January?!

I was going to fill this entry with loads of ranty stuff because recently it seems that on here that is the direction that most of my posts are heading, but I deleted it and thought let’s try a different tact.

I will be honest and admit it has left me at a loss…I have sat here for the past half an hour writing out beginning sentences and then deleting them, most of them start getting negative pretty quicky…why is this?

I don’t know what it says about me but I do worry about the fact that I find it easier to conjure up a negative thought quicker than I can a positive one. I think it has something to do with how to make it through certain parts of your life, I am currently working hard on getting my career where I want it to be as well as saving with my fiance for a house so I’m not really ‘at’ a particular stage in my life. I think that it’s easier to be critical and negative while working towards something because you are prepared to get yourself back up and dust yourself off if you fall because one part doesn’t quite work out.

What I think I need to establish though is a sense of equilibrium, although it is important to be realistic about situations I may find myself in and all possible outcomes, I still need to have enough positivity and drive to get me to those places in the first place. I am sorry if this is getting too deep and meaningful for some of you but I have to be honest and say that I really do just use this blog sometimes as a stream of consciousness. I literally start typing and see what I come up with, I also know that not many of you read this, but somehow it makes me feel better knowing that someone somewhere just might read it and think something…

I am not an inherently negative person, in fact I am usually the opposite, but what does happen from time to time is that I will find myself in a rut, now these can vary from emotional ruts to work related or even simply mental blocks. All of them affect me in different ways but it all leads to me relying on the same old negative emotion.

How do I get myself out of this rut guys?! I have booked an awesome hol (which I have previously harped on about in another entry. I am disgusted with myself….) but I am not sure if that’s enough. I am slowly moving forward, I passed my QTS literacy skills test today which is one more step closer to becoming the qualified version of what I already am! I also have started looking at buying a house with my fiance and we have in mind what we are looking for so on that front I think we are at least moving in the right direction. But I just cant quit that sense of urgency, that it’s still not enough…for example I have yet to pass my driving test.

No, that’s not a joke, I am nearly 27 and I still don’t own my own car, what is wrong with me? I am meant to be an adult now and make all these adult decisions but I still think that I am 18 in my head! I always thought it would all just click, you would just get to a certain age and you would do whatever the next logical step would be…I have friends who have 6-year-old children!! Most of my friends are either married or pregnant…is it weird that I still don’t feel even remotely ready for that?? Why am I weird?!?

As you can see from the fragmented structure of my writing and the lack of coherency I genuinely struggle with adulthood, I have things in my life that are good and working well but I’ll be fucked if I think I have it worked out, because I genuinely don’t. I still want to sit in and watch crappy tv at the weekends, I still like going to the cinema with my friends and not having to worry about anything other than what film I am going to see, I can deal with those decisions, they don’t bring me out in hives.

When I went for my QTS skills test at the weekend I panicked and faffed, simply because I knew that this test was important, it would help me move onto another stage of my career. I only passed my maths GCSE in August of last year, 5 bloody times I had to take it! I am so bad at maths its untrue (no. honestly, you lose me after the number 10) but I stressed and cried and battled until I finally passed. I now have to pass another bloody maths test (the QTS numeracy test) in order to get onto a training course, I will (undoubtedly) cry and struggle as I always do but I will keep working my arse off to pass it. But it matters, that’s why I get so pent-up about these things…they matter.

RARRRRRRR!!! I told you I would get all serious and shit!! I cannot help myself can I?!

Anyways, I apologise about this schizophrenic entry but please, if there is anything that you can make sense of or anything you can relate to please feel free to comment.

 

Until the next time,

 

Muchos Gracias

happy middle-bit of christmas!!

Hello all,

to say ‘its been a while’ probably doesnt quite cover it so I will just ask how you’ve all been and just get to the nitty gritty…now as I am sure you could tell from my last post I was pretty angry about the English GCSE fiasco that the British exam boards had been responsible for, it was the first time that I genuinely felt dissillusioned about the career path that I had decided to follow.

