- I'm a mac daddy yo -

18th January '18

I eventually heard from my new manager at about 5:30pm on the Saturday that I wrote the last blog. And remember that this is only two days before the start of the new term. Some teachers would be getting up for work in about 36 hours.

email

Yet all that this email really said was 'I haven't done the schedule yet. I'll do it tomorrow.'

Great, thanks. I did have the feeling though, that this mysterious new manager didn't really know what he was getting himself into when he accepted this job.

My previous manager couldn't wait to leave and get out of the shackles of working at this head office branch, and it seemed like seeing his plight, no one was willing to step-up and fill his role.

And my old manager made no secret of how hard the job was; having to work sixty-hour weeks. So if a new guy is coming in and trying to manage this branch and another branch... yeah, it kind of feels like he got shoe-horned into the role without knowing what he was signing-up for.

This first email; my only ever communication with my new manager at this point, kind of confirmed that.

And like so many emails that I get from my bosses, it started with a disclaimer, in this case:

"When I walked in the door we were down 800 students..."

That sounds familiar.

Nowadays I get worried if an email doesn't start with a foreword telling me how dire things are but... well to this point it hasn't really affected me.

I've still always got as many classes as I want or need to live comfortably. And so long as that continues... start the emails anyway you want to.

It does certainly change your longer-term thoughts though.

Recently, at the annual seminar, one woman who's worked here for forty years retired. Another who's been here for forty years is still working here, although seems to have gone a bit loopy.

She's always talking to herself, and has kind of become a walking meme of what happens to you if you work at this school for too long.

But then I can continue down the list. Other teachers have been here more than twenty years. Many have been here more than ten.

Looking around the office, it would be easy to think 'hey, I've got a job for life,' except that every email starts with a declaration of 'the apocalypse is coming and the walls of Hell are closing in.'

Do I expect this job to still be here for me in forty years?

Not a chance. Not without some significant changes in personnel or attitudes in the decision-makers at the top who, judging by their actions not their words (because I've never heard a peep from them), are incompetent.

Do I even expect this job to be here for me in five years?

Probably not.

What I'm hopeful for, is that this job can be here for me for the next two years, and I can use these two years to really figure-out and learn... what's next?

This is where all these thoughts of writing and app development and everything else spawns from. I don't see this as a long-term job because I have my doubts that this school will still be here in five years, so I'm trying to use the tenure that I have in this job of free-time and long holidays to give myself a future once it's gone.

Going back into formal education is really my 'last resort' option because... well I don't want to do it.

Many of my colleagues are educating themselves in various ways in the field of teaching and language as a way of securing themselves a future in this industry. I kind of see it as a dying industry though; particularly teaching to adults.

English has become so necessary nowadays that kids are learning it. My observations are that there's becoming less and less demand to teach English to adults. Adults who want to speak English already do, those who don't want to speak English are irrelevant to me in this regard, and most kids who're becoming adults learnt when they were kids. And beyond that, technology is advancing to the point that classroom learning is becoming more and more obsolete.

So although I could probably forge a living in his industry for the rest of my career, I don't really see it as wise to invest in a declining industry.

It's part of the reason that app development is so appealing to me. That's not going anywhere anytime soon.

And if you remember the three goals that I had for my Christmas holiday, looking into app development was the last thing I needed to take a crack at and... ok, where to start?

When you have zero experience in programming, finding people that can speak in sentences you can actually understand is challenging.

'I learned Python and you have to understand the syntax and API and also learn to use Xcode and...'

What the fuck are you on about?

My first step was to put a post on r/swift, asking for advice and a potential time-frame to go from beginner, to putting apps in the AppStore.

This yielded a few useful responses, but most of it went right over my head, because I couldn't even comprehend the basic jargon that people were saying.

I then found myself searching on Google, then on iBooks, then on different sub-reddits, then on iTunesU, and none of it was very helpful until I found links to a couple of courses on Udemy, which I'd never heard of either.

It's kind of like a poor man's Coursera, except Coursera is very academic-based, with online courses posted by universities. On Udemy, any random person can make a course about something and charge people money for it. That doesn't mean it's all garbage though.

