- It is what it is -

2nd March '18

My holidays never quite pan-out like I envision them in my head.

All I wanted to do with my week-off was exercise and do my course. And if exercising takes, say four hours per day, meaning going to the gym, getting changed, doing 2× hour-long classes, sitting in the sauna for a bit, showering and getting dressed, maybe having a complementary cup of tea, and walking home again... well then I have twelve more conscious hours per day to do my course.

That's not quite realistic, but I should at least be able to dedicate the time that would otherwise be taken-up by work.

I get into such a routine during term-time though, that come my week off, I have such a backlog of things on my 'to do' list that I never have as much free time as I anticipate, and before I know it, bam, I'm starting work again.

For example, on the Monday, I got my air conditioners cleaned.

I was only planning on arranging it on Monday, but when I called the guy on the way back from the gym, he said they could come in a couple of hours.

By the time I'd made and eaten lunch though, no point starting my course before they get here, and I wanted to make sure that my MacBook was safely hidden away from them and their pressure hose long before they got here.

Oh, and I need to go to the supermarket today too, so...

I found an hour for my course in the evening, but it certainly wasn't the 3+ hours I was hoping for.

Tuesday fared a bit better, because although I had plans for this day, a butterfly disrupted them.

If you remember, for most of the first two years that I lived in this apartment, the house opposite me was unoccupied. And that house is literally right opposite me. Just 5 - 10 yards away from my bedroom and kitchen windows.

Since it became occupied though, if I'm lying in bed with the curtains open, or if I'm cooking in my kitchen, there's the constant threat of someone standing ten yards away, looking at me.

It doesn't bother me too much, although I am certainly very aware of it. And even though I have AC in my apartment, I don't like to make it any cooler than is necessary. Just cool enough that I don't sweat while I'm in my room, but I still spend most of the time lazing around in my underwear.

That's no big issue; my boxer shorts are no less than a person would wear at the beach or at a swimming pool. But it's still... it can make you a little bit conscious when someone can appear ten yards away from you at any moment.

So my plan for this day was to buy some stick-on frosting for my windows so that I had my privacy again. This was something that I'd always resisted doing previously because... well it would kind of make it like living in a box.

I'd decided by now that the trade-off was worth it though. I could still leave some clear window space at the top to look up at the sky. I just wanted enough privacy that I wouldn't have the endless threat of making eye-contact with a random stranger anytime I was in my kitchen or my bedroom.

So I got up promptly to go to the hardware store. But as I was stood in my kitchen in my underwear, drinking my morning fruit smoothie, looking at the tree outside my window as it was dancing in the wind, lamenting how I wouldn't be able to see it anymore come the end of the day, a colourful butterfly flew right by and fluttered outside my window for a few seconds.

My disconnect from nature is already so absolute. Do I really want to block my view of the solitary tree that I can see from my apartment?

I decided no. Or at least not today.

Which gave me an entire morning that I'd been planning to go to the hardware store, to work on my course instead.

I've long pondered what causes a person to be happy because... well it's something that I've never been able to figure-out. I quite enjoy the conundrum of whether or not my brain is intelligent enough to understand itself.

I can be at times in my life, where on paper, everything seems perfect, yet I can't seem to look on the bright side of anything. And at other times, maybe I have a right to be pissed off, yet I can think positively, no matter what life throws at me. And right now, I fall into that latter category.

I have seemingly no job security, my sleep last term was severely interrupted by my schedule, I was yet to be really convinced by my new manager. These were all things that a term prior to last, weren't a problem for me. Yet for some reason, through all of last term, and all though my holiday, nothing bothered me. Nothing phased me. And no matter what, I was always able to smile and look at the best of things.


I couldn't tell you. That's what I've never been able to figure-out.

I said in a previous blog, that I think I've found the right balance between organisation and spontaneity. My life isn't routine or cumbersome, but it isn't stressful either.

I also think that the physical challenge of exercising as I am, and the mental challenge of doing my course, is keeping my brain active and occupied, so perhaps that's something to do with it as well. But... whatever it is, I want to keep doing it, because I wake-up smiling everyday at the moment. But it's notable that I've also lost some of the previous staples of my life.

I haven't been running for months now. I'm doing all of my exercise at the gym; the majority of which is classes. But no running.

I haven't meditated in months either, and I used to be of the belief that was something which helped gratify my mood. Yet perhaps coincidentally, the time that I stop doing it, is the time that I become the happiest.

My PlayStation, which was previously my primary source of entertainment, is now little more than an afterthought.