I cant say I’m particularly chuffed with the British government’s attitudes towards education in general at the moment so it would be unfair of me to just whinge from an English teacher standpoint.. all of (us) teachers are getting the same crappy deal at the moment. All of the shortcomings in terms of employability of young people, university places, youth crime…you name it, is being blamed on us. It’s apparently the fault of teachers that students are not coming out with top end grades and all singing all dancing qualifications. I completely agree that our education system could do with a bit of re-working and I am all for tougher training for teachers, but I do find it genuinely unfair to blame teachers for something that has obviously happened over time, I think it’s far too easy to point the finger and say ‘teachers are failing our students’, what about the government targets that the schools have to rigorously work towards? What about the constantly changing goalposts of the exam boards in terms of what they expect from student achievement and teacher marking? What about the ever-increasing pressure that teachers themselves put under by meeting grade targets as well as showing significant progress throughout the student’s time in education. The list. is. endless…

I’m sorry to make it all doom and gloom guys but I’m not somebody that teaches because I enjoy the perks of the holidays, I chose this career because I love what I do. Working with kids is the most challenging and rewarding thing that I could ever do, the highs greatly outweigh the lows so as much as I have problems with how teachers and those who work in education at the moment are treated, I wont let that detract from what can be a really fulfilling career. Teaching is the tits….

Anyways lets move onto more positive stuff, I havent even had the chance to mention that I HAVE BOOKED A HOLIDAY!! now to most (if not all of you) this will not appear to be anything out of the ordinary, I mean, we all book holidays don’t we?! But what does make this a particularly awesome piece of information is WHERE I plan to go…I will be visiting the USA!!!

I am so incredibly excited about this trip, it is just me and my best friend travelling over, we are travelling to California and will be staying in San Francisco, Las Vegas and Palm Springs…and at the end of the holiday I will be going to COACHELLA FESTIVAL!! AAAAAGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!

I really do apologise for the all the capitals, but I have had a busy few months and now that christmas is over I need something new to look forward to!! They havent officially even named the lineup yet but some of the reported artists sound amazing; daft punk, no doubt, rolling stones, alt-j, lwhat ocal natives, passion pit, bloc party…ugh, I could just go on forever! I am such a music junkie that the thought of watching some of my favourite bands at what is meant to be one of the biggest and best music festivals in the world is just awesome. Do not get me wrong, I love the British festival scene, Reading and Leeds and Latitude festival are up there with some of the best, they are well established and epic events I have been lucky to attend. But I highly doubt that the opportunity will ever arise for me again to attend this festival, I’m 26 and will be 27 this year, its weird…I’m nearly 30 and I need to be thinking all the adult things I have yet to do like…Own my own house and have children, yes…in the next couple of years me and my fiance plan to have children. But at present the thought just fills me with dread, I just keep thinking about how I hardly feel able to look after myself let alone a child!

I think my next post is going to be my dream lineup for Coachella festival as well as a list of bands/artists that I have been following over the past few months, you never know there may be at least one or two in there that you have never heard of :)

Anyways, I hope you are enjoying that weird inbeweeny part of Christmas that we find ourselves in at the moment. It’s almost as if time ceases to exist in this week, I dont know why it is but nobody really seems to have any clue of what day it is or what time it is…like the twilight zone. Meh…

If I dont post before I wish you all an amazing new year! :)

Ciao

Shona-Marie(ka)

 

xx

 

 

negativity+criticism=???

I have just ranted about this on twitter, but I still felt anger running through my veins (yes it is overdramatic but who really cares?!) I will just give you a heads up if you don’t really understand what I’m harping on about..

I am a member of this really cool social teaching network called Times Education supplement, the website is awesome. It allows teachers to go talk to each other about pretty much anything to do with teaching as well as being able to post and share resources.

I’m not going to lie…TES has helped me out A LOT over the past three years, I don’t necessarily just copy the resources, but sometimes they are offer a great starting point when you are struggling to come up with ideas. As I mentioned, I have frequently used the site to help me when I’m stuck. I always leave feedback for those that are kind enough to share their resources with us, I figure it’s the least I could do.

Last year I decided that I too should start to share some of my more successful work with others in the hope that if there is another person who is stumped (as I have been on many occasions) the resource would aim as a starting point for others to develop ideas. So, since last April I have uploaded 6 resources and I am pleased to say that they have been used by others and most of the feedback has been from teachers, just like me; saying “thanks so much! this has been so useful!” and I am genuinely pleased that I have been able to offer even a little bit back of what I received from the site.