This first course I'd been linked to had actually been referred to in a programming sub-reddit, it had 8,932 ratings/reviews, with an average score of 4.8 out of 5.

Well it can't be than bad then. And oh look, there's a 96% discount right now. What a surprise.

Screenshot

I'm sure that they offer such discounts about 99% of the time but... well knowing my luck, the one time I'll want to study it, will be the 1% of the time when they're not so... ah, what the Hell? It's only 330 baht. That's only £7.55. Watching the preview video of this course, she's the only person who's spoken to me in language I can actually understand, so fuck it. And I bought this course.

Someone at my school is paying £9,000 to do an online master's degree with a UK university.

Haha, sucker. I just bought a course for £7.55.

One small problem:

Having a Mac is a requirement.

Well if I'm already paying money for courses that require a Mac...

This was the first point that the writing really seemed to be on the wall. I guess I'm buying a Mac.

It was perhaps symbolic when on the Sunday, I was standing at a urinal when my wrist vibrated with my weekday schedule for this term. And as normal, it started with a declaration about how bad things are, and went onto detail the reasons why.

Great, I've never heard that before.

Like always seems to be the case though, I opened the attachment, took one look at the schedule and... this is awesome.

I have to teach the same level, level 9, at 6:45pm everyday, and it's a level I've taught before so... exactly the number of hours I want to teach, and no planning.

I couldn't have been happier.

I sometimes think that there's something wrong with me, when I seem to thrive when everyone else is preaching sentiments of doom and gloom but... fuck, this is perfect for me.

Life is awesome, and everyone else seems depressed about it.

At this point, all I knew of my new manager was what I'd been able to glean from these two emails. But I met him at work the next day, and he seemed a nice guy, but immediately struck me as the polar opposite of my previous manager, who was the consummate professional.

As I walked into work, I was greeted in the staff room with a picture on the notice board of my new manager, with his name and position on either side of it. But he'd chosen a picture where he was very obviously drunk and out partying sometime.

Ok. This wouldn't be the first impression I'd want to give people if I was their new boss, but to each their own.

I met him soon after, and he was a nice guy. Although he immediately gave me the feeling of a bull in a china shop, in that he was very determined to come in and do things his way, no matter whose feathers got ruffled.

That's a good and a bad thing.

I mean, this school is failing. And one of my favourite quotes of all time is that Einstein quote that 'insanity is doing the same thing again and again, and expecting a different result.'

This school is failiing, so things need to change. So even though you might not appreciate it as it's happening, change isn't necessarily a bad thing.

But what you'd expect, is someone to come in, and maybe stay quite low-key for a term or so, to see how things are done here, and then start changing things to how they think they can be improved.

This wasn't the case though. He was changing things from the second that he got through the door.

Case in point, is that at the end of each term, we (the teachers) fill-in a preference form about the hours that we want in the next term. It's useful, because it allows you to tell the manager when you're available, and how many hours you want, and the classes that you want to teach etc.

Every teacher fills one out online individually, and the results are collated into a single printout so the manager can just look at this to see exactly who's available, and when.

Despite all of us filling one out last term, on the very first day the new manager was wandering around with an A3 sheet of paper, telling everyone that we're not going to use preference forms anymore, but then proceeding to ask everyone how many hours they wanted.

We filled-in all this information last term, why don't you just look at that?

It just seemed that he was immediately determined to do things his way, including hearing him proclaim multiple times on the first day, 'I'm going to be making some changes.'

It wasn't exactly a pragmatic start, especially when he was so immediately different to the previous manager, who was so well-liked. Although I did speak to one teacher, who'd been inconspicuously absent for a while.

He hadn't worked much lately, and when he had he'd been in and out of the staff room in seconds, not really stopping to talk to anyone.

He's a really nice guy, and having a newborn baby at home, I'd assumed that his lack of hours was by design, so that he could have more time with his family.

