400 Up

This post is a significant moment indeed. 400 posts now. I think each post has roughly 500 words in it, so we’re definitely north of 200,000 words now. Amazing.

But it’s only significant because the numbers look nice. Really, it’s just another post. It’s symptomatic of the whole of society when nice round dates and anniversaries are picked out to be more noteworthy than others, when really it just doesn’t matter. It’s my decision to celebrate anything at any time. In fact, I’m really looking forward to post 432. I don’t know why, but I am.

OK, I lied. Why not fall into tradition just this once. 400 posts shows some great stickability. I know posts in the past few months, if not longer, have not been particularly exciting. It’s just not been an interesting life since I left university. Most of that is my fault, but some of it has been caused by the economy too.

The coincidence about this post is that it is almost one year since I left Hull. That very anniversary will occur tomorrow, as it was on the 25th of May 2008 that I departed. That’s the most scary aspect about my life. I genuinely don’t know what I’ve done in the last year, what I’ve achieved, what progress I’ve made. There is nothing to report of any significance. All that’s happened is that I feel like I’ve aged, I feel like I’ve regressed, I feel like I’ve become more negative and cynical about everything, and I’ve made a somewhat farcical attempt to run my own business. What a strange old life I’m leaving.

So strange, in fact, that I’ve had enough. I’ve set a benchmark. By the end of the year, things have to have improved. If they haven’t, I will explore all options to escape. The prime contender in my list is New Zealand because of their working visa arrangements. Australia is also possible too. The reason why I have to wait till the end of the year though is that I think my business needs a little longer to prove itself a disaster, and secondly my money is locked away until then anyway. And who knows what other countries could come onto the agenda. All of this coming at a time when the government is telling us recent graduates to bugger off, hence not joining the dole queue and not being a drain on the country’s finances. Yes, very clever that. Fuck the economy up and then ask us to leave. Thanks.

But, let’s face it, things can’t get any worse for me. I’m already at rock bottom. It’s simply that day after day of no hope really does make me feel pretty shit about myself. And this even comes after I spent Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of last week actually doing work for my business. Yes, I had three days of the stuff and earned some cash. My business is actually in the black right now. So maybe things aren’t too bad. I just need word of mouth to start spreading. Please!

Anyway, that’s quite enough misery for now. Let’s turn instead to watching some TV. I hear the world of politics is a particularly well-respected place to work these days. Yes, that politics degree really has come in handy.

Working It Out

There is a problem brewing.

Time is running out for me to make a decision. All of a sudden, we are in August. Not only am I annoyed by the fact that, so far, summer seems to have consisted of a couple of nice days in June and no more than a week of good weather in July; but I am also increasingly frustrated by my lack of progress in making a decision about where to take my life.

I probably have only a week or so left of reasonable time to decide what to do. I need to leave myself enough time to actually put the plan into action. But right now, it just seems so easy to not decide. For ages now I’ve been saying “You’ve got loads of time”. Which I had. But, what with this being the first of August, it has suddenly dawned upon me that I really haven’t.

I have dismissed one possible route that I was considering, doing further study to gain a company secretarial qualification. Or doing anything in this direction. It really isn’t me. I may have found it interesting, because I have quite an analytical head on my shoulders, but I could exercise that skill in other careers. It just wouldn’t be stimulating enough overall. I would find it very very dull after a time, I’m sure of it.

I have been scouring job websites for some time now, and also looking at the various graduate career options that there are from the big companies who recruit graduates once a year. Some of them look mildly interesting, but at the same time I am really not certain I can be bothered with it. I would probably have to apply to lots of them simultaneously, going through the process for most of them, which would entail endless interviews, tests, presentations, travel all round the country… for the simple reason that if I only apply to one I’m putting all my eggs in one basket. Worse, most of them don’t start the process until November onwards. That would result in unacceptable delay.

