Tuesday, 17 November 2009

You know what...?

I think it's been a hard year.

It's late, and I should be in bed. I seem to be using report writing seasons to semi-annually update things here. If none of my 'friends' will interrupt me then, darn it, I'll just have to procrastinate myself...

One of the reasons I haven't posted much is because I haven't been very happy. That is to say, I haven't been categorically 'unhappy' as such, just not my usual bubbly self, and it's for a range of reasons I think.

The wedding, although wonderful and awesome and perfect and ended with me married to the right guy (as promised), was followed by something of a slump. Twelve months of talking about this massive party and then a week of honeymoon to find something else to say... well, it got a bit quiet afterward. And 13 years of going-out with someone actually doesn't prepare you for being married to them. But I think I'm finally getting my groove as a wife and becoming more and more delighted that he's my husband.

When school started this year I learned that a student of mine from last year had passed away over the holidays. It was completely unexpected, and I found out in an unexpected way. Her funeral, where I gave a eulogy and last talked with her mum, was hard and gave my first term (at the least) a grey stain that was hard to shake. She had just begun to figure out that she was going to be fine the way she was; that the way she was, was awesome and loved, and she was going to be pretty cool. Her Christmas card to me said "You taught me that I'm fine the way I am" I thought "Well, that's a success. I did ok there." So I was fairly miffed that I wouldn't get to see that particular kid from my first ever class grow up and be awesome.

And then it turns out that my second year hasn't been as easier as I'd hoped. I should have been more careful to extend my self-forgiveness all the way through my graduate years, not just the first one. Unfulfilled high expectations of myself have just left me frustrated and disappointed and, after a kick in the shins from the funeral, its been pretty grindy.

So my update is more a series of reasons for why I've not been updating.
I have, however, been reading lots of awesome blogs and wishing I'd been enthusiastic/time-rich enough to try cooking up an articulate contribution to these great discussions about sexism on the Footy show, league tables for schools, rape culture and misconceptions, bogus feminist spokespeople and a rainbow of other fantastic commentary that's probably gone unread by the wrong people.
I must say, I do try my best to keep an equalitist voice in my classroom. It's surprisingly hard, considering our school is so sports orientated and a few key male teachers in our school are rather 'blokey' - which has its pros and cons. The girls in my room are very good at maintaining feminist/equalitist points of view and voices, but the boys aren't so good and have been taking their cue form other poorly informed males. This is particularly apparent when the boys say something inflammatory (you know, some dopey joke about women drivers or something), clearly to get a rise out of the girls, and the girls can't explain why its so frustratingly infuriating. (I challenge feminist/equalitist to explain that response in one sentence... In the meantime, I'm am presenting an articulate, somewhat formidable, respectable and feminist to them for a year, so that's something.)
My main hurdle is that, although I'm good friends with these guys, now they're perpetually cautious around me with their stories and jokes (or purposefully not), yet they have no idea how undereducated they are about feminism or how sexist they are. Poor chaps. At least they were able to have a chuckle with me when I noted this:
Blokey humour has helped to boost its ratings, but Newman goes over the top when audiences appear to be dropping off. (HS, 17/11/09)

The HS suggests that Newman, a man educated in the old school system, apparently shouldn't bother to (or isn't able to) call on his morals or ethics to gauge the appropriateness of his behaviour, nor should anyone else try to mend the error of these ways: they should rely on ratings. Yes, it's the ratings that will tell you the true quality of a joke, and whether you've gone 'over the top'. Never mind if you've been pointing at the top for years.
Almost HS, but you have some Equal Opp. training to go yet.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Mrs WoozleWazzle

I got married. It was awesome. It was wonderful. I didn't cry - I was delighted. Everyone looked great. The venue looked great. He looked great and was very happy. Barely a single mishap. The honeymoon was really relaxing and too short. It was all divine.

I haven't changed my name, but I've noticed a lot of my students are now called me Mrs Woozlewazzle instead of Miss Woozlewazzle. Aaaw! Other things I have noticed:
  • My signature is much less necessary now that I'm Mr + wife
  • No one asks how long we've been together anymore.
I have many things to say about both matters but won't because I'm too busy.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

So this is what the future looks like...

