Prac Complete

Two weeks of prac are over and do I really have to go back to my real job on Monday?

Please, can I just stay and teach kids?

I was reading some of my older posts in the study category and I may not have mentioned that the degree I am studying in order to change career is to become a Primary (Elementary) School teacher.

My first prac is now done and I really had a great time. The class had its challenges. There were kids who had attitude, kids who had too much energy, kids who struggled with basic reading and maths. I helped out around the class and took some small groups for reading or writing. In the second week I took the whole class for some maths lessons.

By the end of the week, it was clear to me that I really enjoyed it. There was some tough moments, and it’s tough trying to control someone else’s class when they’ve had half a year to build a rapport.

Another thing that was clear was that I HAD ACTUALLY TAUGHT THEM SOMETHING! Even the students who struggled seem to have understood the maths that I had taught them. Very happy with that result.

The written assessments from the two assessors were very positive. Of course there are things to work on, but this is my first prac of four over the two years, I’m not expected to be perfect. Heck, all the teachers made it clear that every year their classes required different management, a different style because the kids are a different collection of personalities.

Do I HAVE to go back to work?

Prac Week 1

So the first week of my first practical placement ends tomorrow. I’ve been placed in a year 3 class. A whole class of interesting personalities! While due to whole school activities I haven’t actually seen much teaching in action I have certainly seen classroom management and behavioural management in action.

I am enjoying it which is the first hurdle over. I think I’m on the right track in my career change choice which is another plus. I can see a lot of work and a lot of love for not great pay. The school has a pretty good feeling about it. There are about 6 other prac students there, all in their last prac.

I’ve taken a group for some remediation maths which was hopefully somewhat successful but was sure hard work. I have to take 4 lessons next week which will be very eye opening I’m sure. It’s a lot easier to know what level to pitch at now that I’ve met the kids. But knowing the kids it’s also more of a challenge as I now know some of thier attention spans and capabilities.

Overall it’s been positive so far. Ask me next week after I’ve actually “taught” the class.

She wants to what?

Friday I was not going to be working and I expected that Mrs Mab was working. I had most of the day planned: drop the girls at school, head to the gym with my trainer, then head out for a few hours ride.

Then Mrs Mab mentioned she wasn’t working Friday. WHAT! I checked her roster, nope, not rostered on, oh no, been looking forward to this Friday for ages! For the ride this Friday. Of course, she wanted to go to a movie or to the city. We couldn’t really find a movie we wanted to see, though I would have watched Spiderman: Homecoming, she wasn’t interested. When I mentioned I was planning to ride she says.

“Well, drop me in the city and then go for a ride from there. Then pick me up and we’ll go home.”

My brain couldn’t really process this as I thought it meant that she would come into the city on the bike. I checked my understanding.

“So I’ll take you in on the bike?” See, checking my brain is working.

“Yes.” and I’m thinking aliens have abducted my wife and somehow replaced her (more to come on that later). And I’m also thinking it was rather timely that I had just the day before replaced the Bluetooth headsets with another dual set. See I said in my last post it was an astute decision.

So we geared up and she discovered that it was a little different on the back on the Daytona than the VFR. And considering the last time we pillioned was before Miss 10, our eldest, was born, it’s been a while.

The ride in and out were rather dull, the supersport being uncomfortable for her, and I wasn’t as keen on cutting my way through traffic two up so it did take a while. City traffic after all.

The Scala Rider worked really well, something we didn’t have 11 years ago.

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But she did finish the day leaving me with clear instructions to get a new bike that was more comfortable for her and had better storage options. Sounds like a firm direction for a VFR or Ninja 1000. So even more suspicious about alien abduction at this point.

She didn’t specify that I had to get rid of the Daytona though. Again, those aliens.

The last thing was today. A friend of hers at her work who has been on dirt bikes for a couple of years has just got her L’s and picked up a nice white Ninja 300. Liza’s said that she wants to get her licence too.

Hey look I love my wife, but I’m not 100% sure I want her back from the aliens….. ;P

 

Scala Rider Freecom4 – first 24 Hours

I have finally gone out and replaced my Bluetooth headset. I was tempted by the Sena series, however, I have seen lots of problems on the internet with them. I have used the Scala Rider, mostly successfully, for a few years now, and a quick search didn’t bring up any problems, certainly not to the scale of the Senas.

scala-rider-freecom-4-duo~699913The Freecom 4 is new to Australia – when I went looking about a month ago they weren’t in any of the stores. They are the more budget series and miss out on the Mesh grouping set up that the more expensive PackTalk and SmartTalk get. I never ride in groups, so it was of little interest. Besides, the last time I rode with someone else with a Bluetooth, they had a Sena anyway.

