Saturday, October 18, 2014

An easy profession?

The other day I was stopped in the street and asked what my job was; So I said: "I'm a teacher". They looked at me, smiled and said:"A teacher, that's an easy job, all you do is play with kids all day long"

I'm a decent person,
No I DON'T work in an office, but I have my own space to share my knowledge with young people.
I DON'T discriminate anyone, I treat all my pupils equally.
NO Im NOT a boss of a huge company, but your kids see me as a leader, they look up to me and I set a good examples for them.
NO, I'm not a psychologist, but I can make you child believe in their own abilities.
NO i'm NOT a doctor but I can diagnose problems, dislexia and struggles.
I DON'T have a fixed timetable, because when you are at home sleeping, playing with your child or watching the television, I'm sat at my table for hours on end planning lessons and activities to be able to give your child a better education, hours I don't get paid for.
I'm NOT an architect who designs buildings, but I help build your childs dreams.
I DON'T play with the kids, I participate in their education, helping them reach their full potential.
I DON'T play with plastecine, I helping my students shape their dreams.
I DON'T turn kids away, I listen to their stories giving them my full atention even if they've told me the same story before.
NO I DON'T know how to stop wars, but I do know how to teach your kids right from wrong, to treat their classmates and others with respect and good manners.

NO, being a teacher ISN'T easy, but it's worth it, it's rewarding.
Yes there are days when you feel helpless, when you couldn't help a child to understand how to do an activity, when you see two of your pupils fighting, when a child turns around swears at you and kicks you because you've told them they can't go and play until they finish their worksheet. Those awful days when a child turns to you and says "Yesterday I was sad and you didn't realise, you didn't help me" but that is all outweighed by the good.
The feeling of proudness you feel when you see one of your pupils helping others, getting an activity right for the first time without help, over coming obstacles, finally believeing in their own abilities, a pupil turning around and saying "Thank you" or "That was fun", a child saying "Please" for the first time or child who has selective mutism to feel so safe and comfortable that she will actually whisper to you... That feeling, those few seconds, no words can describe.   I wouldn't want to change my job, even though  some of you think it's easy and silly. Everyday I get to see little faces light up, I get to watch children grow, I get to help them chase their dreams. Everyday I get to make a difference.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Formula One, not just a sport...

Mark Webber taught me that sometimes being second best is atually better than being the best.

Felipe Massa taught me  never to give up no matter how bad things are going.

Lewis Hamilton taught me that to be understood you must first listen.

Jenson Button taught me that it's okay to have bad days and be  down as long s you pick yourself back up.

Susie Wolff and María de Villota taught me to follow my dreams and don't let other people comments stop you.

Kimi Raikkonen taught me that it's okay to be quiet, that sometimes one worded answers are best.

Senna taught me it's okay to walk in others shadows until it's my time to shine.

Fernando Alonso taught me that you need more than just talent to be the best.

Claire Williams taught me that women have no boundries, we are just as good as men.

Rob Smedley taught me to put others happiness before my own.

Michael Schumacher taught me that my problems are small compared to those of others.

Jaume Alguersuari taught me tht not everyone will appreciate  how talented you are.

Sebastian Vettel taught me that it's okay to be a little bit selfsih as long as I'm a good person.

Daniel Ricciardo taught me that it's okay to be overestimated, It only takes one person to give you that chance to prove everyone wrong.

Pedro De La Rosa taught me that it' okay to step aside, but always be there when they need you and that you're never to old to continue living your dream.

Bruno Senna taught me to fight through pain and disappointment, because it mkes you a stronger person.

Niki Lauda taught me that set-backs are there to remind us of how much we really want something.

Toto Wolff taught me that hard work pays off, you just have to be patient.

Jean-Eric Vergne taught me to never stop fighting to better myself.

Frank Williams taught me how to turn my weaknesses into strengths.

Adrian Sutil taught me that making one mistake doesn't make you a bad person; everyone desrves a second chance.

Jules Bianchi taught me to be grateful for everyday  and to live my life how I want.

Kamui Kobayashi taught me that people will still like you even if you're not the best.

Jessica Michibata taught me to stand by my loved ones through ALL there ups and downs.

To many, Formula One is just another sport, predictable, boring and not much point to it. To a select few, it's more than a sport it's a way of life. To me Formula One is more than a way of life, every driver is there to teach you something, its up to you to learn.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I'm sorry i couldn't save you...

10th of September is suicide awarness day so I want to take the chance to talk about something that over the past 4 years has become close to my heart, something that inspires me. Its called the Will-To-Live Foundation. I have the honour of knowing the family who set up the foundation in memory of their 15 year old son Will, who they lost to suicide on the 15th of October 2010.

