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I don’t know much, but I do know…

Trying to fix your mobile charger with a soldering iron doesn’t work. You end up using your Dad’s old clunky phone because your own phone is rendered flat and useless. Having a lamp lit ‘Storytime’ session with your friends, reading aloud old diary entries ensures hilarity.Singstar + work colleagues = fun. Strawberries taste nicer when you pick them yourself, even if it means you have to spend more time washing them than devouring them.

If you are a teacher and you go to shopping centres during school holidays, you WILL see your students. When trying new cocktail recipes, your efforts seem to improve with the more you make (and drink!) Hours at work may drag, but biannual dental appointments arrive in a flash.

Chocolate and water tastes better when it’s cold. Summer colds suck. There’s something nice about knowing that you are someone a friend calls in a 4am crisis. I will think nothing of spending $20 on a cocktail at 1am but will use the same disposable razor for months until it grates my legs.

You can tell a lot about someone from the content of their ipod. The world always seems a better place after a hot shower. Kissing is underrated. It’s always an appropriate time to play a John Farnham song. It’s always bin day. My self belief escalates rapidly if my nails are painted.

That’s all for now.

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The sun is shining, the birds are singing, holidays have arrived, Christmas is on its merry way and I spent last night dancing til my feet were bruised after slapping a random hot boy’s bum. Life is good.

I awoke this morning in a panicked state after dreaming that I hadn’t planned any lessons for the week, couldn’t teach anything normal I had thrown out all writing materials and my Preps had turned into 16 year olds. I need a plough to get past all the teacherish gifts of mugs, hand lotions, make-up bags and chocolates, yet it doesn’t feel like the end of the year. Evidently, the fact that work is over hasn’t quite seeped into my brain yet.

I watched my work life get packed away, carried by a train of tiny children and dumped into the boot of my car this week. I won’t miss the meetings or the writing of reports, however I know that while I’m off on my own adventure, my heart will yearn for some things.

I’ll miss walking around on yard duty in the playground while children probe me about my love life and gush about their aspirations, providing me with more entertainment than I could beg for.
“Miss, when I grow up, I want to be a teacher, just like you….hair in a bun, Chinese eyes…”

I’ll miss teaching my kids the ‘Nutbush’, ‘Macarena’ and ‘Timewarp’ during Sport lessons. That’s what happens when I’m asked to teach Sport. And, if you ask me, these dances are essential life lessons.

I’ll miss watching 23 children yelling “T-SHIRTS! T-SHIRTS!!” when asked which music they would like to listen to while they munch their lunch. My kids are addicted to Taylor Swift. Their mothers must curse me as their children sing the lyrics of ‘Love Story’ while in the bath. But I know for a fact that four of my girls are receiving tickets to Swifty’s concert from Santa. Because Santa’s cool like that.

I’ll miss complements that make my mornings easier. Being greeted with “Good morning Butterfly!” or “Good morning Optimus Prime!” is a pretty big complement from a 5 year old. Or implies that I look like a Transformer. I’m not sure.

I’ll miss doing a happy dance and high five-ing everyone in the immediate vicinity upon witnessing that after 10 months at school, a little girl has figured out letters signify sounds and can write a sentence phonetically. HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ll miss getting teary watching children dressed as angels sing carols. I’ll miss giggling about inside jokes regarding fruit cheese with my fabulous colleagues. I’ll miss Friday night “debriefs” (read: gossip). Sticky fingers. Crowning kids with sparkling birthday hats and eating cupcakes made my mums. Sticker bribery. Dress-up days.
How much do you want to bet I’ll be back?

What do you miss?

The difference between what my brain plans for Christmas and what actually happens.

  • Decide that I am going to be the Martha Stewart Prep teacher master crazy person and bombard my class with easy but attractive craft projects on a daily basis. Have a mental breakdown and threaten to axe Christmas craft altogether after glitter stars infect my carpet in a classroom version of herpes.
  • Appease friends, save money and display my creativity by making homemade Christmas cards. Note to self- felt, glitter, craft glue and cardboard= $20. A box of ten purchased cards, which don’t look like they were made by a blind person wielding a glue gun= $3.
  • Make a Gingerbread House. I went through a massive gingerbread phase this year. The house could still happen. Or, if I get lazy, it really could not.
  • Become the person who has their Christmas shopping done and dusted by October. I started last week.
  • Aim to expand my Christmas carol addiction. Become hooked on Hi5’s ‘Jingle Jangle Christmas’ CD. This wasn’t what I intended.
  • Brainwash my Preps with magical Christmas memories, urging them to write letters to Santa. Take the letters home and write 23 individual replies. Spray them with water and stick in the school freezer. Interrupt class by running outside after hearing a ‘strange noise’ and return with frozen letters, direct from the North Pole. Giggle myself silly when the kids pretty much hyperventilating with excitement. Tick that box, baby. If I do nothing else my Christmas brain demands, I’m happy.