I think that they are basically my old Q3, repackaged. Software a little updated too. First impressions opening the box was, smaller and slimmer. I bought the Duo as it wasn’t much less than a single SmartTalk and meant I could attach it to the second helmet if my kids wanted to come riding. And with discounting, wasn’t a whole lot out of my pocket. It turns out it was an astute decision.

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The mount has changed significantly. It now just slides up into the helmet. This was super easy the old unknown brand my wife uses, but in my AGV was a little more difficult and required some cutting of the pad around the bottom of the helmet. In both cases, there was plenty of cord length and the application of a couple of velcro pads and it was installed. This setup is going to make it super easy to remove at a track (sometimes the track staff don’t like things attached to your helmet, at least at SMSP anyway). It does come with a stick on version as well, but I’m not a fan of doing that.

Switching them on and connecting them to various devices was easy, and they start and connect MUCH faster than the older ones. I’m also not required to fuss about in order to have the music play when I hit the button. I suspect that was caused by several phone OS updates with no Headset software updates, but it was nice to have that working properly.

First ride, a commute, and initially the music was very quiet. I remembered on arrival at work that I hadn’t turned up the Bluetooth volume on the iPhone, so it was much better on the way home. The speakers aren’t going to set the world on fire and do seem to struggle when the music is very full (?) like crescendos and big parts of the song. But they are clear and loud.

The next day the Mrs and I rode into the city and apart from a delay a couple of times, when the connection had gone to sleep, they worked excellently.

Overall I’m very happy and would certainly recommend them as an option. It’s also fantastic after the past 3 months of trying to keep my earbuds in my ears as I don my helmet and not being able to answer calls etc.

Let Out

The last day of the school holidays came along, and Mrs Mab had the day off. But she was sick and I think that’s why after lunch she let me out for a ride. With a couple of hours free I wasn’t able to get to the top of the Putty or Mac Pass, so I decided to head up Old Pac for a few laps south of Brooklyn Bridge. And while I actually I managed to catch one bike, I was mostly a rolling roadblock for the more skilled riders.

Even more amazing, there was a photographer out (I normally pass through the area in the week when they aren’t there). So I have photos from a rare recreational ride of mine. And I have super rare pictures of me riding AND the first photos of me on the Daytona (I’ve had this bike for 4 years).

So enjoy.

 

The slowest rider on the Old Pac!

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Special thanks to Gideon Motorcycle Imagery (on Facebook) for the pictures.

Study – a solid start

A term or so ago I was over the moon about getting 75% on an essay. The post is here

I’ve managed to top it in an essay. 78%. A longer essay as well – 2500 words. I had run out of time and while I had done the research and a skeleton of the paper it wasn’t until I took a day off work and wrote it that I managed to finish it. 

But even better that should give a high Credit for that unit overall. Pretty good. Pretty happy. 

But I topped that in the other unit. 84% on the final assignment (not an essay) and that gets me into Distinction for the assignment and maybe for the unit overall. 

So a solid start to this Masters caper.  

Next units have me doing a second “make my own lesson, recruit a few kids, and make a video of me teaching that lesson, then critique it“. I actually really enjoyed this last time and did pretty well (78%) so I’m looking forward to that one. 

This term I also have my first practical placement at an actual school. So for two weeks I’ll be a full time teacher, so to speak. Scary and excited. 

Hope it goes well. 

Sad and confused

Yesterday we had a memorial at work. Over the weekend a colleague committed suicide. She was distraught over the recent death of her boyfriend. 

I didn’t know her too well, worked with her a few times and chatted in the gym a couple of times. But knew her enough that it was saddening both not enough so it was a surprise. Equally, and I feel somewhat guilty about this, I feel a kinda mad at her. 

I’m kinda mad because I want to tell her that things get better. People get through horrifying tragedies and terrible things happening to them. There’s always a light in that tunnel even when it’s pitch black. I’ve been in a couple of pretty black places and even once I did think about suicide. But from my perspective it doesn’t  seem like an answer to anything. But I can’t tell her because I can’t bump into her in the gym anymore. 

So I’m a bit mad. Now there are two grieving families instead of one (the boyfriend was killed in a accident while at work, not suicide) and lots of people hurting. 

