Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Coming up for air


Prac is over, and I'm currently on a two-week "study break", which largely means that I'm either writing assignments or doing extra shifts at work because I need the money. "Break" doesn't really feature all that much.

Prac was horrible. Well . . . I loved the teaching, and I passed, but both my teacher and my supervisor made it explicitly clear that they don't believe in graduate diplomas, think the course should be scrapped, and don't think any grad dip student can ever be good enough, especially when compared with the "wonderful" fourth-year BEd students. I nearly killed myself coming up with interesting and innovative programmes and keeping up with the paperwork, and all I got was "satisfactory" for everything on my report, even though my teacher was effusive about many of my lessons at the time when I taught them.

I’m angry and frustrated and sad and annoyed, but there’s nothing I can do, and it won’t matter a damn in the long run – the education department contract is valid as long as I passed my prac, and after a year in the classroom it really won’t matter at all.

But it hasn’t helped my confidence any, and I spent most of the long weekend (ie last weekend) wondering whether I was actually unemployable since I apparently keep stuffing up professional work situations. I think I’m not. But . . . I don’t know. Oh well, I can always do what everyone keeps saying, and find & marry a nice farmer :-D SAHM ftw!

(. . . er. That little burst of abbreviations translates to “stay at home mothering for the win” . . .)

Yesterday I took a break from everything – assignments, work, too many damn people in this house – and drove out into the Wheatbelt region east of Perth, which is where I’ll be teaching next year. I did a big loop and briefly visited (or did a drive-by viewing of) the towns of Bakers Hill, Northam, Meckering, Goomalling, Wongan Hills, Calingiri, Bolgart and Toodyay, which are eight out of the 35 towns I may be sent to next year (there’s 38 schools in those 35 towns – Northam has 3 schools and Merredin 2, the others all just one). None of those I visited are more than two hours’ drive from my parents’ house. It was a very pleasant day, and the scenery was lovely – green fields of wheat and lupins (it’s Spring here), spectacular wildflowers on the verges and around the creeks and gullies, and some striking rock formations.

Between Wongan Hills and Calingiri I stopped at Lake Ninan, a large inland salt lake from which the Mortlock River flows. Here’s some photos . . .

Several of the lake. The hills in the background are the Wongan Hills. In the local Aboriginal language (I think it’s still Noongar out there, but don’t quote me), they were known as Wongan Katta – Wongan meaning “whispering” and katta meaning “hills”. So, the Whispering Hills. I like that!

Salt crystals around the shore of the lake. When I was taking these, the glare off the sand and the salt was so bright that I could barely see the screen of my camera, even with a hat and sunglasses on, so I had to kind of guess that they were coming out!

I liked Wongan Hills the best of all the towns I visited, although Goomalling came in a close second for atmosphere even though it’s smaller than I’d like. I don’t like Northam (it’s too big and has too many social problems), Toodyay alright but the school is large and it has some of the difficulties of Northam, Bakers Hill is so close to the metro area that I might not get housing, and Calingiri, Bolgart and Meckering are just so small – Meckering’s school only has 30 pupils! Still, I’ll go where I’m sent, and I’m sure I’ll be fine wherever I go. I still don’t love the Wheatbelt landscape as much as the forests of the South West, but from what I saw yesterday, it’s not unlovable.


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