Who invented f*@king running?!

Running is one of those activities that is heavily romanced in my mind. I genuinely think it’s one of the coolest things to just announce that you’re off on a jog, and then return 40 mins later with a rosey glow and make nothing of the fact that you ran (WITHOUT stopping) for 40 minutes. As a fatty, I find that talent akin to magic. Black magic.

Somewhere in and amongst my reading of the general weightloss fad, I came to the undeniable conclusion that I should probably start doing some excersize in addition to going to weight watchers. I came across the couch to 5k , and it breaks down to running half an hour, three times a week, and at the end of eight weeks, I should (in theory) be able to run a 5k race.

But before I move on to my first run and what a delight that was, I just want to take a second to address the monumental unfairness that I have found myself in. Cameron. My fantastic significant other has also recently “picked up running”. He started last week and now has coordinated running outfits.

In all seriousness, I think the app is key, because Cam’s helpful suggestion of “just keep running till you’re tired, and then just run a little more the next time” made me flip a table. It’s basically as motivational as saying “just stop being shit” – actually, I find that more helpful. In addition to which, my brother’s beyond fit girlfriend has offered to run with me when she’s back from college – I just envision us running down the trail as the real life mismatched pair of Esmeralda and Quasimodo.

So I went out on the first day of the programme and it was not awful, but truth be told, I only actually ran for a total of eight minutes in the thirty minute time period. So to recap, I walked for 22 minutes.

 

This may be a very long eight weeks.

Queuing and being far too British

So I needed to sprint to the doctors in the morning & then attempt to get to work on time too. So obviously, because I me, I got here 50 minutes before the doctors opened. Who doesn’t love a good queue?

I’m sitting in the car redditing & someone else turns up and gets out of her car. I panic because – I was here first! So then I have to get out of my car and get to the front of the door before she does, without her thinking that I am essentially being a 5 year old and racing her.

I win. And as I lean smugly against the railing, congratulating myself at being the best in a line, a guy appears and stands right next to the door! Damnit! I couldn’t believe that he didn’t know the internationally accepted rules of queuing – being that, I was here first, you can’t stand in front of me.

Of course I said nothing because I’m British and I didn’t want to make a fuss or be rude. This meant that has soon as the shutters moved in the office, I scuttled to the door with the grace of a geriatric crab and having learned a lesson from earlier, I tried to be less smug about being the first in the queue. Inwardly, I cheered my heroic performance in a very aggressive game of iron will that, as it turned out only I was playing. The woman went to the office upstairs and the man was just dropping off a form.

I still won.

Job hunting

So now that I have a green card I am looking for a job. Through this soul destroying and confidence shattering process I realised, that it is much like dating, only more desperate. I will quickly compromise on my morals for the lowest amount you’re willing to pay me.

The worst part is when you’re asked to list your “salary requirements”, which in my head turns into a bidding war with someone else where ultimately you end up screaming “I’LL DO IT FOR FREE” at your computer. 

I’ve had three interviews so far and the experience is as follows 

1) Working for an organisation based in DC focusing on the social change in India. When I went for the interview, there wasn’t a single indian working there. Whilst it might not sound strange, consider an organisation based in India, lobbying the Indian Government for equal rights for gay couples in Alabama… I don’t know what they were really hoping they could achieve, but either way I’m ok with not making that cut.

2) A commission based salary for a grassroots political campaign. 

3) A position with a Military themed organisation, and during the interview, the woman seemed really preoccupied with how much I knew about america, stating that “you learn everything there is to know in Kindergarten”…do you? I’m not sure how accurate that is…

So in conclusion, if you have a job, I will do it for free.

Summer school…

I spend far too many of my summers in summer school.

When we first moved to DC, I had to go to my  first summer — awesome — I mean who doesn’t become super cool going to summer school? I blame the fact that I was never part of the “cool kids” on this reason. Actually that’s not true, when I first started school I just imposed myself on them and hoped to eventually assimilate without anyone noticing.

It might have worked if 1) I was wearing normal clothes – apparently the grunge scene had somewhat passed by 2001 in DC. No one told me. Did not pick up on it. 2) if I wasn’t the weird grungy kid loitering around them and laughing at jokes not meant for me.

Definitely a high point for me.

Anyway fast forward to summer of 2012, I find myself back at goddamn summer school, but luckily this time it’s two courses, each a week long.

Highlights included:

– An Ice T look alike, very angry. He spent the entire week telling everyone he didn’t need to be there because he taught the class, but his AP (assistant principal – check me out with the teacher lingo) had it out for him. Now I know that there are bullies, but in this instance, I don’t blame the AP…

– A woman loudly declared that there had to be something mentally wrong with a man for teaching elementary school, and were probably pedophiles in training. When I asked what she was basing this on, she proudly, with no sense of shame, said it was a “feeling” she had.

I got hit by a car.