Pic from We Heart It.

Five year olds speak the truth. It’s a cold hard fact, in the same way that Britney is terrible at lip synching and Oprah is a god. This morning when my class sat down in front of me  one little girl gasped “WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOUR FACE?”

You know what was wrong? Today, fair ladies and gents, I went sans make up. This wasn’t due to laziness or a social experiment to see how people would react to my fresh skin, I just went to school early to do a bi-weekly fitness session with the other teachers and forgot my make up bag.

I know I am a princess, as I am frequently reminded by my brother. I do wear light make up daily (the usual combo consists of foundation, blush, mascara and lip gloss). However I do not apply said make up with a trowel and like to think my face is somewhat visible underneath it.

I was a little startled when I remembered my make up bag was sitting at home on my bathroom counter. My face felt naked and I spent the day feeling like I hadn’t woken up properly. It was all very “Stars Without Make-Up” edition of Who magazine. I wondered if I would get any other horrified reactions, but I only had a few of my colleagues ask if I was ok or comment that I looked tired (which I kinda am… but only 3 weeks til holidays!)

So maybe I do have a make-up addiction. Yet I’m not really keen to spend anymore work days looking exhausted and feeling that something is “wrong with my face” to find out.

How frequently do you wear make-up? Do you feel lost without out it? Tell, tell..

Me all made up on the weekend… I can’t help my ongoing lipstick/gloss infatuation.

If one of my five year old students howls their lungs out while curled in the foetal position because their shoelaces are tied together, have a mosquito bite or they have jam in their sandwich instead of Vegemite, their cries are met with a chorus of “Ricky Resilience, not Cathy Crumble!”

Their peers advise that they adopt ‘Green Light Thinking’, a term that our school system uses to encourage positive thinking. Most of the time the Green Light Thinking words, although sometimes the only thing that can make a kid smile during this type of dilemma is a big sparkly sticker of a ladybird.

I like to think that I’m positive. I’m smiley. I see the bright side. I still hang on to the dire hope that Hamish Blake marry me.

Despite this, for no apparent reason, I sometimes tend to go a bit five year old foetal position tantrum myself. (Normally in the privacy of my own home, not in a classroom, you’ll be glad to know).

What’s my Green Light Thinking?

I’m thankful that it wasn’t my two year old who I witnessed licking the floor at ‘Bed, Bath & Table’ this afternoon.

I’m wrapped that on Friday I got given a free ticket to the Britney concert. I’m doubly wrapped that I shared the experience with one of the most amazing people I know, who chuckled with me about poor old Brit’s woeful lip synching attempts and danced her little hips off with me when ‘Hit Me Baby, One More Time’ was performed.

I have a secret giggle remembering how one of my friends told a lady that while her baby was cute, he preferred his iPhone. He has a point, you can’t hold a baby up to the radio to tell you which song is playing.

The knowledge that one of my colleagues didn’t know what fruit cheese was. I had to explain that it was just cheese with fruit in it.

I think about planes and how I will be on one in 2 months.

The fact that mangoes, cherries, houses decorated in Christmas lights, children wearing elf hats and 30*C days are currently in abundance.

Two words: Taylor Lautner.

The thought of freshly laundered sheets, late night DVDs and no alarm clock.

Knowing that there are so many people I know who put the happiness of other people (and the introduction of quality literature to children) above everything else.

What’s your Green Light thinking?

I should be fine. On paper, life looks perfect. I’m anticipating thrilling adventures, a (fingers crossed) big win on the Melbourne Cup and tonight I’m getting dressed up as a hippie. See? What’s not to like?

But I’m feeling kind of overwhelmed. Cue dialogue from ’10 Things I Hate About You’…

Not “I woke up and just realised I have Lindsey Lohan’s lips” kind of overwhelmed, but enough to make me ancy. Enough for me to wake up in a bath of sweat after having nightmares each night. Enough for me to make me want to eat more chocolate then should really be allowed. Enough for everyday to feel like a bad hair day, for none of my clothes to feel like they’re matching, to feel like I’m floundering when I should be in control. I know I’m sooking, that I really have no problems. That I have friends who buy me pale purple nail polish. I have a steady job. I live in an amazing place. I have dual citizenship, which means I get shorter queues at airports.  Which makes me feel guilty AND ancy. Do you ever feel that way too?

