What's it all about?

Fast approaching 30 I've fallen in to teaching, a career though championed by many amongst my friends and family, I've tried desperately to avoid. Worse still I appear to have missed the heyday when students were keen and wages were plenty. Having left city-life behind to support my partner through a prolonged recovery from cancer, it's clear I've become isolated, not only from my old life, but from the future I hoped it would lead to...

There must be more to life than this..?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Non-Moan no.2 (Week 4)

How doth the little crocodile...
We all make spelling mistakes and grammatical errors from time to time, some might be considered subjective. American’s use the English language very differently to us Brits. And between texting (Is that a verb? I suppose as much as Blogging is) emails, chatrooms etc, the language has been bastardised  repetitiously  at an alarming rate. We’ve always accepted certain colloquialisms and slang, perhaps technologies impression on our language is simply a natural progression.
That being said, surely there is nothing more important than communication and being able to read, speak and write correctly in your own language. Often the best part of marking students work (wait a second there, I made it sound more interesting than it is)... The only remotely entertaining part of marking pupils work is enjoying the mistakes they make when, on occasion, they prove to be humorous.
Recently in the opening paragraph of one essay I encountered the following mistakes.
a)      ‘Romeo Montague’s and Juliet Copulates family’s were...’ (This one led to a somewhat uncomfortable conversation when I tried to explain why it’s not always a good idea to use your spellchecker on your word processor).
b)      ‘As it satays on the fifth lime of the verse...’ (I can only assume Shakespeare had coated the particular line in question in peanut sauce whilst drinking tequila shooters... Which leads me to the next mistake and possibly supports this one)
c)       ‘Romeo’s best friend, Mercuito...’ (Really? Mercuito? Anyone else spotting the mistake here? I now picture the entire staging of Romeo & Juliet with a cast wearing sombreros and small Mexican moustaches... Even Juliet Copulates).
I know that Shakespearean texts can be difficult to understand when not being used to them. But I think these simple, though humorous mistakes brilliantly display why it is so important we are able to use our own language well.
And if you can’t get it right, make it funny...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Non-Moan no.1 (Week 4)

Procrastination is the thief of time!!!
I’ve noticed recently, say over the past year or so, that I have begun to procrastinate more than ever before. If I’m honest I was always one of those children who, when asked to do something was constantly poised ready to utter the phrase ‘I’ll do it in a minute’, a phrase which endlessly tormented my parents.
I suppose I’ve rarely taken solace in the immortal words of Thomas Jefferson ‘Never put off till tomorrow, what you can do today.’ Now however I feel I’m taking this new habit to extremes.
It takes me exactly seven minutes to drive to work from my home. I often find myself lying in bed until 8:20am when I’m due in the classroom at 9am to teach.  If I jump straight in the shower, I can be out, dried and starting to get dressed within fifteen minutes of getting out of bed meaning that I actually arrive at work with a decent ten minutes to spare.  (You can probably tell this is a skill I’ve been honing...)
And it’s not just getting up in the mornings. Teachers inevitably have a large amount of marking to do, I find myself leaving this until the day I should really be giving it back to pupils! Not unlike many of my students who leave their work until the last minute if they do it at all! The very students I moan about.
Now though I was a procrastinator as a child at home, in school I was always a high achiever.  Somehow between childhood and becoming an adult, I’ve become one of those people who coasts. I barely meet deadlines, I pray for snow days and I constantly look for excuses to explain my sheer laziness when it comes to my job.
In short I’ve realised what the problem is. Nobody likes to do things they don’t want to do. They just don’t, it’s horrible. So instead I put everything off until the last minute and as such end up stressing myself out and running about like a headless chicken.
It all boils down to the fact that I just can’t be bothered. And here’s the worst bit. This breakthrough (though it may seem obvious to some) has made me realise that I’ve never had to do things that I didn’t want to do. I’ve been spoilt. And now when my family require that little bit of effort from me, I struggle.
How silly is that? (Never thought I’d end up non-moaning about myself!) So I’m hoping that this revelation will allow me to mature a little (Mentally, possibly even spiritually, but not physically... Please remember I’m still in my twenties) and get past this ridiculously selfish, and immature ‘virtue’ that I seem to have acquired.
I swear, my headstone will one day read ‘Here lies Drew, Full of Good Intentions’.
Am I alone in this wasting of time? If not get in touch... I’ll get round to replying... eventually...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Non-Moan no.3 (Week 3)

