Dashed To The Ground


I was extremely excited about a job that I had applied for. It was a tutoring position at a tuition centre which paid well. After going through the process of having an interview and a lesson trial, I was feeling fairly confident about getting the job. Finally I could do away with the underpaid position that I currently work at. The mere thought of leaving that place made me chuckle excitedly. If you have ever worked at a place where you were sick and tired of it then you may understand me better.

So, when the call came yesterday to discuss my working hours at the new place, imagine my shock when they informed that there will be a probation period in which I will be paid a reduced rate. That may sound ok until you realise that the probation period is for six months! Six months!

It sounds more like as if I am on parole than working. However, I may still have taken it if it wasn’t for the fact that the working hours were not enough each day to make it worthwile to do for six months. After being denied an increase in salary or a reduction in the probation period, I sadly declined the job offer.

So onwards we go, to more job hunting! But if you live in East London and would like your child to receive private English Tuition then get in touch. What? I may aswell plug my business right?

Until Next Time

A Worried Student

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The Centre Of Television


Well that is perhaps stretching it but yesterday I did visit A centre of television. Sky News HQ in Isleworth is a sprawling complex of buildings which are all terribly confusing unless you know exactly where you want to go. The name of a person is not enough as there are many different receptions.

I was there to have a chat about an opportunity to do work experience there for a few weeks and after over an hour of riding the London underground, I finally arrived at Osterley station where a friendly driver gave me a lift on the Sky News shuttle bus. A good thing too, for the mass of motorways and main roads were baffling and pretty dangerous to navigate on foot.

I was taken on a tour by the extremely kind person who had invited me to visit and it was amazing to see how TV all works behind the scenes. That fancy desk they have? It is literally placed in the middle of a vast open plan hall, surrounded by workstations as a hive of activity goes on throughout the day. It is a quiet hive though, since no person would like their angry voice shouting “Tom, have you edited that video yet!” To appear on live television.

One of the rooms that interested me the most was where they work on the live programme. It felt like I had seen this ro before and I realised I had. Only it was not in real life but in the movie Morning Glory in which a producer battles to increase the ratings of her morning show. If you haven’t seen it then you should definitely consider giving it a chance.

The funny thing about working in a television environment is that they understand things such as the need to take photos. “Proof that you were at Sky,” he explained.

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Apologies for the rubbish quality, I only realised later that it was on video and the lowest quality at that!

Excuse Season


“Sir, please can you give me less homework? I’ve started school and I have got so much this year!”

As a tutor, this is something you tend to hear nearly every lesson at the start of the academic year as students try to dodge their way out of more work. Often, they may have a point and so I would reduce their workload but usually they are simply seeking more Play Station time. It still makes me laugh when a seven-year old complains of homework. They do have it slightly harder though as I only began receiving homework when I was 12. I’m mot sure whether that is just how it was back then (a measly seven years ago) or whether my primary school was actually as cool as I always thought it was.

There is one kid I know who definitely isn’t taking the new academic year well. My little brother has just starter his secondary school academy and has been struggling to stay afloat amongst the pile of rules, regulations and textbooks. Poor kid, parenting skills shall be required to deliver much needed pep talks over the coming weeks.

Until Next Time

A Worried Student

Do We Live Or Exist?


Do we live anymore or do we just exist? Existing to record every opportunity where we could have lived yet chose to simply exist?

That beautiful sunset on holiday when you decided to message your friends about how amazing it all looked whilst you yourself forgot to enjoy its beauty until you glanced up from your phone to see the sun had sunk between the clouds. Opportunity wasted.

That time where you were on the beach but instead of exploring the sensations of the sea you remained cocooned in your digital world and the only thing your fingertips felt was the cold dull glass of your touchscreen box of existence.

Exisiting to record things without any purpose. Is this what we have become? Snaps of this, snaps of that and with a touch of a button strangers all over the world see the sight before us yet they may receive more life from that one photo than you do whilst you stand right there in front of the Grand Canyon or Mount Everest. Exisiting like robots. Do we stop to think, pause and allow ourselves to breathe in life? Do we stop to feel?

When was the last time you opened yourself upto contemplation? To allow yourself to revel in the beauty of life? Have you pondered at the moon, the sun, the stars and the skies above? The fluffy candyfloss clouds cater for us yet have we ever gazed up at them in true wonder and happiness?

Our albums are littered with smiles and poses but are they real or merely an act? Grinning faces pulled for the camera at the restaurant table whilst we entertained evil thoughts about the person sitting next to us. Our brother or sister, uncle or aunt but that didn’t seem to matter as long as the perfect shot was taken for Instagram and friends or strangers could see how you appeared to be living. An act.

