Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Reasons to feel proud of myself

For the longest time after I left university I felt I didn't have very much to be proud about. I didn't really know what I wanted to do - auditioning for drama school proved expensive in itself, let alone what the fees would have been had I actually been accepted, and working in an office left me thoroughly disillusioned.

Then I met Carl and, shortly after, I found scrapbooking. Scrapbooking let me be creative again, and reminded me how much of a practical person I am. Carl encouraged me to do things that I enjoyed, and I found myself teaching drama and singing. He encouraged me to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher, when I finally realised that was what I wanted to do. He was on my case when I lost confidence, as were all my friends from the scrapping community.

Getting established in the school was a struggle in the early stages and, at times, I got quite down. But again, everyone was there to help me along.

In the last six months I feel I have had more to be proud of myself for than ever before. Today the lightbulbs appearing (metaphorically!) above my year 8 students' heads made me beam with pride. Being told that I was making a difference to the form that I took over at Christmas made me feel really good about myself too.

And to cap it all off, I was featured in the sketch challenge in Scrapbook Inspirations this month - my work was actually requested!! You can see the LO above.

Sorry if this post seems self indulgent but those who know me well will tell you just how critical I can be, in fact overly critical of myself. This is me finally being able to say yes, I am doing things right, and I deserve to feel good about myself!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Shoes Upon The Table...

OK, finally blogging again after a month lol.

Today's blog prompt is about superstitions and OCD-type tendencies. Well, there's definitely one or two of those in my life! I think the main one is that every time I say "touch wood", I HAVE to do it - even if it is only to touch my head ;) Also, I have to do it if I think it - not just say it aloud. The same goes for "fingers crossed". When I was younger I had a major thing for making everything symmetrical - this even included word and number patterns in my head, although I never let anyone know about it....until now, as, obviously, I've just told you lol. Possibly the only other thing is the fact that I'm totally anal retentive about everything going right and leaving on time for work in the mornings. If one thing goes wrong and we leave late, it seriously stresses me out - I can't stand the thought of not having enough time to do things.

Onto superstitions and most of mine are theatrical - things like only saying "The Scottish play" (although having done a production of Macbeth with Year 7 and 8 pupils for the Shakespeare Schools' Festival this one has more or less stopped for me!). Of course there is also no whistling backstage or in the dressing room, and the rituals that have to be completed if either of those are not observed. Oh, and not forgetting "Break a leg" instead of good luck. I find it fascinating as all of these come from totally logical backgrounds, and it just goes to show how strange we theatre folk are!

So, to explain a couple:
  • Macbeth was thought to be bad luck because it was the play that was put on whenever a theatre was suffering low audiences - it was a guaranteed crowd pleaser but when announced, the company knew they would not be getting paid for this next production as the theatre was clearly running low on money.
  • Break a leg refers to a part of the mechanism that used to be used to raise and lower the curtain - if the opening night audience were enthusiastic then the curtain would need to be raised and lowered many times, and this could cause the "leg" to break - so if the leg breaks, it means the show should be a great success.
  • And, finally, the whistling comes from the fact that most backstage workers in the theatre used to come from a naval/shipping background - whistling was used as codes for moving ropes and shifting scenery - whistling at random could cause accidents therefore it would not be allowed anywhere at all backstage.

Well, I hope you have found those as interesting as I do!