The age of suicide victims has dropped to as young as 9 years old in the last 15 years, yes 9! So why aren't more people doing something about it? It's simple, nobody talks about it, it's taboo. But how can something so common be taboo?

The Will-To-Live Foundation teaches kids to look around them, to talk to their friends about their problems but also to listen to their friends when they need them, These kids/young adults find that they are not alone, they have Life Teammates to help them along.

One thing that MR Trautwein said, that stuck in my head was "You kids have it tough,the pressures you are facing now I didn't feel until I was 4-5 years older than you guys" and it's true, or modern day society pressures us to be beautiful, to be perfect but refuses to give us a consistant defenition of either... Nowadays we are constantly critsiced everywhere , by the goverment, by friends, by family. teachers, bosses, the list doesn't stop.

A couple of weeks ago I was told a girl I went to school with took her own life. Her suicide note read "Mi Depressión me ganó" (My depression beat me)... Why do we live in a world where the words "I suffer from depression" aren't said, or if they are said they fall on deaf ears. If someone tells us they suffer depression, why do we run a mile? We are scared of talking to someone with a mental illness. But are we scared or are we ashamed?

A kid in the USA loses the will to live at a rate of 1 every 2 hours, thats 12 a day, 12 kids a day attempt to take their lives in the States alone, it's chilling. It's the 3rd biggest killer in people between the ages of 15-25, behind accidents and homocide, 3rd!!

And yet a lot of us turn our back and pretend we don't see... If someone you know says they are gonna take their own life, TAKE IT SERIOUSLY. When you're walking down the street or shopping smile at someone or say "Have a nice day" you might just make that persons day worthwhile.  tell your friends and family how much you love them, they are your Life Teammates, the ones who willl pick you up when you fall down. Don't be ashamed or embarassed to drop a "I love you man!" on someone once a day. Life Teammates are important they are what keep you going.

The Will-To-Live Foundation is crustial in many kids lives, it gives them Hope, it shows them they are not alone, a place to go and talk, it teaches them the value of life with Life Teammates. I've learnt a lot overthe past 4 years and i'm very grateful and inspired by the Foundation.

Thank you John and Susie Trautwein.
Love ya Man!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Robin Williams, We will miss you...

Four days ago, I joined the world in mourning the death of Robin Williams, one of my favourite actors of all time. He was so funny on screen, so full of life, so natural and had perfect timing, and now he was gone. I was lost for words, I felt numb and empty. How can someone you've ever met, you've never talked to, mean so much to you?
I was instantly replaying all my favourite movies of his in my head: Dead Poets Society, Hook, Mrs Doubtfire, Jumanji,  Hamlet, Good Will Hunting, Flubber, Robots and the Butler. Yeah I grew up watching Robin Williams, he made me laugh more than anyone else to date. He always seemed so happy on camera...
He always had such a jolly demeanour, a happy face, that brought a smile to millions of people around the world. But behind that smile was a man battling server depression. Depression is like a war, you win or you die trying...
Robin talked about his depression  in interviews, using quotations that will forever stick in my head: "I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone, it's not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel all alone." , "You are only given one spark of madness. You mustn't lose it" and "You can judge how heavy a persons burdens are until thye put them down and the whole floor shakes"
The afternoon of his death I was given the unbelievably hard task of telling my 7 year-old cousin that his favourite actor from his favourite film (Hook) had died and gone to live in Heaven with the Angels. His answer was "But Granny is older than him and she still lives, so why did he die?" I knew I couldn't tell him the whole truth, he was too young to learn about suicide, so I took a different approach "He was sick Hadyn" "Oh...okay" and off he went.

Dear Robin Williams,
On behalf on millions of kids and adults, Thank you. Thank you for making us laugh hours on end. For bringing comedy into our houses. For talking about depression and making people aware.
We will miss your laugh, your personality and your silly smile.
Sleep tight, fly far and wide.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

New Job, New Lessons

For the month of June I am working as a live in au pair for a family who live in Colònia de Sant Jordi, Mallorca. I'm looking after two children: a girl Antònia María who is 11 and a boy Tomeu who is 9, but these aren't just ordinary kids, they have Attention deficit Hyperactivity disorder  (ADHD) so everyday tasks are that little bit harder and take a little longer. Don't get me wrong they are great kids, full of positive energy, they are caring and loving but they have their Oh dear moments.

I've only been with the family for a week, before that I'd only spent an hour with the kids a week, and so far this job has taught me that I don't have as much patients as I thought, but's it's also teaching me to accept every single person for who he/she is, to adapt to the life around me and to try not to stress out over little things.

