May peace be upon you.
I am not sure if you knew from my Instagram (assuming that you got here from there) but I have just completed my practicum to graduate from school. Practicum is basically a sort of practical or internship where student teachers are assigned classes to teach. For 10 tough, gruelling weeks. I may not have been very mopey on my Instagram (ugh please no) but trust me, it was one heck of an experience. I will not go into details about it coz come on, it is over, friends. But, like for everything else, I have reflected and gathered my own thoughts before moving on to the next thing on my list. I will share five of them with you.
1. Patience is Key
Yeah, I know. This is very important in pretty much every aspect of our everyday lives. However, I never knew I needed to roll, sulk and cry on the floor just to beg myself to be more patient and press on. Gosh, how frustrating could I be. But that was essential; if not for this new level of patience I (think I have) attained, I may have given up halfway and never looked back. I was literally being stretched thin every, single day and with demands creeping in from left, right and centre, I pretty much left work with an almost empty Fairy Tank every day of the week.
Ironically, thanks to all that, I believe that I have become a more patient person in the sense that I embrace my job as one that needs all of me to be present at any time with no excuses. That is a pretty tiring thing to keep up with. I struggled. I mean, who doesn’t? At the end of the day, though, had it not been for the challenges that I faced, I think I would still be that lady who got frustrated at every little bad thing that happened.
2. Find Ways to De-stress
When I had nothing much to lug back home with me, I would walk home to give myself some time to recuperate from work (the wonders a 15-minute walk could do). I hated the idea of being sulky at home coz it was not my family’s fault that I had so much on my plate. So, I made sure that I left all that behind the moment I stepped through the gates of my home and assured my parents that everything was alright.
I have also learned that I must do things to keep my stress at a healthy level (hey, a little bit of stress is good). Walk home, window shopping (and sometimes accidentally shopping), ice cream dates with my little sister, drives to the beach with Firhan, read a book. These are just some of the things I did to keep myself happier before I headed back home to resume work (yes, I de-stress away from home and that includes reading). Coz of that, I reached home pretty late on certain evenings and would sleep even later on those nights (just a note, it is never good to sleep late, guys. Just saying). But on those nights, I just had to. I knew I had to keep myself sane, and so I did. Though it was cray cray crazy, clearing work on time helped tonnes with my stress level across the 10 weeks.
Work is important, but it was not, is not and will never be more important than your health. Work puts the food on the table, yes, but with no you to put the food on the table…krik krik? Plus, you can be replaced at work. Nobody can ever replace you if your family lost someone as wonderful as you. Keep that in mind okay 😉
3. Time Management
Oh. My. God. I realised that this is so, so important. No time management, say goodbye to Hindi movies and late night suppers with my sisters. I pretty much have OCD for a lot of things and one of it is to have a schedule on very, very busy days (on those days where things fly past likka breeze, I laugh at the mention of “schedules”). This helped a lot especially when I had three observations in one week (my God that was terrible). I will show you what my schedule was like on one of my Wednesdays:
7.30 – 8.00: Print worksheets for the week.
8.00 – 9.00: Lesson Plans for Wednesday – Thursday.
9.00 – 10.00: Lesson with X Class.
10.00 – 10.30: Eat.
10.30 – 11.00: Lesson Plan for Observation (Friday).
11.00 – 12.00: Detailing for Observation (Friday).
12.00 – 1.30: Lesson with Y Class.
1.30 – 1.50: Prayers.
1.50 – 2.05: Snack.
2.15 – 3.30: Contact Time.
3.30 – 3.45: Check stuff to bring home.
3.45 – 4.30: Marking (chop chop, sister).
4.30: Firhan comes!
Every single minute matters, friends. Especially when I get desperate. Hence, the OCDed schedule. You do not want to see my financial plan each month (you might vomit blood). My time management in NIE was %#*&% but I only realised its importance during practicum. How I wished I had realised that when I was in school.
4. My People
After 24 long years on earth, anyone would have gone through a lot. Now, I have never appreciated my rocks more than I do right now. For the whole of 10 weeks, these rocks have been so, so understanding and made sure that they came to meet me i.e. meet wherever and whenever is convenient for me (cries) instead of going somewhere easier for them. Some met me at the interchange (coz, straight bus), some fetched me from school (no guesses who), and some even met me at my house, friends. To be honest, these people really cut my Stress Level from 10 to 0 and I can never be more thankful to have them. Of course, I have my fair share of people who grow sour coz I ‘can spend time with other people’ but I was ‘too busy’ for them. But these people failed to understand and realise that these 10 weeks were the most trying in my entire life. And the ‘other people’ were the ones who travelled, up-ed their effort and came to find me; I never had to go to them.
I have found my people.
Whatever it is that demands for me, I have never failed to ensure that my family is at the top of the priority list. I would be more than willing to cancel plans with my friends if my mom had wanted me to accompany her to shop at the last minute or if I knew my sister had had a bad day and she needed a friend. Great friends are hard to come by, but I can never find another family like the one I have. Therefore, I would have no qualms and no worry cancelling my plans coz those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
This is so true, friends. If your friends truly respect you for who you are and if they really are your friends, they will never, ever make you feel guilty for choosing family over them. If they think you are just making up some stupid excuse, too bad. That just shows who they really are inside; sad and distrusting, and that is not your fault. You have more important people to tend to, so do it and do not feel bad. God Willing, there will always be another time.
There you go. I felt this post so deeply in my heart before I started typing that it took less than 25 minutes to type all this down. Before I end this off, I would like to dedicate a couple of minutes to those who have made my practicum a little more bearable with each day.
To my parents, thank you for letting me do things at my own time and space.
To my sisters, thank you for being my shoulder to cry and lean on.
To Iman, thank you for being my adorable stress ball.
To Firhan, thank you for making everything a whole lot easier for me.
To Dayah and Shab, thank you for listening to everything.
To Hanisah and Shah, thank you thank you thank you.
To Dayah Power Ranger, thank you for being my friend.
To Leen, thank you for understanding me.
Das all, folks. Till the next post, to newer things.