Saturday, 27 July 2013

Where do I start?

Well here we are: the beginning of a new blog. One of the millions of blogs littering the internets. I know what you are thinking: why this blog? Well, let me tell you a story.

I graduated from university almost exactly a year ago (366 days to be precise). I graduated with a respectable grade in a respectable discipline. I was pleased with the outcome. As part of my degree I spent a year in Hamburg, die schönste Stadt der Welt, doing my absolute best to teach English to children with behavioural problems. Looking back on it, I should have kept a blog of that experience. It would have been packed with hilarious anecdotes. That year taught me two things: I love living abroad, and I love teaching. Upon my return to university, I came to realise how much I had NOT missed it. Going to seminars and lectures was a drag, the whole pretence of the place was just mind numbing, but I stuck it out. I did my due diligence and came out of it with a degree and applications in for a PGCE. Due to a clerical error, my application got held up somewhere and I only managed to get to one interview in the summer. It proved unsuccessful. 

So I took the summer. I enjoyed it. I spent three weeks in the USA with my brother and sister in law. I attended Gencon. I returned ready to try again. I applied for a PGCE yet again and applied for jobs in primary schools as a teaching assistant, while all the time offering to volunteer in schools as much as possible. None of that really worked out though. By March 2013 my applications had been rejected and it was too late to get into a primary school teaching PGCE. 

I was at a crossroads. My part time job at the Cinema wasn't enough to sustain me. I was a 25 year old graduate with a part time job, living with my parents in Southampton still. Needless to say, life wasn't the most fulfilling. Was I going to apply for a PGCE a third time round? Was I going to move in another direction to enter adulthood?

And here I now sit, sweat dripping from my forehead into my lap, trying not to touch  the mousepad while I type this into my laptop. The temperature is close to 40 degrees outside, most of the shops are closed because it is Saturday afternoon, the streets are empty, my back is stuck to my leather chair, a mariachi band is playing below my window, and I am being eaten alive by mosquitos. Where am I? I am surprised no-one managed to guess it. I am in the Czech Republic.

After the failure of my PGCE applications I began seriously applying for entry level jobs in various companies, graduate schemes, and training positons in various sectors. I felt it would be best to just get on the ladder, and then work out where I could go from there. In my searches I stumbled across an opportunity to move to Czech and get a foot on the ladder. I went for it. The role involved speaking German, and living abroad. Why wouldn't I apply for it?

So that is about it. I am a million miles from where I thought my life would have taken me. Lets see what happens.


  1. You know, you could always be a writer. Really enjoyed reading the post, very witty and nice style.

    1. Maybe one day. Anastasia would love that.

  2. Hello James,

    Hope this finds well and still enjoying Pardubice.

    just stumbled acrosss your blog by accident, and love it - I have been travelling to Pardubice since 1997 for the annual Czech Golden Helmet / Zlata Prilba speedway meeting, and love the city.

    I also watch the hockey team whenever I can.

    I am recently back from two weeks in Pardubice and Prague, and stay at the "Zelena Zaba" in Hronovicka when in Pardubice.

    Tried to follow the blog by email, but got an error, so I will store the URL in my Evernote account.