Over enthusiastic colleagues
Now I know I don’t speak very highly of my job. In fact at times I believe water torture, or being doused in petrol and set alight, or being forced to spend time in the company of Sarah Palin might actually be preferable... (Did I just say that?! Eek... Eww @ Sarah Palin)
But there are occasional moments, fleeting though they might be where I actually enjoy parts of my job. Very occasionally, not often, so don’t get too excited.
I like helping the students who you can really see are trying desperately to better themselves by getting an education. I like the ones who have a maturity that means we can share moments of humour that most might not understand. Mostly I enjoy the times when you can watch the expression of amazement on a student’s face when they realise they’ve actually achieved something.
So I’m not completely dead on the inside (Did you hear that thud and the consequent echo..? That’s a heart! It’s alive!).
But there are always one or two members of staff, and I’m sure this is the same in EVERY workplace, who frankly are unnaturally enthusiastic about their role. So much so it might drive you to desire the sudden apparition of a blunt object in order to be able to rush toward them and bludgeon them to death.
I am not talking about those who simply enjoy their work, or perhaps really want to do well... I mean the ones where you can almost sense a more sinister undertone in their perkiness... One that requires them to be smacked down by the hand of God... should he/she actually exist.
This week I have been forced in to several encounters with such a member of staff. Sleazy. Overly familiar in their greeting. Utterly repulsive as they ooze a putrid stench of selfish ambition.
It’s no wonder upon entering the weekend I find myself sleeping in late today. I spent most of the energy I’d acquired this week through my excessively nutritious diet (Fizzy drinks and curry are good for you right?) attempting not to raise my hand and punch this person in the neck.
The smarmy smile they wear disgusts me as they thrust themselves in to every situation they can, whether welcomed or not, usually the latter. All this person is missing is a forked tongue and a lack of limbs, which is ironic when you consider he has no spine!
Rant over... I’m not moaning... *cough* honest *cough*

Friday, January 21, 2011

Non-Moan no.2 (Week 3)

Corners of congregation...
It’s Friday and of course I’m thrilled it’s the weekend! I don’t have to plough my way through the seven gates of hell in order to suffer the drudgery that is my job! I had to go to the supermarket to pick up some chicken and ingredients for curry. I hate to portray myself as some grumpy sod, aged beyond my years, but what the heck is up with people standing on the corners of aisles to chatter?
It means that whilst I’m attempting to steer my trolley with the dodgy wheel, that I inevitably ALWAYS end up with, and that wants me to slam the elderly couple to my right in to shelves of tinned, chopped tomatoes, that when I come to the end of the aisle I have to walk those extra few feet around them.

Only people on the opposite and parallel aisles are also doing the same, not even trying to tuck themselves in out of the way! It ends up seeming like some Krypton Factor-esque assault course just to get from one aisle to another without knocking anyone over, which by the way I struggle to stop myself doing for my own amusement at the best of times!
Anyway, I’m not moaning...
Trolley rage
Trolley rage is the common name for a heightened level of anger and frustration while in a supermarket or shop of any kind.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Nellie & Edna

For all those who use twitter one of my friends has started a rather amusing feed called 'Nellie & Edna' - All about two characters he's created here's a link  if you want to see http://twitter.com/nellieandedna 

Brief description below :)

"2 women in our late 60's who've both spent so long in a NHS waiting room we've become friends, bonding over Cosmo quizzes and the judging of others."

Take a peek, hopefully enjoy and subscribe

This weeks no.2 Non-moan coming very soon!
 Drew x

One Minute Writer

You are judging a reality talent show. What do you say to an untalented contestant?
Unfortunately it appears that you’re not quite what we’re looking for. Perhaps your ‘talents’ would be best suited to a dark room in a remote location where they can’t be inflicted upon the eyes, ears and general senses of others... How do you think it went?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ta Dah!

On Friday morning I finished my first novel! I still have some drafting to do; I need to tidy it up a little bit, check for mistakes, narrative and otherwise, but I love it.