When I logged on today, I found that I had received a new comment, I had a look to see what it was; needless to say my jaw hit the floor. Some teacher known as ‘karendean19′ had given my resource 3 stars out of 5…that wasnt the odd bit. She decided to rant about the fact that I had put two apostrophes in the wrong place ‘it’s’ and ‘its’, now, I’m an English teacher so I fully understand that these kinds of things from the likes of me are not good. Fair point, but she then decided to use CAPITALS to tell me how I was an embarrassment to the profession and that I am failing my students!! Now normally I would laugh or just send back two words (we know what those words are don’t we?), but this is a site for teachers to support and help each other. Not only this, but I am sure you’ve all been watching the GCSE fiasco unfold this year, I wont lie to you…being in an English department this year has not always been the most fun.

So, although I will accept criticism where it’s due, I did feel that the comment about me being an ‘embarrassment’ and ‘failing’ was a bit on the strong side, so do you know what I did? I sent the lovely ‘karendean19′ an private message, here is what it said:

Hi Karen,

 I am really sorry that you found my power point so offensive, it was created quickly and you are right, I should have taken the time to check grammar. But just a word of advice, teaching English has never been more difficult than it has been this year, and although I gratefully appreciate any criticism or feedback, I would like to think that teachers have better things to do with time than offer negative criticism to their peers without even a hint of constructive advice.

Before you send back some negative argument telling me to ‘expect’ criticism if I make errors (let’s be honest, you’re probably seething at the audacity of me to send you this message) .Just bear in mind that the whole point of this site is to share resources and help out fellow teachers.  I sincerely hope that you are kinder to your students.

But yeah…thanks all the same for the advice, I will be sure to check all of my resources for grammar usage, wouldn’t want all my students failing life because of my atrocious use of punctuation now, would I?!

I could have ignored it, I could have told her where to go…I could have even complained about her comment, but I feel that my points are valid. Life is hard enough for teachers without turning on each other, or at least being malicious without purpose. I’m not saying that for one moment that it is ok to make such careless errors in the work that is presented to students,  I have taken off the offending resource and amended. But all it would have taken is a simple comment.

I also accept that with the publication of work I am leaving myself open to criticism but I believe that criticism is fine, when it has a purpose…teachers are already getting a crappy rep at the moment, it’s really disappointing to think that there are people within the profession who think this is the right way to communicate with each other.

If you have a different opinion or (dis)agree with my comments, please feel free to share your thoughts :)

 

Peace out

xo

An open letter to Michael Gove…

Mr Gove,

I am an Englsh mentor, my job is to work with the students who are seen as being on the C/D borderline. I have had the same role for three years, I have been lucky enough to watch many of my students go on to bigger and better things. But what I witnessed on Thursday is something that I will never forget…

The Government has forced exam boards to consistently change the boundaries for different types of assesment, the latest being the GCSE examinations that our students have just received the results of. We were told on arrival at the school on results day that AQA (the English exam board we use) had moved the marking boundaries by up to ten marks on different sections, this was simply because the exam boards were told that there were too many students receiving C grades.

Now it’s very easy for the exam boards in their meetings to make these decisions and enforce them…they dont have to deal with the implications of their actions, we do.

Us.

The Teachers…

The ones that they try and blame for the ‘bad grades’.

The ones the media turn on for the ‘unprecidented slump’ in results.

The ones that the students and parents demand answers from.

The ones that witness first hand the horror etched on the faces of the students.

The ones that have to watch the devastation when students realise that they havent got the grades they need.

The ones expected to accept failure.

The ones that have to try and pick up the pieces of school’s reputation and move forward.

The ones who have given up our time, energy and passion to try and instill a vital message into these kids…that if you work hard, you can achieve…

I feel like a fraud.

I feel like all the times I sat there with students, giving up my break times and lunch times and after schools, getting these kids to give their all to meet their potential.

It was all a giant waste of time…

I had one student who I have worked with tirelessly with for the past 3 years come up to me in tears, he threw his results at me and uttered the words “I’m so thick, I’m so fucking thick”… This is a child who has learning difficulties who had perservered over the past year and a half to produce B grade controlled assessment in English Literature.

This involved him spending nights after school with myself going through essay writing skills, spelling tests, creating revision timetables, times where he would sit and talk about his struggles in his home life. I was one of many teachers who did this for one of many students.

I wasnt just his teacher, I was his support network, his mentor.Just like millions and millions of teachers out there, the learning was never just in the lesson. It always went beyond that, that’s why results day is far from being about statictics. There is a human face behind every C or D you deem fit to issue, you are playing with the futures of students like mine.

I guarantee my story mirrors that of any teacher in the UK.

I told him that all he had to do was work hard.

