How I Moved to Paris…

Kat doodles about life and speaks about languages:

Morning guys! I know, it’s been long. As always with me. I pick up things and then I drop them like they never meant anything. Not quite the truth. I do come back. My life has just been so manic for the last two months. Why? Well, have a read and I am sure you understand.

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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

Day 3: From High to Low! 89 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Alright, it is nearly 4pm of UK time and I am already writing this post, whilst outside it has not stopped raining second day in row. I think that is it for today, enough me sitting at the computer. I have been doing so for the last three days, wrapped up warm, recovering, drinking countless cups of tea.  I fancy a change. I started high and now I am feeling my energy levels are going down. Well there might be few reasons for that. Sleeping too much in the last few days and staying awake last night texting past my usual bedtime, being woken up by three demanding phone calls at 5 am, was the start.

When I got out of bed feeling fairly shattered, Ilooked into the fridge, finding it empty. Forced walking out of the house, I came backa with a treat in a form of nutella jar. How wrong I was. I stopped eating chocolate about three or four months ago and felt much better ever since, so hoping that little chocolatey treat will make me feel better turned into something like eating gurkin. It tasted horribly sweet and I am thinking Oh no, I have lost this little life saver. Never mind this sugar rush which brought me down few hours later.  There was a little hint of hope, when I managed to clear and response to my e-mails within only 7 minutes, but not long after there was this reply from CV Site waiting to tell the truth I didn’t want to know.

So apparently there are few issues, which prevent me from communicating my skills in optimum way. The first paragraph states following: There are grammatical issues …, … it is too colloquial…, …if an employer reads that you are ‘stubborn’ it would be off putting within the context …, … mentioning four jobs doesn’t send out positive impression. Alright with grammatical issues I can agree. That has always been a problem, I am not a native speaker, I can only keep learning and trying, because I know it will always follow me. I am not entirely sure why ‘stubborn’ used together with ‘perfectionist’ and ‘willing to learn’ does not translate as ‘motivated until achieving the goal’. I guess the negative feel of the word used without its context coming from someone, who is an Aries in zodiac, is not exactly giving the friendly willing approach. Lastly what is wrong with having four jobs? Is it the lack of focus I might be giving impression off? Surely having two different self-employed positions show that you are on your way to turn them into careers, whilst the other two part time jobs show commitment and secure regular income in order to pay bills and food offering to take time off when needed. Why all the cv gurus, employers or general advice out there tell you to keep going and making sure there is no gap on your cv and now being told that if you work too much sounds wrong. Anyone else had similar issue before?

Second paragraph is focusing on employment history. It is vast…, …for very brief periods, this would not instill confidence any potential employers…, You clearly have a lot of skills but CV needs focus…, … I appreciate that a lot of jobs are short term…, … better to provide details of the work and the props you designed rather than the designer/directors names. You clearly have a lot to offer, …you are creative and have flair but a CV is still a formal document and you need to adopt a few conventions in order to illustrate your talents and competencies without coming across as disordered. Looking back at my cv after reading this, was so painfully true.  I think the problem is when you are preparing your cv during your graduation time and not having that much professional experience, you are told it is important to tell all the directors and designers you worked with having to stretch it making it look reasonably good, but as time goes it may become a bit too much and I think that what happened to me. Taking your cv and giving it to people asking them to look at it with their critical eyes is nerve wracking and depressing, but the most helpful as knowing the weakness of your enemy.

They finished the e-mail by saying this: … Overall Katerina, it is a quirky and fun approach but that just doesn’t work for a CV and it would benefit from a rewrite for ease of reading… Further down were priced packages to make it perfect with extras added in case I would like to take this offer to improve it under the professional eye. Alright Thank you very much, but I think I need few days to take this all in and think about this changing it completely. In case anyone would to share their cv, which bagged them that job they wanted, feel free to send it to katerina.t.designer@gmail.com and perhaps share few tips on how they think which is best way, please do so. I am sure everyone reading will appreciate every handy advice.

I am ending this post with photograph of my ‘fun’ evening ahead. I have been offered emotional support and forced watching Driving Test Theory DVD, possibly so I am prevented from covering my eyes and having to focus. So I guess I will update you how it went tomorrow. Lovely evenig to everybody. Kat xx

day3

“I noticed in your CV that you don’t drive currently?”

Kat doodles about life:

So today’s post is actually about something that happened last week, but it is in my head ever since and it feels like when you hear a song, but it is on the loop. It is increasingly getting on your nerves and it shouts out loud. ” I noticed in your CV that you don’t drive currently?”

The time has come. I have been avoiding to this ‘skill to must have ‘ for certain (well most of them) jobs for the last ten years.  And I have managed to become very creative about how to get things done, how shift stuff around and how quick I can become compare to bus, car or train commuters. Me and my bicycle are pretty much one item and I quite honestly I use it and abuse it, but then I treat it to a good service twice a year. I have been told so many times by my close and very wise friends that having a driving licence is certainly “that” thing, which will get me a better job or getting me home without getting wet at 3 am, when I finish at work and the list of reasons why goes on and on.

Well apart from enjoying the countryside views on my rides there are two reasons why I still haven’t pass the test. Firstly I don’t want to get fat. Or more fat than I am.  Or shall I be polite to myself and say large instead. Everyone, who knows me personally can confirm I love to eat. Pretty much anything and I don’t mean junk food. I just love food. Full stop. Oh the colours, the smell, the experience. Oh yes. So to keep going with my passion I am absolutely fine with having to ride to work and out and about for an hour a two a day and get sweaty. Plus the extra motivation of being paid for it why not. Why would you want to become one of those people, who drives around and then has to go to the gym and pay for it in order to stay trim, when you can do it for free.  And secondly I am terrified, well of the speed car can go. You will be laughing that comes from someone, who loves watching Formule 1 races and finds it incredibly exciting. Well it is the same person, it’s me.  Somehow I feel that on the bicycle you are in charge of that speed you are going.  Plus that freedom of you can go anywhere and become part of a road or cycle path or just simply part of the pavement if the traffic gets a bit too much for example those massive three lane roundabouts.

Two weeks ago I treated myself a new A3 printer, scanner thing and got really excited about updating my portfolio. Exactly around that time local interior design company posted an offer of paid interior design internship. How fantastic, I thought to myself, thinking the universe is sending some positive messages. Great e-mail communication with the owner of the company since the start. ‘Great, keep going’ I am thinking to myself whilst resizing images in Photoshop at 4 am, when the cold shower comes in… the e-mail says: … “I noticed in your CV that you don’t drive currently?”… It was like slap in a face. My attempt of cycling to Bath or getting a train and cycling just outside of Chepstow may have made impressive impact of ‘ I really want this and I will do anything’. Unfortunately the job role involves visiting clients even further away from these locations in the middle of countryside. You will  have to carry mood boards and pieces of furniture around. I guess they may not appeciatte me turning up in cycling shorts either.

So here we are. The truth no one wants to hear. ‘Sorry you can’t get the job, because you don’t drive. But I will keep you on file.’ How lovely. There is a hope? Writing this post is somehow encouraging for me to go and get in touch with that guy with dreadlocks (yes that special bond between all people ever owning dreadlocks including me), who owns a driving school and drove past me few months ago. He seems like cool and calm kind of guy, who could help me conquer my fear. It may sound stupid as anything, but if that is beginning of me passing a test and getting on the road in order to get that better paying job, I better start writing an e-mail to him right now.

Fun card I created for a friend.

Fun card I created for a friend.