I know it hasn't been published (yet) but I've actually written a full length novel. I really feel like I've achieved something and it's made me very happy.

So the next few weeks I'll be revising it, sentence by sentence, word by word, to ensure its the best it possibly can be. I know there are no second chances once it has been sent to literary agents so I want to ensure it is in tip top condition. That way I know if people don't want to take me on their books then it's not because of some improvement I could have made and didn't.

I'll keep you updated as to how it all goes. I feel very content for the first time in a long time.

Drew x

Monday, January 17, 2011


So my internet appears to be holding up! Obviously I've missed a week so if you're reading my Non-Moans and it skips from week 1 - week 3 that's because I couldn't post anything! Apologies again and thank you for sticking with me.

This weeks first Non-Moan is already up and there'll be another one very soon!

Love Drew x

Non-Moan no.1 (Week3)

Animals who have too much to say.
So today I woke up a little tired, my cats decided to erect a small trampoline underneath my bed at about 4am to see who could jump the highest and push the hardest through my mattress, while all the time screeching and moaning. Still I left for work wearing my happy face.
I only teach two lessons on a Monday, the last of which is with my... Hmm... How to put it nicely... My more demanding class? The majority of this small group are very well behaved and work hard, however there is one particular student who frankly is the bane of my life. Most of the students in this class arrive in the mornings packed with breakfasts of chocolate and energy drinks which I always think is an encouraging sign... Or not.
Anyway my first class went well and then I got in to this class. First of all the equipment we were hoping to use had not been charged or replaced properly so we weren’t able to. And then the lesson seemed to decline in productivity. .. Rapidly.
I hate shouting at students, I’d imagine as most teachers do, I see it as a sign of weakness, but this one curly haired little muppet wound me up. I know it sounds utterly ridiculous but after our little confrontation I felt like crying. How stupid is that? Admittedly I’m very young (still in my twenties) but still, I shouldn’t be wanting to cry over such things should I?
It wasn’t what was said, none of it was personal, it just seemed to drain me, immediately exhausting me. To be totally honest it ruined my afternoon ! Sometimes those children are animals! Animals I say!
Anyway I finished early as I do every Monday and left to buy lunch on the way home. I stopped at a local grocery shop and sat outside was this beautiful Border collie mix. I swear as I approached it to pass in to the shop it looked me up and down, sneered and then huffed.
Now admittedly I’ve had a bad day at this point, so I chalk it down to my overactive imagination and walk inside to buy my food.  Then upon leaving the store I glance again at this wonderfully, happy looking dog only to be reviled by another sneering expression. Imagine if you’ve ever smiled at someone in a pub or club and they’ve mistaken it for flirting and it hasn’t been welcomed! It was that kind of look and yes I know I’m talking about a dog. But it’s true... I’m not crazy... honest...

Friday, January 14, 2011


I haven't abandoned my Blog - I'm having some internet problems however they should be back on track within a week... Apologies for not letting you know sooner,

Drew x

Friday, January 7, 2011

Non-Moan no.3 (Week 1)

 People who have no sense of humour.

I was waiting to pay at the supermarket after work when I turn around to see the woman behind me has a small child actually in her trolley, I’m guessing the child is about 5. So being the friendly people loving person that I am, I spoke to the lady.

ME – ‘Is that on special offer? Because I never saw that on the shelf.”

The woman didn’t speak but she did smile. (Perhaps I should have stopped here?)

ME – ‘If I were you I’d check the sell by date, You don’t want to be getting home and start cooking and then find out that she’s gone off, because then you’ll just go hungry.’

The woman’s expression changed, I’m guessing I offended her as she looked reasonably appalled. I’m fairly sure at this point that she now thinks I’m some sort of cannibalistic paedophile (There’s a word I didn’t think would crop up on my blog) So I turned, paid for my shopping and left.

I suppose I could just not make small talk with strangers, but it’s the only interaction I have with the community which I generally try to avoid.  My partner calls me a people hater, so every now and then I like to contradict that. Can you think of a better way to handle such situations? It seems a shame to deprive the world of the wonder that is me... No..?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Non-Moan no.2 (Week 1)

Delivery men who don’t wait for you to answer.

