Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Cos The Times They Are A Changin'

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.


headbang8 said...

It's a very nice dress. Choice is a good thing. And the hot flushes will be over by the summer. Sounds like a jolly nice life all 'round.

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

Wow that's a lot to deal with all at once!

My gal doesn't have near the choices because her school is so small. They more or less just stick her into one elective or another, as far as I can tell, depending on whether or not they have enough kids to make a class.

When faced with those kinds of things though, I tend to lean toward what seems most interesting at present. My feeling is that if she's interested NOW, she'll learn a lot and do well. And if it causes her to be ill prepared for something that she wants to do in the future, she'll be that much more motivated to do whatever it takes to prepare for whatever it is. I know that type of thinking isn't great for every situation or every person, but I tend to fall back on it when I can't come to a decision.

She just has two years left of high school? My gal has three & didn't they turn 15 around the same time?

Good luck with the job decision too! I remember you having a tough time deciding about it before. And you went through some kind of miserable times at work, right? But it seems like things improved for awhile there sometime...or maybe I just got overwhelmed with my out of control life & haven't been paying enough attention?

Arizaphale said...

HB8: My friedn in the UK sadi her hers lasted for 8 years.

Jill: I used to feel that way about her subject choices but the ones for next year carry a lot more weight. If you do something you are ill prepared for it could preclude you from getting your SACE (final certificate) if you fail etc etc etc. For example, much as she loves French, she missed too much at her old school to take it as a SACE subject. It would be academic suicide. Drama on the other hand she would probably do ok in, but will it get her a good enough ATAR score to get into the course of her choice at Uni (college) when the time comes? And yes, she will finish school in December 2012! Partly because she started at 4 years of age in the Uk!!! Her UK friends of similar age will finish a whole 6 months ahead of her.

As for school, yes, it has been up and down. Having year 7s this year has helped. They are so lovely, and happy, and compliant!! Also working with the year 11s who needed to pass was good. It's just the 8,9,and 10s who don't give a toss about maths and make no effort to pass that do my head in. And no, they haven't got any better except that some of them have been expelled :-D

Anonymous said...

The dress is a "Jaeger" and looks as lovely on you as it did on me at your sister Louises wedding!!Glad it fits you...it reminds how I used to look!!!

Prof J said...

One possibility in Yr 11, which was what J opted for, was to do full year versions of some of the ones she knew she wanted to do in Yr 12 (Chem and French) and then half year versions of several others to give her a taste of each and help her choose for Yr 12. She's just had to put in her subject choices now for next year and has ended up with Biology, Chem and French (which she always planned to do) and then PE (which was the really hard choice - PE or English or History or ...) She ended up going for the one she thinks she will get the best marks in combined with the need to do something physical amongst all the rest. But PE in Year 12 has a big theory component as well on things like muscle groups, nutrition, training programs etc etc so she loves that stuff as well. Is BA thinking about PE?

Arizaphale said...

Prof J: Yeah, that's basically what we've gone with. Eng, Maths Studies, Drama and Biology for two semesters with Psycholgy, Media Studies and History as the one semester choices. I eventually talked her out of Design Textiles with the promise that I would help her to get started sewing.Now I guess I actually have to go through with that idea!!!!

Oscar Zed said...

Perhaps your daughter saw "The Devil Wears Prada" on TV last week?

And why aren't you using the HRT patches to get you through menopause? You can lose bone density rapidly during the low times and the patches smooth the transition. My late wife was just coming off them at 53 when I met her.

I was scheduled to start testosterone supplements 3 years ago, but I procrastinated about it - an obvious sign of low male hormones.

Mid Sis said...

Economics? ECONOMICS????? What are you on about girl???? I never did Economics - that involved words like macro and micro and quantitative! No way for this chickie! I did Modern European History and jolly good it was too! Bit weird I wound up doing an MBA after all that arts stuff eh?

Arizaphale said...

Middle Sis: Sorry! You know, I put Mod Hist first up and then I looked and thought....surely you didn't do THREE history subjects???? I couldn't think of what else you might have done! I should have trusted my instinct.:-D

Mid Sis said...

Well - Classics wasn't really all history, it was some history, art & architecture and literature so I guess not 3 history subjects in total!

Andi said...

Lord help both of you...
We call them hot flashes here, but I know how unpleasant they can be! I've honestly worried that I could be having them early myself...doctor visits planned soon.
I do not envy BA's youth, not in the least...to go through all of that again...the stress of it all, making sure you're in just the right courses...oh goodness. I see from your most recent post that you both figured it all out. Good luck to both of you...

carrie said...

Oh....that pic of BA in her first year of school just about did me in. She is a doll.

Whatever she decides, I think she is going to do well.

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

Oh yeah, that must make a difference. I'm scared because they put my gal into an advanced placement biology II class this year and she's never had biology I!

Let's see, my gal will finish school May or June of 2013. I guess she's just maybe finishing a semester later. It's just that you can't finish school here in winter really. Everyone more or less finishes in late May/early June here. Are there separate summer/winter graduations then? Or does everyone finish in winter?

Arizaphale said...

Jill: I presume you mean YOUR Winter? Cos everyone here finishes in Summer :-D

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

Oh! Yeah, my winter! So everyone finishes in summer there, but it's winter here?