My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

4 Articles in September 2012

  1. Life in England: It goes on

    Welcome to the first of what will hopefully be more frequent (albeit probably shorter) updates! I have been meaning to write this post since the beginning of last week, but every night seemed like a good night to procrastinate. My reading is also suffering, as those of you who follow my reviews on Goodreads have probably noticed. This too shall pass.

    I’m firmly ensconced in teaching now: school is in session, I’ve learned all my students’ names (much to our mutual surprise), and I have found a few more bow ties. I’m absolutely, incredibly, indescribably exhausted almost all the time. This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. (To be fair, though, it’s not like I’ve done much with my life so far.) I rather expected it would be, and I’m not trying to complain (too much). I’m just not sugar-coating it or allowing myself to have any illusions: this is a demanding, challenging, stressful job. I care a lot, which is good and is what will help me be a great teacher—but it also means I have to be careful not to burn myself out with planning and worrying. The old adage “work smarter, not…

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  2. I teach now. Teaching is cool

    I’ve had a long and interesting week, so let’s get started.

    As some background, my school has two sites (North and South) as an artifact of combining two schools. North site is undergoing extensive renovation, with an entire new building being added, so South site is being phased out. I’m teaching entirely in one room on South site. Aside from having a Promethean board instead of a SMART board, I’m OK with this. Firstly, South site is a lot quieter. Secondly, it’s only five minutes (or less) from a bus stop on the route between Thetford and Bury. I have a ride, thanks to a teacher who lives literally at the end of the block, but it’s good to have a backup plan.

    I was told to show up bright and early on Monday morning. Since everyone else was starting on Tuesday, I took the bus, and then took a cab to the slightly more distant North site. The other teachers with my agency arrived shortly thereafter … and no one was expecting us. No one was really there. The administrative staff put us in a room, gave us tea and coffee, and printed off our timetables. Then we left.…

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  3. Who’s running the Asylum (of the Daleks)?

    As foreshadowed, thoughts on Doctor Who! I’ve been very excited for the new season (aren’t I always), especially because I get to watch it properly on the BBC. (SPACE in Canada has been pretty good, to be fair, but they still get the BBC America cut.) After the Doctor’s “death” at the end of the last season, I was interested to see what kind of trouble he would get into next.

    Oh, spoiler alert for “Asylum of the Daleks”. And, I guess, all of last season. Sorry.

    I find myself, once again, ambivalent about Doctor Who. In the pacing department, “Asylum of the Daleks” works well. I also think it was a good choice of story for the season premiere, and I probably would have liked it less if it had been anywhere else in the season. It’s very similar to “The Eleventh Hour”, with the Doctor racing against time to find a solution that lets him and the Ponds live. The in media res opening and subsequent dearth of time for exposition about the shambles of Amy and Rory’s marriage would have annoyed me if this weren’t the season opener (and if we hadn’t seen the…

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  4. Life in England: the London edition

    London Liverpool station, fresh off the train

    On Wednesday, I woke up at 4 am, considerably earlier than I am accustomed to doing. I had to catch the 5:30 train to Stowmarket, and from there I took the train to London Liverpool Station. After pausing to gawk at the size of it all, not to mention the number of people, I rode the tube to London Euston station. From there, it was a short walk to the building where Engage Education was holding our induction day. This consisted of several hour-long sessions during which two guest speakers presented about teaching in the UK. Much of the information was familiar to me as a recent graduate from the Faculty of Education. Some of it, particularly the information pertaining to UK-specific details, like being a form tutor, was quite useful.

    After the last session, we hung around the venue for another hour and a half or so as people completed paperwork. It was only about 4:30, but Engage started happy hour a little early, and alcoholic beverages were served. Then at 6 we relocated to a bar around the corner, and most people stayed there until around 10 or 11. Thus went the “social” portion of the night, and…

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About Me

I’m a 27-year-old math and English teacher back in Canada after two years teaching in England. In my free time, I read books! When I’m not reading, I’m writing, coding, or knitting.

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About this site

I started coding websites, in bad HTML on Geocities, in 2004 in a fit of whimsy. Since then I’ve learned PHP/MySQL, coded my own blog software, and rebuilt this site several times. With the exception of the blog, it’s currently running on the exquisite Symphony CMS. This website is hosted by HawkHost

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