So there’s a catalogue I sometimes shop from, glossy, hard backed, full of generically designed, but decent quality clothes.  They apparently send their catalogues and purchases through couriers rather than Royal Mail. I can appreciate this.
However this morning at 7.30am there was a knock at the door. I had just gotten out of the shower, so I threw some clothes on and ran downstairs. There’s no one to be seen up or down the street, so I go back upstairs and continue getting ready for work. Then there’s another knock at the door, so again I stop getting ready, throw some clothes on and run to the door. There’s no one there, but as I look, there’s a delivery man THREE doors up. I stress three doors because clearly this degenerate had knocked on every door as he went along.
It must have taken me about 20 seconds to get to the door.  So I call him over and he hands me my catalogue which I have to sign for. (Now bear in mind my partner is disabled and it would take him a little longer to get to the door, not much, but a little). As I’m signing for the package we have the following conversation, please remember I’m slightly miffed from being disturbed twice and so early in the morning.
ME‘You know it’s polite to give people time to actually answer their door when you knock on it.’
COURIER‘That’s not my job.’ (Really?)
ME‘Excuse me?’
COURIER‘I don’t get paid to wait for people to answer their doors, I have a job to do.’
ME‘Yeah, knocking on people’s doors. Which is pointless is you don’t give them time to answer.’
COURIER‘Look, I don’t get paid to stand on people’s doorsteps.’
ME‘Well do you get paid to stand here and argue with me?’
ME‘The f*@k off and get off my doorstep.’
So I immediately rang the clothing company in an attempt to have him fired, at the very least prevent that actual courier from delivering, or not, to my door again. They were very accommodating and appalled by his behaviour. Now my bad mood was probably escalated by the doom and gloom surrounding the job I have to return to yet again today, but did I over react? Would any of you handled it differently?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Non-Moan no.1 (Week 1)

Moronic Students

In the classroom whenever I give my students an exercise to complete I always explain it, then show it, then explain it again, and then I ask if anybody‘s unsure of what they’ve been asked to do. Now once you’ve gotten to know your classes you can judge how open to leave these questions, or whether or not there are shy students who don’t want the rest of the class to know they’ve no idea what’s going on. 
However no matter how many times I explain these exercises, when I walk around the room to see how students are getting on, there’s ALWAYS at least one student who isn’t doing anything. For the purpose of this blog, let’s call him William. (This is safe as I don’t teach any students called William).
Imagine William is - doodling on his own work / doodling on someone else’s work / texting / busy looking gormless / concentrating on breathing / scratching himself in inappropriate places / picking his nose
(Pick any of the above)
ME  - ‘William what are you doing?’
ME‘Why aren’t you doing your work?’
Generally at this point William will look around the room, his eyes flitting aimlessly from one corner to another as if the answer to my question might be lying in wait for him to find.
William‘I dunno what I’m s’posed to be doing.’
Quite often this is the point I count to ten... Something I’m not convinced William can do.
ME‘What do you mean you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing?’
We stare at each other for a moment, William dead behind the eyes, and mine holding mild to severe contempt depending on the sort of day I’m having.
My point here is that no matter how many times something is explained, there is always, ALWAYS at least one student who will never listen. It’s the same for ALL teachers I know. But it really, really annoys me... A lot.
I have suggested to senior staff members on more than one occasion that perhaps placing snipers on the school roof and allowing them to shoot anybody who tries to get in for an education would be an apt solution. Though I’ve received limited responses to this, and I’ve witnessed various scribbling in my psychological profile, so short of sterilising William's parents to pre-empt further morons entering my classroom, I’m not sure of another solution to this problem... Any ideas?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

3 Beautiful Things.

New to the Blogging world I’ve spent a lot of time reading other people’s and talking to them to get some advice. One of the Blogs that I found was the ‘3BT’ (3 Beautiful Things) Blog. A wonderfully positive idea setup by the blog’s founder Clare, which involves her posting about 3 Beautiful Things that have given her pleasure each day and encouraging her followers to do the same, so here it goes.