Do you have any idea what you have done? Have you even considered the human impact of the decisions that you make in your meetings? What do you expect us to say to these kids?

I’m not angry about the pressure they put on us as teachers, after all we are paid to do this. The students we teach however, are not.

So why are they being punished?

This isnt an eloquent post, a lot of it is badly structured and the choice of vocabulary is awful. But the message is still there.

I’ve seen the faces of those ‘C’s and ‘D’s, I held the hand of a ‘D’ who was told she might have to re-take all her core GCSE subjects. I spoke to ‘E’s mum to try and re-assure her that we were doing everything we could as a school to find answers.

I am so dissillusioned…I do my job for the students, for the chance at helping them become something. But on Thursday I felt as though I had a hand in destroying their futures, I felt like I hadnt done my job properly.

I managed to get my student to talk to his 6th form college and they have said that he will still have a place…so there was good news.

But I still feel like I’ve failed him, he trusted me and the advice I gave him. That if he worked hard enough he could achieve…

Thanks so much for making me a liar…

For those of you that read this, it was an emotional outpouring, I apologise for any spelling or grammatical errors and I am sure that many of you out there have written more in depth and insightful responses to what we have been witness to.

I want to cuss a fair bit so I’m writing on my blog instead…

Hello everyone,

Its always sparodic when I write on this darn thing but it does kind of feel quite theraputic whenever I do it. So, here I am…I have managed to get myself slightly annoyed (it coincides with a particular time of the month, y’know) about things that normally would have completely washed over me.

Where do I start? It’s all to do with social groups and the hierarchies within them, I have always tried to stay away from these as a rule as I absolutely detest any form of forceful social dominance, I have also been lucky with the people I have surrounded myself by never to have this as an overriding problem. Ofcourse you are always going to get bouts of it, certain friends looking to fit particular roles within any social group but as I mentioned I have seemingly always been quite lucky on that front. To be honest it’s not even a giant problem now but I have found myself thrown into something that has nothing to do with me. Its a tale thats as old as the day is long but it doesnt stop it from becoming slightly tedius and boring…it’s the usual “he said, she said” crap.

The jist is this, there is some shit that’s gone down between two of my friends that no longer speak, fair enough…but when you are part of a group of friends this can become an issue. One of them is my best friend and the other is also a very close friend, I have done absolutely everything in my power to stay out of it.Before you ask, we tried everything…telling them that life was too short that it would only cause problems within our group but to be honest both said that they would rather keep away from each other. Both of them were perfectly within their rights to say this, but it doesnt make it any easier on the rest of us!

I didnt take sides, I didnt slag either side off…I just tried my best to stay neutral. The whole fall out between the 2 friends is messy and painful and it’s a real tragedy to see 2 people who genuinely loved each other go to being swarn enemies. I’m 26 people…this shit apparently still happens A LOT.

Sorry sorry I digress, anyways 2 swarn enemies who are still both my friends, Whats the worst that could happen? (yeah Dr Pepper…I went there). Well, believe it or not for months things were fine, a bit awkward but fine; I obviously saw them separately but as with situations like this that unfold one would always want the lowdown on the other. I did my best to avoid this, it’s impossible not to mention one to the other at all as they are both important people so I would always see a lot of both of them (I realise Ive overused the word both but seriously people…Im mid rant).

Anyways…the dramas of past fall outs kept re-surfacing for a particular friend and she felt (quite rightly) tired of the whole “saga” (her words not mine) little did I know but my name had suddenly been pulled out of the hat as someone who has “added” drama or in lamans terms, I was labelled as a shitty friend by one of the two friends. Now this came like a bolt out of the blue for me, I had no idea what this apparent thing I had done was and when I tried to question it I was told not to bother. Now this friend had every right to be annoyed, I would have been if I’d have heard her name mentioned and the roles were reversed but my problem is that I have done everything in my power to be loyal to BOTH. Does this mean that this kind of situation was inevitable? Would I have to pledge allegiance to one over another? I never ever wanted that..

What’s more is when you see that someone you care for is genuinely hurting you want to do everything in your power to stop that dont you? Isnt that what friends are meant to do? STOP you from feeling pain? Now the apparent pain that I caused this friend is something that I wholeheartedly know I didnt cause, but it doesnt stop me from wanting to fix it. I have tried to reason with this friend but she still paints me as the bad guy. Now before I get all the “she’s obviously not worth it” stuff I know full well that she can be. The thing I am supposed to have done isnt life threatening, it was someone throwing my name into the mix to cause extra drama, it was apparently from the other friend. My best friend.

