Thank God It's Friday

17th December 2004 at 00:00
Monday How would I cope with bell-free days, no classes of teenagers, no staffroom buzz? Easily, I thought in July, with projects beckoning as I retired. I was wrong. It's tough. I'm adrift. I'm missing the zaniness of kids, the camaraderie of the team, singing hymns in chapel. I'm even missing staff meetings. Togged up in a new mac for outdoor living, I walk three miles along the seafront in a squall, find a cafe and dawdle home. I haven't dawdled since I was a child.

Tuesday In the morning I meet a friend who teaches part-time in another school. She's frustrated by her exam factory and wants time to do her sculpting. She looks at me quizzically when I say I don't yet like this freedom thing much. We walk along the seafront. Good job it's not summer or the deckchair attendant would think I fancied him. In the afternoon I start my structured sessions, a writing class based on Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way. Great people in the group, terrific facilitator. I get homework. Yes!

Wednesday At physio yesterday, I was asked to state my occupation, and I put writer. But today I hardly have the energy to get out of bed. That's not going to get War and Peace II done, is it? My daughter has an interview for a job she wants badly. She's excited and nervous. Can I feel like that again? Right now I have nothing to prepare for. After a life spent like a magpie, collecting bright and shiny ideas from everything I saw, read, thought and heard to channel into the classroom, I don't know what to do with myself now.

Thursday I meet a woman who works at the Brighton eco-friendly coffin centre. She was a midwife, but now works with another rite of passage. I have a hunch about this but don't know what yet. Is it about turning things right around? I pray for a new direction.

Friday It's 5am; I have been writing for more than an hour already. Even my sleep pattern has changed. Before, I used my energy for work, then slept the sleep of the just, or at least the zonked. How can I enjoy a Friday when I haven't had a working week? Forty years ago this week I met my husband. We've spent our lives snatching time together, usually working in separate towns. Now we're clinging to the same life raft, waiting for a new wind to blow.

Liz Fincham retired this year as head of English at St Mary's Hall, Brighton and Hove

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now