Back Into The World Of Work: My First Week

So, dear reader, I finally entered back into the world of work this week and it was interesting. For those who don’t know (i.e. all of you) I am now a teaching assistant for SEN (Special Educational Needs) children at a local secondary school. My role includes supporting the students when they need it in the classroom and offering any support required (for example, reading) during an exam. By doing this, I hope to work towards becoming a fully qualified teacher.

My introduction to my new job was a little overwhelming. Along with an information overload, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from it. Needless to say,  I was worried. Not for me, but that I wouldn’t be good at it and therefore would let my students down. However, after meeting them this week and spending some time in their classes helping them, I am much less worried. I feel like I can actually help them and have a positive impact on their education.

phew
Phew!

The other big news I have from this week is that I took (and passed) my professional skills tests. For those who don’t know, or don’t live here in the UK, I will explain what these are. They are two (or three, if you want to teach primary level) tests you have to sit on English and Maths. You have to pass these in order to be able to train to become a teacher. I studied pretty hard for them, and may do a more in depth post in the future about exactly what they entail.

Outside of work, I have not done much at all. I visited Croydon and met up with my friend Rosie and her lovely boyfriend Pete. It was great seeing them…Less so seeing Croydon. I warned Marta all about it and it’s…’charms’.

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What is better than Croydon, Smaug?

Well, that is about all from me this week. Come back next week for a (hopefully) more interesting post and catch up on my excitingly dull life.

Ricky

So…It’s Been A While.

Hello, dear readers, and once again welcome to the East Of The Sun. I know I have not posted on here in a long time. Since last September, I believe and you may have thought I had left my blog to die by the wayside, like so many expat blogs out there. But fear not – your dose of incessant rambling and oddity has returned. For many reasons, I have not posted much since my last post detailing my arrival in Chambly, Canada, and asDavid Bowie sang, my life has gone through many “ch-ch-ch-ch-changes” since then.

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The Shard, from a recent trip to London.

The biggest change is that I am no longer an expat. Yes, I have finally returned to that little isle I call home and am back in the United Kingdom at last. After around two and a half years away, I am finally back in Hastings. And, to be honest, I am rather disappointed about it. I wish that I was still out in the world travelling, and instead I am back at home, remembering all the reasons that I left in the first place (the weather being one of them).

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Good old English weather.

Another big change is that I now have a job after four and a half months of being a tourist in Canada. I am due to start next week as a Teaching Assistant at a local Secondary School. This blog is going to be my way of updating you on my (mis)adventures during that. From September I will be undertaking teacher training and will keep you updated on how that goes as well. My current plan is to post around once a week, probably on a Sunday after I have had time to process everything that has happened and get it into a form that you might all find interesting.

I hope you all had a fantastic New Year and look forward to continuing my adventures with you all in 2016.

Ricky

Canadian Life (Or 350 Years Of Chambly)

So, I have been in Canada now for around two weeks. In this time, I have managed to only post on here once. I know I have the excuse of moving countries but that excuse is wearing thin and I am disappointed in myself for not posting here more regularly. Luckily, Marta’s Mum has decided to become our unofficial tour guide for Chambly and the surrounding areas so I have been on a few adventures already.

The first (and the one I am going to write about today) was an art festival to celebrate 350 years of Chambly being settled. The city of Chambly is located south-east of Montreal and is located in Quebec. It is famous because of the strategic location it holds along the Richelieu River. Chambly has a fort, built to defend this important location against the English, and local tribes. Today, the fort is run by Parks Canada.

Fort Chambly (Photo Courtesy of Marta at Down From The Door)
Fort Chambly (Photo Courtesy of Marta at Down From The Door)

Now our short history lesson is over, I can talk about the art event itself. There were over sixty stalls for artists from the local area (who had been carefully selected) to display their work. These stalls were located just outside of the fort and provided a sensory-overload for the eyes. There was a huge variety of styles, colour and mediums for the thousands of spectators to browse.

As part of the requirements for participating in the show, the artists would have to work on something in their stall. Watching the various artists working on a wide range of pieces was extremely interesting and informative for me (as I know very little about art).