And all of these people would have jumped in with both feet to help and support her. I don’t know if she asked anyone. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to strangers and I know she was talking to the padre at work, maybe that helped some.  

So I’m mad, feeling guilty, feeling sad and definitely confused. RIP Aimee and Curtis. 

Ninja time

No not turtles. Oh that reminds me – I do have to sit through the latest one. 

I test rode the Ninja 1000sx this afternoon. I really wanted to like it, it was smooth, plenty of power. Nice seating position and I can’t see it struggling with full panniers or two up. Brakes seemed good too. 

But I found that the seat had two creases that I found quite uncomfortable after only a few short minutes. Even after I got off the bike I still was a bit uncomfortable for at least a half an hour. That really made it hard to like the bike. 
The VFR moves back to the top of the list and I’m considering that the newer one is the better choice. Revised and refreshed with some better technology. And available at some reasonable prices second hand. 

Reached a quiet decision

Commuting home on the Daytona the other day I finally decided that it was no longer the bike for me.

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What’s not to love about this sweet machine??

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fantastic bike. And I’m still super happy to have decided that my experiment into the sportbike world was on such a sweet machine. Its performance is amazing, handling is fantastic. It’s actually pretty easy to ride every day even in traffic. And I have travelled some distance on it.

It is the decision two years in the making, ever since the roo jumped onto the Hume and laid down my VFR. I didn’t enjoy the track day, I don’t have time or the real interest in putting effort (time, money and stress) into track day schools. I have also decided that I don’t really like heading out to the same road and just repeating it over and over.

I want to head out for a couple of hours (or days or weeks) and explore. Heck, this even sounds like my WoW interests, lol.  The Daytona doesn’t really lend itself to that. I’m not out there wanting to shave seconds off time, I’m happy cruising along at the speed limit(ish) and eating miles looking around. A topbox would be great for work commute.

So I’m heading back to the Sports Tourer world

But no idea how I’m going to pay for it.

Sell the Daytona is the first step.

That should give me enough money to get a good condition VFR800, say 2010 or so. A known bike I would be content with.

So what else?

Well the new VFR seems an obvious choice. I have decided to loosen up my personal restriction and investigate the over 1000cc bikes. Otherwise, there basically isn’t anything to choose from that isn’t choked by Learner Approved restrictions. I may also consider the strongly road orientated “adventure” bikes, this opens it up somewhat too. I would like at least a windscreen (so no nakeds please!) and hope for factory panniers/topbox. LED headlights are a big plus having experienced that in my car now. The difference between normal halogen and LEDs is massive! Maybe I would have seen that roo???

So my list currently has

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2014+ Honda VFR800 (White or Red)

Honda VFR800 – Newer than my old one. Has LED Lights, same sweet engine and similar ergonomics. Almost a known factor, can get second hand too. Panniers/topbox, tick.

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Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX

Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX – I step up to 1000cc. Plenty of power. LED lights, ABS, traction control. Panniers OR topbox, not both at same time.

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Triumph Tiger Sport 1050

Triumph Tiger Sport – LED lights, ABS, traction control. I presume options for topbox, panniers. More adventure tourer than sports tourer. 1000cc triple (triples are sweet). Heated grips etc etc.

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Yamaha MT-09 Tracer

Yamaha MT-09 Tracer. – LED lights, ABS, traction control. I presume options for topbox, panniers. More adventure tourer than sports tourer. 900cc triple (triples are sweet). Heated grips etc etc.

All four of those are improvements on the version before. Better suspension or better tuned engines, improved seating or some such. Ninja, VFR and Tracer should be available in good second hand versions, without some of the newer bits and pieces (LED lights mostly).

I can’t really think of any others. Possibles might include Suzuki GSX1000F (though it’s pretty ugly). Ducati Multistrada 950.

I’ve put the Daytona up for sale at work. I’ve tested a 2017 VFR800, and plan to test the Ninja on Friday. I think thats the strongest alternate to the two VFRs.

But then I have to figure out how to pay.

Tired of the weather

Though actually yesterday and today are really nice. Summer was mostly super hot and so far the weeks of Autumn have been wet mostly. The bike is always dirty and so is the car. I have not been able to ride my push bike to work either. 

And the grass is on some kind of super growth spurt everywhere too.

Rain forecast for next week. Can we just have some mild weather for a while, rain maybe a couple of days instead of every day.