The days are challenging and long, timetables go out of the window, you have a list of tasks to do that day and if you have time left over you can do whatever you want. The first task of the day is breakfast, something that should only take 15 minutes takes nearly an hour, once task number is one done it's time to move on to task two: getting dressed. Oh hell, that's the most challenging task of the day, "Tomeu, please can you go and get dressed?"  his answer is a "yes" with a huge smile, of he goes. An hour passes and he still hasn't returned, so I go and check on him, there he is either still in his Pyjamas, no clothes on at all or only managed to put underwear on, but he's got completely distracted and is now playing with a Lego boat...

Even though both kids have ADHD they are completely different, Antònia can control herself more she just struggles academically where as Tomeu has a photographic memory  and is highly intelligent, with an IQ higher than most adults but doesn't have the self discipline to apply it, you have to sit with him and help him concentrate on the task ahead.

But despite the everyday challenges they face, they are the happiest kids I've met, respectful of every single person they meet, apologetic after a meltdown, love to play games, swim and draw, like the average kid. They are massively misunderstood. People think that just because they have ADHD they are going to be a handful, but that couldn't be further from the truth, you just need to know how to talk to them and get them engaged in the task in hand.

To Antònia Maria and Tomeu, Thank you for helping me understand :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Jenson Button

My favourite guy races cars for a living,
Racing round and round he never stops giving.
He's tall and slender with bright blue eyes,
No matter what race, his best he always tries.

The car of glistening silver shines in the light,To get on the podium is a difficult fight.

When he crashes or retires it makes me sad,
But to see him walk away unhurt makes me glad.

Screeching tyres as pits pit stops are made,
A good stop mean the race could be saved.
Make on mistake and the whole team pays,
The race engineer, an important role he plays.

Jenson's racing skills make him a master of rain,
At the starting grid, so much to lose, so much to gain.
The Monaco Grand Prix of 2009 he did win,
That season "We are the Champions" he did sing.

For the next victory I might have to wait a while,
I don't mind as long as he continues to smile.
JB is the one I follow with all my heart,
I've followed him right from the start.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter weekend

What a gorgeous weekend!! My Aunt and Uncle came over for the weekend and the weather has been spectacular, it's been so hot and sunny, we spent the whole weekend in shorts and t-shirts getting tanned and in Uncle Paul's and my brothers case sunburnt.

The weekend actually started before they arrived! On the Friday evening we went into town for a few drinks with a couple of neighbours. In the town they had an Easter procession, there were huge statues of Jesus and the Virgin Marie being carried around on peoples shoulders, each statue weighs just over a ton and is carried around the town by a group of 20 men or 28 women. Each float was followed by, what the Spanish call, "Carapuches", which are hooded figures. It was actually quite scary.

Saturday morning I felt sick with excitement, I hadn't seen Uncle Paul or Auntie Vanessa in over two years, as they went travelling around the world for a year, so it felt special to see them again, I was like a kid at Christmas. I woke up early, watched Quali, what a disappointment... didn't go the way I wanted it to. After that I went off to the airport with dad to pick them up, I had butterflies. As soon as I saw them I ran as fast as I could straight into Uncle Paul's open arms, my butterflies went away immediately. On the way back home I got to have a girly chat with Vanessa, it was amazing to catch up! We spent the whole afternoon outside just chatting in the sun, there were some hilarious stories that came out,  it was BLISS! We went out for dinner just to a local restaurant, it was nice just to chill and catch up.

Sunday morning, race day, what a shockingly bad race for McLaren and Massa, that put me in a bad mood, Uncle Paul winded me up something rotten, but it was hard to be mad at him, he's just so funny.  So again just another day of chatting in the sun while eating and talking. Oh and of course, like every time we get together, Dad and Uncle Paul jammed on the guitars for a while, needless to say Uncle Paul was miles better than Dad! But he still insisted on showing Dad how to play songs Uncle Pauls band plays, it was funny. The evening just got better,  after a night time walk, we played Articulate, We've never laughed so much in our lives. Mum burst out into song mid-clue which had us in stitches and then Keiran had to describe Nigel Lawson, but not knowing who he was Keiran's clue was "His first name is a bit of a funny name" So Uncle Paul responded "Dick" my brother cracks up instantly and answers back "Not that funny"... Oh my days, we all ended up crying with laughter.

Which brings me to today, Monday, we all got up quite late, so we decided to go out for a walk in a village up the road and have a snack and a walk. We walked all around Sineu then found a little bar to have lunch in, we all had typical Spanish food called "Pa amb Oli" It was so nice. So again we started chatting, the topic turned to Uncle Pauls job, he's an undertaker, its amazing how many funny stories can come from working in a funeral home. after lunch we drove back home  and lounged around a bit before they had to pack. And before I knew it the weekend was over and Uncle Paul and Auntie Vanessa were saying Goodbye. I felt sad saying Goodbye, as I've got older it's started to hit me that every Goodbye could be the last.

Easter is over, there were horrible parts to the weekend but on a whole it was also really special and amazing. Just can't wait to see them again now.