We crossed paths as I was on the way to the toilet on the second day of term, and we stopped and had the first proper conversation we'd had together in a while. And he was telling me about how his lack of hours wasn't actually by design. He'd had some kind of disagreement with the previous manager early in his tenure. And seemingly as punishment, the previous manager had handed him an endless line of shitty schedules. Maybe just one or two classes per term. Not even enough to live on, particularly with a baby at home so...

Well I found one person who was happy to have a new manager. So based on that, I'll be polite and say that the early reaction was 'mixed'.

You may remember that back when I was backpacking, I occasionally described myself as a gym-rat that never went to the gym.

Before I started travelling, the gym was like my second home, but as soon as I started living out of a backpack, it was something that I couldn't do anymore. I never felt like I lost that 'gym' mentality though. I was still a gym-rat, I just didn't go to the gym.

I felt very similar now, in that I was a Mac owner without a Mac.

One of the first things that I do whenever I get a new interest of hobby nowadays, is subscribe to the relevant subreddits on Reddit, which I'd already done for MacBooks. So I was now getting MacBook news appearing on my screens everyday.

I'd also paid for a course, albeit only £7.55, that required me to have a Mac to do it.

So by now the question had kind of become when, not if I added an Apple laptop to my iPhone, Watch and Apple TV.

I was paranoid that MacBook is likely to receive an upgrade in the first half of 2018. So I could buy one; the most expensive individual purchase I've ever made, only for it to be out of date in three to six months from now. But at the same time I was thinking... well do you really want to waste these next six months waiting around for a rumoured upgrade?

My Windows laptop was costing me time out of every day just to turn it on, and to endlessly update it. And by this point I was kind of over it.

But at the same time it's very hard to justify paying £1,200 for a new computer to give myself the means to learn app development, when that could be a very short-lived hobby if I decide for any reason that it's not for me so... I was giving myself any other excuse that I could by now to buy this overpriced computer.

I'd kind of been able to justify it to myself though. So I just needed to gain the confidence to go to the shops and spend £1,200 on something which could get lost or stolen in an instant.

The next day at work, a few of the teachers were sitting at a table comparing their Christmas vacations. And it amused me how people reacted when my story was 'I barely went more than a fifteen minute walk from my apartment for three weeks.'

One guy had gone on a tour of Europe, probably at a cost of thousands of pounds, and he responded with 'I wish I'd done that. You must be so relaxed.'

And he was right, I was. It had been a perfect vacation for me, and I entered this term in such a happy and positive mindset, able to see the bright-side of everything.

And knowing that a new manager would bring inevitable change, some of which may not be welcome, I'd adopted the same matra that I had when I moved to China:

'No matter what happens, keep smiling.'

It was looking right now, that I'd have one less class on weekends than normal, but I was at peace with it.

'Well at least I'll have more free time.'

Until on Wednesday evening at 10:45pm, I was stood at my stove making dinner, and got a text from one of the admin girls at work.

'Are you free to teach at 8am and 11am on weekends?' it said.

I taught at 8am on weekends once before, and I hated it. Working evenings in the week, and mornings on weekends means switching your body clock to about three hours earlier every Saturday morning, and then back again every Monday night. It felt like I spent the entire term jet-lagged.

Except... well I kind of need the money if I'm about to buy a MacBook, and beggars can't be choosers so...

With a spatula in one hand as I was stirring the pasta sauce that I was making, I quickly replied, saying that I'd take these classes.

It was only once I finished cooking and had a second to breathe that I was like... fuck. Now I have to get up at 5:45am on weekends.

Oh well. An extra class on weekends for one term is worth 21,000 baht (£485) in wages so... at least I'm going to make £485 more this term than I was expecting to.

The very next day (Thursday) I received an inheritance cheque for £1,000 that I'd known about for months, but wasn't sure if it would ever actually appear.

Suddenly it did, and I was like... fuck, I just made £1,485 in less than 24 hours.

Well that covers the cost of a MacBook then.

I'd been thinking all week about buying one on my day-off (Friday). So getting this news on Thursday was like... I think God's trying to tell me something.