I've unintentionally removed these mainstays of my life; things that used to be really important to me. Yet here I sit, happier than at anytime I was doing them.

I mean, perhaps it's about goals.

I've never been a big fan of them; I've always thought that goals just add unnecessary stress. Yet, in app development, I have some clear, years-long goals to aim for.

Just finishing this course that'll allow me to start them is maybe four months in itself. It'll take me months or perhaps years of learning beyond that to make anything that's really AppStore ready. And it'll likely all lead nowhere, but I'm ok with that.

I actually have something to really aim for. A mountain to try and climb.

I don't actually have any goals for exercising per se, but this is a graph of my average monthly weight. It's going up approximately half a kilogram every month, and I'm ok with that. I was probably too skinny to begin with, and when I'm not running, I don't have any reason to be light.

And it's going up so slowly in fact, that at this speed, then according to my BMI, I won't be overweight until October 2019, and I won't be obese until October 2022, so I'm really in no rush to change my habits.

But if I am gaining weight, then I don't want to just be getting fat, so that's motivation to make sure that I'm getting stronger at the same time. So that's something to aim for as well and... well maybe that's why my mood's so good. I really don't know though.

Come Wednesday, after going to the gym in the morning and making lunch, I spent time in the evening that I otherwise would have used on my course, meeting a friend that I haven't seen for a few months, so I only got about an hour done on this day.

And then Thursday was a big cleaning day for me. I spent all morning and half of the afternoon cleaning my apartment. Then going to the gym afterwards, I only got about an hour to do my course on this day as well.

Friday fared a little better as my only extra-curricular activities on this day were going to a nearby supermarket, then doing a couple of classes at the gym in the evening.

One was a Spartan workout, the other was an hour-long core class, which kind of ruined me, so I only had the energy to do a little bit of my course before I started losing focus.

That's ok though, because the loose routine that I'm in nowadays, is that I rest on weekends.

That's when the gym's at its busiest, and also when I usually have the most work during term-time, so after exercising a couple of hours everyday Monday to Friday, I like to rest over the weekend and let my body recover.

At this point I still knew nothing of my schedule. Under previous regimes, I would normally have it by the end of Friday, but my phone didn't buzz at me until late afternoon on Saturday and...

This is kind of what I mean when I say that I'm sceptical about whether they really intend to fire people:

On my "preference form" (the one that I signed for the entire year), I said that during the week, I only want ten hours.

I'm available for more if need be but... well you know me. I don't see the need to work any harder than is necessary, and if I can have free time to do things like my course and exercise, then I'd rather have it than money.

Well I had a schedule of 17.5 weekday hours; fifteen hours of classes and 2.5 more library hours, with an open-offer in the email to everyone, of more hours available later in the term if you want them.

And if someone who's actively requesting to have a weekday schedule of only ten hours per week, is getting 17.5 with the option of more, then how can you tell me that we're so overstaffed that we need to fire people?

I believe that the new manager had a hand in increasing student numbers slightly, thanks to a promotion, so credit to him for that. But I still can't help but wonder if this notorious email of impending firings was simply a tool to blackmail people into doing their jobs properly because... well I have way more hours than I actually want.

The other notable difference was that he'd been true to his word, and completely turned the schedule on its head by having some teachers who usually work in the evenings, now work in the mornings, and vice-versa.

I'd been caught halfway, and had morning/afternoon classes on Monday and Wednesday, and evening classes on Tuesday and Thursday which... well I rather liked it.

I only had one brand new class to plan, so it could have been a lot worse. But I actually quite liked the idea of working a mix of mornings and evenings.

Unfortunately, my preferred morning classes at the gym are on Mondays and Wednesdays. In fact, I haven't missed the Monday morning yoga class, probably since September.

Rib injuries or not, I've been there every Monday, so it kind of sucked that I wouldn't be able to do that anymore, but I guess that variety is good. Now I have the opportunity to do some evening classes on Mondays instead.

And so for all of my fears, I actually rather liked this schedule.

More hours than I wanted, which will impede how I exercise and how quickly I can progress with my course. But when firings have been promised, being given too many hours isn't the worst thing in the world. And they can go some way to recouping the money of my recent purchases of this MacBook and of my flights home.

Being freed from the shackles of the gym for the weekend, I hadn't left my apartment all day by Saturday evening. And I kind of like days like that, because they seem rather rare.

Never once during term time will I stay at home all day, because my one day-off per week is always filled with errands to run, and my commitment to exercise means that even during the holidays, staying at home all day is a rarity.

