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Thursday, October 18, 2007

So many different things going on in our lives at the moment.

My maternal grandmother died last week. She'd been getting progressively frailer over the past couple of years, had lost her sight, was often disoriented, and was in a lot of pain, so her death was more of a release than a loss. My parents flew back to South Africa to organise the funeral and deal with her house and all her possessions...it's been a very sad and stressful time for them. My mom phoned last night to let me know how everything was going, and said they'd cleared the house out, set some stuff aside and given everything else to charity. As she told me that, I suddenly felt immensely sad, because I had a vivid memory flash of my grandfather (who died in 2001) telling my ten-year-old self that the picture that hung in their hallway (a portrait of an African woman done in pastels, which for some reason I really liked) would one day be mine. And now that picture must be sitting in some charity shop somewhere. No point in mentioning it to my mom, certainly not at this stage…And then my mom went on to tell me that when they were packing everything up, they came across a picture (that picture!) with a note written on the back by my grandfather, saying that the picture was for me. I am so touched, that he remembered. And so happy to think that, one of these days, when it arrives, that picture, that ten year old me loved so much, will hang in our house here in England.

The other big thing is that I have a new job. At the moment, I teach Psychology for 8 periods a week, and do one-to-one work with students who're struggling for the rest of the time. After half-term, though (ie the Monday after this coming one!) I'll be teaching Psychology full-time here at college. When I first heard that the position would be advertised, I was very ambivalent about applying for it. I wanted to do it ... but on the other hand, I also really like my current job. And the new one is going to be a lot more work for a tiny bit more money. Plus, I thought there was a good chance I wouldn't get it, since I don't yet have a formal teaching qualification. And - my work environment being what it is - word gets around so fast that if I applied and didn't get it, everyone would know within seconds, and feel sorry for me, and that would be humiliating. But (after a pep talk from a friend at work), I decided that fear of embarrassment was a stupid reason not to go for it, so I endured the interview process. I felt like an idiot, because it was one of those interview situations where they gather all the candidates together, give them a presentation and a guided tour before doing the actual interview, so, even though I've worked there for a year, I had to wear the little name badge and jump through the hoops along with everyone else. The interview itself went really well. They liked the lesson plan (we'd had to bring a lesson plan and all the necessary resources along with us), and the questions were all pretty straightforward. So, I got the job! And I'm really pleased that the candidate who I really clicked with during the preliminary process got the other,part-time, position. She seems lovely, very gentle and empathic and into all things natural, so I think we'll work really well together. I have lots to organise during this coming week, but I'm looking forward to the new term. Should be good. Stressful, but good.

Tonight - Sophie's parents' evening, followed by a spot of tiling. We have one month to go before the loft needs to be completed; it's not looking terribly hopeful right now.

7 comments:

Jo said...

first of all ((((((hugs)))) about your grandmother :(
that picture is going to be a wonderful family heirloom and has such a wonderful story to go with it. i hope you can post a picture of it, i would love to see it.

secondly, congrats on the new job! how wonderful! they must have thought very highly of you! nice boost to the self-esteem :-)

why does the loft need to be done next month? is their a deadline for a reason or is it self-imposed?

Jane_hates_Dick said...

I am so sorry about your grandmother. (((gentle hug))) I loved the story of the picture. Will you post a picture of it when it arrives?

Anonymous said...

I am sorry for your family's loss. How wonderful that your grandfather remembered to mark the photo for you!

That is awesome about the job - you should be SO proud. I love that you went for it! You are an inspiration!

biz

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry about your grandmother but that is how I felt about my grandfather...he was in so much pain that it too was a relief when he let go. The story about the painting is amazing...I think I too will make a point of doing something like this if I see anyone admire something of mine...what a neat thing to be able to do after one's death.

Congrats on the job; I think you'll do wonderfully.

Angela

chris said...

I am so sorry for your loss :-(

I love that you are going to be getting the picture that you loved.

Maddy said...

Oh how touching that your Grandfather wrote on the picture, that makes it even more special for you. I am sure, as you said, that your Grandmother is in a better place.

Congratulations on the new job, it sounds very interesting, I've had a fascination with psychology for years now. One of my best friends is a psychologist and works in a school, head of department if you don't mind. Good Luck x

madre-terra said...

Sorry to hear about your Grandmum ((((warm fuzzy hug))))
Love the story about the picture and think that it's a great idea for you to post a picture of it when you get it.
This summer Xan got a box from her grandmother that my sister-in-law put together for her. Miraculously, there was in the box a package with Xan's name on it (in her grandmother's handwriting). It was a set of glass holders for shrimp cocktail that had belonged to Xan's great grandmother. It was just the coolest gift ever.
So enjoy your picture and relish in the loving gift.