Monday, 2 September 2013

Before I turn 30 I will...

LSNED: Back to school
Whenever it's back to school time, I have a sleepless night.  I can't help it.  I haven't had a swing at this teaching lark for six weeks, there are a million things whirling around in my mind that need doing and I can never quite work out how it will all slot together. But actually, I did manage to finalise the induction instructions for my new tutor team, we did have a productive meeting, I did locate the merit cards and I did find the pupils who needed to be re-registered in the school system.  Plus I planned my assembly.

Did I snack on M&Ms liberated from an airport in Qatar the whole time?  Maybe...

I welcomed in the new Year 7 students today.  This is the start of my second year as Head of Year, but with a brand new group who are completely new the school, this year will bring its own challenges.  180 new names and faces to learn for one.  I'll be honest; I played bad cop today and drew my line in the sand.  Their tutors will take the role of good cop and hold their hands over the next few days.  But I do have to have an auror of scary.  They have to want to avoid landing themselves in my office for the wrong reasons.

But I think tomorrow, I shall visit their form rooms, smile and show them the side of the Head of Year who wants to praise their successes, who enjoys watching them in school concerts, who wants to cheer for them on sports day and who will sit with them at lunchtime when they're in tears and don't want anyone to know.

September is a great time for resolutions and goal setting and so on; we encourage our students to set themselves targets and I like the idea of doing the same. I love new year's resolutions too and having a look back over the list I wrote in January, I found that much of this had been accomplished.  Fab!

But I live my life to an academic year more than a calendar year.  One of the consequences of being a teacher. And therefore this back-to-school time seems like a good time to break out with a slightly more specific list.  I've been thinking about what I'd like to achieve for a while.  I'm in my mid-twenties and hitting 30 seems like quite the milestone.  Not in a bad way at all; just that it's significant. So that is my finish line: my 30th birthday.  Perhaps I'll plan a celebration. It also means I have about three and a half years to accomplish these things rather than a year.  That means I can have bigger, more long term goals.  Which is nice.  But there are little ones too that would be great for a rainy day or when I want to do something spontaneous or just something that I've never done before.

I reserve the right to add to this list as much as I like.  Sure I could remove things from it if I really decide I'm not interested in doing a particular thing any more, but I refuse to remove something because it's difficult.  This started life as a 30 before 30 list, but there are so many things I want to do before I hit 30 that I just kept writing new ideas down.  So there are a lot.  Don't feel obliged to read them all :D

I'm going to make sure I have these displayed somewhere so I can have the inspiration.  I don't want to sit around wondering what to do when I could simply spot my list and get going on a new project or challenge!  And I also need to accept that some things are beyond my control. That's fine too, but I don't want that to keep me from saying that these are things I would love to do.

I find with things like this, a good start is really helpful and motivates you to keep going, so I'm going to use Instagram to record my progress and see if I can complete a number of these things this September as part of Learn Something New Every Day.  

And it starts now.

Before I turn 30 I will...

#1 Make cake pops
#2 Make a multicoloured layer cake
#3 Go on a canal boat
#4 Play Dungeons and Dragons
#5 Play hooky for a day
#6 Get a film projector and screen films in my own little cinema
#7 Go on a sleeper train
#8 Have tea at the Ritz
#9 And Claridges
#10 See 2 West End shows in a day
#11 Make a photo wall display
#12 Build a den.  A really cool one.
#13 Road trip around the USA
#14 New York, New York
#15 Go glamping in a fancy tent with fairy lights
#16 Buy an expensive set of lingerie
#17 Make pyjama bottoms
#18 Get married
#19 Make a set of jam-jar cocktail glasses
#20 Make blueberry gin
#21 Play ultimate sandwich
#22 Learn how design this blog the way I wish it looked
#23 Make a scrapbooking video for the blog
#24 Make a stop-motion animation
#25 Learn to make pasta
#26 Get up early to photograph the sunrise over London
#27 Swim in the Hampstead ponds
#28 Stay out all night in London
#29 Do the monopoly pub crawl
#30 Play the tube game
#31 Have dinner at Dans le Noir
#32 Re-vamp some second hand furniture
#33 Go to a cult Rocky Horror screening
#34 Go to a burlesque show
#35 Go ape
#36 Go to a Secret Cinema screening
#37 See a play at Cornwall's Minack Theatre
#38 Go on a helicopter
#39 Get an ice cream maker (and make malteaser, peanut butter and caramel flavour)
#40 Have dinner at Dishoom
#41 Go to the Roadhouse Diner
#42 Buy a bikini
#43 Make my own flair
#44 Get my eyebrows shaped
#45 Inhale helium
#46 See the Northern Lights
#47 Go to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
#48 See New Zealand
#49 Stay in a tree house
#50 Have a bash at karaoke
#51 Go to a roller derby
#52 Go skinny dipping
#53 Ride a motorbike
#54 See a film at a drive-in cinema
#55 Go to a sh*t-faced Shakespeare production
#56 Make 3 cushions using 3 different fabric techniques
#57 Get a piano
#58 Make spun sugar
#59 Have a go at spinning
#60 Go for Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea

Kisses xxx

P.S. I'll be sharing how I displayed these later on in another project post.

P.P.S. That was a slightly epically lengthy post, but if you're still reading, well done.  And to wrap it up, my LSNED lessons are twofold: First make the most of your time (No matter how much I love my job, I will miss the freedom of the summer!) and second, don't forget that it almost always comes good in the end :D

P.P.P.S. The highlighted ones are complete and link to the relevant blog post.  SUCCESS!


  1. Goodness, you're going to be busy in the next few years! On, and by the way, 30 is nothing, it's 18 with 12 years experience. Wait until you're 45, then it's really middle-age!

  2. I turn 30 in a few months and I had a realisation on the bus the other day, it's not actually halfway to a bus pass as you have to be 65. So I have at least another two and a half years before I should see my life going down hill. Then again my friend at work turns 40 a few weeks after my birthday. She's decided to celebrate every month since she got to 39 3/4. last month she had a small party, this month we are all going to a theme park.

  3. What a list! It made me laugh and smile though. I'm glad the first day back was productive. Head of year- how exciting!

  4. I know that sleepless night back-to-school feeling! But I'm glad your first day went well, and I bet you're an amazing head of year! I really love your list, and the fact that it mixes massive things like travel and marriage, with fun projects like making a rainbow layer cake (something I've wanted to do for AGES!) and buying a bikini :D It's brilliant! I can't wait to see your progress... And you may just have inspired me to do something similar.
    P.S. If you need a volunteer to do any of these things with, I'm totally up for it!!!

  5. awesome list, love the mix of crazy and serious goals, i did the same for my 25 before 25 (that's my next big milestone)
    btw, i did swim in the mixed pond of Hampstead Heath this summer, and it was brilliant! (and cold)

  6. My personal vote is that #48 has to be the most important!!! You can visit me and meet my little girl Brooke who was born just this last Friday!!!!! What an exciting list though. Xx

  7. What a fun list! I hope you enjoy D&D-- I have played with my husband and his friends, and it is a blast with a good group of people! And if you stop by the Baltimore area on your USA roadtrip, I'd be happy to take you through the National Aquarium (one of my favorite places here so far-- I've lived in the area for less than a year, though!)
    ~Natalie (QSOgirl)

  8. It's a great list - I have a similar one in my head and think I need to commit it to type somewhere too. I have been to Roadhouse on my first girls weekend away with the school mums I now call my close friends (we are on trip 4 in 10 days to Barcelona!) and we had one of the best nights ever! I'm not sure what #30 is but the Monopoly pub crawl I can work out and need to add to my list!