Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Giving and receiving

Difficult situations happen. A lot of the time I don't know how to deal with them.

One of the hardest to deal with is relationships...they're always changing.

I find it hard to balance them, and a lot of the time I feel like I just annoy people. According to some, I'm not very discreet and I'm called 'King Blurt'. Some other people think I'm quite professional and sensible.

Some people I know find it easy to ask for what they want.

I'm not one of them.

Teaching psychology makes me think about my own situations...I think it takes a certain person to study and teach psychology. Someone hinted to me recently that perhaps I overthink things, and I should accept things about myself as they are...including my body shape.

I want to help people, and the planet. That's why I became a teacher. I really want to help the people I care about the most too...but it never seems to pan out quite the way I'd like it to. Someone I know has been through a really difficult situation, and I don't think I've been the best support I could have.

Even then, it's still expected that I'll be the one giving the support - I created this situation for myself. I prefer giving to receiving.

So what happens when the shit hits the fan at my end?

I think I'm becoming the worst thing I thought I ever could be...and something I never thought I would.

A cynic.

I'm wondering where my never ending well of optimism has gone.

J.

This post was inspired by calls not returned to people I care about, a post I received on MySpace and AQA Psychology

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Obesity, patience, and other stories...

First thing to say - as of this post I've retired the song title game. I think I need to make it a bit more obvious what I'm talking about post by post. It was time for me to move forward.

So here we go...

1) Obesity
Now if anyone read my last few posts, and has got an idea about what my themes for the year are, then you'll know that one of my preoccupations has been my weight. Apart from all the self-conscious stuff, and really not caring about my body, I've discovered a lot about myself this year.

I did some digging around and found that I'm almost obese.

Now it's easy to get all scary about it, but I was checking on the World Health Organisation (WHO) website, and the National Obesity Forum (an independent UK charity). According the WHO, having a body mass index over 30 is a crude definition of obesity. Over 25, and you're overweight.

At the beginning of the year, my BMI was 28.8...and I'm sure it was higher last year...

...so that makes me nearly obese...

Nothing like the truth to wake up oneself.

More scary, was the fact that waist circumference could be a better predictor of later problems associated with obesity (e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure etc.) than BMI. I measured my waist (and for a bloke it's not where the trousers sit - it's the area just under the navel) and have found myself to be in the highest risk category for those future problems.

Even more interesting, waist circumference could be considered to a be a better indicator of health in south-Asian people than BMI - due to different body make-up...

Again - nothing like the truth to wake up oneself.

I am doing something about it: eating properly and exercising. I'm actually starting to give a shit about my body and take care of it.

The plan is to live until I'm 100 years old.

2) Patience
I had my patience severely tested at school. I've never really totally lost it with a pupil at school. Even when I 'go mad' it's all for effect - being a teacher gives me free rein to express myself and I take that opportunity.

But I'm always responsible and aware of what I'm doing.

This week, my self-confidence was shaken by a pupil who got under my skin because I let them. The stuff this pupil was saying, and the way he was delivering it was designed to get a rise, and attention.

When the attention was withdrawn - the pupil really didn't like it. It was the contempt the pupil showed for the class, and learning that got to me.

I kept my cool though, and I've since moved forward, but it's not over yet.

It's made me re-evaluate my career direction - I know what my skills are, and my curriculum vitae is being updated accordingly.

However, it's also made me think about the pupil too. Something must have been going on with them, to have them respond like that. It's third year I've taught them, and I've had a pretty good relationship and respect level with them.

Being a teenager is not easy...and old people who say it is have forgotten what it's like.

3) Other stories
Last week was our half term...and I went skiing with my school in Austria. It wasn't that much of a holiday - because it was like being a teacher/ parent/ guardian all in one for 24-hours-a-day...but the pupils were pretty well behaved - and I had good time.

Now, I don't have much of a reputation as being the most athletic or sporty of teachers, but I gave it my best shot. On the first day, I couldn't get up - it was soooooo difficult! The second day was just hugely frustrating - I kept skiing out of control and crashing. The third day, I got much better...and even got a certificate for being the most improved skier!

But one thing I've learned - ski boots need to be perfect. And mine weren't. They were too tight or too loose...so they rubbed/ bit into my shins so I've got a nice set of cuts and bruises that are only starting to heal now.

This meant the fourth day - I didn't ski. I was in too much pain. The rest of my group were up on the mountain having a great time.

I did ski on the last two days - and actually on the mountain. I was a day behind the rest of my group, but I did myself justice, and managed to keep up with them. All the pain was worth it to see the views from the mountain - and the satisfaction of skiing all the way down!

I still think that the only reason the lead teacher asked me to go on the trip was purely for comedy value...

J.

This post was brought to you by: weight loss and skiing, with a healthy dose of frustration