I’m blaming the report writing season. I’m blaming the amount of things I need to get done. I’m hoping that a good does of sunshine, fake tan and tonight’s fancy dress party will cheer me up (How can I be sad about the prospect of my best friend’s backyard transformed into a hippy harem?  Especially when their will be lollies and canoli???’)

So I plan to go to the hairdresser, eat fruit, match up my outfits the night before and put on a happy face. Here’s to hoping.

balloons

To Whom It May Concern,

It’s my birthday on Sunday. I would like it ever so much if you could give me these things when I awake, one year older:

A bedside lamp that works. Mangos. Lots of mangos. 27*C weather. A pair of killer heels. For a sad friend to be happy, even just for a little bit. The answers to the following questions: Why do really terrible things happen to really terrific people? Do echidnas spike each other when they hug? Why is my room always so dusty, no matter how many times I dust it with special dust pickerupper cloths?

I would also adore:

A Summer full of sunny days and free of bushfires. Gluten free bread that doesn’t taste like an old dry cake. To sit on a swing in the park with my best friends, eating Frosty Fruit icy poles. More people to see how fun it is to volunteer. Time to read the pile of books stacked up next to my bed. A classroom that stays tidy and students who are as always kind and funny as I know they can be. The scent of cantelope to disappear from the inside of my car. I only drove around with a cantelope in my car for ONE day, seriously.

And as long as I’m not stretching the friendship…

Let me eat a danish outside Tiffany & Co. when I visit NY. Let my camera not get stolen. Let me pull off the Mimco matching beret & scarf combo I plan to rock in Europe. Let my family stay well and safe and know how much I appreciate them while I’m away. Let me have Blair’s wardrobe. And especially, let it not rain on Saturday night.

Thank you. That will be all. Love Laura

Turn a bad day good: Head to the movies with your Drew Barrymore look-a-like best friend to watch ‘Julie & Julia’ while chowing down on hamburgers and Diet Coke. Chase it up with a double scoop of honey malt macadamia ice-cream in a waffle cone and D&M conversation. (Justify the waffle cone to your gluten intolerant self because the bun on the hamburger was gluten free and looked like you were eating a scone – a biscuit to all you Americans- with meat in the middle. It tasted better than it looked.)

Perk yourself up on a Tuesday: Discover your amazing friends have bought you Taylor Swift tickets for your birthday, standing right up the front. Don’t threaten to make an ‘I love Tay Tay’ sign or they may threaten to boycott. Do plan on wearing cowboy boots and an awesome dress.

Get over a boy: Book a trip to the Greek islands. Tell yourself that there will be many many more boys there. Brainstorm bikini options.

Avoid writing school reports: Watch ‘Charlie’s Angels’ on DVD. Vacuum. Bake Honey Joys. Go for a walk. Watch another DVD. Sort out your wardrobe. Paint your nails. Repeat.

Feel old: Realise that the number of years since you finished high school is parallel to the amount time until you turn 30. And that your school’s uniform has completely changed since you left.

Feel young: Plan on making pink paper chains to decorate your birthday party. Buy a domed cake tin so you can bake a Barbie birthday cake.

Turn a tea towel into a chicken: Lay it down vertically and roll both ends until the meet in the middle. Fold horizontally, keeping rolls intact. Gently pull the corners of the tea towel from the middle of the rolls until they are sticking out a little. Hold the corners of each opposite side and pull tight. Voile`! You have a chicken! (Essential for entertaining children and drunk friends at dinner parties).

tea towel chicken* Not my picture, but props to the lady with the comfy looking dressing gown. A dressing gown is the perfect outfit to wear when practising how to make this chicken…

Hope you are having a blissful weekend!

I encountered an interesting old, old lady this week. She made me cry.

Well, she didn’t intend to. I didn’t know her. And it wasn’t her so much, rather her whole situation.

We took some Grade 3 students to visit the Nursing Home across the road and I watched with pride and wonderment as these kids, who run around like crazies most of the day, presented themselves as polite, sweet cherubs. They chatted to the residents in rehearsed sentences, making friendly enquiries about families, children, lives.