That was my main focus, but I couldn't help but think through all of this... why is my manager not only sitting at home at 10:45pm doing the weekend schedule, but why is he also roping this poor admin girl into sending people messages on his behalf when, if he just looked at the preference form that I filled-in last term, he'd see that I am 'willing' to do these early classes.

It just seemed nonsensical but... ok, I guess this is his way.

So my usual Friday involves some pretty intense exercise because... well it's my only day-off, so is the only day that I don't have to worry about tiring myself out too much to teach effectively.

Luckily though, in another divine move, the Friday prior to this, I'd suffered a yoga injury.

Nope, I didn't know they existed either.

I don't know enough about my anatomy to know if this is actually possible or not, but what it felt like I'd done, was sort of dislodge one of my ribs when doing a pose that involved lying on my front.

There was no impact, I think I just lifted so many other body parts off the floor that my entire body-weight was basically lying on only my right ribs and... well something went.

It really didn't bother me at the time, and it didn't bother me much after. It was only after I was going to the gym again this week, that during each workout I'd feel it get worse.

Each night was getting harder to sleep, because thanks to the workout I'd do during the day, the pain would increase. Until on Friday I got to the point of... alright, this is stupid. Maybe take a few days to rest and let this injury heal.

So my Friday, usually lacking in free time due to exercise, was now completely free... and God just gave me £1,485.

Hmmm... now what can I do with that?

I started dozing in the morning at about 8am, after which I'd usually let myself drift back to sleep. Knowing that I'd have to get up at 5:45am for the next two days though, I forced myself to stay awake in the hope of mitigating the jet-lag a little bit.

So instead, I lay there awake, reading as much as I could about MacBooks, including noting that MacRumours now listed the MacBook Pro as 'Caution,' meaning that an updated model will be launching soon.

A week or so earlier it'd been 'Neutral'.

No one outside of Apple knows exactly when the updated model will be released. I'm assuming June/July, and I didn't want to wait until then. It could be as soon as March but... well let's just hope not.

And by this stage, I'd spend so much time researching that I knew with 99% certainty what I was going to do.

For me, it had been a toss-up between the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and similarly-priced 12-inch MacBook.

After reading endless first-hand reviews of each, I'd settled on the MacBook Pro as being more suitable for my needs.

Less portable but more powerful and... well if I'm spending this much on a computer, I hope to get a few years out of it, so more power means it's more future-proof.

And my plan for this day was simple:

My most-visited supermarket is in one of the boutique shopping malls in the city; one of the few places that I trust enough to buy something as expensive as a MacBook. And it's also the same place that I got my Apple Watch a little over a year ago.

And seeing as I needed to go to the supermarket today anyway, I'd go there in the morning, have a look at MacBooks, check what they have in stock, but then go and do my shopping and come home to think about it.

I didn't want to buy a £1,200 laptop at the same time as buying my groceries, and then have it hanging-off my pinkie finger as I'm walking home carrying all of my food for the week. So after having the day to think it over, I could come back in the evening and actually buy it.

So my day started exactly like that.

Having been awake since 8am, I got to the shopping mall pretty early, so there weren't many other people about. I know the layout of the Apple section of this shop pretty well by now, so made a bee-line straight for the MacBooks, and spent a little while playing with the one I was planning to buy.

The one next to me had a Touch Bar that kept on winking at me though. You know, that overpriced gimmick that Apple added to their laptops a year or so ago.

That was all I thought of it, but fine, if you're going to keep looking at me like that, I'll try it and... wow, this is actually quite cool.

Turns out I love getting customised buttons at the top of my keyboard depending on what app I'm using. And what really turned my head was when I tried the Microsoft Word app, all the buttons I wanted but normally have to move my mouse to click on, were suddenly appearing at the top of my keyboard, and were changing depending on what I was doing.

If I clicked in a table for example, buttons to add or remove rows and columns were now on my keyboard. If I was typing, word suggestions were appearing at the top of my keyboard as I typed, so if I was unsure of any spelling, the word I wanted was sat right there on my keyboard and I just had to tap it.

