Thursday, 21 June 2012

Placement, job center and everything in between


I posted the other night about gritting my teeth and getting on with my creative writing. Well I haven’t. For two reasons mainly, the first being that I simply haven’t had time, and the other because every time I try, I have my old tutor’s voice saying ‘naff’ in my head. ‘Naff’ isn’t a very technical term, but who am I to ignore someone who has ‘Dr’ in front of their name?

I do need to get on with it, but I have been busy with placement and such.

Normally I’d be terrified before starting a new placement, but the 5.30 start and being in Middlesbrough for 7.30 meant it was too early for fear. I dragged myself to Starbucks as it opened and waited for the girl I’m working with, looked over our plan and went to the school.

After a confusing moment where we were asked if we were from the Red Cross, to which we looked blankly and mumbled ‘no… the university… the workshop,’ we were given our photo ID’s, introduced to the teacher, taken to the classroom and then left with four rather intimidated, awkward looking 13 year olds. There was absolutely no time to panic.

It’s meant to be a group of eight, but most were on a school trip. They’re such intelligent kids and we persevered, mainly talking about ourselves and what we want to do and jumping from activity to activity, hoping to promote group discussion. This only worked when we left them alone. Or sat at the desk and pretended to leave them alone. Things soon picked up when we started playing ‘career charades’ and that game where you have a famous person on a sticky label on your head and have to ask the other’s questions about who it is. Only they did it with jobs and careers.

At this point they actually started laughing and talking to us and I’m really pleased that we couldn’t have had a better behaved group of kids. Things might liven up next week when we have eight, but the 90 minutes were fun. Me and Helen paired up for an example for a ‘getting to know you’ activity, and hearing her say it, it sounded like it was coming from someone else.

‘This is Rachel, she’s got a BA in English and Creative Writing. She hopes to either be a teacher or a writer of some sort and is taking a year out to gain as much experience as possible. She has a fat horse and has been riding for 14 years, obviously likes to read and write and goes running and to the gym and also likes clothes. She has a blog, is working on a creative writing project and has previously worked in retail.’

She made me sound so much more experienced than I often feel! She stated the facts, nothing about my uncertainty and panic, and I realised that no amount of uncertainty or panic can take away what I’ve done, do and am yet to do. This sudden confidence came in useful when I went to the job centre.

You’d think I’d have more to say about the job centre but I don’t. It was dull if nothing else. I don’t get why people hang about there all day. The woman I saw was lovely, but she knows my mam’s friend so I quickly got the impression that the entire job centre staff body will soon know who I am! I have to go back to an advisor tomorrow and talk to her about my career aspirations and things. Who knows, I may come back enlightened. I’m actually grateful for the opportunity to talk to someone who knows what they’re talking about.

Also, I have a job interview for a retail position on Saturday morning. I rang up about it last week and totally forgot about it, and while it’s probably not going to figure in my long term goals and aspirations, it certainly fulfils the short term one of making money and getting used to the work environment and new situations again, and will still let me have that year out of sorting my head out, gaining other experience and working on my writing. I’ve found myself thinking about other projects that interest me and feel more enthusiastic about everything in general.

What with passing my driving test, it seems like things are on the up. Fingers crossed for the interview!

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