... before I go back home to Newcastle. For those who don't know, I'll be returning to Newcastle and trying to find work there. I had hoped to bring Anna and the kids here to Griffith, but Judy, Anna's mum, is very sick and we need to stay in the Hunter.
If you can, please pray that I can get work. Anna has 3 days per week guaranteed at Centrelink but we would both prefer it if I work and she stays home looking after the kids. I've just applied for a teaching position which I won't get but I suppose it's important to try.
I got a Christmas card from one of my students the other day. It's notable because she's a Turkish Muslim.
Some teachers are being farwelled this weekend at a party at one of the local clubs, including me. I've had a good time here at Griffith High School. If I ever needed confirmation that I was an effective teacher and could make it in a hard school then these past few months have been worth it. It has been hard yakka but it has ultimately been rewarding.
It has also interesting being a "bachelor" again and not having wife and kids around - it has certainly had its advantages but I would rather stay with my family any day.
I have a letter in tomorrow's Sydney Morning Herald about Tamworth and its rejection of Sudanese refugees. One of the other teachers here is a guy called Kevin Farrell who often gets letters into the Herald and has inspired me to return to my letter writing.
Hopefully I'll also return to more regular blogging. It has been very difficult to blog and get emails here in Griffith. Today, for some reason, I can sit at the desk in the staffroom and blog but on other days I can't.
What will I miss about Griffith? The Spaghetti Campagnola from Belevedere's restaurant; the very short drive from school to home; the teachers I have made friends with, especially Shannon, Naomi, Venessa, Sally, Murray and Katie; Five of my year 9 students - Dean, Carla, Trent, Kimberley and Matthew - who were very entertained by my "stories" and worked hard when needed; the lack of traffic lights; the brothers and sisters at Griffith Presbyterian whom I never really got to know too well; Mrs Pascoe, one of the parents of a year 7 student, who appreciated my input; the long drives to Rankins Springs, Ivanhoe and Cobram.
What will I not miss about Griffith? The desert heat; the flies; the mozzies who are even now breeding in the pool of water outside our house; kids who couldn't give a damn; the taste of the town water supply; the lack of a Thai restaurant; the lack of trees; the lack of doctors; the lack of adequate funding for public education; the traffic down Banna avenue; going shopping and bumping into students you were yelling at 60 minutes beforehand; the lack of channel 10; kids who truant class and go swimming in the irrigation channels and return to school with wet undies; and, of course, being away from Anna, Aiden and Lillian for such a long time.