So. I was 18 and on my gap year in Wiltshire (oohh err). I was on my way to work at my Uncle’s office, and was listening to my CD walkman, which would skip at the slightest change of pace – Luckily I am a pretty slow mover, which did not serve me well on this particular day.

It was about 8 on a cold winter morning, so the sun was low in the sky and I was crossing the road pretty close to the corner. I know, so far, I’m not winning the “Cautious Pedestrian” award.

I was far enough across the road to assume that the car would see me, far enough across the road to then immediately think to myself, huh, he does NOT see me. Curses!

He clipped me, I rolled up the windscreen, over the top, and spun off in a whirl that would make an olympic gymnast thankful they’re not me.

Weird shit goes through your mind in these profoundly strange moments. For example for the next five minuets, I was my own goddamn 911 operator. I rolled to a stop and immediately wiggled my toes – bitchin, spine is intact, nothing to not. I would not let anyone touch me because I hadn’t lost consciousness and didn’t want to be put into the recovery position by the general public, because if I had a spinal injury, I wanted a trained medical professional to handle me. Where the fuck i got that, I do not know.

Then the sheer fear set in. I knew I had fucked my knee a little bit. They would have to look at my leg. I had not shaved in maybe three weeks. This genuinely became my primary focus.

Until I put my hand to my head, and my hand returned to my line of sight completely covered in beautifully bright red blood.

Then the story takes a turn, which will remain my favourite human interaction until the day I die.

I am lying there in a growing puddle of blood, able to see the driver out the corner of my eye rocking back and forth in shock, worrying about my hairy legs and what the paramedics will think (I was, the driver was probably worried about something else), when a homeless gentleman wanders into my eyeline.

He stops and looks at me – bottle of gin in hand – takes a long swig and says

Thank fuck I’m not you love!

And then promptly buggers off.

*Side boring note – torn ligament in my knee & 7 head stitches – totally fine*

New Directions

So I have just updated my facebook status to make fun of the poor woman next to me just trying to write her novel – and here I am blogging. I am the same awful stereotype… OH WELL!!

So as the first semester of my MAT (masters in teaching) comes to a close, I’ve decided that I am going to keep this blog as a progress map. Mostly because what I believe I am being taught is so far from the reality of actually being a teacher, it will be amusing to read it back as a jaded angry public school teacher — living the dream!!

One of my classes is on Exceptional Children, which was one of those nice things when you realise how middle class and sheltered (or just dumb) you really are. Being from Montgomery County, I thought it was a class on how to deal with over achieving students (and parents) and support their learning. Nope. It’s a special ed class. Whoops.

I am not a teacher right now, but a significant proportion of the class are – and jesus these people throw around acronyms. No idea what was going on. All of the teachers brought up stories – and OH how they laughed!! – on how nooby teachers told the parent they thought something was wrong with their kid and they should get tested.

WHY IS THAT WRONG?! How are you meant to do it otherwise? Hope the kid pipes up themselves & suggests to their parents that they might need to have an education plan implemented? Send a note home & sign it “Anonymous”?

I still don’t know. Seeing as I am going to be a high school teacher, I’m just hoping that someone else sorts it out. Reasonable, right?

Nose slider

A few months ago I went to a family friend’s grandmother’s funeral, which was very sad. She was a deeply loved and adored woman, so there was an enormous turnout.

There were at least 200 people at the house, and I was one of the two white people there, which seems arbitrary but is important in the long run for the story. I had seen this other lady, and assumed that she was a close friend of the grandmother, because she was sitting in with family — and what should have been the first red flag that something was off– she was crying louder than anyone else.

So about an hour later, before we go to the cemetery, the family wanted some time alone around the casket to say their last good byes. The casket is in the lounge, which looks out onto the garden and has sliding doors, through which everyone filters out. Everyone except for the family and this white lady, who apparently considers herself to be part of the family.

This is where it got weird and awkward very quickly.

I was standing outside on the patio with the rest of the crowd, so could see in. The family waited for her to leave, but she didn’t and finally someone quietly asked her to leave, which was met with a quiet wimpering. They escorted her out to the patio and closed the doors for some privacy.

This woman then goes up to the window and pushes her hands and face up against the glass, which forces someone to close the curtains. Lord knows, you don’t want to have your final moments with a loved one, with some crazy lady crying through the window at you.

Closing the curtains proved to be too much for her, and she began, not only wailing at the top of her voice, but as she’s doing this, she slowly begins to slide down the glass, leaving a very attractive nose streak on the window to mark the trail of sorrow.

Throughout this entire episode people had begun look at each other in shock, and I joined in with the universal tut & look away move. Then I noticed that quite a lot of people were looking at me, and I met their gaze with another shake of the head – until mid-shake – I realised that people were not looking at me as just another shocked person in the crowd — but as the only other white person, they thought that we were together!

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

**Side note, I later found out that this woman was the grandmother’s manicurist, who had done her nails — wait for it — three times**