But on this day... freedom.

My ex was going to be coming over, but she cancelled on me last minute, so my time really was free. But then my phone bing-bonged with a message from someone at work.

He's always talking about going to the football.

Just a fifteen or twenty minute walk from my apartment is the stadium of my closest Thai Premier League team.

He goes to see them quite regularly, but I've never bothered. In fact, appreciating that this isn't the English Premier League, so the stadium is no taller than any of the surrounding houses, I honestly had no idea that there was even a stadium there until he started going to games. But he messaged me saying he was going to a game tonight, do I want to go?

"Ah fuck it, why not?" I responded.

Once every twelve months I tend to see my colleagues outside of work. And I think the last time I went out with any of them was February 2017 and... well this is only a fifteen minute walk from my apartment, and tickets are only 100 baht (£2.31), so let's get it out of the way for next year.

It was actually kind of fun seeing this local Thai team, and it was the first football game I'd been to in years now. But it did mean that an evening I'd been planning on doing my course... was an evening I didn't spend doing my course.

Ok, maybe Sunday instead. Except now teaching on Monday morning, I had to look over my classes for the next day. And I also needed to go to the supermarket for my big weekly shop, and run some other errands.

By the time I sat down at my laptop to do my course, I was kind of exhausted. And this was the biggest problem I was finding.

It wasn't that I couldn't find any free time to do my course. It was that for something as complex and challenging as this was for me, someone with no programming experience, I was trying to do it only when of completely sound mind because... well damn, it's not very easy.

And so I managed another hour or so, but as I was finding, being fully focussed and attentive for more than an hour at a time is nigh-on impossible. For me anyway, although maybe I've got the mind of a small child.

So as much as I'm determined to get through this course as quickly as I can, in order to start working by myself and trying to actually develop apps by myself, doing so while actually learning and taking-on what's being taught, can't be done for especially long periods. And as I sit here writing this blog, I'm still only 36% of the way through this course.

With that in mind, I was actually kind of looking forward to starting work again. A nice distraction to stop my mind from falling into a rut, because that was how it was starting to feel by the end of this week.

I had some time to study over this weekend, but whenever I sat down at my laptop, my focus started to fade and I started feeling tired and... I needed a change to break me out of that.

Never would I have thought that I'd be feeling positive about going to work, but that's what I mean. Me... looking on the bright-side of things. The fuck's going on in the world?

I was even feeling more positive about work itself.

As I like to do, I sometimes make notes about... life, into my phone.

It helps with writing this blog, because I can look back and see what I was actually thinking at various times in the recent past, but more importantly, I find writing down my thoughts is just a good way of clearing my head. And the things that I wrote about the end of last term, weren't especially positive, which is why I decided to start this blog from the beginning of the holiday instead. The way that I felt at the end of last term just isn't how I'm feeling now.

I guess it's true that absence makes the heart grow fonder, because with no justification other than some time away from my job to get some perspective, I was feeling much more positive about both my work and my manager.

He's certainly proving to be very proactive, which is a change from my previous two bosses, but in truth, it's probably what my school needs.

It felt very peculiar to be getting up to teach a morning class on the first day of term, but I kind of liked the change.

In trying to find the right amount of variety in my life right now; not too much and not too little, this slight change to normality was welcome.

I'd only ever taught on weekday mornings once before, but that wasn't really reflective of how it'd usually be, because in that term I had a class-full of students who were studying for one term while they were on a break from university. Usually the morning and afternoon classes are made-up of what you'd expect from people who're free in the mornings and afternoons. And that means a lot of housewives.

Compare that to the evening students, who mostly come to study straight after leaving their nine-to-five jobs, and I'm sure that you can appreciate that it's a very different vibe. Not in a good or a bad way, but it's just different. For many of the morning students, I think studying English is just something for them to do when their husband goes off to work.

My first class of the day were really fun and enthusiastic, except I did immediately key-onto one woman who seemed used to having her own way, and would pout if something wasn't exactly as she wanted it.

This is a class of twenty people, and I'm not your maid. Not everyone can get everything they want all the time. Get used to it.

Apart from her though, this first class was great. My second class though...

It was the higher level of the two classes, but you wouldn't have known it. And trying to get them to say anything was a little like getting blood out of a stone but... well it is what it is.

It was interesting to talk to my manager on this day as well, especially about the backlash he'd received from the once morning teachers, who're now being forced to work in the evenings.

