Friday, 24 February 2012

Alma Mater

I wanted to blog more than this in 2012. This post is more of a personal documentation than a carefully crafted treatise!

I'm at a pretty transitional point in my life at this moment and it's been a little disrupting. I've just left a wonderful school, where I have met inspirational teachers and taught confident and perceptive pupils. I had the chance to work in a brilliant department amongst a staff who value everyones individual contributions. In short I LOVED THAT SCHOOL.

Now i'm moving on

To the place where everything began for me. My alma mater. The school which shaped me, which nurtured me, which encouraged me. The school where the teachers I had have become my friends, where I found people to champion my dreams and encourage my talents. Where I feel at home.

But I am scared.

I'm scared that i've got expectations (something I try never to have) I'm worried that I will fail to be the person my friends here have championed me to be. That it will be too hard to fit in with a different role, that I'll mess everything up and disappoint those who have believed in me the most.

But I trust in my abilities, in the joy I get from teaching, that everything will work out fine. I trust that there is a God who is for me preparing my path, who knows the number of hairs on my head. A God who loves me more than anything I could ever do or fail to do.

The cry of my heart is to be someone who makes a difference.
It's not ok to me that kids go through their schooling thinking that they are useless. It's not ok to me that in schools children feel lonely, vulnerable and alone. It's not ok to me that school aged human beings think their voices are not heard or don't matter. I want to be a competent enough professional to ensure that I can make a difference.
This is all I ever wanted from life.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

World on Mute

It's like someone put a veil around me, a shroud of uncertainty and isolation. The world, usually in technicolour, seems somehow dulled. The mist engulfing the city tonight engulfs me too, pulling me into its unsearchable depths. My heart aches, my eyes feel heavy, like my soul. 
The river courses its gentle stream as I walk beside her, unaware of the raging torrents of emotion contained inside me. One foot in front of the other I carry on walking. I want to walk into the mist, to disappear from everything, to leave my responsibilities behind me. I want to leave the Lagan to her ageless journey. 
I envy her.
She knows where she starts and where she ends, coming to the final few meanders of her path here at the mouth of the ford where her secrets become the lough's; where the lough becomes the sea. Her path laid out before her every step of the way. But me? I wander at her shore on the edge of a knife, veiled and muffled. 
One foot in front of the other is all I can manage tonight.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

You have the capacity to be incredible!

I have just watched I have Never Forgotten you: The life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal and I have never wept so much at a documentary before. This man was exceptional.

Friday 27th January was Holocaust Memorial Day and I did a few lessons on it with some of my classes in school that week. When I was researching information I came across this man Simon Wiesenthal the 'Nazi Hunter', I recognised the name but I didn't know who he was. I've only just got round to watching the documentary I found on him and I am so glad I did! His story moved me immensely; he encapsulated the grief of an entire generation lost at the hands of the Nazi's. He raised a daughter who would never have anyone to call auntie, uncle, cousin, grandmother, grandfather. He continued remembering and fighting for justice for those he was never able to forget. And he kept going even when people accused him of making the holocaust up, refused to believe the things he went through and spat at him on the street. Because of this unrelenting vision he had it is possible to quote the paragraph below from the aforementioned documentary:

“Without Simon Wiesenthal’s activity, there would not be war crimes trials today. The reason that there is a permanent UN war crimes tribunal in the Hague is directly attributable to the work that Simon Wiesenthal began in 1946. No one had a more stacked deck against them than Simon Wiesenthal who came out of the holocaust with nothing, nobody, was 99lb and barely alive and with that he wouldn’t give up. To me that’s the lesson of Simon Wiesenthal; that one person if they want to and if they try can make a difference. He made a difference to the world”

For me the year 2012 will always be synonymous with the Olympics, but I want it to be much more than that. I want it to be a momentous personal year. I'll never win a gold medal, but I want to do amazing things, see amazing places, spend amazing times with great friends. So i'm keeping an 'Olympic diary' of all the really cool things I'm going to make a conscious effort to do this year. But after watching this documentary I think i'm also going to add 'find out amazing things that people have done' to the 'Olympic year' list.

Human beings are capable of incredible things, in the same way they are capable of unspeakable things. It is up to us to be incredible in order to prevent the unspeakable from happening in our world! You have a voice, and if you want to, if you try, you CAN make a difference!!