Fuck, this is actually kind of cool.

I spent roughly 45 minutes stood there playing on this computer. They had a big display for an Apple TV set-up, and much to the visible irritation of the staff, I even AirPlayed the laptop screen onto the big screen that was set-up to show off the Apple TV.

Fuck, that's kind of cool as well. With a tap, I can AirPlay my laptop to my TV if I ever want a bigger screen.

I'm sure that by now they were probably pretty tired of me messing with all their exquisitely displayed devices, and I didn't want to overstay my welcome, so I inquired about what they had in stock, and I made my exit.

I couldn't buy anything right now anyway, because my one Thai bank account with enough money in to pay for such a purchase had a transaction limit far lower than the price of any of these computers, so I'd need to find an ATM to change that first anyway, which gave me some breathing room.

Fuck going to the supermarket though, I want a computer.

And I did spend about another hour in this shopping mall, mostly sitting down, researching some more on my phone but... fuck, I want that Touch Bar.

It's very rare for me to ever buy anything on a whim; especially something this expensive, and the Touch Bar, along with Touch ID and a slight power boost, added more than £200 to the price.

That would normally seem like a lot of money to me, but this was so expensive already, that it kind of didn't feel so bad.

So I sat there for about an hour, mulling it over, until I was 'alright, fuck it. I'm buying this computer.'

I like to be someone who blends into the background, so wanted the subtle space grey model, as opposed to the flashy silver model.

They didn't have space grey with an English only keyboard though so... ah, give me a Thai keyboard then. It'll be useful if I ever decide to study Thai again.

And that was it.

Now with a Touch Bar, the total cost came oddly close the the £1,485 that God had blessed me with the day before and...

Well considering that this was by far the most expensive thing that I'd ever bought; second on my list would be either my iPhone 6, or my flights to and from London last summer, each of which cost roughly £700. So considering that this cost actually more than double the most expensive thing I'd ever bought before, I felt oddly nonchalant about it. Although I was still a bit on edge until I got my new baby back to the safety of my apartment.

She is glorious though.

I mean, it's been so long since I've had a computer where you can just click on a program, and that program starts, that anything was going to seem miraculous to me.

On my Windows laptop, you click on a program, go and make a cup of green tea and maybe use the bathroom, and then if you're very, very lucky, that program will start within five minutes of you sitting down again.

Going from that to instant was... beautiful.

But everything else as well. I mean... the speakers were glorious. Playing tracks on Spotify was a whole different experience.

With the Touch Bar came a fingerprint sensor on my keyboard, so I could use my finger to log-into things, instead of having to type a password. And I quickly grew accustomed to having the Touch Bar. I loved the ever customising buttons on my keyboard depending on what I was doing.

I thought that there would be a bit of a transitional phase while I moved everything from my Windows laptop to my Mac. But by simply adding my Dropbox folder, all of my files downloaded.

The only reason I even turned my Windows laptop on, was to see the name of a program that I was using, but that was it. And by the end of this first day, I was doing everything on my Mac, and my Windows laptop has been turned-off ever since.

The only downside, and I had appreciated this before buying it, was that by having a Touch Bar, I have to use my laptop's, as opposed to an external keyboard. So I was back to being kind of slouched-over my computer, where as if you remember from a little over a year ago, my Windows laptop has been raised fourteen inches above my desk so I would look up at it instead of slouching over. And that really does make a difference to how your back feels.

That's something I need to figure-out. Apart from that though... fuck, it's good.

I got up at 5:45am on the next two days, and considering that, I was quite happy to have navigated through the weekend without feeling like absolute crap.

And another way that the stars had aligned for me to say 'this is the perfect time to get a Mac,' was that I'd finished the PS4 game that I'd been playing, Uncharted 4, on the Thursday night; the day before I bought this computer.

These games, when you get into them, are more engrossing than even the best TV series'.

"It's very easy for me to spend too long on my PS4 and say 'that's the PS4's fault, I need to limit how much I use it.' Where as what I perhaps should be thinking, is if the desire to do everything else in my life is outweighed by my desire to play a video game that I'm into, then maybe that's more a reflection of the other things in my life.

