Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

That's what I'm having so far! With a restless gut, I've had to take the day off work- sending in my lesson plans to the poor soul tasked with "teaching" my students. During the last few sessions yesterday, I had to take a few trips to the bathroom which gave students several moments to unleash havoc...

But there you go! You know what that means? I have a job! Where, you might ask? Here (click link).

That's correct. The most disadvantaged of Victoria's 79 municipalities. And I'm very glad to be there. What started out as a gold-mining town, has for decades been a centre for poverty, joblessness and poor health. To anyone passing through, you would be forgiven for thinking it to be an idyllic little town, with small corner stores and a rich history, but take a look around the the streets and you soon get a better picture. There are houses in disrepair, car wrecks, and a multitude of classic indicators of severe "disadvantage".

And how are my classes? How are the students? Well, let me say, there's hope. Students usually stay in my class. More often than not, they'll even be doing their work. I teach three VCAL classes in Literacy, Numeracy and Personal Development Skills. For many students, VCAL is an option to keep them in school, despite a complete disinterest in academic skills. When at its best, VCAL offers an alternative to the VCE for those who want to go straight into work placement, and offers them practical skills for everyday life. At its worst, it can merely stand as day-care for 17 and 18 year old delinquents. That won't happen on my watch.

Let's head back to the romance for a while, shall we? St. V's day brought a lovely gift (one I'd been meaning to buy myself, and have been enjoying all morning).

The sound hits that sweet spot in between indie, pop and rock- a place I rarely depart from. Thank you so much, My Love! And I'm told there's one more to come!

I made her a rather large card this year...

She seemed to like it, and I hope she'll have fun creating real-world pixel art with the 450 blocks that came in the pack! I had fun planning the piece on the computer on a 32 x 32 pixel image file, then reproducing it in Lego.

Here's a look at our music room. It's gotten a lot more fun lately.

You might notice the twin (not identical, though) to the piece in the lounge room. It's the cover jacket from v. 2.0 of the Mother 3 Handbook. The picture has authentic lines where the cover has been folded, and the fantastic guys at the framing place put a colour scan of the reverse side on the back. It really is a lovely display piece.

There have also been a few addictions to the book shelf... You may recognise the singer on the left from Mother 2, or Earthbound, or my poster from Fangamer. He's Lucky, of Runaway Five (or Tonzura Bros.) fame, and the dame on the right is the incredible singer, Venus!

See? Proof!
The other front-man (Nice) will be arriving sometime from The States.

Here's the shelf as it stands, adorned with many a useless trinket, most of which were gifts. It worked the same way when I used to buy nail polish. Once people know what an easy present to get you consists of, your collection grows fast. Everyone would empty their old nail polish collections into mine until it grew to 65+ bottles at one stage!

You might notice the pair of Tachikoma tanks (by Nendoroid) from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Aren't they easily the most adorable piece of military-grade weaponry you've every seen? I love their child-like personalities in the show!

And here's some shots of the decorative drawing going up our staircase. Pretty, right?

We got those lovely, owl-y prints in Singapore, and each one represents a season, with items typical of each season in Singapore.

I might return to mention a few more things about my new job, while I'm here. On the Tuesday before school started, I received a call from the school asking if I was still interested in taking casual relief work. I said yes, and they proceeded to call me back, half an hour later to ask if I'd in fact like a full-time position. Excited, I accepted the offer for an "interview" the following morning.

I arrived at 8:30am and by 8:45 I was employed. "Can you start today?" was about the only interview question they asked.

I'm glad to have this opportunity for full-time employment, and I'm very happy to have the chance to make a difference for my students. Praise God!

I hope you have a lovely St. V's day! Mine's off to a good, if turbulent, start.

Much love,