Most of the elderly ladies, seated at Bingo tables in lavender and silky scarves, chatted to them about kittens, First Communions and school. Both parties were doing a good job at making pleasent conversation.

Except for one lady, hunched over a walking frame, reciting poetry in a loud and commanding voice to an 8 year old audience of mesmorised (although somewhat frightened) children. These kids stood in front of her like statues, with glassy, teary eyes as they listened to her speak with grand gestures.

It was a moment in which the Earth seemed to stand still. I watched the old lady and the children, and no one else in the world existed. Them and Me. Me and them. When I glanced up at my best friend, another teacher who came along, I knew she had seen the water creeping into my eyes.

Especially when a little boy whispered, “You’ve got a real talent there!” A smile lit up the lady’s face and she exclaimed, “Fancy you telling me something like that! Gosh!”

The lady told me she was 89. Born on the West Australian goldfields, she used to recite that poem, in the same clear, commanding voice, when she was young. I imagined her narrating in front of large crowds. Except that now she only speaks to the same people, other resident and visiting strangers. And I dreaded that day, if it ever comes, when I will have wisdom and experience, but no room left for fresh new future dreams…

*Inspired by one of Mollie’s posts…

Almost 24, yet safe and secure in the knowledge that:

I am taking advantage of the period in my life when I can still eat chocolate for breakfast. It’s ok to still have your friends over and part take in play fights, involving hair pulling and a very queasy tummy after jumping around too much following the consumption of Thai take-away. I can still get away with talking like I am 15. Like, totally just get away with it. I’m on the precipice of a time when it’s acceptable to buy tissues because they have Hannah Montana on the packet.

Degrees: Check. Job: Check.

My friends and I have reached a suitable age when we can criticise teen fashion (white socks over leggings? Hello?!) but still follow them if we find said fashions to be of a superior class (Headbands? Yes!) I’m still young enough to plan and dream about stupid schemes and dreams, which still have a remote possibility of coming true (live in a Northern NSW treehouse? Sure, why not. Marry a Prince I will meet at a bar, a la Princess Mary and become future Queen of European country? Hell yes! Work for a fashion magazine? Look after native animals at my house? Have an organised filing system in my classroom? Be on ‘Dancing with the Stars’? Shack up with Hamish Blake? Dare to dream…)

Saturdays are for spending the morning in pajamas, eating overpriced salads for lunch and dancing all night. Sundays are for sleeping in, gelati, chats on the balcony with people you partied with on the previous night, reading the paper, watching movies and doing last minute work preparation (while eating toast for dinner).

Having said that, it’s perfectly acceptable to spend Saturday night watching DVDs and eating burnt microwave popcorn with fabulous people.

I’m mature enough to be besties with the more mature ladies at work, but still young enough to love discussing the Teen Choice Awards with the Grade 6 girls.  Old enough to make grown up choices (buy a house, get married, la di dah…), young enough to kiss random boys at parties. Old enough to drive, young enough to car dance. Draw wisdom from movie quotes, gain inspiration from great women, adore my friends.

Yep, not bad. Not bad at all.

Days of My Life

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...and it got me thunking... A dip platter is my idea of a perfect meal beach Beyonce` would know Bill Cosby was right and kids do say the darndest things birthday girl bloggers bloggers who rock boys with black nail polish are the sex bushfires champagne child of the 80s chocolate Christmas cupcakes make the world go round dancing to cheesy songs could end war forever david jones dogs are some of the best people i know dreaming family fashion fashion thrills me forwards free friends morph into family frogs Gen Y gluten Gossip Girl XOXO half a letter and half a list Hamish Blake gives me a lift on my ride home Hard to believe but sometimes we are even cooler then Carrie Bradshaw headbands are what dreams are made of Heels equal power honest I'm actually 15 i'm bored therefore i blog i'm such a girl i adore kids books I am you are we are Australian I can't remember as I was a bit smashed i love HK and all its mango drinks i really hope you don't know me i still believe in Santa i wish i spoke in amazing quotations I would have a Diet Coke IV if i could jokes just a moment life long love Lilo Lily Allen Melbourne Miley Cyrus miranda kerr my friends are the best friends once upon a time i loved Hanson parents are intesting sometimes read my brain sad but true sometime i think little kids are smarter then me Spice Girls Spring has sprung Summer Sunday Taylor Swift teaching this show is my life travel unrealistic is more realistic we're all dying too weekends when I'm bored I'm crazy when will i will i be famous? Winter yes i rock singstar

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