Perhaps I should be looking at it and saying that I need to change the other things that I have in my life to things that I'm more passionate about.

If there were other things that I really cared about, then I'd spend more time doing them, and less time on my PS4, naturally. Without imposing rules."

That's a quote from 'The scourge of success' blog that I wrote back in November. And it's proven to be true, as since buying a Mac almost a week ago, I haven't turned on my PS4 once.

Not because of any self-imposed rules, not because I don't have any games I want to play. Rather it's just about the first time since I bought a PS4 ten months ago, that I have something that interests me more.

And it's a little hard to explain, because it's not like I'm using my MacBook all the time; I'm probably only using it for an hour or so per day. I'm still free at most of the times I was previously playing video games. It's just... something else is on my mind now. Something else is occupying my thoughts, so I don't want to cloud them with video games, which has had other immediate positive outcomes.

I'm sleeping earlier and better because I'm not trying to fit-in an hour of gaming before bed. I'm spending more time just relaxing, alone with my thoughts, so my mind is clearer.

Come Monday of this week, I was tired of resting my injured rib, so said 'ah fuck it, I'm going to a yoga class.'

That attitude was what had made this injury so crippling in the first place, and within about two minutes of this class starting, I was already regretting being there by feeling the last few days of healing getting undone.

To save face, I stuck it through to the end, grimacing most of the way through, but... yeah, I'm not really fit to exercise again yet.

So I had no PS4 games I wanted to play, I was unable to exercise, I had a schedule of only classes I'd taught before, so I had minimal planning to do, and I was finishing work at 1:15pm on weekends, and not starting until 6:45pm on weekdays. So I basically had all this free time to figure-out how to use a Mac. God really wants me to figure-out this Mac.

And having used Windows my entire life, it kind of felt like learning to walk again, but I'm getting there slowly.

This is the first blog I've ever written that isn't written on Microsoft Notepad, so bear with me if there are any formatting errors.

And I've even started my £7.55 app development course, which I'm not really far enough into to give any meaningful feedback on but... well I have made my very first iOS app.

It's a replica of the famous I Am Rich app, which is basically just an image; it has no functionality at all. And I only made it by following the exact instructions of the girl on the video but... baby steps. For £7.55, I wasn't even expecting to even get this far, so this £7.55 is looking like a wise investment.

Unable to go to the gym, I also took my tape measure and went to the hardware store on Tuesday, hoping to find something that could raise my MacBook to a comfortable height so that I wasn't using it hunched-over.

This was my first attempt and... yeah, that's not going to work.

This bathroom step was the only thing I could find in the entire hardware store and supermarket next door, that fit the measurements that I was after. It didn't take me long after getting home to decide that it was a bad idea though so... well I have a spare bathroom step if anyone needs one.

I'm going to have to think this through a bit more.

That evening at work, one of the admin girls was going around with all these slips of paper, getting the teachers to sign them. And on these slips of paper were our preferred hours... for all of 2018?

I'm sorry, are you retarded?

In the absence of preference forms, this was an initiative of the new manager that just...

No matter what happens, keep smiling. But this is fucking dumb.

Among the details, printed-off for me to sign, was a status saying that I was 'available' for extra classes during term 4 (our busiest term).

Term 4. That's June.

How the fuck am I supposed to know my availability for June, now? And there's a big difference between being available if needed, and actually wanting these classes.

Do I want these classes?

Fuck no, I don't want to work hard.

Am I available for them?

Technically yes, but I guarantee that there are people who want them far more than me, and need the money far more than I do, so why are you making me sign something declaring my availability for the entire year of 2018?

Asking us about the entire year seems dumb enough, but making us sign our names to it? What's that all about?

If I'm not available for 10am classes in December, are you going to pull-out this bit of paper? 'Well, you signed your name to it back in January, so you have no choice really.'

It just seemed, frankly, dumb. I don't know why you wouldn't want to hear from your staff each term, to find-out what time slot is best for them, how many hours they want or need etc.

