Thursday, August 30, 2018

Everybody can't be on top but life it ain't real funky unless it's got that pop (Prince)

Apologies for this one - I'm veering off slightly because school hasn't started yet in the UK and we have spent the last two weeks settling in to our new surroundings in Surrey.

First purchases: kettle; toaster; iron; TV; vinyl; CDs; stereo. Pretty much in that order. 

These priorities are firmly established!

Part of that process has also been catching up with friends and family and having a mini break. 

Reason for that being the next long holiday I'll have will be next July (sob). 

Outside of my parents' friends and my brother, my cousin Christine has probably known me the longest: fifty years (say it in a shaky granddad voice).

So it was a priority to meet up with her and her family (97 year old mother and her three children - Tom, Lewis and Fran).

During the visit Tom passed on a copy of his book, Pop Life. It details a year of gigs after he decided to attend one a week following Prince's sudden death.

It's amazingly great! Although it helps knowing him and the people around him, I would have loved this book regardless.

It's well written, extremely funny, on a subject that fuels my life as it does Tom's and his personal voice shines through every sentence.

Here's Tom recounting preparation for a gig by Francis Lung. a younger brother of an ex-girlfriend: 
My brother, a friend of Francis Lung, planned to attend the show, as did trusty Rhys and Eleri who kindly offered to make me a disguise for the evening using a paper plate, colouring crayons and pipe cleaners. I decided against this on the combined grounds of personal pride and laziness.
Pop Life is published by Novum. Get yer copy hereIt's very much worth the effort!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Laugh, laugh, I nearly died (The Rolling Stones)

Okay, so funniest thing that happened during my first meeting with my management team (of 6) was when I was asked how I wished to be addressed around the school in front of students.

Erm, Mr Purdy was my response.

Then I was asked how I wished to be addressed by staff in the staff areas - was it Mr Purdy, Head Teacher or Head? 

Erm...Warren...was my tentative reply!!

They all laughed and so did I.

Seems they are used to a higher level of formality in the school than I need.

And way higher than I am used to at Kaipara Campus in the mighty Maungaturoto. 

I'm sure my colleagues there will get a kick out of that!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Here comes the sun (George Harrison)

The start of my UK stint as Head Teacher of a OneSchool Global campus and it’s all getting keys, having a tour, meeting people, and getting a lie of the land/taking the pulse/surveying the terrain.

There’s a lot to be done and I’m ready to roll my sleeves up (yes, literally).

First thing that made my ears prick up? When I commented on seeing a familiar LEAN board in the staff dining area and my new colleague said – oh, mmm, that just arrived and we don’t know what we should do with it. Like all the ideas it seems, they start in NZ and eventually they arrive here! 


Monday, August 13, 2018

You say goodbye and I say hello (The Beatles)

The farewell I received from my Kaipara campus was unbelievable!

Very humbling, and emotional: from Brittany's handshake, to the seniors' passionate haka and farewell song, from the gifts (Fopp voucher will come in verrrrrrry handy) and cards to the special afternoon put on by the staff. And my video blooper reel from Cath and Sarah! 

Naively, I didn't expect all that. It was all overwhelming.

I promised to keep in touch, and I will. 

School here doesn't start for a few weeks so I have time to get acclimatised and settle back into life in England (which I love!!). 

But I'm planning to send back a video as a catch up as soon as I can. 

Until then, be careful out there!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Three indications of lame duck hood

Lame duck hood. That weird twilight zone area between leaving a job and taking up a new one.

I'm experiencing it again.

How do I know this?

1 A student approaches me, smiling, holding a piece of paper and says, "Are you still authorised to sign this?"

2 The shadowing interim Principal is mentioned to me as, The Boss.

3 A staff member asks me a question but after I pause a fraction too long, says, "You've already left, haven't you?"