miss!” One girl still had another 2 stations before her stop so we talked about the performances, then she got off and I was able to pull out my headphones and settle back into my podcast. I’m listening to a true-crime podcast called ‘Casefile’ and I was half-way through the episode about a woman called Katherine Knight from New South Wales. What a nut job. By the time the train reached my station the podcast was finished and I was traumatised by all I’d heard.

Ryan22 cooked dinner, I sat on the couch with the dogs and some shiraz and watched the latest episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ before collapsing into bed.

All in all it was a good day.

Days like yesterday are a timely reminder that you have to enjoy the journey, instead of gritting your teeth and running pell-mell towards the finish line to the exclusion of all else. I learned a long time ago that life is much happier if you stop and notice the little things that make you smile. Yes, I know reaching the big goals is a wonderful thing – but they don’t come along very often. Whereas the little things are around us every day.

For me, teaching is a great job because kids make me laugh every single day. Teenagers are hilarious and they don’t seem to get enough credit for that. My dogs are wonderful. My kids are ok. (LOL) Every day is a good day when you notice the small stuff.

***

Long term readers of my very short-term (so far) blog would remember the post I did on educating my boys and nieces about compound interest at Christmas time. Soon after I wrote it I entered it into a blog tournament run by Rockstar Finance. So far it’s done very well… we’re now in round 5.

However, voting is really tight this time and I’m getting nervous. In the first round of the competition I was up against one of the biggest bloggers in the FIRE world. There’s no way I thought I would get past her… but I did. (OMG) Since then, as round after round has happened and my post about kids, compound interest and superannuation kept winning, I started to wonder. Could my post actually do it?? To be honest, I’d love it if a female Aussie blogger in her 50’s managed to take it out. Plus my slightly competitive streak has kicked in…

Please go and have a look at the contest. I’m in Game 2, voting keyword ‘Mistake’.

Grab a shiraz or a cuppa, depending on which time of the day you’re in, and have a read through the entries. Hopefully, you’ll prefer mine and will toss a vote my way.

Here’s the link.

Thanks.   (EDITED TO ADD: My blog post lives to fight another day! Only 2 rounds to go. Does that mean I just won a quarter final?)

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