In terms of personality I can't fault this new manager. He's a very pleasant guy to have a conversation with. But if actions speak louder than words, then...

Like I said already, no matter what, just smile and nod, and that's all I'm doing when faced with something retarded... or at least what I'm trying to do anyway. But under the surface, I didn't exactly approve of the bullheadedness by which this manager had come in and was making big changes on the first day of term.

The assumption that 'my way is better than the way that you were doing things before,' without actually seeing the way that things were done before seems, frankly arrogant. Why not spend a term, or at least a couple of weeks just to see how things are done before making changes?

The humility to accept that you might not always know best, especially in a workplace where you know very few of the people, seems to me like a virtue.

And then to start asking teachers to sign their names to their availability for an entire year, when that year is split into seven terms, each of brand new students and schedules, just seems nonsensical to me. Do you not want the best fit of teachers and students together?

The only justification that I could think for this was laziness, because it'll be easier for him personally to make the schedule if people don't change their preferences for an entire year. But it's worse for the teachers for sure, which in turn makes it worse for the students, so... you're making things worse for everyone so you can do less work?

That was kind of how I felt but... just smile and nod. Changes are coming, this isn't going to be the last piece of dumb shit that you're going to have to deal with so... get used to it.

Do you know what my definition of maturity is?

Maturity is a willingness to accept the status quo.

What I mean by that, is that younger people have a utopian view of the world. They think that 'the world would be such a better place if...'

For example, when I worked in various customer service jobs in my youth, I used to lament the 1% of customers who would make life difficult. I used to think things like 'this would be such a great job if it weren't for these few people ruining it.'

And it applies to society-wide problems, where younger people think things like 'the 99% would be better off if it wasn't for the selfishness of the richest 1%. Democracy would work so much better if it weren't for these few idiots voting the wrong way. Socialism is a much better way to live if you just have the right people in charge.'

It's no surprise to me that so many protests around the world are fuelled by students, because immaturity is having an idealist view, and the hope of achieving it.

Maturity, in my opinion, is the acceptance of the status quo and the need to live within it, rather than fight it.

You have to deal with asshole people in every job, so stop wishing that you didn't, and instead adapt to deal with them as best as possible.

The 1% have all the power and they're never going to just hand-over their money, so accept it.

Bad people always find their way into positions of power, so do you really want to be living under a socialist structure when they do?

Maturity is that you learn to accept things for the way that they are, and instead of fighting them, you adapt to live within them. That's my definition of it anyway.

And a present day demonstration in myself, is that in the past I would lament ever having to deal with any incidents of bullshit and dumb shit.

'This job would be so much better if it weren't for this stupid piece of bullshit, or this instance dumb shit.' And I used to crave having a job, void of bullshit.

What's happened over time though, is that I'm more accepting that the world is full of retards and that's not going to change, so dumb shit is going to be a part of every job that I ever have.

Now my utopian view of the world is not to eliminate bullshit; it's always going to be there. Rather I just hope that I can at least get a reasonable amount of time between instances of bullshit. At least a day-off in between each one and... well it seems that I have some more maturing to do.

The day after having to sign my name to the hours I'm available to work an entire year in advance because... yeah, I know exactly how much free time and how much money I'll need in December. The very next day, I was teaching my level 9 class.

I teach level 9 on Monday and Wednesday to one class of students, and on Tuesday and Thursday to another. So when on Wednesday (yesterday), about ten minutes into my class one of my Tuesday/Thursday students wandered in and sat-down without saying a word I was all... the fuck? Why are you here?

As it turned-out, completely bypassing the teacher, me, which would never have happened in previous terms, the geniuses that work in the admin office had told her to come to this class to make-up for one that she'd missed more than a week earlier.

What they hadn't contemplated was that I was going to teach her the exact same class the next day, and there was absolutely no point her coming to that class now. Well done for not wasting the student's time geniuses.

I assumed it was an isolated incident. Maybe some crossed-wires or something. But then I mentioned it in the teacher's room... yeah, it's not.