For a few days now I've been thinking that I should be back on here updating something, but I assumed that no one was watching. And then I got this lovely comment from angry-man and though "Aaw. Someone cares."
I read back over that post and thought that I could very well be read as someone who support strip shows (sorry, did I mention the theme of that commented-upon-post?). Little things in my story - such as us dancing up the back of the venue, away from the function, during the end of the show - didn't indicate enough how much I'd disengaged from the whole thing. ...hmm.
No, I'm not okay with them. Well, I'm torn. I hate, hate, hate the idea of someone being objectified or valued for their appearance/gender above who they are, and I'm practically violent about people doing it to me. But I know that people do it to others and themselves (and encourage it in some cases) and I suspect that that practice will always be around. If people are informed and consenting, well, who am I to limit them?
They don't attract me. I won't promote them. I won't go to another, and I won't have such a thing for my Hen's/Kitchen tea. In fact I don't want any sex-related item anywhere near my pre-wedding celebrations. But what's done is done, and I went to my friend's Hen's night with the intention of helping make a happy time, regardless of what was organised for us. I don't think there much else I can say about this.

So, for the record, in case anyone's listening, here is a calmer, hopefully more articulate post than I have recently provided.

I finished my last semester in a much more organised and sensible fashion than Semester 1. I got my reports done with much more calm, although my frustration with the reporting program and the obscure curriculum elements hasn't changed too much. I didn't think I would cry when they all went off to high school but I did a little in the end - I did have an excellent collection of people. I found out I'll be at the same school and grade next year, which I'm taking as a compliment. Better still I'll have 24 students instead of 30! What will I do with myself?!
I've become a fully registered teacher and had an excellent interview with our Assistant Principals - which is part of the registration process. My mentor was awesome and I'm generally looking forward to next year, except I will miss these holidays (but for the heat).
Most of these holidays will be spent preparing for the school year and preparing for our wedding in April. Which is a very strange process...

This industry of weddings is fascinating, frustrating, wonderful, absurd and grotesque. I'm trying not to engage with it too much, because it will be behind me soon enough, and I don't want to spend my energy angsting over something this massively beyond little ol' me.

First. Getting the venue wasn't too hard, porbably a day or so of driving looking and talking, and it turned out that, when we figured out what we wanted, it existed.

Second. When you try on a wedding dress its all about YOU, which is hard to get used to. I have a conspiracy theory that if it looks like you're going to buy that dress, any spare employees of the store will gather nearby and reverentially say "Oh yes, oh that is beautiful on her. Won't she look lovely, Angela? Beautiful". When you sit in it - to check that you can sit in it - they bring a mirror so you can see what you look like when you sit in it.

Third, the celebrant. This was relatively smooth and I'm actually looking forward to this part of it - the talking, explaining, expressing the whys of it all. I'm expecting it will be confronting and I'm up for it.

And then. The rest if it. Besides the expense, it's the amazing performance of it. The cake, the flowers, the dresses, my dress, their suits, the music, the photos, the venue options, the colours you choose, the colour range you could choose, the shoes, the hair, the make-up, the stationery (oh my word its a massive part of it), the honeymoon, and everyone you're related to who has a stake in it... I'm just trying to keep it fun, and remember that the wedding is not as important as the marraige.

I've also been taking great pains to try and find a balance in the way I attend to things - not too big, not too much, something I like, that he can stand, that represents both of us, but it doesn't have to be our soul, it can just be nice.
Ironically, this is almost the opposite of what my partner thinks I've been doing, which is a massive amount of research and exploration, in his opinion. But I'm ok with that because it's the way I work - I like to read up and learn a lot (immerse, you might say) and after a while what I want/like/need rises to the top. On the other hand, I want most of this done, tied, wrapped and going by the time we start Term 1, which gives me this week and next week, basically. So yeah, I'm going hammer and tongs.

I'm also deciding what to do about my last name, partly due to this very interesting debate in Blue Milk's household. Fiance says it didn't occur to him that I would change my name: He is officially not fussed about it. Which is comforting because, as much as I'm looking forward to being married, I don't particularly want to change my name. I'm quite attached to mine. And all the tradition, implications of it, are skewed. He's becoming a part of my family as much as I will be a part of his. There's no dowry, no glory box (no puns), no 'white wedding' criteria, and I moved out of home a long time ago... So the justificatoin for me changing my name, well it seems unfair and nonsensical. People ask us what our kids will do when they marry with their already hyphenated name, but at this stage I'm thinking "I don't mind - they'll be adults, they can do as they please, just as I have". I can wait, I suppose, to see if I want to have my maiden name as my professional name and his name when I'm a parent, but it still seems to miss the point... and then someone was all, "well why don't you take your mum's mum's mum's (etc) maiden name? Where woudl it end?" I think I answered with a "I'm going to make a name surname for us both - a blend of the two!" (There must common somewhere.) The main problem is how we'll be announced at the reception. I think we'll just go with first names.