What a time of life I'm in right now.
Who is that middle aged lady wearing her mother's dress?
No, really, that IS my mother's dress.
As well as my seemingly sheer vertical descent into middle age, the Baby Angel and I have been talking about her subject selections for next year, her second to last year of school (hopefully)!
It's a really weird feeling. I mean, it doesn't seem that long ago since she was this little girl in her first year of Reception in Southampton UK. Now we're discussing the relative merits of Biology over Drama as a Year 11 subject.
She doesn't really have a clear idea of what she wants to do when she leaves school so it's a case of leaning to her strengths and keeping her options open. Lately she's taken an interest in fashion and has, in rather typical 15 year old girl style, started keeping a notebook full of fashion designs she's drawn. As a result she is considering taking Design/Textiles as a subject next year, never mind the fact that up until this point in time she has shown no more interest in sewing than the pencil case she made in Home Ec in Year 8 or the puppet she put together in Year 7, which, as it turns out, was decked out in her preferred post school option as......wait for it......................................... a dress designer!!!!!!!!
How can one mother not know her own daughter that badly?
No but really! I have spoken before of her lack of craftiness and so I am a little reluctant to get too enthusiastic about this particular subject choice because, to be honest, it sounds like a lot of hard work for ME! On the other hand, I didn't start really crafting until I was in my late teens so perhaps her talent is lying dormant, waiting to be nurtured and developed?
There is a real sense of gravitas about the whole conversation however, regardless of my flippant manner. I mean, these choices will shape her immediate future. Biology or Drama? Society and Culture or Media Studies? The key thing is to choose subjects which will get you a decent ATAR score. In my day there were one or two 'standard' collections of subjects. I did the science focused: Maths I, Maths II, Physics, Chemistry and English. I did this because my dad said I should. My sister did the more Arts based five: English, Australian History, Ancient History, Economics and Biology (the token science). There were few variations on these groupings, perhaps an Art or a Music thrown in there. No Drama for goodness sakes and definitely no Design Textiles!!!!!! Is it good that there are more choices nowadays? I don't know. Perhaps we are suggesting they specialise too soon? Who really knows what they want to do at 15? (Except you Prof J, I know you knew!!!!:-D)
Next week she is off on work experience. She will be working on a Kindergarten class at the school up the road; although her choice was more about convenience for transport than a real desire to experience teaching. Unfortunately for her she has teaching in her blood as not only her mother and father but grandmother and in some ways grandfather(Uni lecturer) are all teachers. Oh, and her aunt although she had the good sense to get out!
I suppose she could do worse for a career.
Come to think of it...nah. Teaching's pretty gruelling* :-)
But while all this is going on I am dealing with my own changes. There's the hot flushes. Oh. My. Goodness. Now I know what my mother was on about. I'm telling you, I've got to get this sorted out before Summer because, despite the coldest Winter in decades, which we are currently experiencing, I am reduced to wearing layers so I can throw them off at the drop of a hat when I turn into Furnace Girl!!!!! Actually, that has been the only benefit of these damnable things; the other morning when I was getting up at 4.45am to do some prep for the day's lessons because I had fallen asleep at 9pm the night before (*see previous comment about teaching), I was resisting the emergence from my cocoon of sleepy warmth into the 2 degree bedroom air when WOOSH.....hot flush! You've never seen anyone leap out of bed so fast! So, quite useful really.
And tomorrow I'm meeting with another school to talk about a possible job next year. Do I leave my gruelling but familiar current position to take on the stress of a new appointment? It could be a return to primary teaching. Do I want that? Do I want to give up the Maths and focus on Special Ed again?
Change is all around me.