Now I could spend forever going back and forwards trying to clear up the confusion but my overriding feeling is that really these kind of things are not important in the grand scheme of things. In the past 12 months I have had worries about jobs, family member’s health, deaths of loved ones…all the things everyone deals with on a day to day basis and those two friends have been an important support structure for me. I would like to hope that if we moved past all the “he said she said” dramas that it would just come down to the basic.

.”.you are my friend. You annoy the hell out of me sometimes, but when all is said and done- if you needed me I would be there in a heartbeat”.

But this is the sad truth, friendship is a commodity. It can be bought and sold depending on differing ideals or even life choices, the person who I am close to at work may well not be the person I am close to when I am a parent. Life constantly changes and we have no choice but to roll with it, I have always firmly believed that the best friends that I have had for the past 9-10 years will be the ones that I have with me for the rest of my life, but now I’m not so sure…

There are the odd individuals who I will never lose, the ones who you make the effort with, the ones who live miles away but feel close when you speak, those who you can go weeks and months without seeing but when you finally do see them, feels like only yesterday. I’m genuinely lucky…the majority of my friendship group are amazing. I would be lost without them.

But the friendships that are fractured and broken are still there, I will never write these friendships off. However the individuals may feel…I know that I am a good friend, yeah maybe not perfect…but I’m honest, fiercely protectlive, supportive…I think I’m not that bad :)

A friend once told me “dont look at the bigger picture, look at what’s right in front of you” Im sorry but I dont see why having a miopic view on life will help me at all. We have always been told that life is too short and I for one couldnt agree more with this statement. I have decided that rather than trying to change the things that I cannot control I will try and better myself, after all…thats the only thing that is truly mine :)

I appreciate that none of you really care about my sad tales of broken friendships but I think there will be loads of you out there who may be (or have) experienced something similar, if you have please feel free to share your stories!

Thankyou and Goodnight…

Shona

xo

and so we begin again…

hello ya’ll

I am currently typing out my frustration after arguing with my boyfriend….aaaaaggggghhhh dont men just really piss you off?! I mean REALLY freaking wind you up the wrong way?? and I am trying my best to de-stress. If Im honest I would really just like to punch him square in the face but instead I am sitting in the same room hammering down each key as I press on HIS laptop. Well. Its making me feel better :)

Anyways, after my moan I thought that I best try talking about some new things, I have spent a fair bit of time away from here of late simply because I have had so much work to do!! but it’s funny how losing your temper can get you to think from a different perspective! So?? its Jan again and I am sure that there are millions of people out there that have been or will be strying desperatley to stick to whatever new years resolutions that they have come up with, I have decided not to make any this year,  not to be pessimistic and say because I will  break them but simply that if I choose to set myself a target I think I should also be able to choose when I start the decision! I am being this obstinate simply because I am tired and angry…Im pretty sure that if I sleep on it I may feel differently :)

On another note, I feel I have to share my latest (well…this is a lie…its been going on for well over a year) addiction. Now, I watch a fair few shows but to be honest with you more often than not I will watch them for a couple of seasons and then give up on them. But this latest programme that I have taken to has been something that I obsess over…not in a weird teenage way but more a…keep the cliffhangers and the twists coming sort of way. Its not as mental as lost (though the dude that I find attractive was in Lost as well as this show I currently watch) but it still likes to keep its audiences guessing. I am sorry that its taking me a while to say it, its like a guilty pleasure that I shouldnt really tell people about but here it goes.

Hi I am Shona and I’m addicted to….The Vampire Diaries...*sigh*

PHEW! it felt good to get that out!…Man I love this show, it takes me back to my buffy the vampire and dawson’s creek days! its pretty much the same kind of teenage format but for some reason they seem to be able to keep making it different and original!!  I LOVE Elijah (a really cool old vampire character…he would be gatsby. I swear) and have also got a little (fuck that…fucking massive) crush on Ian Somerhalder. The dude is AWESOME as the character Damon, seriously cool…I also have found a love for the bad ass stefan character and I genuinely rate Nina Dobrev. A genuinely good actress who really deserves to make it big! she will be around in films for a while I think!!