In another brilliant change from previous terms, they're now just sending students to random classes without any input whatsoever from the teacher that's actually teaching them, who knows what they actually fucking need. And seeing as this has never happened before, I assume that I can attribute this change to my new manager who I'm trying so hard to like, but seems to have no comprehension of consequences.

Maybe at the very least, if you're going to change something, at least tell people, and perhaps even get their feedback on if they think it's a good idea or not.

In his defence, since I sat-down to write this blog a couple of hours ago, I have got an email saying that there's a meeting next week. So maybe there, he can justify all of these things that, without explanation, seem fucking retarded, so I'll reserve judgment until then.

But... no matter what, just smile and nod.

All I want to do in this job is blend nicely into the background, so am more than willing to let someone else ask the probing questions while I sit there unassumingly.

Well this has actually been quite an eventful couple of weeks for me.

It's hard to actually explain how nice it is to have a fully-functioning computer in my life again.

As I've found on this rather steep MacBook learning curve, you don't actually need to 'Shut down' MacBooks like you do Windows PCs. And the advice I've read generally says 'Only shut down your MacBook if you aren't going to use it for at least 36 hours.'

So in the past, my Windows laptop would be turned-off, and if I needed it for something, for example to plan a class, I would turn it on probably twenty minutes before I planned on using it. That would give it enough time that once I sat-down at my desk, it would only need two or three more minutes to open Microsoft Word, and I could start typing. The option for just spontaneously turning on my PC wasn't there though. I just got used to doing 99% of things on my phone.

With my MacBook though, which doesn't even need to be shut down, I simply close the lid when I'm finished. I open it again, use my fingerprint to sign-in, and I'm looking at my ready-to-use desktop withing 2-3 seconds of sitting down.

Suddenly I have a laptop that can just be used as I need it again, and I didn't realise how much of a difference that would make but... it does.

If I got an email that required a long reply before, I would just wait until I happened to be on my computer next, so that I could type it with a keyboard. That might have been days away though, and it wasn't worth the stress of turning-on my laptop any earlier, just to send an email.

Now though, my computer's ready for me right away. Quite literally being 2-3 seconds, it takes barely longer than my phone to wake up. And it's so nice no longer having that twenty-minute barrier in the way of doing something that requires a bigger screen or a keyboard.

It hadn't been lost on me how much time I was losing and how much stress I was getting from having such a slow computer before. But damn having all of that time back again is even nicer than I anticipated.

This is by far the most expensive thing that I've ever bought, but to this moment, I don't regret it for a second. My only choice now is... do I add yet another £192 to the price by getting AppleCare+ to give me three years of coverage instead of one, and two instances of accidental cover.

I've barely ever bought insurance in my life but... well this time it could be a very expensive mistake if I don't. Although I've got 54 more days to mull it over.

And as for this term, well... I found out last term that having too much of a set routine can drive you crazy. But being totally unorganised can be stressful too. You need that nice middle-ground in your life where you have some structure, but you still have some spontaneity, some unknown to your day and... well I feel like I found that balance well this term.

This rib injury is being rather annoying, but at least it's giving me the chance to write this blog seeing as I can't go to the gym. Before this though, I was exercising exactly how I wanted.

I was exercising everyday, but I wasn't planning it. I'd see how I felt when I woke-up, and that was enjoyable.

It's been the same with food. I'm buying different things at the supermarket, I'm not planning my meals in advance, just seeing what I feel like when I'm hungry.

I have enough variety in my life that it's keeping me happy, but not so much that it's stressful.

I think that there's enough going on right now to warrant getting stressed-out with things. Being physically injured, and having to get up inhumanely early two days a week, and having a new and... unproven manager, shall we say. I don't even have a day off this week because there's an optional training course on Friday. It's worth going to though, because it counts for four of the nine points I need to get my next bonus, which might not mean much now, but I'll be thankful for in a year, assuming I still work here.

There's enough to warrant getting pissed-off but... fuck it, just keep smiling. That's what I keep telling myself. No matter the bullshit, smile through it.

So far it's working.