Roughly a decade or so ago, he was actually a teacher at my branch. That was his start in this company.

He's been gone for many years, but even then, he was telling me, it was the same few teachers, monopolising the morning shifts. And apparently they haven't reacted too well after getting their way for more than a decade, and now being told that they have to work evenings but... well sucks to be them.

He also told me how he'd found last term frustrating, because it wasn't really his schedule. The previous manager had more or less made last term's schedule, and he'd just agreed to it. This term though, he proudly told me, it was his schedule. Done the way that he wanted it.

Perhaps I'm looking too deeply into that, but I kind of took it as a compliment. Looking at the schedule, and the people who got placed where, I kind of feel like the more reliable, more likeable teachers were working in the mornings. And I also noted that screw preference forms, those who last term proved themselves to be unreliable, got less hours this term as well.

After the email about firings was sent-out, I believe that only one person was late for the rest of the term, and this person was only given two classes. And as someone who's always complaining about how little money he has, I can safely assume that he didn't request that.

Speculation on my part here purely; I have no basis to say this other than just looking at the schedule. But I kind of felt like his favourite people got more and better hours, so I took it as a compliment that I had a morning shift.

There was also a reposting on the notice board in the teacher's room, advertising the manager's position at his other branch, which I found amusing.

It was the exact same advert as before, except that this time they wrote "You may never know the joys of management if you don't give it a try" at the bottom.

Yes, and you may never have a qualified applicant until you start offering reasonable renumeration, no matter how many inspirational phrases you say.

A part of me is actually tempted to apply because... well it would be a step up a career ladder.

I'm not really looking to climb a career ladder, but it would be something different to add to my resume. I just can't face the idea of the added hours and added stress though. Why would I want to do that to myself? I'm happy with life now. Why ruin it?

Particularly for that salary.

I got held-up at the end of my second class of the day, which finished at 3:30pm, by a student asking me some mind-numbingly pointless questions. But once I was free, I had in my head, some classes starting at the gym at either 5:00 or 5:30, depending on how quickly I could get there.

A Mexican fast food place opened-up in the shopping mall that I work in a few months ago, which sells fast food that, as fast food goes, could be worse.

The main ingredients are salad and it includes vegan options on their menu, so I ran down there, inhaled a burrito, bought some fruit at the supermarket quickly, got the train home, threw-down my work bag and changed my clothes, picked-up my gym bag, went straight out the door again, and I only just made it to the gym in time for the 5:30 class. I then did an hour-long class at 6:15, showered, came straight home, cooked dinner, ate dinner and... fuck, it's 9pm already.

I'd anticipated that these extra hours I'd been given would cost me about 10 - 12 hours per week, Monday to Thursday.

7.5 more contact hours, but I was going to have to dedicate some extra time to planning and prepping my classes. And suddenly the feeling of losing 10 - 12 hours through Monday to Thursday, started to feel quite significant.

Those two to three hours that I'm going to lose everyday are... fuck.

To look at it positively, it just shows how good my schedule's been for the last few terms, so I should really be thankful for that. This was probably just a return to what my reality should be.

Still kind of sucks, because I'm actually kind of proud of how I've been exercising lately. It's been both committed and enjoyable. And I definitely don't want to have less than an hour per day to do my course either, because I'm already anticipating it taking me until sometime in April to finish.

Maybe if I show-up late a couple of times this term, then I'll get back to my old schedule next term.

The next day (Tuesday) felt similar in how rushed it was.

In teaching late on Tuesday, then consecutive classes early on Wednesday, I have to get my planning done for all of them by Tuesday afternoon, unless I want to be planning in the middle of the night. So that was my morning, up until I went to a yoga class that started at 12:15.

It was cool that I had this time to exercise, and that I was able to cook every meal that I ate on this day. But even that took a hit. I'd like to have done two hours of exercise, but I had to limit it to one.

I also managed to force in about 20 minutes of my course, but this too was rushed, before I went off to work.

But then I came home, made dinner and went to bed, having had barely a second to relax all day (yoga doesn't count). Then I got up by alarm the next morning, to go straight to my morning class.

And what made all of this even worse, was that this week was a bit of a reprieve from reality in that I didn't have my usual Tuesday library hours this week; they start next week, and Thursday (yesterday) was a holiday.

This was going to be the easiest week I'll have all term, and I was already having to make sacrifices to my diet, my course and my exercise which... well fuck it, it is what it is. But seeing as we have so few students that people are going to get fired, it kind of sucks getting loads more hours than I actually want to have.