I just love how they make the characters insane and completely detached from reality but they always keep a thread of likeablilty about them too…even the biggest baddest characters seem to have something redeemable about them. I think this is what makes good writing; the more multi faceted the characters are the better because it basically means that they are realistic. Vampires are not real I KNOW but being angry and heartbroken and in love are all things that we have experienced. Plus the main character Elena isnt a pansy like Bella Swan.

 

I HAVE TO STOP. I AM NOT A TEENAGER. I NEED TO LET IT GO.

Yeah so I watch that show, please dont judge me…I plan to actually add a decent post in the next few days when I dont have anger issues and I dont hate the male species.

 

watch this space peeps. I am now off to argue some more ;)

 

peace and love

 

xo

discombobulating

right, third time lucky!! I have had this page up most of the day ready to start my next blog entry…guess what I have been doing instead?! EVERYHTING ELSE!! what is wrong with the human brain??? Why is it that when you set yourself a target, all you want to do is the complete opposite!!

I have found myself looking online for a dress for the party season (I dont even really wear dresses), looking up pictures of Ian Somerhalder (I’m a little bit obsessed, it’s worrying for anyone out of their teens to lust this much after someone) as well as youtubing random videos of pandas farting and looking for funny penguin pictures! I have however, started to become more involved in the blogging world :)

I have started to comment on other people’s blogs and follow interesting people, there is such a wealth of it out there…its a bit mindblowing if Im honest, but I think the more I interact with the site, the more I will get out of it. So?? Is there anything that I intend to talk about today??

lets talk about some of the things that I have been trying to do:

Teaching Drama: My subject is English, this is my comfort zone…but I love Drama!! I love all the different ideas and emotions that you get to explore and just how much you get to think outside the box in terms of how/what you teach. It has been an interesting learning curve so far, one that I have enjoyed immensely but one that I have found pretty difficult at times! Trying to explain to a 11 year old what a “freeze frame” is, is not as easy as you may think…neither is it easy to get the students to treat Drama as an important subject, especially when they tell you “all we did with our last teacher is play games”….ffs.

Drink shit loads of tea: Again, this seems to be something to do with becoming a teacher, I have a cup of tea during breifing…at break…then after school…I swear to God I am turning into one of the characters from the Tetley ads. (Im the one with the shitty hat and giant nose). Ive always drunk tea, but never this much…

http://youtu.be/G8WIiKFAL70

Collecting pictures of penguins: Me and the other Drama teacher (Hi Corinne!) have developed an obsession with penguins, to the point that we have full blown text conversations with nothing other than pictures. I LOVE IT…I dont really care how weird it makes us look, you too would lose the plot if you had to tell each child in year 8 what a freezeframe was, all 200 of them.

Save (or attempt ) for a house: This makes me feel very adult and serious, and I am doing my damnest to save hard, but I take you back to my first comment…when you want to do something, the rest of your mind says NOOOOOOOOoooooo. Obviously I am overriding this switch and listening to my financial advisor (my fiance…bless him) and am budgeting. Times are hard people.

Please everyone: now I know I am not the only one that is guilty of this…I hate letting people down, I think it sucks to be that pierson. But what I have found that in the past few weeks I have been doing just that! I keep saying to people “yeah Im free” when I will remember 2 hours later that IM NOT…then I become the friend that always lets people down. I need to learn to say no…I also need to buy a filofax or planner so I actually know what I am doing with my life, because as much as I may look like I know what Im doing…I truly dont!

I have given you just a couple of the things that I have been trying to get my head around just recently but I just dont seem to be able to keep up. Am I the only one that has this problem?!

Let me know what you think gals and boys :)

Til next time.

Peace ‘yo…

Shona

xo

Chaps and Chappettes :)

Hello Blogger(s),

Hows it going?? I am not going to comment on the giant gaps in my blogging as I promise that it would bore you to tears, rather I am going to get on with the show…so? What has been happening of late?! well apart from the scarily quick passing of time I have been back at school doing my job as a teacher. I honestly love it, I swear to God…every day at that place is different! It doesnt matter how many times you may have to teach the same lesson, you can almost guarantee that the ideas that you get from the students is going to different! its what makes every day in teaching different :)

So my musical tastes, do I have anything new to get you to listen to? Well, I’ve been scouting new stuff and listening to old stuff…here is my top ten at the moment :)

SSLYBY-Modern Mystery

This song is a summer track, and as the evenings are drawing in and I am wearing more and more layers of clothing “summer” has become a state of mind. I really like the distorted gee-tars and the whispy vocals. This is a band that you can listen to without thinking too much…and that can always be a good thing! I like them :)

The National- Fake Empire

I could easily write a whole blog on why these guys are one of my favourite bands, but I will let this song do the job for me. TIP listen to this with your curtains drawn and the lights off, nothing but you and this song…magic.

