In the blink of an eye an entire 4 months has passed since I arrived here, and it’s now been more than five months since #jongmasjourney began! In the last 6 weeks since I last posted (sorry for the wait) I’ve been flat out working! This post will attempt to impart details of my work life and some general thoughts about my time here!
Each week on paper looks exactly the same, although as you will come to see it is nothing but. I get Mondays off, which provides a brilliant emotional contrast to the rest of my colleagues at brekky. After a general catch up over porridge I head down to the CLC pool for a few laps and mental clarity. Then it’s a short walk to a massive Tesco for supplies, I generally like the opportunity to cook for myself once a week. Even though it is nowhere near as good a Grandma’s roast or Mum’s spag bol it’s a welcome change from the kitchen’s food. Lunch passes and the FIFA club leave the house before I play a bit of Ukulele and head to the gym and pool. On Monday evenings it is best to sleep early so as to avoid the boys wanting tuck and preparing for the week ahead.
BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP is the battle cry the next and every morning at 6:25. Tuesday morning to Saturday night has never been consistent; my options are to be in the classroom, on the hockey pitch, lifeguarding at the pool, doing office admin, or off on a trip to some distant place in the midst of the motherland! It’s almost as if the boss rolls a dice to choose what I’ll be up to!
Regardless of my plans for the day there is however one consistency… Wake up feat. Year 8… The standard ukulele and irregular trombone will often be heard at 7AM followed by the groans of a year group as the cosy furnace of doonas cling to their captives. I don’t think I am well liked during the 30 minute struggle to get them ready.
By the time Saturday arvo swings in the boys are still bouncing off walls (no joke) so we have two choices. Either stick them in front of a computer, or send them outside. Thanks to the slowly warming weather, and while it still does not go above 10 degrees, a bit of football on the field next to the house is a brilliant time before tea. Most evenings during the week after 6PM I’m off so I can head to the pool to release any stress from a long day. Saturday night means one of two things, an early bedtime before a 8AM-10PM workday, or a night out before a 8AM-10AM workday. This is a time when the 13 resident young people attempt to pull together some sort of social event..
My biggest fear of this trip was that I’d not fit in to the school, and other than a few frightening teachers that load me up with photocopying the staff community here is brilliant. In house I work with some really great people. The housemaster, Jon (my boss) is the proven strongest link in the chain. He is our final card in discipline and knows exactly how to manage young blokes- with food. I’m still not sure what exactly convinced Mr Harris and his family to move into a job where he has to live with 3 uni aged kids and 30 kids under 13 but full credit to his wife for allowing him to follow his passion. On the top floor lives the other house tutor George, the gym crazed 5 meals a day, no rubbish bloke. He is the wealth of wisdom in not taking an inch from the kids and has managed to also help me out as I’ve learned the ropes this term. George is older than me by the same distance I am older than the kids so having another guy around with a bit of exp on them has been particularly beneficial. On the floor above me is the Queen of Cakes Olivia, the matron who has in 3 short months gone from a deluded New Zealand lover to sneaking my vegemite at breakfast. Another girl that knows rugby and cricket better than I do… The house has a non-resident matron, Ellen who is the most down to Earth woman you could ever meet, and a quality banter provider after a long day of work. Other staff members will come in a few times a week when resident staff get time off. Mike, who is a forever smiling maths teacher. Rusty, a great laugh around the house, and Suthers, the head of sport and a strong threat on the football pitch as well as for discipline.
Outside Caldecote House there are 10 others that fall under the term ‘gappies’ who may feature in a later post, but for now I’ll tell you that it’s been plenty of awesome times with them.
Sometime in the next week I will detail my Easter events, but for now, and as Grandma’s friend Laurie always says…
“Love all around”