So I’m increasingly left with a smaller number of choices. The first, the bog standard, do the PGCE. Then decide what to do after that. This may or may not be teaching. But I’m really not sure I can bring myself to do the work for the PGCE now. The motivation has gone.

The second option is to start applying for political jobs. This will mean a move to London is inevitable. But it probably won’t happen quickly, leading to a small time delay. It also presents the risk that my chances of being able to emigrate are lessened considerably, but I am every day coming to the opinion that I really won’t be able to do this after all. The opportunities just aren’t there with the degree I’ve got. If I had a degree that lent itself to an obvious profession (e.g. medicine, architecture, law) then it would definitely be possible. But I might have to resign myself to defeat here.

The third option is to try as hard as I can to find a job in this area, all the while looking for a better option (which could even be the graduate employers I’ve thought about). This would at least give me money right now. It would also mean I wouldn’t feel as guilty abandoning home when my parents have spent so much money on this loft conversion. But there are very few reasonable job opportunities in this area for a graduate.

Above all though, my main annoyance is that It’s just typical that I’ve graduated at just the moment the economy is turning to shit. Great timing, dude.

Meanwhile, I am yet again left in charge around here as my mum and dad have gone away for a few days to celebrate their anniversary. Last night I made everyone curried beans and rice. Still feeling the after effects this morning…

Post-Birthday Blues

I’ve spent a very long time lately trying to work everything out. It seems that everything has come together at just the right moment to make me shake myself up.

First, there was the First. That was unexpected. I have been meaning to write a post for some time now about child prodigies and intelligence in young people. If I had this would all make more sense now, but I will come back to it at a later date.

Suffice it to say that the First has made me think I am reasonably clever after all. I’ve spent many years thinking I’d gone backward and others have caught up with me. It’s probably true to some extent, but I’m still smarter than the average bear. And modest too…

Then there has been my birthday. I’ve suddenly realised that I am actually quite old to be still doing bugger all with my life. Nothing concrete anyway. Most 23 year olds have started work by now. This has made things very complicated for me. I am sick of living off my parents’ back. I want to be of independent means at long last. I got used to it while not living here as a student… but the difference there was that I wasn’t earning the money myself. Mr and Mrs Taxpayer were handing it to me in loans and grants.

Having a taste of that, I want to go further. Plus, I see the sacrifices my mum and dad have made for me. I don’t want to keep asking that of them. I want to give them something back.

I can’t do that while I’m poor. And it’s highly unlikely I’d ever be able to do that as a teacher, either. It’s not a well paid profession unless you become a headteacher. And then you have to put up with government targets, league tables, assessments and inspections in a massively high pressured environment. And then after all that you don’t get to teach any more, which is what most people ostensibly go into the profession for. Not much of a reward, is it.

Suffice it to say that in the past few days I’ve become quite sceptical of the idea of becoming a teacher. This is quite a radical turnaround.

So I’m getting older. I’ve got less time to make a go of life. But I have the tools to do it now. I don’t necessarily need to spend another year doing the teacher training. I really should only do that if I definitely want to be teacher. I had originally thought that it would be good to do it even if I don’t become a teacher, because that way I keep the door open. But after all this time, it might not be sensible for the reasons above. It may not be my life’s ambition after all.

It gets worse when I consider the best plan for leaving this country, if ever I chose to do that. But then it means me making a career choice with emigration in mind. I could probably turn my hand to most things, though… which means that if I want to leave I should choose the career that is the most in demand. Teachers are always in demand. But it’s very difficult to transfer knowledge of one country’s curriculum to another country.

This is serious reflection time. My thoughts on this are all still very muddled. I don’t think I’m quite in a “blues” situation… but I will be if I can’t turn all of this into a logical plan which will stand up to scrutiny. I just know for certain that for a multitide of reasons, not least being fed up with feeling like a drifting, aimless student all the time, I want to reject teaching.

Will it stretch me enough? I don’t know.

I need to get some answers and quick.