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 9: Your challenges! 83 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

So today’s post should have been written yesterday, but I was keen to do more research on this, so I kind of had to wait and postpone:-) I would like to like pass on some motivation and tell you about the feedback I had in the past nine days.

So regarding You all, who I have been speaking to and the ones who said it sounds really interesting, however did not want and could not join this challenge I thought I will give out some examples of people, who were willing to think and perhaps need some encouragement from others. There won’t be any names, if they are reading, they will know, who I am talking about. So feel free to add to your wisdom, advice, experience as a comment, I am sure they will hugely appreciate it.

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Person number 1: She has two challenges. The first one is to start running and the second one is to find time to be lazy or said in rather sophisticated way to indulge herself. So how could she possibly do this? I was thinking there two ways of how to deal with the running. You can set yourself first a certain amount of miles and see it your tempo improves on every day basis, perhaps making note of the weather conditions might help to see how it affects it. Once she is comfortable with the pace, perhaps extending the journey again will improve as the fitness did during the shorter run. To make this work in a long-term, depending on how confident runner she becomes, perhaps finding a date or a half marathon or marathon in the calendar could work as a goal and working towards that. I used to run, however just for fun, so if there are any experienced runners, feel free to add what is the best way.

Now the challenge is to be more lazy or indulge herself. Now I stopped eating chocolate few months ago, there won’t be any of this on my list, but perhaps reading a book every day half an hour before you go to bed. Or even a magazine. As explained in previous post, as used from the book of David Allen, keep a pile of all the things you need to read through by your bed. You have that little time before falling asleep, it will make you relaxed. Depending on your mood, you can choose anything from fashion magazine, industry reports to just book you got for Christmas and still have not had the time to open. Perhaps taking bath could be another indulging moment. Pick a film for every night of the week. Call a friend.

Person number 2: So this is rather exciting as I share this challenge with him too and that is to get ourselves to drive. And his girlfriend wants that too. They both actually got themselves into a bit of a rival competition few days earlier, who can learn first. I was going to pass on some details when he sends an e-mail he promised last night, but I still didn’t get one. You won’t win like this Mr.?!  I received my passport through the post yesterday, so hopefully within the next two weeks I will receive the provisional one. As said before, I have already been forced/motivated to  go through theory tests, I reckon this weekend I will do more practising.

Person number 3: He would like to tackle a new skill and start learning Spanish or Chinese. Obviously the typical way would be researching colleges, however when it comes to learning languages I feel personally it needs to come naturally to you. So putting an advert on Gumtree or searching for one and perhaps swapping your language skills could be an option. I did it with lovely young French lady last year, who was here for Erasmus Exchange studying law. I taught her English and she taught me French. By the end up we ended up really good friends and spent many nights tasting wine in Gallimaufry on Gloucester Road. I did not learn much French to be honest, but she really improved her  English and here we get to another way of learning. Go to the right place. When I lived in Netherlands, in only four months just knowing basic school English and German, I got to understand pretty much everything they said in Dutch and could use some basic phrases, when speaking.   Exactly the same thing happened in Bulgaria during my three months Erasmus Exchange and I am not even talking about Great Britain. After nine years over here-  I speak, dream, eat, feel, do everything in English. To the point I cannot any longer speak properly Czech and for everyone back  home I am the foreign girls who speaks Czech with English accent.  So here we are find yourself a foreign friend and start.

Person number 4: He would like to stop smoking. Not only it is bad for you, it makes everything around you stink, nothing pleasant to smell for others and lastly think how much you are spending. What did you say? You wanted to go on that holiday? Just think if the packet costs about £8 and you smoke 3 packets in a week, that makes it £1 248 of saving. Now that is worth pretty luxury holidays for two. Or that shopping trip to New York. Whatever you fancy. Some of my friends find the quite easy to use vaping products. This particular friend is using tablets, apparently it is that kick he is after. He did have few wobbles, so let’s see how it he does in a long-term.

And last but not least friend number 5: She has also two challenges. The first one is to save enough money to buy a car and the second is to change a career and become massage therapist. We have been “finding solutions” last night over few cocktails and came up with few different options. How to save money for a car. Although it is not much, at least it is something to start you off. One way is to stop buying magazines. There is plenty of gossip online, again the same kind magazines are left in doctor’s surgeries or hairdressers and if you think about it even if you actually buy yourself one of those magazines, there is not much new you would not know about particular celebrity. Recently joining Twitter, I realized, they are all there anyway. If you feel you really need to keep buying a particular one as it is about gardening or photography then subscribe. You can save yourself half or in some cases even three-quarters of the price. So instead of paying £4, you only pay a pound. If you sign up and there is another magazine being published by the same publisher, they usually give discount again or even better deal. Another option is to sign to freebie websites and order your free copy of magazines offered. Again most likely it will come with a phone call few days later and option of subscribing for cheaper than you would normally. Buying expensive once a month magazine and two gossip ones per week, can save you around £120 in 6 months. But also think about the extra coffee, perhaps chocolates bar or sandwich you are purchasing at the same time. It all adds up and £5 is gone you do not even know it. My little way of how to keep the change is to put them into “bee jar”. I have two. One for pound coins, when getting a bus. The second one is for all the other change. And trust me it is getting pretty heavy right about now.

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Her second challenge is to change a career and perhaps becoming a massage therapist. My suggestion was to follow advice from a program: The Fairy Job Mother. Get in touch with all the saloons and say that you would like to spend a day following them and giving them a hand if they let you. Do it once every two weeks during your day off and in six months you will get amazing overview what it involves. You never know, who you may end up talking to and getting a job from. By offering your help for a day when not being really educated within the industry can give you clear idea if this is the right career for you and they get a help with putting dirty towels away. Obviously you have to start somewhere.

Enough for today, I hope you enjoyed reading about fellow readers, who are thinking of joining me. Feel free to let me know if you fancy joining us too and keep sharing and reading. With love Kat xx