Off to Work We Go

Well, winter camp time is done, the break from Christmas until February is over, and we have now entered the final two week period of the second semester.

This is a tricky time to manage mostly because the kids (especially grade sixers who are anticipating the start of middle school in a month’s time) give no more fucks about being in class. Then again, the same can be said for the teachers. It has been unofficially declared “movie time” since all final exams are finished and there’s no reason for being in school except for the government wants round-the-year education.

Lucky for me, I’m deskwarming 75% of this and next week. Thus I’ve been able to wedge my desk chair between the radiator and a cupboard and catch up on some long-put-off reading whilst trying not to succumb to the sleepy waves of heat engulfing me. (So far I’ve fallen asleep twice on the radiator and only woke up the second time because my face was burning).


I’m just hanging in there until a week and a half from now when Ricky and I take off for Vietnam and Cambodia. My newsfeed is plastered with vacation photos from all my fellow coworkers and I feel the wanderlust itching at my feet.

10 thoughts on “Off to Work We Go

  1. Clever and cute drawing. So they advance a grade in March? Sorry, I somehow didn’t get that until now. Their school year runs from March until Christmas, plus two weeks in February?

    There’s the root of many of the issues you and Andrea detailed before. It’s no good having 5 or 6 weeks off in the middle of winter. Fishing in a brook or just sitting with cool water running betwixt your toes or lifting rocks or old branches to see what’s underneath them open minds to thoughts and dreams and nonconformity.


    Do kids even do that here these days?

    I don’t want to think about what that might mean for the future of the planet.


    1. They have two semesters in their academic year: summer which runs from March until July, then about a month break, and then winter which runs from September to end of December, has a month long break, and then finishes off with the first 2 weeks of February. The last two weeks of February are the break between academic years technically, and are the time for teachers to prepare lessons etc for the new term.

      And sadly no dreaming for rock flipping for these kids. Within those 2 month-long breaks they’re made to go to private lessons for a variety of subjects (including English study). I myself have to put together an English camp to occupy them (although I try to make this as fun and non-school-like as possible). In my long post about xenophobia I have a video at the end about a student commenting on the educational system. Very spot on and sadly bringing to light a lot of inherent flaws.


      1. I never realized how long the breaks are. In a sane system it would have meant joyous free time, not the mind-numbing ball & chain.


  2. Yes…5 – 6 weeks of “free time” might seem like a dream, but in reality it is the most mind-numbing, energy-sapping period of the whole school year. We are chained to our desks and simply twiddle our thumbs. Even though I have a pile of books, drawing pencils, and stamp carving tools stacked high on my desk, the inertia can be impossible to overcome. Toe-dipping in a fresh brook sounds marvelous right now~!


  3. And daydreaming some marvelous adventure in a faroff galaxy in a time far, far away. I had a desk job like that once many decades ago, and I really empathize with your plight. It becomes mind-numbing. It was there I decided to go back to school. Wierd huh, considering you’re malaise is tied to a school desk. As I write this I glance over to the right hand column of this blog where you deposit photos of your travels etc, and I feel for the kids in your classes staring out the window that are tied up in vicious circle of education for most of their waking hours (and the hours where they should be sleeping instead of studying). Little wonder that they don’t give a damn when they have middle school and no more exams and are tied to desks like the teaching staff. WHAT A WASTE OF PRODUCTIVE TIME IN A PERSON’S LIFE. I guess I come from a culture where education is not the be all and end all and ‘downtime’ is mandatory and fabricated in a variety of ways to stay sane and physically and mentally undead. I sometimes think you are both living in an alien world akin to some sci-fi episodes and are experiencing culture shock living on another planet in some Ursula
    La Guin plot.


  4. It looks like you drew a shell of yourself to occupy the chair while you sneak off premises into daydreams (you have a colourful keyboard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).


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