Saturday, September 29, 2007

Saturday - bright and sunny

I never realised that happiness was something you had to work hard at. I never knew that it wasn't just a black and white thing - you are or you aren't, but now I am starting to realise this and looking to thinks that support and sustain this happiness...

So now I have to research this thing and study the beast.

I may have a new car by the end of next week. Another teacher I know has upgraded from a shitbox to a beater. So I asked if he wanted to sell it to me. I think for $500 au will be worth it, anything that keeps me from walking 3 km in the snow to and from school will be good. AND I will be able to zip off to the city anytime and just enjoy the drive to and from.

I had a brief discussion with my boss about work and I realised a few things more than the brief obscure answers he gave me, like a little shakabooku so to speak. I realised that this is my course and my job and my career, I had, until that time, lost ownership of my own direction. I lost it to disappointment and adversity. Now, I have got a reasonable grip on my direction and what I want professionally I will be able to make strident steps forward.

  • Personally this does not equate sadly, I know what I want but in this case ownership is not an option, so I have to have faith and believe in my ideals and my beliefs about matters of the heart. Or cut my heart out and become a selfish mercenary vicious bastard - it actually sounds appealing... but I will give the other option a good try first.
  • Interpersonally I have endeavoured to make more of an effort with people that I meet, I have been rather passive in my approach, feeling the outsider and observing and absorbing language and culture etc. Now I think its time to turn the tables! My culture has a lot to offer and so do I, I must give ignorance the option and if what I offer is not recieved or disregarded then I will get out the Uzi... but until then I think I will give people a chance, the same chance I deserve but don't get...

Obi - talking happiness with the easter bunny !

Monday, September 24, 2007

Back To Work

It has been an odd month. Not so much as odd strange, but my parents have come and gone and stayed for 2 weeks. I think they were bored in my small town, god knows I am.
  1. I signed a 26 hour a week contract it is now 37 and as with anything, the quantity vs quality scales are changing their balance. 33% more work than I want to do.
  2. I created a timetable, assessed the students through dialogue and interview and placed them into groups accordingly. 40 people in fact. So why on the last day before the commencement of the contract and the classes does my boss call me on a Sunday night at 10pm to go through a radical change of classes size and level and make me squeeze out another class? Why? Money. He wants as much money as he can extract from the company as possible. completely unnecessary from my point of view but he feels needs to leech as much as he can by creating bullshit groups of students.
  3. I spent a fair few hours interviewing the students and also the taxis to and from the company, on 3 separate days no reimbursement for taxi or my time, for the interviews, or curriculum design and research for books etc. (many hours worth)
  4. The Contract that he signed with this company is for a year. and he wants me to complete it and so does the company, i have 4 months left on my contract, do the maths... he will be 8 months shy.
  5. My boss wants a key to my apartment, so he can come in when I don't answer the phone. Which is 1% of the time. Now, like anyone with a phone it is always a choice to answer the phone or not. He calls me any time and expects me to jump. Come to a meeting (unpaid). Come to the office to talk (unpaid). Maybe I should ask him to give me a key to his house.

So I have some grumbles. Some dear reader you may think they are trivial and some completely valid. But this growing dissatisfaction I am having initially brought on by the collapse of all my holiday plans, (No rest no rejuvenation). My stomach problem never left me and it really wears me out quickly., I need to see a specialist about it and have an MRI or something. Now I have to up the energy output and push it up a greater hill called February. I am already dark and shitty about all these small things but they are valid and I will burn out...

On the upside, having my family here was a good thing, all the talks about the old times and the family updates and generally the info. Having some mum cooked meals was nice, but I must say my dad was a trooper and prepared most of the meals. I prepared none - where is the equity! hahahahaa!

We went to Malbork castle with my friends and had a beautiful dinner in a town on a lake. The restaurant sat at the edge of the lake and the sunset was magic. all were happy and laughing after a hard days castling... We went to old cities and went sightseeing and shopping. My parents saw fit to buy out many a shop and provide me with more plastic containers nic nacs and do-dads than I will ever need, but I guess they needed a mission each day to get outta the house. they took photos and spoke Polish and had adventures, all in all a relaxing time.