Homemade Sticky Toffee Pudding, A Break Through and Tea in a China Mug
1.       After spending New Years day with my Mother and Stepfather, my partner and I were handed a perfect portion of sticky toffee pudding to take home with us. We ate it today with freshly whipped cream and it was amazing! My mother had filled it with dates among other ingredients and there was just the right amount. Had it been any bigger I’d still probably have eaten my half, but would have felt sick for doing so.

2.       Today I had a break through with my novel. It’s coming to a close now and I felt there was just something lacking, but today I’ve come up with a brilliant narrative device that seems to make all the difference and really connects the events that happen throughout it. Huzzah for inspiration!

3.       One of my Xmas presents was a beautiful china mug adorned with images of The Mad Hatter from Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’. As I’m completely addicted to strong black, unsweetened, Assam tea, I decided to save the mug’s first use for a special occasion. It was comforting to have such a lovely mug to drink from. Tea is always so much nicer when you drink it from china.

A change is gonna come.

So today is the final day of my Xmas holidays (BooOOooo) which means tomorrow I'll be back at work (Uber BooOOooOoo). I've been thinking a great deal over the New Year weekend (In between my binge drinking sessions) about the direction I want this blog to take and what I hope to get out of it.

I suppose I'm looking for some affirmation (The kind that alcohol can't bring) that if I haven't yet achieved anything, I'm at least on track to (And not simply disappearing in to a blackhole). To me personally, hitting thirty signifies leaving your youth behind (I know that might sound silly to some). For the first time in my entire life I find myself in a job that I genuinely have no interest to advance in (Or most days get out of bed for). I've left the city which I love to return to my home town which I've never liked (It smells funny) and I find myself surrounded by people whose only aspirations in life are materialistic.

I'm not saying that I don't like nice things, who doesn't? But for me it's the not most important thing in my life. I don't work all month to get paid so that I can buy a new bathroom, or book an expensive holiday, I want so much more from life. I remeber when I was very young and listening to various adults around me moan about the jobs they were stuck in and hated, and I remember thinking that I would never allow myself to become trapped in a job that I didn't enjoy. Maybe more than anything I'm disappointed in myself for allowing it to happen.

Up until the past few years I've indulged myself in a somewhat hedonistic, unstructured lifestyle (Just because it feels good, you know..?) and I've tried to avoid conformity as much as possible. Now I feel like a square peg that life is trying to force through a round hole, I don't fit and it's painful!

BUT, I've come to realise that my work is only one aspect of my life and recently I've allowed it to affect all the other aspects, some of which in truth are rather wonderful, my partner for instance. It's time for me to remind myself of this more often and not only that, but it's time for me to take some action!

By the end of this year I'm determined that I will have some of my work officially published, even if it's just a poem or two and have found a literary agent for my first novel. I'm going to try and do the best I can when I'm at work (honest Guv'nor), but I'm not going to let it hang over my mind 24/7 (It's difficult to when you're trying to fit in 12 hours of sleep a day), after all it's just a job!

Undoubtedly I'll have ups and downs, I'm only human, but I'm going to try and stay more positive and instead of merely moaning, I'm going to atempt to find solutions to things that may annoy me. At the very least I'll be an active moaner and not a passive one!

So as I said, each week I'll be posting my top three 'Non-Moans' but along side that I'll be posting possible solutions and asking you to do the same. I may find I need a little help sometimes, so please don't be afraid to throw some advice my way.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The game is afoot!

Well it's here, 2011, and I've added a countdown clock just to ensure I can be constantly reminded of my inevitable demise.

This is not a resolution, I repeat, this is not a resolution but I have decided to try and stop moaning, a challenge? Yes! But I believe I'm up to it. Less moaning, more action! (I repeat this is NOT a resolution...)

So... Instead of moaning about my job and... Well whatever else comes to mind, I'm going to post each weeks Top 3 'Non-Moans' on here. Just to be clear, a 'Non-Moan' is essentially that which I've managed to bite my lip and prevent from splurting out over all who surround me. Next to each of them I'll explain how I was feeling at that point in time and why, comparing it to how I feel at the present time of posting in the hope I might learn to be more rational and clear headed in future! Well, it's worth a try, isn't it..?

Besides, there's no point in being bitter when I'm still in my 20's!