Curse my reliability.

Wednesday turned-out much like Monday had been, except this time I was more prepared for it.

On Tuesday I made a loaf of bread and enough fake tuna salad for dinner that I then had leftovers that I could have for lunch.

I thought about being really efficient and taking them to work with me, then going straight from work to the gym, but I couldn't be bothered with taking my trainers to work with me, and either having to take a full change of clothes, or going to and leaving the gym in my work clothes and taking all of my books.

I was also more prepared for my afternoon class who... I know that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but when I first saw my register, and that this class was 50% male, I already had a bad feeling.

Most classes that you teach will be majority female.

I don't want to generalise too much, because there are certainly exceptions, but men in Thailand seem to mature mentally, far later than girls, and far later than a typical man would in a western country.

Oftentimes, dealing with a man in their late teens/early twenties here, is equivalent to dealing with a thirteen year old in the UK. So when you see a register for a class that's 50% males, who're free in the middle of the day, then alarm bells start ringing. And in this case, those alarm bells proved accurate.

The girls in this class are a mix of housewives, students and people in employment who, for whatever reason, are available on weekday afternoons. And they're all very pleasant to teach, if a little reserved.

The men in this class though...

There's one exception. There's one guy (not Thai) who's somewhat with it. The rest though, will slowly drip-into the class anything from a few minutes to more than an hour late, then unsurprisingly look completely lost, and ask questions about things we've already been over, wondering why they don't understand.

That, I don't have to tell you, is not very conducive to a building a productive learning environment, and is not very fun for me as a teacher.

The one guy who's really driving me crazy is one of these. In both classes this term, he's wandered in suitably late to not understand what's happening, and his English is unsurprisingly poor for this level anyway. But he seems intent on focussing not on what we're actually doing, but instead asking completely irrelevant and pointless questions. And no matter the answer you give him, he'll look at you with disapproval like you didn't answer it right.

For example, in the first class he was working with a Korean girl. She said something about a train driver, and he put up his hand so I came over, and he asked me "What do you call someone that drives a train?"

"A train driver," I responded.

"But is there another way of saying it?" he asked. "What if they drive the MRT?"

"Then they're an MRT driver."

But he kept on probing, insistent that there must be another way of saying this.

What do you want? A fucking 'locomotive operations executive'? It's a fucking train driver you tard.

It's one of many examples I could give you, all the while his English is poor for this level, and he can't even use basic tenses.

But what's even worse, is he waits around at the end of the class, waiting for everyone else to leave, then he corners me and asks me even more retarded questions.

In the first class it was "What is the meaning of 'even more'?"

I explained, he looked at me disapprovingly like I was wrong, then he asked "What does 'if you will' mean?"

Where the did you hear someone use 'if you will'?

"In Game of Thrones" he answered.

So I explained that really commonly used phrase to him as well, and by the time I got free it was fifteen minutes after the end of the class.

I'd perhaps have had a bit more patience with him if he'd actually showed-up to class on time and actually gave a fuck. But seeing as he didn't then, and seeing as he didn't on this day either, I was determined to not get held-back for another fifteen minutes again.

And it was the exact same routine. He loitered around the door, waiting for everyone else to leave, then he tried to corner me and asked "What's the meaning of 'even further'?"

It's the same fucking meaning as using even more, except using further instead of more.

In a climate where one complaint could cost you your job, being attentive to students is probably the order of the day.

Even the retarded ones.

But I just couldn't be fucked.

"I've got to go" I told him quickly, and ran out of the door while he was still trying to ask me questions.

And that wasn't even a lie. I ran home, toasted my two fake tuna salad sandwiches, wolfed them down, picked-up my gym bag and left, and I still only just made it to the gym in time for the 5:30 class I was aiming for.

On this day I ended up doing two 30-minute circuit training classes. And maybe I'm imagining it, but I'm sure that two 30-minute classes are harder than one 1-hour class.

I kind of feel like the trainers think that they've only got you for thirty minutes, so they can push you even harder. But then the second trainer comes along, and does exactly the same thing, and fuck, after this hour I was almost dead.

I actually had to sit in the seating area for fifteen minutes after my shower, drinking a cup of tea, just to replenish the energy to make the walk home.

Perhaps aided by the caffeine, I then got home and did my course for an hour. And it was the first time in quite some time that I felt like I wasn't falling asleep at my laptop, and that I was actually learning and taking on board the things I was being told.