I have enough in my life but there is one thing I don't have and its sorta the key to balancing this upside down pyramid of fun... having that would make all these grumbles and anger vanish in seconds, - Obi

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Night time out of my window

Its late here, my preferred time of day. The hum and rush of the town and the noise of chattering, traffic and talking have subsided now. International lorries go past my window with a hum that builds and fades off as they turn the corner up from my house.
My windows are eyes to the world, perhaps a world that these eyes open to only at night, the night is for dreaming for impossible things and I seem to find myself sitting on the window sill with window open staring out and listening for the impossible and pondering the improbable and play moment over and over in my head. The hum of another lorry and rush of a car pass me.
Outside my window I see the bright green and white of a bank sign across the road. I see the mournful orange tinged street lamps below me and I look at the vividness of the empty street they shine down on. Sometime I think the silence almost has a weight, a thickness and a blanketing calm. Another car rushes past.
This is my preferred time of day. I can think those thoughts I save for the unbroken silence, I pose questions in my mind that will never be answered and I think about times when I was the happiest. So I look out my window hoping to see something that will never come and to hear something that will never be said... Hope must be a genetic flaw I have in abundance.
I have my mum and dad visiting at me the moment and it is lovely to see them, but I do see the difference more than a year from home has brought me. I have a billion things I should do with work and focus and plan for but of course I cannot, quality time with my family is more important to me emotionally than the reality of what is necessary. We have 10 more days in my small town and I worry how to keep them from being bored, because my all standards, Guinness included, this is the most boring town there is...
I am comfortable with my austere life here, no TV to clutter my brain with, and few possessions lead me to a clearer mode of life, well I am a bit of a bull shit philosopher at times but as unhappy as I sound (sorry readers) I am actually in the right place I think. Though sometimes when I look out my window I wonder if someone else thinks and feels the same things I do... Obi just lonely.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Uncertain Smile

Well the week is over and the the cooler winds are becoming more brazen in the races up my street and through my life. The seasons have definitely changed. My parents are enjoying their time here in my small town and have met some of the quality people I know. Dinner out tonight is just one example.
I put in a lot of work today on the proposal and curriculum for the new in-company project. It still looks like I will be utterly swamped but as long as I look snappy and dapper as the Titanic sinks then I will be okay...
Been spending much less time than I would like in the favourite corner of my mind in my favourite memories this past 2 weeks, and much like a drug, I am missing my time there and my feelings of warmth and comfort. I heard an old and well loved song today and it was an express ticket to my fav place. I think the imagery in the lyrics is enough for me. I remember listening to it on long evenings when I was younger and just loving it...
Uncertain Smile - The The (Matt Johnson)
Peeling the skin back from my eyes, I felt surprised that the time on the clock was the time I usually retired to the place where I cleared my head of you; but just for today, I think I'll lie here and dream of you.
I've got you under my skin where the rain can't get in, but if the sweat pours out, just shout I'll try to swim and pull you out.
A howling wind blows the litter as the rain flows, as street lamps pour orange colored shapes through your window, a broken soul stares from a pair of watering eyes, uncertain emotions force an uncertain smile...
I've got you under my skin where the rain can't get in, but if the sweat pours out, just shout I'll try to swim and pull you out.
You know who you are and so do I. Obi

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Spread like margarine

How to manage, create and effectively structuring a business course for a company that has giving you a week to prepare a year course for an international purchasing department and an international sales department.
How to effectively conduct interviews with 50+ people and assess their levels and in the back of your mind wonder what the fuck you are going to do with them and how to manage the course. and fit 41 hours of work into a 26 hour week? As well as keep up the standard of education and entertainment?

How to manage all this and depression and juggle my parents visiting? hahahahaahahahahahaa - I am laughing too... well actually I have scheduled that for when I have a moment to myself... so that would be November 25th...
Obi just going mad but missing someone madly.... as usual... xx