An Artist Working On Her Art (Photo Via Marta)
An Artist Working On Her Art (Photo Via Marta)

Perhaps the most exciting part of the whole event was that Marta’s Mum was in the show. She exhibited a range of different pieces in her fantastic and unique style and seemed to be in her element. I doubt I have ever seen someone so happy.

Some of Marta's Mum's Art. Check more out at Studio Bee.
Some of Marta’s Mum’s Art. Check more out at Studio Bee.
Some Of The Fantastic Artwork On Display
Some Of The Fantastic Artwork On Display
Marta's Mum At Her Stall (Photo's via Marta)
Marta’s Mum At Her Stall (Photo’s via Marta)

If you end up in the Chambly area around late August, the art show (that I am told happens every year) is well worth a visit!

As well as the art, they also featured a large number of historical re-enactors showing the public what life would have been like in the 17th Century. Much of the remainder of this post will be a series of pictures (all taken by Marta) showing the re-enactors with some explanation to what they were doing. Sorry if I don’t provide much information but they were explaining everything in French so I understood basically nothing.

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Finally, with our eyes overwhelmed and minds exhausted, we headed home. But not before Marta got me to try some poutine This is a dish that originated in Quebec and that is deliciously simple. Made up of chips, cheese curds and gravy, this is a dish that you have to try if you get the chance. Bonus points if you can do it in Quebec, where Marta informs me is the best in Canada.

Poutine!
Poutine!

I’ll write again soon,

Ricky.

The End Of An Englishman In Chungbuk (or I’ve Moved!)

So, the more observant amongst you will notice that I haven’t posted anything on here for a while. This is because (as I am sure you know) I have been in the process of moving countries. Moving from sleepy Cheongju to Quebec in Canada. This move marks an end to An Englishman In Chungbuk. But fear not – it also marks the beginning of a new chapter in this blog’s life. An Englishman In Quebec has been born.

Canada!

So, what does this mean for you, dear reader? Well, I will (obviously) no longer be posting things to do with the subject of Korea. That was an obvious move because I no longer live there. Instead, expect so much Canadian themed content you could shake a moose at it. I plan to post articles about my life here for the next four months, including restaurant reviews, information about the area I am staying in (Chambly and Montreal for the more curious among you), photo compilation blogs of life here in the Chambly area. So, basically, much of what you have come to expect from this blog.

I have also put my second blog on a temporary hiatus. This means that I have the time and energy to work on creating great content for this site. In fact, the first thing I need to do is a “rebranding”, so to speak. This means a new layout, menus and site banner to reflect my move to Canada.

Well, that is it for this short update. Expect my new site to be up and redesigned within a few weeks and keep your eyes open for my first Canadian post.

As they would say here in Quebec, au revoir.

Ricky

Ricky

Reflections On Two Years Abroad

So, let’s face it. I’ve been a bit shit at posting on here recently. For all you know, I could have spontaneously combusted. Luckily, I didn’t – I’ve been mostly fine. Largely, I have been preparing to jet off to colder climes (Canada, for anyone who somehow doesn’t know). And you know what – this has got me thinking about living abroad in many different ways.

In my opinion, a lot of people who start travelling do so because they are a little…broken. Not in a bad way, but something has happened to make their brain think “You know…we should give up everything we’ve ever known, go somewhere completely new and see how that works out”. I know for me this was certainly the case. I was dealing with some pretty bad mental health issues and I think that was (a part) of the reason that I came to Korea. An attempt to get away from it all. It didn’t work, of course. How can you outrun yourself? But I have learnt some other important things living abroad.

Continue reading “Reflections On Two Years Abroad”

Going To The Cinema In Korea (Or Shut Up And Take My Money)

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I suppose you might think this a strange subject for me to write about. And it probably is. I mean, after all, who is interested in my trips to the cinema in Korea? Well, hopefully, some people out there are because going to the cinema here is quite the experience.

Continue reading “Going To The Cinema In Korea (Or Shut Up And Take My Money)”

A Personal Note…

So, I just want to say sorry to anyone who is reading this blog and is wondering where my Thursday post is. I am currently working through some personal issues and they have resulted in me being unable to keep to my schedule. I am off to a doctor tomorrow though, so expect normal service from next week.

Have a great weekend.

Ricky