‘The lasts’ begins

So today I had my official last day at work. For some this would be a celebration, but for me I am a little bit sad. Sure it is nice to have a break, but I am going to miss my work a lot. I work at a swim school, teaching young children to swim. It is an amazing job, both because of the people I work with, and also the children.

I guess the thing that I am going to miss most is the children. They are (mostly) so cheerful, and funny, and say things that just make me smile. Sure you have those days where it seems that in every class there is that one kid that is being annoying and mucking up, but I guess this makes my job even more rewarding. When ‘the perfect child’ gets something for the first time there is a moment of ‘woo great job!’ followed by a high five. But when a kid who isn’t what you would call ‘well behaved’ gets something, the thrill is even better. It is more like “woooohooooo!!! Awesome work!!!! You are amazing!!!” followed most likely by an over excited (on my behalf) high 10! I have learnt so much from my job. About kids, parents, teaching and myself. Kids are funny. Most of the time they haven’t quite caught onto the whole ‘oh I’m in a social situation, I probably shouldn’t say ‘blah blah”. So they so innocently say the most ridiculous, sometimes unfortunately rude things. I have also realised, probably more recently, that children do a lot of things in a day! Well I knew that, but what I didn’t fully realise was how this can affect them. Quite often by the time a child gets to swimming lessons, they are over-tired and as a result really unmotivated. Sometimes this is really hard to remember, when you have a child who just isn’t kicking, but if you put yourself in their place, suddenly it isn’t so bad. I guess this is apparent in all parts of life, not just teaching kids to swim. You know those times when you try having a conversation with someone and they just don’t seem interested in what you’re saying? It is really depressing, but if you think about the day they might have had, their response seems somewhat normal. I know after a really tiring day at uni, followed by work, I am not in the mood to talk heaps!!

I have also seen so clearly a parents love and protectiveness over their children. Giving your child to a total stranger, in such a dangerous environment must be so terrifying for parents. I am so grateful for the trust the bestow in me to teach their children to swim. As in everything in life, there is also the parent who is over protective, or a little bit too pushy, but in the end it is their love for their child that is the instigator for this character, something I have to remind myself of often. 

I am absolutely going to miss this job so much! I have learnt so much! This job has given me so much more confidence then I ever had, and I have also realised that I have a real passion for working with children. I always liked hanging out with kids, and mucking around with them, but teaching them is definitely something different. They pick things up so quickly, and when a kid moves up a level, or simply just does really good kicking or arms, it brings me so much joy. 

This was one of the (probably many) ‘last time I do [insert activity here]’ moments. Whilst it is sad, I know that the next 7 months on exchange will also bring a lot of ‘firsts’, and this is exciting! 

This week I also started up a new blog to journal my exchange travels. This new blog is going to be purely travel/ exchange experiences, more about where I am going. I hope to keep this blog up and running, with a similar sort of theme. 

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Procrasti-blogging

Only one and half more days of study and I will be sitting my final exam for the semester….and guess what? It couldn’t come sooner!!! The anticipation of freedom, no more study and sleep is intense!! In fact, I have already started a list of things I plan to do come holidays. My room is a complete mess, and I keep telling myself that is just a sign that I have been studying. But hey – considering I am blogging at the moment, I’m not so sure. I also have drunk A LOT of tea and coffee. Basically if a hot drink isn’t on my desk, that is a sign that I need to get up, walk to the kitchen and make tea. This exam period I have also mastered the art of procrastination. A few months ago a friend introduced me to Pinterest (see my page here). Upon signing me up they warned me – “it is a great distraction and procrastination tool”. Now before exams, this wasn’t an issue at all…and yet as the exams draw out, it seems the closer I get to my last exam, the more time I am spending on Pinterest!! But for now, I think I should get back to studying…as exciting as it is…see you on the other side 😀

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A hidden beauty

Yesterday I had my last day of class at UOW for the year. In about 2 months I will be heading over to Denmark. Only 2 months away! This week has shown me how great humanity can be.

Today I had to go up to Sydney to complete my visa application for Denmark. I was really nervous about going, and was quite apprehensive about the whole process. The forms are so confusing, and the website just didn’t seem all that useful. Anyways, I found out from a friend that I had to go up to Sydney, and was freaking out that I had left the whole ‘license to live in Denmark thing’ a bit too late. You know, nothing too serious…Rest assured, despite a seemingly never ending list of things to do, I managed to find the time to venture to Sydney today.

Upon arrival (well once I managed to find the building), I was greeted with the fact that I had come to the wrong place. Not only that, but the place I needed to go to I needed to have an appointment AND the lady who works there was sick today. Nonetheless, the lovely Danish lady offered to help me and said I could lodge my application where I was. I was so thankful!! It wasn’t smooth sailing yet though. I hadn’t paid for my visa application, of which I had to somehow print my receipt…from my iPhone. But rest assured, the Danish lady came to the rescue again and said if I emailed her the receipt she could print it off. Then I hadn’t taken copies of my passport, and she offered to do so. The whole process was so so so stressful, but that amazing Danish lady just showed me that some people really are just lovely and will do anything to help you. This Danish lady also gave me great reassurance for the place I am going to be living for 6 months. If all Danish people are like this lady, then I am in for a good 6 months in a country full of lovely people!!

Humanities love for each other didn’t stop there though. Whilst waiting for my train home I saw a lady struggling to pull her pram up the stairs at the station on the opposite platform. If my train wasn’t coming in 2 minutes I would have raced over and helped her, and I just wished that someone else would not only see this, but act on it. Sure enough, one of the trade workers, came running down the stairs to help the mother. It just made me smile. This worker didn’t have to help the lady. He could have just as easily left her to struggle her way up the stairs, but no, he went out of his way to help her.

I think when we are in a society that is so individualistic we forget the good in people. Today, despite all the stress and set backs, turned out to be a really fulfilling day. I also learnt, when applying for important things, be prepared! Have multiple copies of EVERYTHING!!! 

To finish up, I spent about 20 minutes wondering around the city before my train came. It wasn’t a beautiful sunny day, but somehow the rain was really comforting. Even on a rainy day, Sydney harbour is beautiful.

 

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