Daft Punk- Da Funk

This is quite possibly one of my fave videos ever…its weird but I love it. I always feel really sorry for the dog headed person in the video, Im not quite sure if that was the intention but give it a watch and see what you think.

Kim Carnes-Bette Davis Eyes

What?! Its a classic…

The Hooters-Satellite

I usually skip around to this song, its also usually after Ive had copius amounts of alcohol. I actually pretend to jump in a river and SWIM. Good time gal me..

Catherine Feeny- I come Home

I have talked about this lady before, and even this song. But I URGE YOU to watch this performance. Catherine is one of those rare performers who could have a room of 300 people and still make you feel like you are the only one there. I love her and her beautifully underated talent :)

Two Door Cinema Club- Come Back Home

This is such a brilliant song, I highly reccomend being a fan of this band. I know I am…

Joni Mitchell- Big Yellow Taxi

This song never loses its importance to me, neither does Miss Mitchell…superb :)

Kula Shaker-Hush

classic. Nuff said…

The Gullemots- I dont feel Amazing Now

This is probably the best version of the song that you will find, and what a lovely performance it is. I quite like the singer’s name (its Fyfe Dangerfield btw) and he is quite pleasing on the eye. Give them a go, they are a bit hit and miss. But the gems far outweigh the poop ones :)

Well that is my list for now, Ive listened to them all at least once while compiling this list! I hope you enjoy listening to them as much as I did :) let me know what you think!!

Ciao my lovlies,

Shona

Xo

some words…make of them what you will…

Safety in a space,

intertwine with the shadows of my mind.

It’s hard to imagine what wonders I might find.

This infatuation between real and whats fake,

is what holds me back from deceit in devastations’ wake.

Fragility symbolises freedom,

like a fall from grace.

It’s easy to piece yourself together,

before revealing your true face.

Beauty is an amenity used for your own demise,

a loss of identity caused by deceit and lies.

It’s easy to live for the moment and let fate rule the way,

But you can change the world,

if you take it day by day.

It’s all the little things that make us everything we want to be,

so don’t be afraid to fall and break,

take the chance,

Be free.

Trip to LDN

Well…I am on the train on the way back home from what has been an awesome trip. I make visits to London on a regular basis, seeing as many of my friends have decided to flock there…I have been to various gigs in different (and some insane venues…including a chuch. I shit you not…). London has always been a home from home to me, simply because it appeals to my need for culture as well as modernity. I genuinely love the place.
On my most recent visit to the capital I got the chance to experience something that I had never had the chance to before; the Notting Hill carnival. For those of you that have never been, it is a vibrant celebration of all the ethnic groups that mould together to form the multicultural London that we know today. It is possibly Europe’s biggest street carnival. I will be honest and say that I had been nervous about attending such a big event, not just because LDN is such a massive place but recent events in the capital have been burned into my mind through the images relayed to us through the news reporting on the riots. I travelled through the now infamous clapham commonand still saw the evedence of what now feels like a distant nightmare. I prepared myself for the possibilty of something kicking off, small town habits die hard and all that…
But what I found was so completely different to what I was prepared for, firstly the police presence…I can honestly say I have never ( and I should ever again) see so many popo. They were out in their droves, this was great to see but somehow still slightly unnearving. The most impressive thing about the police presence is how cofortable it all seemed…there were policemen and women standing round, chatting to members of the public, laughing and joking with members of the carnival community. It was so nice to see.
The second and possibly most impressive part of the carnival was the sense of community spirit, revellers and members of the carnival all joining together and celebrating. All different cultures and diverisities busting moves and sharing their heritage. The food and smells were out of this world! I had my first helping of jerk chicken with sweetbread and coleslaw it was the BEST chicken I have ever had…sweet, tangy and melt in the mouth…ahhhhh *salivates*.
I just want the chance to thank all who we met with at the carnival, to all the lovely carribean dancers who let us join the parade and got me moving parts of my body I have never moved before. Thanks to the awesome police officers who were kind enough to indulge me and my friends with some poses for photos.
Awesome weekend, awesome carnival.

Cant wait til next year!

Xx

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