You don’t have to throw your phone in the bin in order to live. A break and a pause is required. An understanding of when it should be put down and where your priorities lie.

We need to start living.

Until Next Time

A Worried Student

You Should’ve Told Me There’s No Need To Be Nervous!


A break from the Turkey Holiday posts. I went to a job interview today. Well, it was actually a trial lesson as it was at a tuition centre that I had previously applied for. Remember the one where I had said were taking a while to reply and being terribly ambiguous?

I had sent them an email but had not received a reply so I decided to simply text the owner which yes, sounds quite unconventional but my pestering paid off. I first received a reply to contact them again in early September but once  it hit the 5th, I sent another text thinking it was suitably early in September. After not receiving a reply, I sent another slightly longer one wondering if the owner kept my messages so saw them as a chain or received each one anew. I have nothing to lose I told myself so I hit send and was amazed to received a phone call immediately!

So today I went for a trial lesson which I was told would determine whether I am suitable for the position. Naturally, I was extremely nervous and so suited and booted I arrived wondering how it will feel to be judged so intently as I tutor a group of kids.

The reality could not have been more different. It was a far more relaxed environment than I was imagining. I was told to simply take the English class which made me wonder if the centre supervisor had misunderstood and thought that I was a new teacher instead of being there for a trial! There was no scary inspector leaning over my shoulder with a clipboard or tense moments of silence. I laughed to myself about how nervous I had been feeling.

Hopefully, I shall be blessed with a university timetable which allows me to work there but for that, I have to wait till next week. Great, more waiting!

Until Next Time

A Worried Student

Thrown Into The Deep End


I We were thrown right into it. The maze of stalls and shops which compete for space in Istanbul’s grand bazaar is bewildering and exciting at the same time. The first people who greet you are those trying to sell you fake perfumes which they advertise as being from the ‘black market.’ Funnily enough, a few us decided to engage them in conversation and managed to anger a couple after leading them on and then refusing to buy any.

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The main shops were inside the actual enclosed space and they were filled with souvenirs, Turkish lamps, Turkish delight and prices which you had no idea about. I absolutely hate shopping like that as you don’t know who to trust. Do you trust the shopkeeper who claims he is giving you the best price or do you maintain a suspicious view of everyone? Local knowledge is essential. It is either that or you spend ten hours walking around simply collecting data on each item’s real price. At least in England, you know when you are being ripped off by high prices. When a bottle of water costs £2 at Gatwick, you know you’re being held to ransom.

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‘My mum would go crazy here’ was a phrase I kept on hearing amongst our group throughout the day. After two hours, we’d had enough of the bazaar despite having covered barely half of it. 20 pounds poorer, I headed over to the kebab shop to sample my first taste of ‘genuine’ Turkish food.

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It was bad. Since we were so hungry, we didn’t bother scouting a nice place to eat and so ended up at a small kebab shop on the main road which had a large outdoor seating area. The kebab roll however, was more roll and salad than kebab. Not a great advert for Turkish food but being a great fan of it back home, I put it down to the money making shop being aimed at tourists.

Thereafter, we went for a walk to find a hammam which is a traditional Turkish bath. Sauna, steam, massage and a swimming pool. Our biggest advantage when it came to haggling was that we were a big group so we managed to lower the prices a bit. It was later in the evening that we visited the Hammam and experienced our Turkish bath…

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Upon Arriving In Istanbul


Well in all fairness, our hotel in Istanbul was called ‘Petrul’ which may or may not have a deeper meaning in Turkish. We didn’t bother to find out since we were too busy staring open-jawed at the way it had failed to meet our expectations.

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It wasn’t terrible at first sight but as we had our hopes up for a moderately fancy hotel, we were taken aback by how Hotel Petrul dashed those hopes down its rusty sink. Our rooms were cramped, three single beds although two were placed so close together that they were sharing a double bedsheet. For me though, I was glad that it seemed quite clean but for other more seasoned travellers of the group, they were shocked at the lack of luxury.

We immediately realised a problem in our room. The A.C wasn’t working! Now after entering Turkey from cold old Britain, we certainly needed some air-conditioning but we were told that any requests shall have to wait for the next morning.

As the sun rose and the streets became busy, I woke up for breakfast which was on the top floor. It was here that I realised that the beauty of Istanbul can affect you no matter what your condition. Just take a look at this view:

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Seeing Trams on the road was definitely an unusual experience for me.

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I met a very cool resident of Hotel Petrul too at breakfast.

Thereafter, the day began and we kitted up for the sun and emerged into the burning hot sun in order to visit the attractions of Istanbul.

What have your best and worst experiences been at a hotel?

Until Next Time

A Worried Student