Day 81: Third driving lesson and getting others motivated! 11 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

I am not very good at getting up, in case you have not noticed. I like to have time to wake up slowly, have a good breakfast, check the e-mail, and then start. When working in catering, there are not many days like this. I used to even wake up 4 am to start at 5 :30 am. Thank God those days are over. I am rather used to work until late at night or early hours of the morning, or even to carry on the next day without any sleep. I had many of these ‘the adrenalin is high, let’s just carry on’ situations during my theatre design degree. Being ill for the last four weeks did not help either, because my body clock is used to sleeping whenever, so last night I set up my alarm on about ten different times as my third driving lesson was booked for 8 am. It was either that or driving on 24th December, which is my Christmas Day. What do you think happened? Of course I overslept! Good job I had everything ready, so in five minutes I was sitting in the car trying to quickly wake up before we swap the sides. I guess it is a good exercise to experience, because it will happen in real life simply knowing how much I like ‘the mornings’.

My last lesson was five weeks ago, plus with this late start, I thought I am going to be terrible, but it was not as bad as I expected. Obviously there were few panic moments, but it was just due to getting into more complicated traffic situations. However there was an improvement from first to second gear straight away, putting gear into first one, when starting, I even went up to 30 mph, drove up some fairly steep hills, went through junctions with more traffic and lot more stopping and starting up and down the hill.  The car suddenly does not feel as terrifying and certain moves are becoming a habit. I am quite happy I waited this long, because I have the knowledge of the highway code from cycling, less things to learn, nevermind doing it in second language and on the opposite side, and I am confident enough to say something in case I would not be happy with my driving instructor. Mine is so friendly, patient and easygoing, it makes such a difference, when I make a mistakes. If I would be 17 and had a stressed driving instructor as you hear some of the horror stories, I am not sure if I would be strong enough to say I am not happy with the way you teach me and I would go blank and panic even lot more . Thankfully that is not the case and so far I am making progress, so that is great to know.

I spent the afternoon getting few things done including correction of my new student’s cv. We spoke on the phone later and he was very excited telling me about that Italian cookbook I left there, as I mentioned two posts ago. He was very happy flicking through, translated four recipes, wrote down the vocabulary he needed to look for in a dictionary and even made one of the recipes! How impressive! I was so pleased my personalised first lesson got him so motivated, so when he goes out tomorrow searching for the job again, I hope he is more successful. I am sure he will be speaking in no time with this attitude.

It is really wonderful, when people believe in you and you believe in others. Getting excited, more understanding and patient were the qualities I missed a lot in my school days from some of my teachers. It does not mean you are stupid, just the way you learn more effectively is different and you should not be punished for it. I have discovered that once I left abroad, had the experience of life and started to study the Foundation Diploma in Art&Design, here in the UK. When coming home for holidays I started doing these talks in Art and English lessons back at the same school, where I started. And I can tell you my English teacher was not happy, when I told the students that I was really bad and definitely not her favourite. And as the years went on and I got accepted to university here or passed CPE last year, she would still have that judgemental look on her face every time I saw her and would not really believe me. And you know what and I may never be absolutely perfect, but it is more than enough to make me live the way I want to. Bohumil Hrabal, writer, who went to our school, who failed in Czech language, or Albert Einstein, when failing Maths, were always my great heroes. And look how far they got! Failure does not mean stupidity!

It is not about how much you know and being academic type, it is about how you find it, use it and make it work. It is about being motivated, believing in your dreams and working hard for them. Attitude Czech education is definitely missing and when recently reading this article, it seems it still does, although it may be getting better since the new generation of teachers is going in and the speedy development of the technology. So anyway to end this critical point I have about Czech primary and secondary education, I am very happy about this rather productive Friday and how great it is to bring happiness to other people when using the right teaching methods. Back tomorrow. Kat xx

day 12

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Day 28: Week four review and my first ever driving lesson! 64 days to go

Kat doodles about life:

I am alive! Just so you know that there is no one else writing this post.  I have experienced the weirdest feeling ever, that I am in charge of this huge metal object, which moves around. However Thank God the instructor has extra pedals as they were needed few times and he sat in a passenger seat driving for me turning the stirring wheel around. It has been raining all day, but an hour before the lesson it got so bad I was really freaking out, got to tidy up my room and kept busy hoping to forget what is it I have to do pretty soon and cannot avoid. The same situation, when you are trying to write your dissertation, but somehow there is always something more important to do.

I certainly made sure he is aware of the fact I know nothing about cars, certainly never driven and before I started the engine made him laugh by checking if he has an insurance. He was really lovely about the whole thing and I am really pleased I choose him (she says after only one lesson…). I cannot imagine sitting next to someone, who gets angry or stressed, when you are learning skill like this as it is a lot to take in the first time round and I tend to freeze and cannot concentrate, when someone expects you to understand with flick of a finger. It brings back memories of Maths and English lessons and I feel instantly nervous and sick just thinking about that school experience. Now if you have never driven before like me you get told about how to sit and what are all the buttons in the car for. I probably got to wash his car windows three times when pressing the wrong buttons, it was pretty hilarious. It must be a common thing, because they were pretty clean before I even started. You get told about all the different procedures you have to follow when driving and then we got on to do the real thing. Weirdest thing was to understand that the car can move without me touching the gas, that you turn your stirring wheel slowly going in, but really fast on the way back and you will stop and jump up with the car if you don’t put the gears back to neutral position.

If you would have talk to me about anything like this yesterday, it would go through one ear in and through the other out, however now I finally had a go, I am somehow getting the idea what is it people talk about. There were two really helpful things to know- when he kept comparing the car to the bike. It made so much more sense, what does when and why. And the second one is when he was trying to explain the biting point. I got it pretty much first time round and he was fairly impressed with that. Obviously it only needs adjustment, when i get used to doing all the steps in the right order. I thought of it later on, because lot of people kept saying it took them ages to figure out how to do the the right touch. And then it came up in my head why! During my theatre design degree I got to learn how to use industrial sewing machine and years later I purchased my own Singer. Getting to learn how to touch the pedal with right sensitivity was almost impossible at the beginning. I guess the fear of being killed on the road equals the fear of getting your fingers accidentally stitched with the fabric, if you push too hard. So here we go, who would have thought my sewing skills will be applied somewhere else.  Two hours later I got out of the car, feeling pretty pleased with myself, even simply because I was still alive!

This week was kind of about two things the theatre production has been confirmed and I will get to start work on it in few days time and the blog party. I got learn how to communicate with people better and based on one of my post on how people perceived me I consciously started making difference in how I behave in certain situations or what I say and it seems to be helping. Receiving Swiss chocolate as a present helped me in recovering from the bicycle fall and the rest of the week I spent blogging about Maison Bentley Style Blog Party and how I (used to) party. Not as much rock’ n’ roll as it used to be. If you get to click on the Party Blog, there will be a list of blogs you can visit and get to read and perhaps find something you will get to love to read apart my blogs posts of course 🙂 I will be making my way through the list, so I will let you know about my likes.

If you are in Britain, enjoy this gorgeous sunshine today and I will be back later. Kat xx

P.S. And this is why I have to learn?! https://katdesigner.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/i-noticed-in-your-cv-that-you-dont-drive-currently/

day 28