Day 15 & 16: Oh the weekend
The weekend was extremely restful!
I slept in and lazed about the house wanting to enjoy maximise it before I even had to think about the world’s most dreaded word: Monday.
Having a new addition to the family (sister had a baby boy who is now 1 week old) meant dealing with the constant crying, nappy changing, guarding him from his loving but sometimes crazy 1.5 year old sister etc. But other than that, I almost thought the summer holidays had come early and I was on one long leave of absence from work and life.
What was really important about the weekend, but more specifically Saturday, was that we had reached the halfway mark for the month! I still remember how dead I was on the 1st day of fast but have now gotten so used to not eating I forget people around me might not be fasting! And like with anything in life, we anticipate difficulty and worry about this and the other. But once you’ve broken through the beginning, the rest is always easy 🙂
Day 17: Teacher, teacher
On Monday I had a new class added to my caseload. This group though were ESOL learners. I had no experienec working with these sorts of students before and the word ‘worry’ doesn’t sum up how I felt. I was expected to go in and use hand gesttures and have a powerpoint with images and basic basic English…
To my surprise majority of the class actually had great communication skills and their English was strong enough for me to have an interesting discussion with them. Although it seems too soon to say, I think they’re already one of my favourite classes! And what makes them as adorable as everyone says ESOL are…they call me teacher, teacher 🙂
Day 18: You have to do things for yourself
I somehow managed to get an upset stomach and didn’t really keep any of my food in me. So come home time, I was out of the door and ready to dive into bed as soon as I got home. On the bus home, there were two girls sitting in front of me and as sisters do, they were arguing over sweets. Younger one was Jessie and I think the older one was Nicole (Yeah, they were arguisng long enough for me to still remember their names).
Jessie: Can I have the sweet too?
Nicole: Yes [hands her the strawberry lace]
Jessie: Are you having it?
Nicole: Argh, I’ve alreday had mine! This one’s yours!
Jessie: But when will you have one again?
Nicole: I don’t know, Jessie. Maybe after bathtime.
Jessie: [Puts the lace back]
Are you definitely going to have it after bath? What time do we have a bath again?
Nicole: Jessie! Why are you waiting for me for? Why don’t you just eat it by yourself?
Jessie: But I want to eat it with you!
Nicole: But we’ve talked about this. You’re meant to do things for yourself so why do you need to do things with me?
Jessie: But I want you to have one too
Nicole: Why do you have to do everything with me, Jessie? Why can’t you do things for yourself. I’ve told you over and over.
Jessie: I do it coz I want to make you happy [Starts crying]
Nicole: I’m not going to talk to you till you stop crying.
It went on for much longer in the same way and poor Jessie was taking the strawberry lace in and out of the packet with each rejection and comment made by her beloved Nicole. Jessie continued to cry and blubber her love for her sister whilst I looked around for their parents. Not being able to take it any longer, I put down my kindle and spoke, mainly to Jessie:
Me: Girls, you need to stop arguing! Since your sister really doesn’t want to eat her share of the sweets now, you should eat yours. You don’t have to wait for your sister. But at the same time your sister could have been a little nicer and just eaten the sweet with you. But hey, why should you stop yourself from enjoying something just because your sister isn’t?! I think you should definitely have your sweet now!!!
And so Jessie ate the strawberry lace!
I was half expecting their mum to pop out of nowhere and tell me to go and do one but no one stepped in. Maybe they really were going home all by themselves…I had thought, till they got off the next stop and I saw their older sister emerge from the seat directly behind them, with her earphones in. Completely oblivious.
Jessie and Nicole reminded me that it’s lovely and nice to do things for or with the ones you love. But your happiness or sense of fulfilment can’t always lie with other people. Like Nicole was telling Jessie, it’s very true that you do have to learn to do things for yourself. Going by your own rhythm and choice, not others.
Day 19: Moving on
As the bell ringer, I had done my duties; feed yourself and then heat up the food for the rest. Then at around 1:30am dad comes downstairs and tells me he’s making fish kebabs. Now, I can’t say if fish kebab is done all over Bangladesh, but it’s always been a thing for my family and relatives.
You take out all the fish meat, add the usual and then fry. I tried to escape but he kept giving me tasks one after another and then by 2:30 I had finished helping him make them. Tasted great but not at 1am, dad
The day at work was spent talking about students progressing on from their current course and it was yet again, a very ‘life lesson’ sort of themed day. Someone once told me that “teenagers can have all the support possible around them, but it doesn’t make a different if they’re sleeping. Everyone wakes up at different times in their lives so your job is simply to leave some dust in their sheets.”
And so on that day, I ended all my rants at the students with this very message. That I’m here to help but it depends on whether they want to listen. At least I know I’ve done my bit but they have to do the rest. Some students have their head screwed on right from the get go whilst others are only looking for a way to pass their time. They say youth is wasted on the youth but I don’t believe that. I believe that only in youth, through the victories and mistakes, can you grow to appreciate your future and accept what made up your past in order to become the person you will be.
Day 20: Work can be a scary place…
I had not one, not two but THREE long discussions about 3 different managers. The main topic was how they all make the people in their teams uncomfortable beyond belief.
These are the sorts of managers that will praise you to your face but send a complaints email to you and to your superiors behind your back. That will stamp out your application to another managers role because they know you’ll do a better job than them. They force you to work with students you’re not comfortable with because they want to please the people higher up in the food chain. Will talk about you in front of you to another member of the team and then later lie about it ever happening once challenged.
This picture is beyond clear, I’m sure, of how some people are spiteful and walk like they’re wearing golden boots. I’m very fortunate to have had managers that are normal, otherwise I might have ended up with a CV the length of my Student Finance report with all the job changes.
But in the same way I’m reminded how everyone has to put up with someone they dislike. A manager, a colleague, your family even and the corner shop man. But we’ve all managed! Somehow we’ve faced the dragon’s fire over and over but still continue to quietly fight our daily battles and come home winners.
We are constantly evolving and I take solace in the knowledge that what doesn’t kill me, will make me stronger 🙂
P.S the food this year has simply been kisuri with chicken pea baji because we’re all so tired and can’t be bothered to make much else. Plus, we’re always trying to be healthier every year so I’m quite proud of my plates this Ramadan!