Things that happened this week:

-I commuted five days in a row from Hayward’s Heath to Brighton. It more than doubled the commute I’m used to. Easy 15-30 minute walk from front door to school, bam! Now: 20 minute walk to station, 20 minutes on train, 15 walk to work from station. Other people have it far worst…but whew! It’s tiring, and quite a change. More time for train reading though, a tiny silver lining.

-The commuting made me extra sleepy.

– I devoured the thriller ‘Gone Girl’, a book which left me impressed by its can’t-put-it-down factor and myriad twists and turns, but disappointed by it’s ridiculously unbelievable/frustrating ending.

-I began teaching a group of 15 year old Polish teenagers. They are so very teenage-y that I can’t help but laugh in-between giving them stern looks and reminding them that they aren’t stupid so they don’t need to act that way.

-The snow melted. It disappeared so quickly after its few days of covering our little space, and left behind only spring in the (still so brisk) breeze. No longer freezing. Just cold. And the sun even came out yesterday (and disappeared today). Now there’s no telling what’s left of winter. Another snow? More and more rain? Or is it almost gone now?

-Jon and I got new phones! I (we) are in love. I can do all sorts of things again, and I am feeling very warm/fuzzy about the technology that is available to me. The world is a crazy place, man.


I take back everything I complained about yesterday. My boss called this morning, waking me up just as Jon was heading out the door to work, asking me to come in and teach in the morning and afternoon for the rest of the week. So once again my unemployment was short-lived! And as is, I had to decline working Friday afternoon in order to have appropriate time for American expat Thanksgiving festivities. 

Ah, life. You crazy. Keep it up. 

CELTA week 3-still making the magic happen or whatever


The past 5 days have been some of the most stressful I’ve had in….a really long time. Week three is supposedly the hardest week of the course (and I do apologize for continuously going on about this damn CELTA) and I can completely see why they say that. This week has everyone on edge-I’ve seen one more crier since last week! And I’ve maybe sort of had a little stress cry or two of my own…possibly….maybe. Two assignments are turned in this week, which is half the assignments for the whole shebang. Personally my hardest two days were on Monday (one assignment due, one assessed lesson) and today (one hell of a complicated-ish lesson with the upper intermediate class), so now I’ve got a bit of a breather before a big assignment is due on Thursday. I’ll be assessed again on Friday. and I’m sort of almost feeling like a regular person at this moment, which is a strange, forgotten feeling. Also I’ve just realized that next week is 1) bonfire night and 2) the Civil Wars/Lumineers concert! So there is much good on the horizon, if I can manage to get there in one piece.


Chugga chugga chugga chugga choo chooooooo (that’s me…right now…..every day)


CELTA week 2 ends tomorrow. We’re at the halfway point, and we’re down to 6 (out of 7) teacher trainers. One quit on Tuesday. I have seen three grown people cry (and none of those criers were the trainees that quit, surprisingly enough). I’m doing alright in the course. More than alright, really, thankfully. I’ve gotten marked “above standard” for one assessed lesson, which I’m particularly pleased with, and other than that it’s stressful but plodding right along. According to the trainers, week 3 is the worst-we switch our afternoon teaching groups, so those who were teaching pre-intermediate lessons move up to teaching upper-intermediate and vice versa, and there are more assessed lessons plus two large assignments due all between Monday and Thursday. One trainer joked today that week 3 is when “we start wearing bullet-proof jackets”. Goodness. So I’ve cancelled my Halloween plans for the weekend (i know! and as i’ve mentioned before, Halloween isn’t as big here, so being invited to my awesome friend Keely’s equally awesome undead rockstar Halloween party and then having to decline is heart-freakin-breaking, let me tell you) and am sequestering myself with red wine and my laptop for three days to make magic happen. This is the real climax, I think. If I make it past week three, it’s all downhill (in a good way) from there.

In other news….oh wait, there is no other news. This is my life right now. At least the leaves have turned yellow. But where is the red? It is the thing I miss most right now-the blazing red of autumn. Its void is noticed.

Back to school…for 4 weeks anyway

After less than a year of not being a student it looks like I’m back to the books, for a short time at least. It turns out that even though I’ve been working at my school for about 6 months, now my boss’ boss would like me to have a certificate that most UK English teachers have. This certificate, called a CELTA, is pretty redundant for me since I’ve already got my master’s and all that, but uh…what can you do? I need my job! So I’m heading back to school, once again, and paying for a course that I don’t really want to take, but that I will take anyway because I will be stuck if I don’t (in this country, in my field). And at least this time it’s only for 4 weeks, and then it’s over. A 4 week intensive course, with class and observations and teaching every day from 9 am to 5:30pm-it’s going to be a long, hard month. But I’ll finish on November 9th, and assuming I’ve passed, be back to work by November 12th, so it’s not the worst thing in the world.Giving up a month’s paycheck is tough, though. Especially coming up on the holidays soon…but I digress. This is a good thing for my long-term future so I’m determined to be optimistic about it.

On a melancholy note, today is a day where I feel terrible for being so far away from the ones I love. A dear friend of mine is going through a rough time and all I want to do is force her out for a drink and a heavy-duty hang out session tonight, and that is obviously beyond impossible. This is, without a doubt, the worst part of being an expat. Missing things that shouldn’t be missed. And I hate it.


Swiftly, swiftly

Life of late in sunny Brighton town. So glad the weather has maintained a generally warm, cheery demeanor these past few weeks! I am feeling crazy scattered and the weather is at least a lovely constant. Even when it’s rained it hasn’t been that cold. It’s like summer showed up and is doin’ its thang all over this place, which in terms means everyone is cramming all their summer adventures into every spare moment. Better late than never!

Last week’s observation went really well, thanks for your well wishes! I feel really comfortable in the work that I’m doing and it was nice to be validated on that level. I’m so thankful that I found the job when I did-through it I’ve made friends and became more comfortable in my little English life. So even if I don’t have it after the autumn…well, I guess there were some really great things. Silver linings and all that. Not that I won’t be keeping my fingers crossed for a permanent offer. Mama has bills to pay.

Anyway, I’m just checking in after a week with very little motivation to write (could be tied to the fact that more than a few nights were spent out this past week, which is not the usual pattern at the Sheets-Norris house). I feel like soon I’ll blink and be in Ohio…summer’s going so quickly, and now that it’s actually worth enjoying, I don’t want to miss anything.