Saturday, January 31

THE Job Hunt... on.

I consider myself extremely lucky to have some very amazing friends.  Without these friends I would find the peaks and troughs of life difficult.  Two of my closest friends, in fact I'd have to say my closest two friends, really helped me out over the New Year period.  Although it was difficult to leave their company, after doing so I really felt restored, refreshed and yet again, myself.

It seems I lose myself from time to time.  Amongst the day-to-day stuff that is life, I get lost.  I lose my key principle(s) and from there I sort of wobble.  But, thanks to my friends, I am just a weeble, I wobble but I don't fall down.

I've decided, with full force, to focus my job hunt on Milan, in an attempt to work towards my 3rd New Years Resolution.  This has come after six months of indecisiveness: return to England *wobble*, stay in Pescara *wobble*, move to a different country *wobble*, leave teaching altogether *wobble*, everything seemed so wobbly before Christmas.  However, since January 2015 started, and after chatting with family and friends, I'm feeling happy with a healthy dose of determination to stay in teaching, in Italy but, more specifically, move to Milan.

"Why Milan? and not Rome, or Florence, or Turin etc?", I get asked.

1.  Milan has a healthy amount of International Schools of various types, sizes and curriculum.  Sounds strange but my experience as a teacher in England broke me to make me.  I am a teacher, and a ruddy good one at that, who had a particularly...particular...experience in the first two years of her teaching career.  As a result I sort of ran-away, pushed the emergency button and jumped off the train.  It's time to get back on that train, back into a Primary school setting, but from a different angle.  I have to go back to the things that I am actually missing (shock-horror!): the planning and marking, creating SMARTboards, getting my head round how to make a child understand a concept that they may not be ready for yet, and everything else that teachers love to hate.  As well as dialogue: dialogue with all the positions that are within a large school.  Milan has a few schools that follow a UK curriculum that I am trained in and so it just makes sense to focus on that. 

2.  I'm not done with Italy, oh no Sir.
Italy has got under my fingernails in the same way salt dough does.  I'm afraid I can't actually explain why, it just is.  I started looking at jobs in England, mainly around London, Bristol and Gloucester for various reasons, but I felt all itchy and blotchy just thinking about 'returning'.  I'm also reading many adverts for schools all over Europe but a strange unwillingness clouds over me to go any further than read the schools information or browse their website, even when some jobs offer much higher financial benefits than any teaching job in Italy could ever provide.

3.  There's something pulling me to Milan.
What that something is will depend on your personal belief about where such somethings come from, whether it's fate, or destiny, or God, or coincidence or just because.

4.  I have a lot of sight-seeing on my to-do list.
I've been to a few places in the North-West, but the majority of Northern Italy remains untouched.  Milan, being Milan, has better public transport connections to the rest of Italy and other European countries in Europe. There are many more weekends out and about ahead.

5. The connections to England are more efficient. 
I need to stay connected to my friends and family in England, simple as that.  Stansted doesn't make that easy when I'm from the south of England.  However having more locations to fly to in England, even if only in the peak season, will make catching up with all my loved ones just that little bit easier.

6.  My blog would become 'Laura in Lombardia'

And so, I'm going to go hunt me a job.

Update: after speaking to my Brother on Skype, he also said that it would be, and I quote, "more interesting to visit you in Milan than where you are now"...that, yes, is also true.  I'd be likely to have more visitors!!

Sunday, January 18

Roll on 2015 blogging situation seems to be dwindling somewhat and I can't decide if I've got nothing to say, or everything to say.  

This year has started on a better foot than the last.  Looming over the start to 2014 was the forthcoming funeral of a close friend.  This New Years I spent in the company of my bestest and closest friends with the news that there will be two weddings and two births to celebrate...oh and my third graduation.  Hooray!

And with a New Year there comes the resolutions

I don't know about you but I have 'goals', things I want to do, that are longer running than just a year.  In the first six months of living in Pescara I declared I had three 'Ongoing Goals'.  One was related to learning Italian, one work related and one based on a 'hobby'.  Turns out I've only got one more goal to achieve...the hobby one.

This, I fear, is going to be the most difficult of them all.  Learning Italian has been time consuming, but useful for both work and leisure and I can safely say that I've exceeded even my own expectations of reaching an Upper-Intermediate level since arriving in Pescara in August 2011.  Completing the Masters was also ridiculously time consuming, including overnight essay writing and a lot of panic.  However I know I bizarrely enjoyed the challenge and hope it will contribute significantly to my career prospects.  A piano diploma however, now that is my Wall.

I love playing the piano BUT I also hate it, and I mean hate it.  There are weeks when I don't play it, nor think about it.  My piano teacher despairs, as all my previous ones have too, when I rock up to a lesson all smiles, only to announce that "nope, not practiced...not even touched a piano".  Oh goody.  Why is taking diploma in piano performance your resolution then Laura?  I hear perhaps one of you ask.

You see, I'm not an exceptional pianist, never have been, but I want to be, I'm willing myself to be one, and so: I will be an exceptional pianist.  And that's the issue: as a perfectionist, a 'Type A' personality, I can't not be good.  I strive hard, really hard, to be good at everything, too much so, and that's why I ended up in Pescara in the first place.  I do not recommend having a 'burn-out' at the age of 24.

Even though I'm currently building up my knowledge of how to be a Type B personality: realigning my 'warpy' thoughts, learning how to truly relax, and trying not to have so many heart palpitations, the ridiculously high expectations of myself lead me to this one last thing, getting my piano diploma.  I'm going to have to be very careful.

So that's resolution no. 1:  Take a piano diploma.  It's hard to explain how this is so emotionally connected to everything I'm working on now so I'll save that for another day.

In comparison resolution no. 2 is easy peasy: pass at least B2 in Italian.  As I managed to pass the last exam without frequenting the school weekly, the fact I'm attending 6 hours a week of Italian should hopefully help me.  Even if this level is quite a bit tougher.

Then the third resolution seems a bit random but marks a turning point: double my salary.  Simple.  It's a turning point as it will signify the start of a new chapter.  I will no longer be 'Pakes in Pescara' but somewhere else (hopefully).  However it may mean returning to a more stressful work environment by reentering a different style of schooling to where I am now, in a much larger city.  It Whatever happens after gaining a position that will double my salary will be the ultimate test for all the things I've been focusing on these past four years, mainly my Type A personality.  Only time will tell if my lifestyle changes, over the past year in particular, have really made a difference.

And that's it fellow readers, my three resolutions for 2015.

What are yours?