I also didn't have to worry about spending too much time on dinner, because I had enough bread left over for beans on toast, which takes all of about five minutes to make, if lacking a little in the health department. And so I even had an hour at the end of the day to relax with my PS4... or so I thought.

The problem with playing it so little nowadays, is that whenever I do turn it on, it spends so long updating that I don't actually have time to play anything, so that was frustrating, but it is what it is.

Having this free-time had clearly demonstrated the importance of being efficient this term.

By saving time on cooking by making multiple meals at once, and by saving time at the gym by doing shorter, more intense classes, and by saving time at work by running away from people asking me retarded questions, I gave myself the time to do my course without feeling rushed, and to even relax for a bit at the end of the day.

I need more of that.

Like I said before, yesterday (Thursday) was a holiday. And you might think that having consecutive days-off mid-term, which is a very rare thing, I'd be sure to really relax and relish it.


We'd had an email on Wednesday saying that the weekend schedule wouldn't be out until after 3pm on Friday. So I'd have no idea if I'd have a full schedule or not, if I'd be teaching at 8am or not, if I'd have new classes to plan or not, or even if I'd be teaching juniors or not, by the afternoon or maybe even the evening before I'd be teaching them.

And with an unpredictable weekend but knowing that I have to teach consecutive classes on Monday morning, I figured fuck it, I may as well get those Monday classes planned now.

Interrupted by an hour of body pump, then an hour of hot yoga, then lunch, it wasn't until it was dark outside that I finished planning them... on my day off. But I got all of my then-known classes up to Tuesday planned. And it was kind of an indication of how I think this term's going to be.

There's a reason I've always requested so few hours. What I have now is more the work schedule of a normal person, and I'm not really about that. And after almost six years of teaching, I still have an inability to plan classes quickly. I mean, my lesson plans could be put in a museum they're so fucking good. No one can ever accuse me go going to a class unprepared. But when you've got to teach so many hours and you've got new classes to plan... it doesn't leave you with too much free time. But fuck it. It is what it is.

With that in mind, when I went to the supermarket today for my weekly shop, I intentionally bought ingredients that can be used to cook meals with leftovers. Make dinner, have the leftovers for lunch the next day. Save an hour that way, and use that hour to go to the gym or do my course. It's kind of how this term's going to be I think.

In fact, in the last 30 minutes or so, my phone bing-bonged with the weekend schedule and... well fuck, it could be a lot worse. With the introduction of things like juniors classes, the weekend schedule is a bit of a minefield. And although I have another brand new level to plan on the weekends, I avoided all of the mines, so I can't complain.

And again I thought this schedule was kind of reflective of the people who're likely to be held in good graces, getting the better classes.

One poor girl has just one class, and it's teaching juniors, so I can't imagine that she's so happy right now.

It also didn't seem reflective of a schedule where we're so overstaffed that people are going to get fired, but I'll shelve my conspiracy theories for now.

For me, my weekends start at 8am again, so it really is going to be a challenging term managing my sleep, and this completely topsy-turvy schedule will make it unlike a term I've ever had before.

I'm hopeful though, that as long as I stay on top of everything, I'll still have the time to eat well and exercise well and progress with my course. And for what little it's worth to me, I'm also going to make some decent money. I suppose it could mean that I won't write a blog for a while though, because I don't know if I'm going to have the time, so don't expect too much.

Given all that's going on though, I'm oddly happy in my job.

I've actually grown to really like my new manager. And I can't point at any exact moment that changed my mind on him, because I certainly didn't take to him immediately. I think that just having the week-off to take a step back and get some perspective, I've kind of realised that he's doing what has to be done, however unpopular it may be.

I've got morning classes. That would never have been possible under my previous managers. He also spends a lot of time, just standing around, watching things in the school. So he notices when people (like me) get to the school on time and prepared, and when other teachers rush in two minutes before their class and are unprepared. And I guess for me, it's nice that my hard work is getting some unspoken recognition now.

Putting on my tin-foil hat, that's why I think I've got morning classes now, and how I avoided all of the mines at the weekend. So... after a rough start, I've actually taken to him. He seems like a bright guy, and he's doing what needs to be done, if this school's actually going to have a future.

I need to stop there, because I have a Spartan class starting at the gym in forty minutes. So don't expect a blog for a while, but that doesn't mean that things aren't going well.

If my mood recently is anything to go by, things are going really well. My challenge now, is to keep that up through what I'll describe as a more demanding schedule than normal.

We'll see how it goes, but right now... I have nothing to complain about. Life is going really well.