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Back at the grind stone

So here is the picture so far...
I am just about to finish my first week back at school. The turn out for this weeks classes I must say is quite pitiful, considering all the students have free lessons courtesy of the EU. and they signed contracts to attend. Having said this one entire class did not turn up. and many classes were on a skeleton crew.
I have told the administrator at school to send out a group email to all students and put a fire under them by reminding them that classes have started and that there is a contractual obligation and or fines if they are not there. Aside from this it is an insult to me and a waste of my time.
My boss, good bless him, is a concerned man but contradictory. during the summer i didn't answer his call one day, damn it I was on holiday. so he SMS 6 time and called another 6 and I started to get quite annoyed. to make matters worse he then turns up at my apartment door and knocks incessantly for 15 minutes ...
When I spoke to him the following day he claimed that he thought I had had a heart attack or suicided and he was worried, this was his justification for harassing me on my vacation... Now this is no justification at all. He then went on to ask me for the second set of keys for my house. NO Fucking WAY!
So this man, worried about my health and I have had some health problems then turns around the following week and loads me up with this contract to teach in company - this has expanded my comfortable 26 hours a week of teaching to a massive 41. This is bloody ridiculous! I am not in Europe to work my ass off, I can do that at home. I am here to do a little work and cruise and enjoy a quieter life and examine my own...
On top of this he tells me to arrange all my other classes around the new contract and manage it myself. Talk about being thrown in the deep end. He wants me to be more autonomous but at the same time ignores the fact that I can't communicate with many people or organise the simplest things like ordering a pizza over the phone!
The administrator in the office is as helpful as a blind ballet teacher and I am getting more and more frustrated and I am only in week one!
One of my co teachers whom I dislike but rely on quite heavily in classes has not been present or contactable for weeks and I was worried. Now I just don't care.
More than anything now I just want to be left alone. My parents are finishing their world wind European trip with me and I begged the to come earlier but they didn't. So my boss is also ticked off that i am taking time away from some classes and delaying the beginnings of others to spend time with them. He is so contradictory, he said it was all okay for me to rearrange the schedule...
Also I live in a massive 8 room apartment that costs an arm and a leg. i need to move and find something cheaper, my boss professed to want to help but he and his staff have done nothing at all... I am a very independent guy but sadly in this situation I cannot do without help from others. I need it and I am just not getting it...
how fuckin frustrated am I?? Obi

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Play with me?

Monday, September 03, 2007

Challenge Set

Well today was the first class and thank god I just had the one! I am really over teaching and although I have a great many ideas about what is possible and what can be achieved I am rarely the person who sets the goals for me. My boss has had a conflab with a local company and wham presto I have 24 new students or varying levels that all need business english.
I now have to teach specific English to a Purchasing department and another to a Sales department. For someone who wanted to work 26 hours a week but now it seems I will be working in excess of 41 hours.
I need to find a new home. I will be looking for a cheap place to live next month - my plan was to ask my students in each of my classes to help me find a place to live. I think 90 students will be a damn good start to blitzing the town for a place to live....
I have classes again at 6pm tomorrow night. YUKKO...
Anyway that is all from me today, obi thinking about a new month and a whole new possibilities - all for work and none for me, but that is par for the course... Obi Teeing off...

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Top Ten Things

One of my top ten things to take to a desert island is the album 'Come on feel the Lemonheads'. I love every track on the album and I have played my copy until it broke. Tracks like 'It's a shame about Ray' and 'Into your arms' I can never get sick of.

Listen and see if you can understand why... So Obi says, come on. Feel the Lemonheads...

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Pop Lockin Beats

Popping and Locking are lost arts. Some may say lost for a good reason but none the less an art. I found this video by accident and was rather entranced by the beats and the amazing moves and flexibility of these poppers and b-boys (yes I have been watching documentaries and now know some words) turn the volume down to about 35% - the sound quality is not so hot!

Juss dub owh time - Obi-boy wanna be...

Contract Interviews

Today I met with the managing director of a local company to discuss me teaching 12 of his employees in company. He really wanted to get a feel for me and what type of person I am and how he would get along with me etc.
Usually I can shine hotter than the sun in interviews but in this one I could not care less, sure I did very well and listened and took notes and feigned interest etc but my vibe of this man and his conversation backed up the fact that he has had a lot of interrupted English education. This erks him and he is not going into this negotiation with an open mind. Regardless of him I am not interested in teaching there - if I have to I have to but at the moment I could care less.
I have to go into the office tomorrow and have a chat with my boss about who knows what and then I will wander around town and see what is new I can see to stop myself from being bored.
I will be collection boxes and scrubbing this place clean in anticipation of my moving out of this place to some place much smaller.
I also expect a visit from my old housemate the drunk aristocrat, he has his stuff here and wants to collect it on the way through. My parents will be here at around the same time. maybe I will arrange to be sightseeing on the days he wants to be here. Cause him some inconvenience.

That is all from me today and I am awake again at an odd hour and listening to the silent void... Obi
I - Obi...